A Year with Friends

May 8th, 2013 · 3 Comments · Books

9781419704437cReview By SANDI LANCASTER

A Year With Friends is a sweet, simple book which celebrates the months of the year through the eyes of children. Each month is given a specific purpose involving nature, family and friends, or holidays, with declarations such as “February is for snuggling,” and “March is time to hold on to your hat.” The illustrations are charming, and they depict two children and their animal friends having a different adventure each month.

Overall, the book is a gentle celebration of nature, loved ones, and the changes that we experience throughout the year. However, vegetarian families should note that the illustration for November includes a turkey platter for a Thanksgiving meal. Vegan families, as well as families who do not celebrate Christmas, should note that the illustration for December includes children cracking eggs to make Christmas cookies.

The November and December illustrations aside, the rest of the book beautifully highlights many wondrous things that bring children joy throughout the year. Vegetarian and vegan families can make a personal choice as to whether the two illustrations of animals-as-food and eggs-as-food are deal-breakers for a book intended for young children, or whether the illustrations merely warrant a comment along the lines of “Some people make different choices than we do.”

A review copy was provided by Abrams.

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3 Comments so far ↓

  • Homa

    I think in my experience reviewing with Vegbooks I notice certain depictions more, but in year survey books it is hard to avoid depictions of traditions. And kids know they are using books as a window to other ways people live so as long as the mix of books you’re reading with them includes kindness to animals that they can identify with, illustrations of meat centric dinners are just part of the conversation (for us).

  • Bev

    I second what Homa said and I would add that a lot of children are not in families where everyone (immediate or distant relatives) are Vegan. So depending on the age and awareness of the child they may be conscious of how these traditions play out in their own lives.

  • jana christy

    Hi! Thank you for your wonderful review! As far as the meat issue goes— my original design did not have meat- the November page was all about pie, pie, pie. I’m glad liked the book regardless! and thanks again!!

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