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

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  3,832 Ratings  ·  257 Reviews
Winner of the Caldecott Medal
One day, a small boy receives a very special invitation -- the King and the Queen have invited him to the castle for tea. He accepts, with one question: "May I bring a friend?"
"Any friend of our friend is welcome her," says the King. But their guest's friend turns out to be someone they never expected!
Beatrice Schenk de Regniers's rhythmic t
Paperback, 48 pages
Published September 30th 1989 by Aladdin (first published 1964)
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Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakMake Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskeyThe Snowy Day by Ezra Jack KeatsThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgThe Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
Caldecott Medal Winners
39th out of 79 books — 363 voters
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. DickSpritzerville,…Ohio? by Jason R. KoivuWhy Didn't They Ask Evans? by Agatha ChristieWhose Body? by Dorothy L. SayersThey Shoot Horses, Don't They? by Horace McCoy
Titles with a Question Mark?
23rd out of 409 books — 63 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Aug 02, 2011 Miriam rated it liked it
Shelves: picture
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
May 21, 2012 Kathryn rated it really liked it
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
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!
Mar 25, 2016 Wilmarie rated it really liked it
This story illustrated by Montresor was the 1965 Caldecott Medal winner. This story tells the tale of a boy who received a very special invitation, from the King and Queen, to have tea in the palace. He accepts, asking if he could bring a friend, to which the King and Queen Grant permission. For a week, each day the King and Queen continue to invite the boy to the castle for lunch, pie, among other things, and their boy accepts but always asking if he could bring a friend. The boy, King, Queen, ...more
Nov 20, 2008 Keli rated it really liked it

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.

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
In this 1965 Caldecott Medal Winner the narrator is fortunate enough to be invited to tea by the king and queen, and naturally, he asks if he may bring a friend. The royal monarchs agree, and this results in several invitations to the narrator and several visits from a giraffe, monkeys, even a seal. The animals and narrator repay the ever-patient king and queen with an invitation to join them at the zoo. I was particularly impressed that the king and queen didn't become upset at all the problems ...more
Deanna Colburn
Apr 15, 2013 Deanna Colburn rated it really liked it
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
Mar 06, 2013 Slytano rated it it was amazing
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
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
Apr 13, 2015 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
An interesting book, filled with short verses, lots of colorful illustrations and an interesting bunch of friends, joining their pal to visit the King and Queen. We've read this one a couple of times.

This book was selected as one of the books for the April 2015 - Quarterly Caldecott discussion at the Picture-Book Club in the Children's Books Group here at Goodreads.
Kelsey Reinke
May 21, 2016 Kelsey Reinke rated it liked it
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.
Kristine Hansen
Jul 22, 2015 Kristine Hansen rated it liked it
This is the sort of book which leads the child to anticipate what will come next. The 'friends' are unpredictable and the story funny. Overall while it's not my favorite artwork and some of the rhyming doesn't quite work out, it's still a funny story and very enjoyable to read.
Oct 22, 2016 Kristin rated it really liked it
Book summary: This is an award-winning book about a king and a queen who invite a boy to their events. Every time the boy asks the king and queen if he can bring a friend. The king and queen always respond saying that the more is merrier. The boy brings his friend which is....a zoo animal. Each time the zoo animal is different, he brings a giraffe, a hippo, lions, monkeys, a seal, all different kinds of animals. Then the boy asks the king and queen to come to an event with his the ...more
Dec 02, 2016 Madison rated it it was ok
May I Bring a Friend is an older book published in 1964. Although this book is older, the story line is something that is similar to the modern picture books we have today. The plot is about a boy who is invited by the king and queen to have meals at the palace and each day of the week the King and Queen let him bring a friend. The surprise in the story is that each friend is a different exotic animal that joins the royal meals. It is fun to see how each animal reacts during the visit to the ...more
Emily Copeland
Sep 12, 2016 Emily Copeland rated it really liked it
Book Read #1: May I Bring a Friend?

Summary: May I Bring a Friend? Is about a young boy that is friends with a King and Queen. Each day the King and Queen are inviting the boy to join them for an event at their castle, and without a doubt every day the young boy ask if he can bring a friend. The king and queen gladly accept his request and say that "any friend of our friend is welcome here". So the boy brings a friend but not just any friend he brings an animal! The king and queen continue to inv
Maite Velasquez
Sep 12, 2016 Maite Velasquez rated it really liked it
Review #3
The story is about a boy that is invited by the king and queen to have tea. Naturally, he asks the Queen to ask the King if he can bring a friend, and they say yes. Whenever the King and Queen invite the boy for lunch or to spend time with them, the boy asks to bring some of his animal friends. In the end, the King and queen visit the boy and his friends for tea at the zoo.

The theme of the book is the importance of friendship and trying to be inclusive.

While I was reading the book at f
Jailah Gamble
Sep 10, 2015 Jailah Gamble rated it it was amazing
“May I bring a Friend” by Beatrice Regniers starts off with showing one of the three main characters who is a little boy receiving a letter from a King and Queen who is inviting him for tea. The books other main characters are the King and Queen. Throughout the story the King and Queen invites the little boy to their palace to join them to eat many of times throughout the year. Each time the little boy gets invited, he asks the Queen and King if he could bring a friend along with him. Each time ...more
Sweet on Books
Oct 15, 2010 Sweet on Books rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Sep 09, 2016 Robin rated it really liked it
De Regniers, B. (1964). May I Bring a Friend?

May I Bring a Friend? is a captivating and whimsical picture book written and illustrated in 1964. It is about a boy who gets invited to participate in different activities with the king and queen. He politely asks if he can bring a friend each time, and with each visit he brings friends such as a giraffe, a pride of lions, and a troop of chimps to participate in the activity and entertain the royals.

This picturebook is written creatively, drawn bea
Rachael Humphries
Jul 13, 2014 Rachael Humphries rated it really liked it
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
Mar 29, 2016 Maria rated it liked it
i. Summary: The book starts by telling the story of a young boy who was invited over to have tea with the town’s King and Queen. Enthusiastically, the little boy accepts the invitation and asks if he can bring a friend. The King answered “any friend of our friend is welcome here”, so the boy proceeded to bring over his friend the giraffe with him. The young man was subsequently invited over to the castle every day of the week and was allowed to bring with him his friends the zoo animals every ...more
Jul 18, 2011 David rated it really liked it
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
Sep 25, 2013 Yesenia rated it it was amazing
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
Samantha Westall
Cute rhyming story of a boy who is friends with the king and queen and all the friends he likes to bring when he visits them.
Elissa Still
May I Bring a Friend? follows a young boy who has befriended the king and queen. The king and queen invite the boy over for tea and he asks if he can bring a friend. They allow him to, and when he shows up he brings a giraffe with him! Each time he’s invited to eat with the king and queen he asks if he can bring a friend, and he always brings a different animal. At the end of the book the boy invites the king and queen for tea with his friends, and they end up at the zoo. The reading level for t ...more
Cade Bethea
A boy is invited to dine with the King and Queen, and requests to bring a friend. The friends that accompany him each night to dinner turn out to be a variety of different animals, to the surprise and amusement of the King and Queen. The King and Queen don’t seem to mind the unusual guest and the little group continues to sit down for a lovely cup of tea. Apparently all went well because soon enough, the little boy gets another invitation. Once again he asks to bring a friend and once a
Merissa Leonard
In this book the King and Queen ask their friend to come over for different events such as tea, dinner, Halloween, and more. Their friend always says yes but asks if he may bring a friend, with the king and queen always replying that he can because a friend of his, is always a friend of theirs as well. Each time their friend brings a friend it is an animal that is from the zoo, which the King and Queen find out in the end. This book is a great book for children who are first learning colors as ...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
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Caldecott 1 1 Feb 08, 2016 08:20PM  
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