Sarah's Stars

John Kilaka. True Friends: A Tale from Tanzania
Groundwood  $16.95  ISBN 978-0-88899-698-5  25 pg.
Reviewed by Aleen, Age 12

Rat and Elephant are best friends.  When a drought affects their town, Elephant knows he will be the first to go hungry for he is the biggest of all the animals.  Elephant takes all the food Rat has gathered, saying that he will keep it safe for Rat.  Rat agrees to the plan until he goes to get his food back. Elephant, saying he will need the food more than Rat, won’t give it back.  Sad and angry that his best friend has betrayed him, Rat leaves the village.  Elephant, realizing what a terrible thing he has done, goes out in search of Rat to apologize.  If Elephant can find Rat, will Rat forgive him and be his friend once more?

I enjoyed reading True Friends written by John Kilaka.  It is an amusing story that explains how important friendship is and that true friends are there for each other through thick and thin.

Although the theme is important and the writing is done in a large font so it can be easily read, the story is choppy and could have been expanded to flow more smoothly. The pictures give the animals human attributes, but appear out of proportion.  Even though the illustrations are bright and colorful, this style may not appeal to all.

Children seven and up will enjoy this story.  I rate True Friends three stars.

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