About this book
Elisa Amado • Alfonso Ruano
From acclaimed author and translator Elisa Amado and award-winning illustrator Alfonso Ruano, My Friend is the story of the meaning of friendship in the life of an immigrant child.
Friendship — to be known, to be accepted as you are, to feel safe, especially when you are vulnerable. The girl in this story has recently arrived in Brooklyn with her family. On her very first day at school she meets a girl who almost instantly becomes her very best friend. She feels known, loved and accepted by her. But when she invites her friend to come for dinner with her family — a family that feels free to eat weird food and, even worse, burst into song with their version of a sentimental classic of longing and homesickness — something shifts and she no longer feels safe at all. What will it be like tomorrow at school?
Award-winning illustrator Alfonso Ruano’s art beautifully depicts the depth of feeling that the friends experience in this story from acclaimed author and translator Elisa Amado, about how difficult it is to come from somewhere else and what a difference friendship can make.
Key Text Features
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.
Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.
Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud.
Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events
Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.
About the Creators
Elisa Amado is a Guatemalan-born author and translator. Her books have been on the Américas Award Commended List and on USBBY’s Outstanding International Books List. She lives in Toronto.
Alfonso Ruano is the illustrator of The Composition by Antonio Skármeta, winner of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award and the UNESCO Tolerance Award and an Américas Award Commended title; Tricycle (El triciclo) by Elisa Amado, a USBBY Outstanding International Book; and Somos como las nubes / We Are Like the Clouds by Jorge Argueta, which was featured on many lists, including USBBY’s Outstanding International Books and ALA Notable Children’s Books. After three decades as the art director for Grupo SM, the world’s largest publisher of Spanish-language children’s books, he has left to devote more time to illustration and painting.
Awards and Praise
Praise for Aunt Pearl:
"The book introduces young readers to a homeless woman as someone’s sister, aunt, and family member. Through Aunt Pearl, children and adults alike can begin important conversations about the concepts of inclusion, diversity, compassion, and family.”
— Dr. Vicky Stergiopoulos, Physician-in-Chief, Centre for Addiction & Mental Health (CAMH), Toronto
Praise for Why Are You Doing That? by Elisa Amado, illustrated by Manuel Monroy:
“An energetic, simple exploration of food’s journey from farm to table for today’s young locavores.” Kirkus Reviews
Praise for What Are You Doing? by Elisa Amado, illustrated by Manuel Monroy:
“The repetitions in Amado’s story make for a pleasurable, rhythmic read.” Booklist
Praise for Somos como las nubes / We Are Like the Clouds by Jorge Argueta, illustrated by Alfonso Ruano:
“Argueta and Ruano present a unique and much-needed perspective on the reasons driving young people to immigrate to the U.S., in particular the desire to reunite with family. The scarcity of Latino children’s and young adult books that center Central American experiences makes this poignant poetry collection extremely vital.” Booklist, starred review
“Delicate illustrations include both realistic portrayals and surreal depictions that complement the textual imagery.” Horn Book, starred review
“Ruano’s realistic artwork conveys an immediacy that complements and extends the poems, allowing readers not familiar with the experience to be able to ‘see’ it.” Kirkus, starred review
Praise for Tricycle by Elisa Amado, illustrated by Alfonso Ruano
“A discussion-starter if ever there was one, this brief episode contrasts wealth and poverty in an unnamed Latin American country. … Amado puts plenty between the lines here, and Ruano does likewise in his neatly drawn scenes of green-lawn prosperity next to bare dirt and cast-off furniture. … Economic extremes may not be so side-by-side visible in the U.S., but they certainly exist, and children on both sides of the metaphorical hedge would benefit from this invitation to think about that.” Kirkus Reviews
“Class differences are seldom part of stories for very young children, but this book tells of rich and poor from the viewpoint of young Margarita. … While there is no overt message, there is much to talk about.” Booklist