The Picture Book Buzz

Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend! - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

July 5, 2019

I was so intrigued by this cover and the unsusual title, when I first saw it's announcement, I couldn't wait to read it.

 

It is a perfect book for the beginning (and all too soon ending) of summer and all the changes that these moments bring. Friends gone on vacation or moving away, new classrooms or schools in the fall, the shift from lazy, warm summer days to cooler (rainy), scheduled fall days.

 

While ultimately an uplifting and empowering story, it doesn't shy away from some intense and painful emotions and experiences. A beautiful and touching book that encourages kids to accept changes as they come, because change often opens the door for something unexpectedly wonderful. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend!

 

Author/illustrator: Cori Doerrfeld

 

Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group

 

Ages: 4-8

 

Fiction

 

Themes:

Change, friendship, wonder, and learning to let go.

 

Synopsis:

From the creator of The Rabbit Listened comes a gentle story about the difficulty of change . . . and the wonder that new beginnings can bring.

Change and transitions are hard, but Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend! demonstrates how, when one experience ends, it opens the door for another to begin. It follows two best friends as they say goodbye to snowmen, and hello to stomping in puddles. They say goodbye to long walks, butterflies, and the sun...and hello to long evening talks, fireflies, and the stars. But the hardest goodbye of all comes when one of the friends has to move away. Feeling alone isn't easy, and sometimes new beginnings take time. But even the hardest days come to an end, and you never know what tomorrow will bring.

 

Opening Lines:

"Bye, Mom."

 

Every goodbye . . .

leads to a hello.

 

"Hi, I'm Charlie."

 

What I liked about this book:

In a beautifully, touching book, Cori Doerrfeld looks at life's changes through a child's lense and experience. Her bold, soft illustrations perfectly capture the fun and emotions (good and bad) of a child's world.

 

It opens with a young girl saying a tough goodbye to her mom as she heads to school and then meeting a new friend at the cubbies. "Every goodbye . . . leads to a hello." 

Text and Image © Cori Doerrfeld, 2019.

 

The book continues this theme, of change bringing fun possibilities, through shifts in the seasons ("Goodbye to snowman . . . is hello to puddles."), change in activities from day to night, and ultimately loss.

Text and Image © Cori Doerrfeld, 2019.

 

Specifically, the loss of a pet or a friend who moves away. Though the assertion that "goodbye to an empty bowl (goldfish) . . . is hello to a full heart," might be hard to accept (especially if facing the possibility of such a goodbye in the near future). While acknowledging that there are "some goodbyes that feel like the end," the book concludes on an uplifting and encouraging note.

 

As the School Library Journal stated, this books "allows a glimpse at the ups and downs of growing up." A poignant reminder for parents and teachers about the changes, big and small, that children (and adults) face. Full of tender moments which span the emotional spectrum, this book is a great way to encourage looking for the good that often comes with change. A book that would be a valuable part of any library.

 

Resources:

- draw a picture or write a story about a change you're facing and your feelings about it; 

- imagine a way that the change could be a good thing;

- talk to a parent, teacher, relative, friend, or pet about your feelings;

- Read Before I Leave by Jessixa Bagley, Lubna and Pebble by Wendy Meddour, or The 10th Best Thing About Barney by Judith Viorst; or

- make a "friendship book" for your friend or your pet.

 

If you missed Cori Doerrfeld's interview on Monday, find it (here). 

 

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.

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