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Groundwood Books

My Friend

Written by Elisa Amado • Illustrated by Alfonso Ruano

For kids 4 - 8 years old | Published October 01, 2019 | ISBN 9781554989393

Cover of My Friend

Regular price $18.95 CAD

40 pages | 8.75 in × 9.75 in
Print Format

Also Available as an Ebook

About this book

My Friend

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
song lyrics

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).

Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated, including the difference between first- and third-person narrations.

About the Creators

Elisa Amado

Elisa Amado is a Guatemalan-born author and translator. She has written My Friend (Mi amiga), illustrated by Alfonso Ruano; Un Barrilete para el Día de los Muertos / Barrilete: A Kite for the Day of the Dead; Cousins (Primas), illustrated by Luis Garay; Tricycle (El triciclo), illustrated by Alfonso Ruano, which is on the Américas Award Commended List and is a USBBY Outstanding International Book; and What Are You Doing? and Why Are You Doing That?, both illustrated by Manuel Monroy. She lives in Toronto.

Alfonso Ruano

Alfonso Ruano is an illustrator and the art director for Grupo SM, the world's largest publisher of Spanish-language children's books. He lives in Madrid, Spain.

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

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