Title: Will You Be My Friend?
Author: Sam McBratney
Illustrator: Anita Jeram
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Children’s picture book
Book format: Hardback
Sweet Strawberries: Sweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet Strawberry

Description:  Big Nutbrown Hare has much to do, so Little Nutbrown Hare has gone exploring on his own.  Until, suddenly, he’s not alone at all – but at the start of a great adventure.
This sweet and humerous story celebrates the playful curiosity of little ones, and the magic of making new friends.

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  This is such a lovely and sweet story about making friends. Little Nutbrown Hare wants to play, but Big Nutbrown Hare is busy, so Little Nutbrown Hare goes exploring and finds different hares to play with. But not every hare he finds out there is real, will Little Nutbrown Hare find a real friend to play with?

Will You Be My Friend book page image one
©The Strawberry Post

I’ve read ‘Guess How Much I Love’ and found it such a sweet and lovely read, so when I found out about this new installment featuring Little Nutbrown Hare I couldn’t wait to see what happened. The book is a beautiful hardback with a dust jacket and is larger than an A4 in size. It’s filled with thick matt pages of text and colourful illustrations. While Big Nutbrown Hare is busy, Little Nutbrown Hare explores the surrounding area. He finds a puddle and sees a hare reflected back in the water, a hare he could play with, but it’s only his reflection. He then sees a hare looking shape on the ground, a hare he could play with, but it’s only his shadow. This happens a few times, each time Little Nutbrown Hare spots a potential hare-shaped friend to play with but then realists that it’s only himself that he’s really seeing. I love the creativity that’s shown here, looking for a friend and playing with shadows and reflections of yourself is something that I’m sure many children at some point have tried to do, I know I did when I was young!

Once Little Nutbrown Hare visits Cloudy Mountain things change though because he spots another hare, a white hare, but this time there’s something different. This hare is real it’s someone real to have fun with! The story is a short one but very sweet with the two hares eventually playing and having fun and later Little Nutbrown Hare goes home. There’s a fun twist on the playtime they spend together though and I like what happened as the day went on. There’s a fun ending to the story and it is lovely to read, but I did feel as though the actual tale was a bit short and missing some of the magic of ‘Guess How Much I Love You’.

The illustrations are really lovely to look at. I’ve come to adore Anita Jeram’s watercolour images whenever I see them in a book and just like with ‘Guess How Much I Love You’, this book is filled with truly beautiful pictures which have a sweet and slightly old-fashioned feel to them. The illustrations really make the story feel more special, especially with the way all the characters look and their expressions, and I just love the way the two hares look when they are playing together, it’s so sweet.

Will You Be My Friend book page image two
©The Strawberry Post

This really is a lovely story with a fun ending although it does feel too short and as if something else was missing. I would have loved another scene with more of the two small hares shown rather than the slightly abrupt end to the tale we get instead. Despite that comment though, this really is a lovely tale, filled with such sweet images and a book I think many children will enjoy reading and looking at again and again.

What do you think of this book?  Have you read Guess How Much I Love You?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂