Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “May I Bring a Friend?” as Want to Read:
May I Bring a Friend?
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

May I Bring a Friend?

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  4,662 ratings  ·  356 reviews
An imaginative boy brings a surprising array of friends to dine at the palace in this Caldecott Medal–winning picture book.

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 here,” says the King. But their guest’s fr
Paperback, 48 pages
Published September 30th 1989 by Aladdin (first published 1964)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about May I Bring a Friend?, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about May I Bring a Friend?

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,662 ratings  ·  356 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Sep 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
This is a fun poem. I’m happy as the first guest brought to dinner is a giraffe. I do love giraffe’s. So this feels like a lyric poem to me. The artwork uses unconventional colors in some ways. I like this book.

It does make me wonder why the queen and King keep inviting this little boy over for things. Do they love the friends he brings, or are they related to him? Or is he really good at interesting conversation? Who knows. Whatever the case, the king and queen keep inviting this lad over and
May 21, 2010 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 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
Veronica Baldwin
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: caldecott
May I Bring A Friend by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers was such a cute book and throughout the whole time reading it, it just a brought a smile to my face. Reading it made me realize why the book had received a Caldecott Medal for it! I loved how accepting the King and Queen were of all of the little boy's friends. This book expressed great friendship and acceptance, but also acceptance in diversity as well since the friends were all so different. I loved how the animal friends in turn wanted the K ...more
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!
Sharon Barrow Wilfong
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Colorfully detailed illustrations showing a king and queen inviting a little boy to tea each day of the week. Each time, the boy asks to bring a friend and permission is granted. The "friend" each time is a large animal from the zoo, where they all decide to have tea together.
Mar 25, 2016 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
Oct 21, 2016 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 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
Nov 20, 2008 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.

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
McKenzie Creagan
Nov 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
May I bring a friend? by Beatrice Schenk De Regniers is about a young boy who gets invited by the King and Queen to have tea, breakfast, dinner and pie. Each time the little boy asks them if he can bring a friend, and each time the King and Queen say “My dear, my dear, any friend of our friend is welcome here.” Each time he brings a new animal to the King and Queen’s with him. The text in this picture book rhymes and repeats itself and the illustrations were in black and white drawings when the ...more
Deanna Colburn
Apr 15, 2013 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 05, 2013 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
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.
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
Kelsey Reinke
May 21, 2016 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The 1965 Caldecott Winner
-Utilizes mostly couplet style rhyming to tell the story of a boy invited to visit the king and queen; the boy always asks to bring a friend, to which the monarchs happily consent, even if the friend is a lion, seal, giraffe, hippo, monkeys or an elephant;

Very cute story;
good for read aloud
Apr 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was delightful. While the illustrations are big old-fashioned, they're still loads of fun, and I love that the king and queen are just as delighted by all the friends as the narrator is, and that eventually the narrator returns the favor. It's just plain fun, and that's perfect.

ETA: Yep, still fun.
Feb 21, 2017 rated it liked it
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.
Kristine Hansen
Feb 03, 2013 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.
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.

2/9/2019 update: I'm also not a fan of the rhyme scheme.
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.
Kiah Albritton
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: exam-1
Written by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers and illustrated by Beni Montresor, May I Bring a Friend won the 1965 Caldecott Medal. This was my first read of the book; the story was incredibly sweet and the illustrations reminded me of some of my favorite fairy tale stories as a child. Also, there was a rhyming pattern carried throughout the text, which made it enjoyable to read aloud. This book is intended for preschool-kindergarten children. It’s appropriate for this young audience because its very w ...more
Maddison Thomason
Mar 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: exam-1
May I Bring a Friend? is a book written by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers and illustrated by Beni Montresor that received the Caldecott Award. This story about a King and Queen welcoming different zoo animals into their castle is a fun one to read with a group of young readers. Although some of the pages have several sentences on them, they are repetitive from page to page and consist of mostly simple words like different days of the week. What is so fun about this book for the age group of readers ...more
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: is-330-exam-2
_May I Bring a Friend?_ by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers won the Caldecott Medal. I thought this book was so cute! I think it's intended for younger readers, such as preschool age. The story's repetition and fun characters definitely makes it appropriate for that age. This artwork is impressionist and looks like it was done with acrylic paint because of how bright and vibrant the colors are. I think it's impressionist because while the colors are bright, they are blended together. Certain pages ar ...more
Jamie Steckler
This story brings to light the significance of manners and the idea that even if someone is royalty, they can still be treated like anyone else. It speaks of a youthful boy who is invited to tea by the king and queen. The boy asks to bring a friend each time, and the king and queen agree. From then on, various exotic animals tag along with him, such as a monkey and a seal. Despite the mayhem caused by these visitors inside the castle, the king and the queen do not get angry and accept the boy’s ...more
Emily Soto
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 altern
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Caldecott 1 3 Feb 08, 2016 08:20PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Always Room for One More
  • Duffy and the Devil
  • The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship
  • Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions
  • The Funny Little Woman
  • Song of the Swallows
  • Once a Mouse...
  • Frog Went a-Courtin'
  • The Egg Tree
  • Prayer for a Child
  • One Fine Day
  • Many Moons
  • Baboushka and the Three Kings
  • Noah's Ark
  • Finders Keepers
  • The Rooster Crows: A Book of American Rhymes and Jingles
  • A Story, a Story
  • Sam, Bangs & Moonshine
See similar books…
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.