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  • Writer's pictureShameer Bismilla

A Friend Like You

I was gifted this special book by dearest friend Mitra a.k.a book fairy and what makes it more special, it was co-written by wonderful Frank Murphy, Charnaie Gordon and illustrated by the creative Kayla Harren.

In this book, the authors explain that there are many different ways to be a friend and this heart-warming new picture book celebrates them all. I strongly believe that we need to set aside more time discussing about friendships with children. Discussion on how to celebrate friendship needs to be given equal weightage as those on academics and other sporting activities.

As a soft start to these meaningful discussions, I asked my students what skills they wanted to work on over the next few weeks. A few of their responses included listening well, staying calm, being kind and learning to trust one another. The lively exchange of views led to a dialogue on what qualities make a good friend. Fostering friendships for young children is a crucial part of developing their social and emotional learning experiences. This perfect book has given me the chance to discuss attributes such as social competence, altruism, self-esteem, and self-confidence. I strongly believe having positive friendships will engender such attributes.

Reading aloud “A Friend Like You” and discussing every page on ways to make friends, has enabled my class to learn more about themselves and develop their own identity. The meaningful messages from the book is like a toolbox for my class, for example how to use appropriate problem-solving skills and how to improve their social skills with practice of a growth mindset. I believe the more effort I put in fostering positive relationships, the more empathetic qualities will emerge in my class.

This will definitely help to reduce stress and navigate challenging developmental experiences. Thank you Frank, Charnaie and Kayla for writing such a meaningful book that can be used as a read-aloud throughout the year.

To celebrate further my class has proudly written to Frank - an activity that students truly enjoyed!


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