Review of Friends Beyond Measure

Friends Beyond MeasureFriends Beyond Measure
by Lalena Fisher; illus. by the author
Primary  Harper/HarperCollins    40 pp.
2/23    9780063210523    $18.99

Clever, whimsical, and jam-packed with details, Fisher’s visual graphics chart the friendship of two young girls. First up, a Venn diagram, drawn by the story’s narrator, Ana, captures what she and brand-new pal Harwin do—and don’t—have in common. Both, for example, enjoy cheese and graphic novels, but Ana loves turtles, while Harwin adores horses. Later infographics include a schematic diagram of the girls’ recipe for fairy tea, a coordinate chart of their differing tree-climbing abilities, and a timeline of their “so cooool!” Halloween adventures. But Ana’s declaration—“I thought the fun would last forever”—hints that a big bump looms ahead. Sure enough, readers soon learn that Harwin is moving away. A bar graph ranks Ana’s many feelings: shock, sadness, fear, envy, and also a bit of excitement for her friend. Dialogue and narration are at a minimum here, with just enough of each to introduce the various charts and propel the plot along. Humorously drawn with marker, pencil, and image editing software, Fisher’s infographics will have readers lingering over the pages of this heartwarming celebration of a friendship that will last “this year, next year…and the years after that.” An annotated list of “Some Useful Kinds of Charts” is appended.

From the May/June 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Tanya D. Auger

Tanya D. Auger
Tanya D. Auger is a former middle school teacher with a master’s degree in learning and teaching from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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