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The Friend

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  234 Ratings  ·  44 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 380)
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Lisa Vegan
Sep 11, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it
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 really liked it
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
Feb 02, 2016 Carly rated it it was amazing
The Friend was one of the most meaningful books I have ever read. It is about a little girl named Annabelle Bernadette Clementine Dodd. She has a rich mother and father who are too busy to take care of her, so she is basically raised by Beatrice Smith, who is the help. This beautifully illustrated book takes the reader through every day of the week, explaining what chores Belle helps Bea with. At the end of every day they go to the Sea and play. Near the end of the book, the story takes a turn w ...more
May 18, 2008 Mary rated it liked it
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
Aug 30, 2010 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
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....
Jun 18, 2015 Matthew rated it it was amazing
I get the strong impression that this book was autobiographical in a sense. I'm certain that it was based on a real person, as evidenced by the heart locket photograph and the dedication that Stewart makes. I suspect that Sarah Stewart was Belle. In any case, I loved this book. The rhyming text tells of a girl, Belle, who is essentially raised by a woman, Bea, hired to run the house and care for the girl while the girl's parents are gone. It certainly doesn't paint a favorable portrait of the pa ...more
Cierra Henderson
May 28, 2016 Cierra Henderson rated it it was amazing
This is a really cute story about a girl and her close relationship with her nanny. The illustrations are watercolor I believe, and very vibrant. I really like this story because a lot of kids have hectic families and may not be very close to their parents, but may have someone outside of the family who they have a close relationship with. It also shows that friendships can come at all ages and seeing characteristics that each kind of person can bring to a friendship.
Angie Quantrell
Apr 01, 2016 Angie Quantrell rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 27, 2013 Linda rated it it was amazing
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
Aleisha Douthitt
Jun 06, 2016 Aleisha Douthitt rated it it was amazing
This story is about a little girl names Anabelle who finds her love and family in their nanny Bea. Her parents are not around, but Bea is and she teaches her amazing things and gives Anabelle a type of love that she never could find anywhere else. Bea saves her life and Anabelle forever remembers and loves what Bea had done for her. This story can talk about how love and family doesn't always mean by blood and it can also be a great book to talk about different types of lifestyles. This book use ...more
Aug 19, 2015 Relyn rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Hmmmm...
Recommended to Relyn by: I love Sarah Stewart
This was a really well-written, interesting book. Of course, David Small's illustrations were wonderful. I enjoyed it, but am just not sure kids will enjoy it. It reads more like a childrens' book for adults.
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
Oct 14, 2015 Kim rated it really liked it
What a sweet story about a little girl and her housekeeper and their special bond. I am not sure kids will understand the subtle ending, but my adult heart skipped a beat.
Jan 09, 2015 Corinne rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
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.
Feb 15, 2016 Tammy rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Woah. This book really got to me. What a sweet and amazing story about the love of those who are truly paying attention.
Nov 12, 2009 Jackie rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 01, 2015 Nicki rated it it was amazing
What a tribute to someone she loved! WOW!
Aug 05, 2015 Kayla rated it it was amazing
Beautiful and so moving...
Lyndsay M
Nov 12, 2014 Lyndsay M rated it it was amazing
Grades: 2-4
Oct 24, 2009 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teaching, heroes
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 it was amazing
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
May 03, 2012 Vivian rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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.
Aug 06, 2014 Mckinley rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture, poetry
Lucky girl.
Marissa García
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.
Mar 16, 2008 Randall rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 25, 2013 Angelica rated it liked it
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.
Nov 24, 2008 Erin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
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.
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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...

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