Review of The New Friend

The New Friend
by Charlotte Zolotow; illus. by Benjamin Chaud
Primary    Milky Way    48 pp.    g
11/21    978-1-990252-01-3    $17.99

The narrator of this picture book had a dear friend and reminisces about the ordinary things they used to do together — until the “dear friend” found a “different friend.” Zolotow’s gentle, introspective text, honest about the narrator’s anger and sadness, is now accompanied by new but vintage-feeling illustrations from Chaud, which carefully adhere to the speaker’s point of view, giving only limited information about the “different friend.” In particular, illustrations of a dream sequence imaginatively depict a nighttime-subconscious version of the woods where the children played and of a “new friend” for the speaker. A hopeful but not too neat story of a situation likely to be relatable to many.

From the January/February 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Shoshana Flax
Shoshana Flax

Shoshana Flax, associate editor of The Horn Book Magazine, is a former bookseller and holds an MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons University. She has served on the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award and Sydney Taylor Book Award committees.

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