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Be a Friend

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  1,143 ratings  ·  243 reviews
Dennis is an ordinary boy who expresses himself in extraordinary ways. Some children do show-and-tell. Dennis mimes his. Some children climb trees. Dennis is happy to BE a tree . . . But being a mime can be lonely. It isn't until Dennis meets a girl named Joy that he discovers the power of friendship--and how special he truly is! At its core, this book is a heartwarming st ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published January 5th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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Salina Ages 3-5, but really, it's for older children and adults, too. It's especially relevant to people (young or old) who's ever felt different or…moreAges 3-5, but really, it's for older children and adults, too. It's especially relevant to people (young or old) who's ever felt different or lonely/isolated because of their difference, who are unique in some way. It is a tender story about individuality and friendship. (less)

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3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,143 ratings  ·  243 reviews

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Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books

Be a Friend has a simple message to share in such a warm, creative way.

Meet Dennis, a mime, who doesn’t speak a word, but says so much. Our young mime is lonely though and in need of a friend when Joy comes along. Can Dennis and Joy find a way to be friends?

Communication and connection can take many different forms. This sweet story will show readers the power of individuality and friendship in movement, smiles, and jazz hands. :) Ms. Yoon does a beautiful job capturing the art of miming and the
Michele Knott
Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Yoon has outdone herself with this book.
In a departure from her Penguin and Bear books, Yoon writes a timeless tale about themes that are opposites, yet tend to go together hand in hand - friendship and loneliness.
Gorgeous illustrations that are sure to be talked about next year, this is a must read book!
Niki (Daydream Reader)
This is my new favorite picture book by Salina Yoon! I love all her books but this is my favorite!! I just love it!
Edward Sullivan
Feb 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Friendship transcends words in this simple, charming story.
Joanna Marple
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Title: Be A Friend

Author & Illustrator: Salina Yoon

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books, January 2016

Themes: individuality, imagination, friendship

Ages: 3-7


Dennis was an ordinary boy

…who expressed himself in EXTRAORDINARY ways.


Dennis is an ordinary boy who expresses himself in extraordinary ways. Some children do show-and-tell. Dennis mimes his. Some children climb trees. Dennis is happy to BE a tree . . . But being a mime can be lonely. It isn't until Dennis meets a girl
Amanda Coppedge
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
(Review copy provided by the publisher.)

I love reading Salina Yoon's books in my library story times. When "Be a Friend" is released, I can't wait to add it to my regular rotation of story time favorites "Penguin and Pinecone," "Tap to Play" and others.

Salina has a knack for writing thought-provoking books for the very young. The low word count and appealing illustrations make this book a natural read-aloud for children as young as 3. But the themes in her book could open up a deeper discussion
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As someone who always eschewed the masses and walked to the beat of her own theremin, I really appreciated Salina Yoon's message in this book about bring true to yourself and finding friends who understand that. Beautifully illustrated as well, this book is sure to be a classic.
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
My first favorite picture book of 2016 is a great story about being oneself and friendship. Being extraordinary can be lonely and sometimes it takes someone just as special to break down the wall between them, even if the wall is imaginary.
Jan 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Cute story about kindred spirits who find each other.
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2016
Loved, loved, loved this book! Such a sweet story about a lonely little boy who wants a friend. This book is a very special book. Everyone should run out and get a copy!
...and in ADDITION to being a great gentle book about friendship, can be read as a book about kids with communication differences, and how to be friends with kids like that.
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an interesting story of friendship. A little boy loves to mime. He doesn’t need to talk to express himself. He uses his whole body. But it makes him feel lonely at times. Until the day he makes a special friend. Someone who knows that real friendship doesn’t take works. An interesting story with great illustrations.
laura (bookies & cookies)
Mimes can have friends, too! I see this being a good story for kids who are shy or who don't talk much
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this sweet picturebook! The First Graders loved it too....
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
They ride school buses, walk the hallways, enter our classrooms, libraries and cafeterias and roam on our playgrounds. These girls and guys are as beautiful as the other children but their distinctive individuality sets them apart from the others. Their choices, perspectives and forms of expressions are a gift to others. For whatever reason the gift though freely given is not readily received.

Be A Friend (Bloomsbury Children's Books, January 5, 2015) written and illustrated by Salina Yoon like t
Sometimes when one is happy with who they are, but then find they’re also lonely, it’s a problem. This little boy, Dennis has such a problem. He loves being a mime, feels comfortable with who he is, but others seem to play “around” him, ignore him, until he meets Joy, someone who understands, and becomes his friend. When someone shows that friendship can happen, the way is led for others to become part of that friendship, too. There are fun end papers that show Dennis in many of his “mime” poses ...more
Mary Ann
Adorable. So much heart. Must-have friendship book. Love the conversations it can start about how we communicate without words, by listening with our hearts.

This adorable friendship book follows Dennis, a little boy who only communicates through miming. One day at school, he kicks an imaginary ball and to his surprise, Joy catches it and starts playing with him. A delightful story about finding a kindred spirit and discovering a new friend.
Maggie Mattmiller
Mar 15, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm not sure all kids would be able to relate to this, or access it without adult conversation with it. I do think I could create some good questions to go with it, and generate good conversation, but I'm not sure it'd be a favorite for kids. I do think it'd be a fun opportunity/starting point to give kids to express themselves without talking.
Apr 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Everyone else seems to love this book. I thought it was ok. I can't imagine doing this in a storytime. Do kids know what a mime is? I guess you could explain it before you read it, or just hope the kids don't need to understand it to understand the story.

It is a cute story about friendship, I'm just hung up on the mime thing.
Liz B
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-book, library
This was ok. I just didn't get/ buy the "kid as mime" thing. If it's a symbol, I think it's too abstract. If it's literal, I think the book itself is too simple. As in, kids have weird and varied interests, and some background art/info about our mime MC would help to make his interest in miming more plausible (and therefore interesting and touching). YMMV.
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a lovely story. Kindness abounds in the book and I want to share it with all my friends. Perhaps it is the introvert in me that doesn't like to talk sometimes. Salina hit this one out of the ballpark!
Stacy Fetters
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sneaky-librarian
Sometimes it takes a special someone to make your life extraordinary. Who enjoy the simple things in life and will share them with you.
A boy who is a mime finds true friendship and where words need not be used.
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
I could see having the kids mime parts during the read aloud.
I like the ideas within this book - staying true to your individuality, having friends who appreciate you for who you are. I didn't feel pulled in by the story or the illustrations.
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully quiet story about joyfully accepting each other for who we are.

My favorite line, "Dennis and Joy didn't speak a WORD, because FRIENDS don't have to."

Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Cute book about friendship between two children who need no words to connect.
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh my, this is such a sweet picture book. I know it's only January, but I think this is going to be one of my favorite picture books of 2016!
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
So cute! Really cute illustrations, fairly simple text.

A quiet boy, a mime in fact, feels a bit lonely. He finds a friend who understands him.
Eric L
Jul 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Simple story with a great message. Some friendships have that special connection like the character have in this story.
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Salina Yoon is an award-winning author/illustrator of over 150 books for children, including Penguin and Pinecone, Penguin on Vacation, Penguin in Love, Penguin and Pumpkin, Penguin's Big Adventure, Found, and Stormy Night.

Her latest book, Be a Friend, was a Winter 2015-2016 Kids' Indie Next Pick. Among her other awards are a Scholastic Teachers Top 10 Picture Book for Penguin's Big Adventure, an
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