Alfie's Big Wish by David Hardy

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Magabala Books, 2014. ISBN: 9781922142535
(Ages: Lower primary, Middle primary) Highly recommended for small humans around 3 and up. In his second book about Alfie, David Hardy tells the story of Alfie's loneliness after his friends move on with their family and his longing for someone to play with. The simple rhyming text will appeal to young readers and the illustrations are just delightful - and very expressive. Children will readily identify with Alfie's emotions throughout.
David is a descendant of the Barkindji people of the Brewarrina (NSW) district and was for many years working with the Walt Disney Animations Studios. His skill with drawing and creating characters is evident in this charming book - especially with facial expressions. I particularly love the end papers with their 'pencil' sketches of Alfie in various activities and moods.
After his mates move away, Alfie is left feeling very forlorn as all the other kids are much bigger. He tries to amuse himself (alongside some animal friends) but it just isn't the same. He makes a big wish for someone to come along who is just the right age and size to be a playmate. And Surprise! His wish comes true when a new little girl, Myrna, appears. As new special friends the two play all day long and there are smiles all around.
A lovely take on friendship and an apt example that kids are kids and are friends despite gender differences, or anything else!
Sue Warren