May I Bring a Friend?
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May I Bring a Friend?

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  2,138 ratings  ·  158 reviews
What could be more natural, when invited by the King and Queen to tea, than to ask to bring a friend? And that, of course, is what the hero of "May I Bring a Friend?" does. Not only to tea, but to breakfast, lunch, dinner, apple pie and Halloween - one invitation for each of six days of the week. The King is most gracious. "Any friend of our friend is most welcome, " says...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 30th 1989 by Turtleback Books (first published 1964)
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I think this suffered a little from being read so close to What Do You Say, Dear?, which has a similar wacky sense of humor and a not-dissimilar rhythm. But where that had a clear purpose, this is more surreal. A child is invited to tea with the king and queen; he asks if he can bring a friend. The friend turns out to be a giraffe, fortunately a polite one. The child is invited back for successive meals, each time accompanied by an increasingly wild animal. There was some cognitive dissonance fo...more

A young boy is invited to tea by the king and queen several days in a row. Each day he brings an animal friend. The king and queen enjoy this so much that on the final day they had tea at the city zoo.


This repetitive, rhyming story is very sweet. The king and queen are gracious hosts and the boy uses his best manners. The silly pictures do betray the book's 1960's roots. But the story is so sweet and timeless that parents will want to read it repeatedly to their children.

Deanna Colburn
May I bring a Friend is a story of how a young boy brings his ‘friends’ to eat with the king and queen, the funny twist is that his friends happen to be animals at the zoo. The book rhymed continually throughout making the book very easy and fun to read. The illustrations were very fun and entertaining. The illustrator used black and white while when King and Queen were focus of the page but, when the boy and his friends came to visit the page bursted with color. This emphasized the surprise of...more
Very cute, fun story about a child who is invited to various events (tea, Halloween party, etc.) by a very amiable king and queen. The child always wants to bring a friend, and the queen and king are happy to oblige, even when their events become a bit of a menagerie.

This is a classic picture book (from the 1960s) that, I feel, stands the test of time. Though I loved the old-fashioned charm of the illustrations, the imagination and animals, and the fun rhyme scheme, should still appeal to child...more
Paul  Hankins
This 1965 Caldecott Award winning title is part of the mini study I have been doing this weekend on past winners of the award. Flat presentation of scenery (where carpets are circular vs. eliptoid) and solid block color backgrounds (used to communicate mayhem in this work vs. a variety of color used to introduce the animal the boy is bringing to meet the King and Queen) allow animals to pop off of the page. Light verse begs for read-aloud. I see tones of Amos McGee in this early work that would...more
Rachael Humphries
When I came across this book, I did as though I was a young elementary child. I picked up the book and skimmed through the pictures. Right away, I was intrigued by the vibrant colors and amazing images. Just simply grazing though the pages in this book, I could already tell it was going to be a fun and interesting book to read.

This story is about a young boy who gets invited to tea by the king and queen. He asks if he can bring a friend and later on asks to bring a friend to every on going even...more
Sami Wilson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A young boy receives invitations to visit the king and queen every day of the week and brings a different animal guest each day. The story just wasn't that engaging to me and the pink backgrounds on the illustrations were strange. Caldecott winner.
Caelyn Pietila
May I Bring a friend is written by Beatrice Schenk de Regiers. It’s about a little boy who is invited by the Queen and King to tea, and he is allowed to bring a friend so he brings his animal friends. The narrator is the author, who talks in first person as if they are the character in the story. In the end, The King and Queen eventually go to dinner with the animals at the zoo. I could read this book to my student’s if I were teaching about friendship, or different animals. I think it would be...more
May I Bring a Friend? by Beatrice Schenk De Regniers, illustrated by Beni Montresor is the classic tale of the little boy who is invited to the palace by the King and Queen, and the different "friends" (animals) he brings with him.

The boy is invited by the King and Queen six days in a row and gives them an invitation on the seventh: thus the story can be used teach or refresh the days of the week. Sunday is Tea, with a giraffe. Monday is Dinner - stew with a hippo. Tuesday is lunch with monkeys...more
I remember lots of different animals. I think I used to wonder how such a little boy could make friends with animals.

4/27/10 & 4/29 & 5/3 & 5/5: This book sprang off the shelf and back into memory. I thought I would try it for storytime. The pictures--particularly the colors were what grabbed their attention first. Then waiting to see what animals would come next kept their attention in a book that would otherwise drag for preschool age or in a storytime setting. It went well each ti...more
Katie Fitzgerald
Read during preschool class visit on 12/14/11:

Read at Preschool Story Time on 4/4/12:

Read during Pre-K/K Class Visit on 3/15/12:

Read for #nerdcott. Reviewed in Caldecott Challenge Post #13:

Read at Pre-K Class Visit on 5/4/12:

Read at Pajama Story Time on 6/27/12: http://storytimesecrets.blogspot...more
Sweet on Books
Who doesn’t like getting an invitation...discovering the mail in the mailbox, opening the envelope and feeling the excitement of being included. Those are just some of the emotions that the reader might feel upon seeing the first page of this book. Now imagine that the invitation is from a King and Queen. Pretty cool, huh? Well, unlike some of us, the main character doesn’t give a simple yes when invited to tea with a King and a Queen. He politely asks the King and Queen if he “may bring a frien...more
An exemplary read aloud book is May I bring a friend? The author is Beatrice Schenk De Regniers and it is illustrated by Beni Montresor. The book was awarded the Caldecott medal in 1965. The grade range is kindergartners to second graders. Although the book is lengthier that must kindergartners might comprehend, its easy vocabulary, and rhyming pattern are sure to engage the students till the end.
The artistic media for the book is cartoon art. The illustrator uses pen and ink to draw the pictu...more
Karen Peters
May I Bring A Friend? written by Beatrice Schenk De Regniers and ilustrated by Beni Montressor is a poetic picture book for Nursery(N) age children.
This book was chosen for a Caldecott Medal in 1965 for the illustrations.

The delightful story of a young boy who is invited to tea with the King and Queen. The very lovely King and Queen decide that of course he must bring a guest. When the young boy asks to bring a friend, he is told of course. When the day arrives, his friend is none other than a g...more
May I Bring a Friend? is a whimsical story about a child who, upon recieving each invitation to the palace by the king and queen, invites along an unusual friend to each engagement. The illustrations serve to tell the reader that the child's "friends" that she insists on bringing are in fact zoo animals, so therefore, when each new animal friend is revealed, the page has no text so the reader is focused on the surprise of each new animal accompanying the king and queen in their leisure activitie...more
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...more
David Ward
May I Bring a Friend? by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers (Atheneum 1964) (Fiction - children's) is a joy from beginning to end. Even to one who has left childhood far, far behind, this book is laugh-out-loud funny! This is one of the books that places absurdity at a level where even beginning readers and listeners can recognize the joke. The story (written charmingly in poem form)begins as follows:

"The king and the queen invited me
to come to their house on Sunday for tea.
I told the queen, and the q...more
Haley Shade
I love the concept that this book has to invite anyone. The king is so willing to let anyone come into his place, no matter who are what they are. The boy keeps asking, and the king is so selfless to let the boy bring anyone, or should I say any animal. He welcomes lions, hippos, giraffes, any kind of friend. The point I am trying to make is that the king is not discriminating against any animal the boy is bringing to tea, he allows any type of animal. I love this idea of welcoming anyone into y...more
Beni Montresor is the wonderful illustrator.

My first flannel board story as a student teacher. Through the years I used it as a read aloud. Twas successful because, with the repetition, the listeners could participate.

Other books illustrated by Montresor.

Also, read The Great Rebellion by Mary Stolz for which he did the pictures. c 1961 Two young house mice escape from tyranny after the housecat leaves. Adventures and wisdom follows.

Also, on Christmas Eve by Margaret Wise Brown. A lovely telling...more
The royal setting and main characters are nothing unique here, but the rhyming is so well done and fun, it is virtually perfect. And it nicely complements the unexpected and playful escapades. The pencil illustrations are unusually detailed and some of the expressions on their faces are hilarious!
Cute. I'd have appreciated it more as a child, what with all of the animals and the fun with royalty. I also find it slightly amusing to see that the king and queen in this story have NOTHING to do but entertain a small boy for meals all week - social commentary, anyone?
Katie Frakes
This is a very sweet short story about a young boy who brings a series of animals to have tea with the king and queen. I enjoyed reading this book because of the colorful and whimsical illustrations on every page. These illustrations were really great because they portray information that is necessary for the storyline, but isn’t actually written in words. Before reading this book, I looked at all of the illustrations on every page. After reading this book, I was very pleased to see that the sto...more
I really liked the illustrations in this book particular. There was a lot of detail in the drawings that I could get lost in each page. I know growing up I would have loved this book because I loved to draw and I could get a lot of ideas from it. I also enjoyed the pattern from a black and white page, to a colorful page, to a monochromatic page. Each section illustrated a common theme. On the black and white page were the king and queen. On the color page was a new animal being introduced. On th...more
Amy Dennehy
Before I even read this book I just simply flipped through the pages. The illustrations were so fun, colorful and detailed that they took on a story of their own. I went back and actually read the story and was quite shocked to see how well the pictures alone told the actual story. I thought this was a very cute book that details a young boy who was invited to have tea with the King and Queen. Each time he was invited he asked if he could bring a friend. The friends the little boy brings are an...more
Jason Slayton
This might possibly be the greatest picture book of all time.

This king and queen are just hanging out at the castle and every single day, they are just like, "why don't we invite that kid over to the castle to hang out?"

So, everyday they invite him, and everyday the kid asks if he can invite a friend. And they are always like, "yeah."

And the friend is a giraffe! Or, a seal. Or whatever. And the king and queen respond with poetry, only sometimes the poetry doesn't all fit within the established p...more
The king and queen invite a young boy to come to the castle for a meal. He asks if he can bring a friend and they say yes. They continue asking him and he keeps bringing a different friend each time.
My favorite part about this book was the rhyming, and bright illustrations, it made it a fun read. This book is about a young boy who gets invited to dinner with the king and queen and is told he can bring a friend, as long as they are well behaved. So, the little boy does not bring another boy or girl, he brings animal friends. The first dinner he brings a giraffe on a leash. This is repeated many more times with elephants, monkeys, lions, and a seal. The queen and king enjoy this and are very...more
Megan Goss
Right away I could tell that the illustrations were completed with an ink pen; however, I wasn't sure what media was used for the color portions of the book. I looked it up and found out that the illustrator used screen overlays and acetate. I'm not exactly sure how the process works but the color turns out bright. The illustrations seemed a little odd to me because the whole page would be orange or yellow with the characters drawn in black ink. Some of the animals would be portrayed in differen...more
CIP: "A well-mannered little boy has permission to bring his animal friends to visit the king and queen."

A delightful rhyming tale about a young boy who makes daily visits to a king and queen, bringing a new and interesting guest each day. A winner of the 1965 Caldecott Medal, the illustrations may not have aged well but the story in itself is a timeless one. It could also be easily adapted to a flannel board or puppet show. Great for ages 4 to 7.

Kirkus: "Good fun, good looking and with a pract...more
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