Sunday, September 22, 2013
Module 3: May I Bring A Friend?
Module 3: Caldecott Award
May I Bring A Friend?
Author: Beatrice Schenk De Regniers
Illustrator: Beni Montresor
May I Bring a Friend? is a story about a boy who receives invitations to have meals with the King and the Queen. Every time he receives his invitation, however, he asks if he can bring a guest with him. The King and Queen reply that any friend that is a friend of their friend is welcome to dinner. So for every meal, the boy brings a different animal friend with him from the zoo.
APA Book Reference:
De Regniers, B.S. (1964). May I bring a friend? New York, NY: Aladdin Paperbacks.
I was not very impressed by this book. Considering that it won the Caldecott medal, I assumed I would enjoy the elaborate illustrations that reviews of the book had promised. However, I did not care for the illustrations at all. The way they were drawn with the sketched quality with multiple lines made the illustrations appear blurry to me. I had to hold that book at a distance to fully understand the scene. Also, I was not fond of the switching between black and white and color images.
Despite my aversion to the illustrations, I actually enjoyed the story. I also liked that the story was told in rhyme, even though the rhyme was forced at times.
“The King and Queen are most gracious hosts to a certain little boy--and any friend of his is a friend of theirs. When he brings a giraffe to tea, the King doesn't blink an eye and says, "Hello. How do you do?" and the Queen merely exclaims, "Well! Fancy meeting you!" The royal pair continue to invite the boy as their guest for tea, breakfast, lunch, dinner, apple pie, and Halloween, and each time he politely asks if he can bring a friend, waits for their assent, then brings a hippo, monkeys, an elephant, and once even a pride of lions into their elegant home. Beatrice Schenk De Regniers's gentle, repetitive, rhyming story, with the refrain "So I brought my friend," will resonate with young children, who will be pleased to see the well-behaved wild animals wreaking harmless havoc in the palace, and soothed by the unfalteringly open arms and perpetual politesse of the King and Queen. Beni Montresor's distinctive, inky, richly colored drawings earned this book a Caldecott Medal in 1965, and have won the hearts of children ever since. (Ages 3 and older) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition”
Basically, this was not one of my favorite children’s books, and despite its Caldecott medal, I would not have any second thoughts if I were asked to remove it from a library collection. However, with that being said, I suppose the rhyming of the story would make for a good story time. The dinner guests of the boy usually being ridiculously huge animals would probably also elicit laughter from the children.