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Reviewed by Jane Finch for Readers' Favorite
Bali and Blu: Friends of a Different Color is written and illustrated by Andrew Fairchild. Bali is a little elephant who has an unusual best friend. Not another elephant, but a tiny grasshopper. Bali thinks he needs to change for it to be acceptable for him to have a friend who is so different to an elephant. He tries various ways to change, including painting himself another colour, or making himself look like the grasshopper by having wings. However hard he tries, he realises it won’t make any difference. But the real difference is only in size. That doesn’t stop the two creatures still being friends.
The author and illustrator, Andrew Fairchild, has done a lovely job with this children’s picture book. The illustrations are beautiful and colourful, and the characters are lovable and endearing. There is another side to this story, though. It’s not only about thinking you need to change to please others; it’s also about not being afraid to be different. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what size, shape, or colour you are. Friendships are about character and personality, and if your friend is different from you that doesn’t mean you have to change. You are friends because of who you are. This simple story of an elephant and a grasshopper and their special friendship really deals with issues that adults will identify with, such as racism and prejudice. It is an ideal book for a parent to read to a child and to explain the true meaning of the story.