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Friend or Foe?

Written by John Sobol

Illustrated by Dasha Tolstikova

  • 32 Pages
  • 9781554984084
  • 10" x 9.5"
  • from grade 4
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / General
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Social Situations / Friendship



Publication Date October 01, 2016

"A lonely mouse lived in a small house beside a great palace. In the great palace lived a cat."

Each night the mouse gazes up at the cat in the palace tower. Is the cat my friend? he wonders. Determined to find out, he bravely makes his way into the palace through a tiny hole and climbs all the way up to the tower, where the cat sits on the windowsill.

"Hello, are you friend or foe?" he squeaks.

This simple story by John Sobol has a surprising outcome, giving young readers a chance to draw their own conclusions. It is perfectly complemented by Dasha Tolstikova’s subtle yet striking illustrations.


John Sobol

John Sobol is an author, musician and poet who has performed at festivals and clubs in a dozen countries. He also likes reciting poems to children. He has toured an acclaimed one-man show called Two Million Years of Technology, and he has written many popular TV shows for children, including Pippi Longstocking and Under the Umbrella Tree. This is his first picture book.

Dasha Tolstikova

Dasha Tolstikova’s illustrations have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the New Yorker. Her graphic-novel memoir, A Year Without Mom, has received three starred reviews and has been translated into Korean and Swedish. She has also illustrated The Jacket, written by Kirsten Hall, a New York Times Notable Book.


"A quiet, thoughtful narrative for all readers who like to wonder." Kirkus Reviews

"Sobol's original and engaging story is perfectly complemented by Dasha Tolstikova's subtle yet striking illustrations. Beautifully produced, exceptionally entertaining." Midwest Book Review