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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Jake and Buddy are two little mice who are tired of the same old routine. When they discover their human family preparing to go to the cottage for the weekend, they decide to tag along, hiding in the picnic basket on the journey. They eat all the food and sleep all the way to the cottage. When they arrive, the two mice sneak out of the basket and start exploring. They meet new mice friends, Chalkie and Ginger, and they have a grand time. Even though Chalkie and Ginger are a bit different, Jake and Buddy like them and enjoy the shared time together.
Jean Janki Samaroo’s picture book story, Making New Friends, is all about the exhilarating power of friendships. The story is told through the dialogue, primarily between Jake and Buddy, with graphic-like dialogue scattered across the page. This can get confusing as it’s not always clear which part of the dialogue comes next. However, with the colorful and creative illustrations, the plot develops nicely as the two mice go on their adventure to the cottage and make new friends. They learn that friendships are important and it doesn’t matter if you’re different. Differences make everything so much more interesting. The author uses simple language to make the story readable by a young beginner reader. This is a fun story as well as being encouraging and educational on the true meaning of friendships. Loneliness is also presented as well as clever ideas on how to overcome it. Overall, a charming story.