I just ate my friend by Heidi McKinnon

cover image

Allen & Unwin, 2017 ISBN 9781760294342
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Friendship. Belonging. Control. A creature tells us that he has just eaten his friend. The look on his face is one of remorse and a little embarrassment as he then goes searching for a new friend. But it is all too hard. One rejects him because he is too big, one too small, another too slow, and another too scary. He keeps on asking other creatures whether they will be his friend, but still no one is suitable. He begins to question whether he will ever get a friend, when another creature pops up saying that he will be a friend. But a twist in the tale occurs overleaf, which will have readers laughing out loud.
Readers will readily recognise that need to have a friend, and the joy of finally having a friend after a falling out with a former friend, or when one moves, or becomes friendly with someone else. The possibilities of losing a friend are endless and many students will recall how they lost a friend and the importance of filling that gap in their lives. The idea of eating a friend too will bring up discussions of how to keep a friend, of working at a friendship, of being a good friend.
The spare text is complimented with bright colourful illustrations denoting the creature who has lost his friend. The use of only a few colours makes each page stand out boldly, the face with only a few lines tells us all we need to know about the main character. Its amazing how a straght line for the mouth and the pin prick eyes show us remorse or embarrassment, while a slight twitch of the line for the mouth depicts happiness when a friend is found. Readers will have fun with this book, watching the journey taken by the yellow creature and seeing the same thing happening all over again with the blue friend.
Fran Knight