Paul meets Bernadette by Rosy Lamb
Candlewick Press, 2014. ISBN 9780763661304.
(Age: 3-7) Recommended. Friendship, Loneliness, Horizons. Paul does all he can in his fish bowl. He swims from top to bottom, from side to side, makes little circles and big circles. One day when Bernadette drops in, she questions him about his world, and then points out the many things outside. Pointing to a banana she asks him what it is, His response is tepid, until she points out that what they are looking at is a boat. Then a vase of flowers becomes a forest, the paper is a lovely dress, the teapot an elephant. Each thing pointed out becomes something much bigger and more interesting, and Paul's world is widened, even more so when Bernadette stays with him.
His new friend has shown him the world and how it is a much more interesting place with two looking at it. Being alone narrows his vista, being alone means doing the same thing each day, being alone means seeing things in the same way. Having a friend means seeing things anew, seeing things differently, seeing things together. Even when they are swimming around and around the same space they are together.
What a charming tale to introduce the value of friendship to a child, group or class.