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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
It’s that time of day, or should I say early evening. The time when, with pyjamas and slippers on, children can curl up on their bed or on the living room couch next to Mom, Dad, or a grandparent – or all of the above and just listen. There are stories that are fables, tales that teach for those who listen and truly have the desire to learn. But the best stories, the best fables are about friends. Because what would life be without friends?
There’s Pete the stuffed elephant who, though left behind in the acorn forest and somewhat lonely at first, always finds a way to be cheerful and he always finds new friends. There’s happiness and joy all around Pete and it’s very infectious. Then there’s Murphy the lizard, Pete’s new friend in the acorn forest. And there’s the ever curious Little Tail, a dog who wants to see and do everything, including finding Snow and making Snow his newest best friend. And there’s Summer Wind and a frozen dragonfly who, once he’s thawed, will help Little Tail find his way back home.
Patricia Furstenberg’s collection of twelve stories, Happy Friends, is a classic collection of stories to charm and to teach young readers the value of life and the value of good friends. Each of the twelve stories stands on its own, but each story interacts with the next as the plot thickens. The individual stories become Little Tail’s journey of discovery as he leaves his home and friends, only to discover that Snow might be interesting, but so are his friends back home.
For as “The Book of Life” says, and is often quoted in Happy Friends, “The time spent in the company of friends will, more than once, become part of our most cherished memories, staying with us for the rest of our lives.” Happy Friends is a treasure to be enjoyed and shared over and over again.