Friends Are Friends, Forever #BookReview #friendsarefriendsforever #asianlit #picturebook #childrensbook #bookworm @henryholt @mackidsbooks @daneliuwrites

Synopsis from Macmillan Publishers:

A picture book based on the author’s own immigration story, the infinite impact of friendship, and passing on love and kindness around the world.

On a snowy Lunar New Year’s Eve in Northeastern China, it’s Dandan’s last night with Yueyue. Tomorrow, she moves to America. The two best friends have a favorite wintertime tradition: crafting paper-cut snowflakes, freezing them outside, and hanging them as ornaments.

As they say goodbye, Yueyue presses red paper and a spool of thread into Dandan’s hands so that she can carry on their tradition. But in her new home, Dandan has no one to enjoy the gift with—until a friend comes along.

About: Friends Are Friends, Forever is a children’s picture book written by Dane Liu and illustrated by Lynn Scurfield. It was recently published on 1/4/2022 by Henry Holt BYR, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers, hardcover, 40 pages. The genres are children’s fiction, picture book, and Asian literature. This book is the author’s debut and it’s intended for readers ages 4 to 8. According to the publisher’s website, “Henry Holt Books for Young Readers is known for publishing quality picture books, chapter books, and novels for preschoolers through young adults. Covering a wide variety of genres, our books feature imaginative authors and illustrators who inspire young readers.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.

My Experience: I started reading Friends are Friends, Forever for my toddler’s nap time on 1/25/2022 and we finished it that same day. My 10 year old and I tried cutting snowflakes on 1/29/2022. Mine is the yellow one but I liked my son’s blue one better (I don’t have red paper on hand). A cute story many readers can relate. Lunar New Year is as big of a celebration as Christmas in US. There were lots of eating, family and friends gathering, and fireworks/firecrackers. It’s a New Year celebrated in China, Vietnam, and Korea as far as I know. The illustrations in this book were great! I loved the page with Dandan and Yueyue on their way to school. Everyone bundled up thickly because it’s so cold outside and the sidewalk was filled with snow. The family meal at the round table was special. My toddler listed out each person as grandma, sisters, mommy, daddy, and grandpa but got confused when she didn’t see brother. When my toddler grow older, I will explain to her that China had a one child policy that’s why she didn’t see Dandan’s brother there. The red paper snowflakes cutouts looked like a fun activity for kids.

This book followed Dandan as she and her best friend Yueyue slid and teetered, held on to each other heading to school in the snow. As Lunar New Year quickly approaching, Dandan’s parents announced that the family will soon be moving out of China. Yueyue asked Dandan if she will come back but Dandan didn’t know. On Lunar New Year’s Eve, Dandan invited Yueyue to her house to eat with her family. They ate dumplings, fish, vegetables, and noodles while Dandan’s grandma told stories. The grownups played card games while Dandan and Yueyue cut red papers into snowflakes shapes to hang outside. Before Dandan left for America, Yueyue gifted Dandan extra red papers to continue their tradition in US with new friends. In US, Dandan found herself lonely. She dedicated as much time as she could to learn English. On her birthday, she wore a traditional Chinese dress to school but her classmates laughed at her. Life in America got better when Christina came up to Dandan and told her that the red in Dandan’s Chinese dress was her favorite color too. When Lunar New Year came, Dandan got to celebrate with red paper snowflakes with Christina. At the end of the book, the author included step-by-step on how to cut out snowflakes.

Friends are Friends, Forever was well written and illustrated. It’s definitely hard to adjust to a new environment with new language and foods without having friends. I know it because I came to US at the age of 10. Reading this book, it taught young readers that it’s okay to say hi to someone who looked and dressed different from them. They will learn that everyone just need a friend. Christina in the story, focused on Dandan’s dress color as a favorite and connected from there. Readers will see that kids can have a lot of fun despite the culture, foods, and language barriers. I loved that Christina was interested to learn how to use chopsticks to eat and to even tried foreign foods. It’s awesome to learn of a different culture. Vietnamese kids don’t cut out snowflakes on Lunar New Year’s Eve like Chinese kids even though we celebrate the same new year. This book has an excellent friendship story and I recommend everyone to read it!

I rate it 5 stars!

Buy it here for free shipping: Book Depository or Macmillan’s website

About the Author:

Dane Liu was born in China and spent her teenage years in the U.S. and Canada. In 2018, We Need Diverse Books awarded her a year-long mentorship. Friends Are Friends, Forever is her first picture book, and she lives in Portland, Oregon. (Photo obtained from the author’s Twitter profile and info obtained from Macmillan’s website, book pictures obtained from Edelweiss).

More Information about Macmillan Children’s Publishing

Website: https://us.macmillan.com/mackids | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/macchildrensbooks | Twitter: https://twitter.com/MacKidsBooks | Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/macmillankidsbooks

***Disclaimer: Many thanks to MacKidsBooks for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.

xoxo,
Jasmine

One thought on “Friends Are Friends, Forever #BookReview #friendsarefriendsforever #asianlit #picturebook #childrensbook #bookworm @henryholt @mackidsbooks @daneliuwrites

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