Perfect Picture Book Friday – Big Friends


It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

And what could be better under these stuck-inside circumstances than a new list of fantastic books with hopefully very time-consuming  😊 fun, entertaining activities to go along with them? (that will hopefully keep the little darlings busy for a loooooong time!) (oh, I’m sorry, did I say that out loud?! 😊)

You know how Christmas and birthdays with babies, toddlers, and young children often make you feel that you could have foregone the gifts…because all they want to do is play with the box?

I figured, what with all of us holed up in our homes (possibly feeling like we’re IN a box! 😊) this would be a good day to have a story about friendship and boxes and activities that are all kinds of things you can do with a cardboard box!

Big Friends

Title: Big Friends

Written By: Linda Sarah

Illustrated By: Benji Davies

Henry Holt & Co, January 2016, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: friendship, loneliness, imagination, play

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Opening: “Two cardboard boxes, big enough to sit in, hide inside.  Birt and Etho take them out each day, climb Sudden Hill, and sit in them.

Sometimes they’re kings, soldiers, astronauts.  Sometimes they’re pirates sailing wild seas and skies.

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Brief Synopsis: (From the jacket copy) “Birt and Etho are best friends. Together they play outside in big cardboard boxes. Sometimes they’re kings, soldiers, astronauts. Sometimes they’re pirates sailing wild seas and skies. But always, always they’re Big friends. Then one day a new boy arrives, and he wants to join them. Can two become three?”

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Links To Resources: 31 Things To Do With  A Cardboard Box (yes it’s a Buzzfeed link, but there are photos and how-to tutorials for all 31 and they’re so much fun!!!); 101 Things To Do With A Cardboard Box (never mind 31! :)); Make Your Own Friendship Bracelets (video tutorial)

Why I Like This Book: This is a lovely book, filled with the friendship and imaginative play of two boys who get along and understand each other… until a third boy shows up and threatens the balance not because he’s difficult or unpleasant – quite the opposite – but because he’s new and changes the dynamic.  It’s a story about struggling to incorporate someone new without losing the old.  It is not sentimental or sappy in any way, but I promise you will say “Aw!” on the last page 🙂  It’s an important story because integrating new friendships is a skill and a struggle that every child faces at some point.  The pull toward someone new and fun that calls to one member of a friendship, the jealously that threatens the other… or sometimes just the fear that things will change, a true friend will be lost, the friendship will not be the same.  Don’t miss this one!

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I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out 🙂 ) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone and stay well!!! 😊🌷🌸😊


12 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Big Friends

  1. Maria Marshall (@MariaMarshall_) says:

    Susanne, boy do I remember those days, fondly. By the way, if your kids are grown & you don’t have grandkids yet, cats are quite happy to remind you that the Costco (or in fact ANY other) box is SO much better than any ‘awesome’ toy that came in it. 🙂 Can’t wait to read this one!

  2. Diane Tulloch says:

    This is a cute book and I love how they use the box. I remember so much dragging my younger brother around in a cardboard box. Our house was all one level and had a very long hallway which was excellent for dragging a cardboard box around. Later when I was working I used to do window displays and posters using heaps of cardboard that stock came in. 🙂

  3. palpbkids says:

    Oh boy, boxes:)!! Unleash the imagination! And, if you are lucky enough to have a refrigerator box,all the more fun!

  4. Patricia Tilton says:

    Love the illustrations! They make this book soar with imagination and creativity! Reminds me of a movie with actor Elijah Woods (as a kid) and the flying machine they build with a wagon.

  5. Leslie Leibhardt Goodman - Writer says:

    When my daughter was turned two, we bought her a sweet, little, wooden, rocking horse. The part she loved best of all was the big cardboard box it was shipped in. She played with the box for weeks! And the pony??? Got donated to Goodwill in new condition. I love this book that you reviewed today. I checked it out from my library a few months ago. I hope you’re doing well. Hugs.

  6. ptnozell says:

    This looks like a fun read, and so timely to encourage adventures in a box, especially as so many of us are ordering supplies that we can’t find locally online.

  7. viviankirkfield says:

    I always marveled at how much money parents spent on complicated gadgets and massive toys, when really, all the kids wanted was the box the stuff came in. Love the book, Susanna…and sending hugs and love as you #shelterinplace on Blueberry Hill.

  8. Anne C. Bromley says:

    Thank you, Susanna, for sharing what looks like a great story! I love a world made of big boxes and big friends. Wishing you and your family good health, safety, and happiness.

  9. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    Sounds fun. Mom remembers a thousand happy days playing in, on, and under cardboard boxes in her neighborhood with her cousins. Big Friends and the sequel – Big Cousins! Or if I may suggest…. Big Cousins and Little Doggies. Oh yeah!

    Love and licks,

  10. Jilanne Hoffmann says:

    I adore cardboard boxes. We lived in a loft when our son was small, and we built an enormous castle with drawbridge and connecting tunnels. So much fun! Can I admit that I think I enjoyed it as much as my son? This looks like a fabulous book! Thanks for the rec, Susanna!

  11. Barbara Gruener says:

    How have I missed this treasure? LOVE the link to all of the things we can do with a cardboard box, especially now! Thank you for always posting these PPBF picks.

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