CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Roger Paré
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 1984.
unpaged, paper, $4.95.
ISBN 0-920303-05-6. paperbound boards, $10.95. ISBN 0-920303-04-8. CIP.

Subject Heading:
Cats-Juvenile fiction.

Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 4-8

Reviewed by Nancy Black.

Volume 13 Number 1
1985 January

In a word, A Friend Like You is disappointing. Lacking the continuity of a developing storyline, this picture book is simply a series of pictures and sentences that do not relate as a whole. The book depicts two cats as best friends who enjoy colouring, walking in the woods, singing and skiing. While the illustrations are beautifully done, capturing all the joy and fun of sharing such activities with a friend, the text simply does not bring the ideas together into a story with a beginning, middle and end. Indeed, the words are likely to be confusing for its intended audience.

The first two pages picture the cats accompanying the text, "Of all/my friends/you are my/favourite," followed on the next pages by the cats in a spring scene with the text, "Spring is/as gentle/ as the fur/of kittens." Subsequent pages reveal various activities and different seasons. The concluding pages show the two cats cuddled up in bed in a cozy room with night animals shown through the window. The text reads "At night/all cats look grey/only you/never do." While the large size type and beautiful illustrations are extremely pleasing to look at, the story potential is not realized and is a serious flaw. As a result, after reading this book, one is left feeling flat and disappointed, instead of warmed and reassured. Unfortunately, this reviewer was unable to compare the English title with the original French edition. It is possible that something was lost in translation. The English version is not recommended.

Nancy E. Black, Saskatoon P.L., Saskatoon, SK.
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