Picture Books : Saying Good-bye to Friends

My boys have been fortunate to have lived their entire childhood in the same house—gone to the same schools, had the same pediatrician. At 25 and 20 years old, they have had many of the same friends since they were in kindergarten. Alex and Erik met when they were in the same Tiger Cubs den; Erik had so many sleepovers at our house that he has moved into our basement. Nathan plays online video games with the same young men he has known for years.

However, living in the same place did not guarantee that some of their friends did not move away. I especially remember Drew, who lived in our neighborhood for a couple years when Alex was about nine years old. Drew was going to move on the day before school started; and that summer the two boys spent almost every day at each other’s house. We were all very sad when he left.

Each of these picture books tells the story of friends moving, but all from a little different perspective.

Good-Pie PartyPosy is moving away, leaving her best friends Mae and Megan. Everything in the house is packed up, so there is nothing to do except bemoan the upcoming separation. Nothing to do, that is, except bake! And, one more time, the girls share their favorite activity—and have a good-pie party to say “so long” to her neighbors and friends.

Bad Bye, Good ByeGood-byes are not really good—they are bad, according to the little boy who is unhappy about moving to a new town. The whole family is sad as they say good-bye to their friends and neighbors and home, and drive away from their old town as the sky cries rain with them. But when they get to their new house, the boy explores his new room—and sees another boy outside. Maybe a new friend? After an evening of catching fireflies, the boys say good-bye as they head to their own homes.

Brimsby's HatsAnd finally, Brimsby’s Hats tells the story of the friend left behind. Brimsby is a hat maker, and every day he and his best friend get together to have tea and conversation. But then his friend goes off to find adventure at sea, and Brimsby is left alone. One day, he sees some birds frantically trying to shovel snow out of their nests and to keep the winter wind from blowing out their fires. Brimsby has an idea: his hats could help the birds stay warm. His thoughtfulness gains him many new friends.

The Good-Pie Party by Liz Garton Scanlon (ill. Kady MacDOnald Denton). 9780545448703. 2014. Gr K-2.
Bad Bye, Good Bye by Deborah Underwood (ill. Jonathan Bean). 9780547928524. 2014. Gr PK-2.
Brimsby’s Hats by Andrew Prahin. 9781442481473. 2014. Gr PK-2.

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