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

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  4,208 Ratings  ·  303 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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Sep 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book Review
May I Bring a Friend? by Beatrice Schenk De Regniers is one of those special children's picture books we all must love. And for that, it gets 4+ out of 5 stars from this book lover.

I used this book when I was teaching a class back in college as part of a collection of books on lessons for first graders back in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Imagine being invited to tea by the King and Queen, and having the audacity to ask if you could bring a friend... What could the royal couple do but
May 21, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
A favorite since childhood. There is something about the repetition of the story, and the rhymes, and the silliness, combined with the fussily detailed illustrations. It just makes me smile! It makes my kids smile! It's just so charming!
An invitation from the King and Queen for tea brings about several surprises as the invitations continue and the many different friends that are allowed to attend the gatherings, and in the end a change of plans leads to a wonderful outcome for the King and Queen in return for their hospitality.
Mar 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 z ...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

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.

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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Nov 01, 2008 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
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
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.
I think my main problem with this book is that the little boy never actually asks if he may bring a friend; he simply states that he has a friend he'd like to bring.
Emily Soto
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book follows a young boy who is invited for tea by the king and queen. The consistent responses and rhyming pattern make for an easy read. Children would have a fun time identifying all the different animals the young boy brings for tea and going through the days of the week. The story reminds me of when I was a child, always having tea parties with all of my stuffed animals, and this book brings that imagination to life with mischievous monkeys and hungry hippos.

The incorporation of alterna
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 pal ...more
Julivete Skelton
This book is about a child that goes to have tea with the queen and king and asks to bring a friend. She has lunch with the king and queen several times. Each time she goes for lunch, she brings a new friend. These many friends include all kinds of animals. From hippos to monkeys, This book had very detailed sketching for illustrations but the colors were used either simply (covering the entire background of a page) or not at all. The text of the book has a bit of a melody and some of the lines ...more
Elizabeth Wiggins
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-3090
Summary: In this cute story, the King and Queen are inviting the boy over. Time and time again, he asks if he can bring a friend, and they always say yes! Over the whole book, he is constantly bringing different friends - an elephant, monkeys, etc. One day the King and Queen visit him and they are in for a fun surprise!

Evaluation: This is a cute, fun, and silly book! Students will love to see what friend he brings next. The rhyming aspect makes the story fun and easy to listen to!

Teaching Point:
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edlt-501
This is a charming story of a prince who brings unusual friends to the castle for activities such as tea. Children will love the outrageous animals. The text follows through in a rhyme and rhythm that makes it a great read-aloud. The end is my favorite part where they end up having tea at the local zoo so they can have tea with all of the little boys friends. I think the illustrations are very engaging. Some pages are in full color, some are black and white and some have just one full colored ba ...more
Emily Paratore
This is a cute story about a King and Queen who consistently invite a young boy for tea, dinner, etc. The boy always excepts, but asks to bring a friend. Each day time he bring another one of his friends, but his friends are not human, they're animals from the zoo! Finally, the boy invites the King and Queen to visit him and all of his friends at the zoo. This story has a fun plot to it, and the illustrations showed the characters emotions using bright colors. However, I wish this book would hav ...more
Clever conceit, concept, and repetitive rhymes. Children will enjoy finding out the identity of the next "friend" that the narrator brings to visit the queen and king for tea. I like that it's structured around an encounter each day of the week, so the story and the anticipation build and build. The colors are a little disconcerting, but the illustrations are unique and the book won the Caldecott Medal in 1965. A School Library Journal Top 100 picture book.
Victoria Y.
Jul 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: libs642
This poetry book takes the reader through the week with a little boy and his visits to the Queen and King, with the company of his friends. Some of the artwork in the book was black in white on pages where there was less emphasis on the meaning and there were pages with bright color with the introductions of his new friend each day. In the end, the routine changes and the boy and his friends decide to have the King and Queen's company for tea.
Lynn  Davidson
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This book is a winner of the Caldecott Medal in 1965.
This story is told by a little boy who is invited to tea by the king and queen. Seven days in a row he is invited, and each time he accepts but asks if he may bring a friend. They approve, and on each of the six days he brings a different animal friend for tea. On the seventh day his friends invite the king and queen to tea.
Interesting fun rhyme. Amusing illustrations help tell the story.
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you love rhyming books like I don you'll love this book. The book has a royal setting and lots of zoo animals, it is full of color and funny animals! Books are always fun when rhyming. Although I was expecting in the end for someone to eat someone but that didn't happen. The illustration are cute and would be perfect for Kindergartners to read along with to.
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the Caldecott Honor book for 1965. I was two years old. What I liked about the book was the whimsy. The king and the queen invite the boy to the castle to have a meal. And each time the boy wants to bring a friend.

The story has an interesting cadence to it. Most of it rhymes, some of it doesn't. But it works.
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Beatrice Schenk de Regniers earned a M.Ed from the University of Chicago in 1941. Her first book, The Giant Story, was published in 1953.

Beatrice Schenk de Regniers also wrote under the pseudonym Tamara Kitt.
More about Beatrice Schenk de Regniers...