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The Friend

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  203 ratings  ·  35 reviews
From the beloved husband-and-wife team of The Gardener, a Caldecott Honor Book

Annabelle Bernadette Clementine Dodd
Was a good little girl, though decidedly odd.
Belle lived every day as if she were grown --
She thought she could do everything all on her own.

Lucky for Belle, she has a friend at home, a caregiver named Beatrice Smith -- Bea -- who keeps a close eye on her so sh
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published August 11th 2004 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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(showing 1-30 of 298)
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Lisa Vegan
After reading the dedication and seeing the photo in the locket at the end of the book, this is obviously a biographical account.

I really liked this book. The illustrations are spectacular and the rhyming story with a good amount of repetition is engaging. But, I felt very sad for the little girl and very angry for both the little girl and her woman caregiver/housekeeper. Maybe this is meant to be a lovingly told, happy story, but it bugged me that a (probably underpaid) paid caregiver is the pa
Feb 24, 2015 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
With gorgeous watercolor illustrations and a heartfelt and lyrical narrative, this is a touching tribute to a woman who saved the life of a child, both literally and figuratively.

Part dedication, part social commentary, this story shows how parenting is more than contributing sperm and egg to make a baby. How being a constant presence in a child's life is more important than what money can buy.

And it also speaks to the tremendous pressures of single parenting - how a willful child and a moment
Such a wonderful little girl is Annabelle Bernadette Clementine Dodd is and her wonderful friend Beatrice Smith, the maid. A true story of the effect people have on our lives....
The illustrations in this book make it clear that the main character, Belle, is a very rich, and very lonely; a girl who is left alone all day with only the housekeeper, Bea, to provide companionship. The two form a loving duo, doing chores and walking to the sea together every day, until the day that Belle decides to take off by herself, perhaps leaving Bea unable to save her. At first I wasn't sure what to make of this book, it felt quite stereotypical, the African American housekeeper, the sp ...more
Lucky me; a friend just brought this to me-- a beautiful story written in rhyme that shows a loving relationship between a little girl and the family housekeeper, Belle and Bea. The parents are often away working, in my mind missing out on all the delights of childhood. Each day of the week, the regular chores are done, and even then the girl makes more of them in play. For instance, when the wash is being hung on the line, Belle makes clothespin bouquets Bea always responding with a loving com ...more
Kathleen Behrendt
This charming story told in rhyme is the story of a stand by (the housekeeper) for a too-busy mother and a never at home father. The theme of friendship between Belle and Bea is shown in how they interact with each other. Each day of the week a different hosehold chore is tackled, and then the two spend time at the beach doing favorite things. Ufortunately, this book by the award winning husband/wife team David Small and Sarah Stewart is out-of-print.

Recommend this book to readers of all ages, e
I really wanted to rank this book higher because it is a beautiful story about 2 people who really loved each other, but I did not like the conclusion.
Belle is a little girl whose parents are never home and leave her in the care of Beatrice, their housekeeper. She and Belle would do their chores together and then head to the beach afterwards for some fun. Even on Beatrice's day off, she would take Belle with her. What Belle's parent's couldn't do for her, Beatrice did willingly and unselfishly. Beatrice trully had Belle's back in every sense of the word. However, one day, Belle feels she doesn't need Beatrice and ventures to the beach alone. T ...more
Beautiful book. Everything you'd expect from Sarah Stewart and David Small.
A lovely, enchanting story of Belle and her best friend Bea. Although Belle is a child, and Bea is the family's housekeeper, they share a special bond. With a mother too busy, and a father often away, Belle and Bea are a team which lovingly and carefully completes their chores so they can journey down to the sea each day hand-in-hand. When near disaster strikes, Bea is comforted by the caring of Belle.

A loving portrayal of a connection between two people which is stronger than the traditional fa
Friendship is an enormous issue in elementary form cliques and do their best to fit in and feel like they belong. Opportunities to have dialogues about what true friendship means are few and far between. This book is the perfect opportunity. The Friend will show children what a good friend is and how valuable friendship can be. Tears came to my eyes at the end of this story and I don't doubt that you'll be touched by this semi-autobiographical tale as well.
Oct 08, 2008 Panagiota rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anybody who needs a friend
Shelves: picture-books
CIP: With Mom too busy and Dad away much of the time, Belle finds companionship with a housekeeper who after each day's work takes Belle "hand in hand" to the beach.

My notes: The illustrations and storyline are very excellent. It tells of a little girl whose parents are never home and her only friend is the housekeeper. At the beach the girl almost drowns, but Bea saves her. Then the last page is of Belle when she is older remembering her good friend Bea.

Audio CD
This heartwarming tribute by the author to her childhood nanny is filled with tenderness. She dedicates the book "to all the people across the world who have saved the lives of children by paying attention when others did not--but especially to Ola Beatrice Smith". David Small's sensitive illustrations capture the daily tedium, the patient moments, and the heroism perfectly.

Too long to share in a library story time, this book needs to be enjoyed at home.
Lucky girl.
Marissa Garcia
The team of Stewart and Small is dependably produces work of considerable quality. The Friend, however, is the height of their duel genius, to me. Each page is more expressive than the last, culminating in the most moving moment of all - young Belle's rescue.

This is a book for any patron who wants a good picture book, for storytimes about friendship, for patrons who want picture books in verse, anyone looking for incredible illustration.
Marissa Garcia
The team of Stewart and Small dependably produces work of considerable quality. The Friend, however, is the height of their duel genius, to me. Each page is more expressive than the last, culminating in the most moving moment of all - young Belle's rescue.

This is a book for any patron who wants a good picture book, for storytimes about friendship, for patrons who want picture books in verse, anyone looking for incredible illustration.
Carrie Gelson
Absolutely stunning. What beautiful friendship and love exist between little Belle and her devoted housekeeper Bea. Reminds us that spending time with a child is everything even when doing the most mundane chores. Connection, warmth, love . . . Found this book at the library and now want my own copy. The combination of Sarah Stewart and David Small continues to astound me.
Wow, what a wonderfully, sweet story that took a huge risk with Belle at the end. It felt like such a big, dramatic moment in the midst of a story that maybe didn't need such a moment. But, upon reflection, I like that risk, like the big drama that appears out of nowhere, the desperate hug that follows.
The Friend is one of those books that is just beautifully written about maid and a little girl who do everything together as in the chores that the maid does. But they always make time for the beach and spending time together.

Great book about friendship and love between a maid and a little girl.
LaRaie Zimm
This books is about a little girl who has a special bond with her housekeeper. Belle helps Bea with the chores and cooking, and they go together to the sea.

This book is adorable. It makes me want to live in it and be these characters. Recommended for kids ages 3 to 7.
A bittersweet and gorgeously illustrated story about a young girl with parents too busy to care who has a wonderful housekeeper/nanny who is is her best friend. Day after day they do chores and spend time at the ocean - Bea event takes Belle to her church on Sunday.
30 months - very well written and illustrated. Author and illustrator are able to convey more than just word and pictures in this one, it doesn't hurt that it was written from the heart. Maybe even a true story? I would read this one over and over.
May 30, 2012 M rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: childrens
I love this author! This book is a little more mature and serious at the end than her others. The Library is one of my all-time favorite children's books. I used to have long hair, and I told my students I was the main character. :)
I loved this look at how a child is looked after by the family's housekeeper. I'd say nanny, but she was in charge of the house too. It's a great look at how those relationships last a lifetime.
I loved the body of this book - and Small's illustrations are as vibrant as ever - but the ending is so jarring and abrupt, that paired with the dedication I felt unnerved by the whole thing.
Stewart has slightly flawed rhyming again, as she did in The Librarian. But it's still a touching story and a worthwhile read. I love Stewart and Small's collaborations.
I like this author and her illustrations. Her characters are cute and her stories are heart touching. I loved the end note at the end from the author. So touching.
A delightful book written in verse about true friendship from the incomparable Sarah Stewart and her husband David Small. I cried at the end.
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Wife of famed illustrator, David Small, Sarah Stewart has written a number of children's books. She grew up in Texas, and lives in Michigan with her husband.
More about Sarah Stewart...
The Gardener The Library The Quiet Place The Journey The Money Tree

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