Book Review: Olive's Perfect World - A Friendship Story

Author/Illustrator: Jennifer Plecas
Interest Level: K-2

Book Description:
Little kittens Olive and Emily have always been friends, ever since they were little.  But now Emily has a new friend, and it makes Olive feel left out—especially when she realizes all of the things that Emily and her new friend Eva have in common--like ballet, and eating the same lunch, and wearing the same bows in their hair.  Olive imagines her perfect world, where she and Emily can be friends without Eva there at all.  But in the end, Olive realizes that being friends is about more than having things in common: it's about having fun together and cheering each other up when you're sad.  It turns out that Olive's perfect world is the world that she's living in, where she, Emily and Eva can all be friends.

This book is perfect for kids whose friendships are changing and maturing as they enter kindergarten and elementary school.

Why It's On My Bookshelf: This is not a story of bullying or mean girls. Maybe that's why I liked it so much. Sometimes friendships evolve and a child may find themselves on the outskirts. Trying desperately to fit back in can be emotionally excruciating. The 'three is a crowd' curse can be devastating to a kid. It really can take a hit at their self-esteem. I've been there. You watch on the sidelines as the other two BFF's bond and connect and you keep trying to figure out where your place is. Olive goes through these feelings. But what I absolutely love about this story is Emily and Eva recognize one day that Olive is feeling hurt and left out. They weren't doing these things intentionally. They are true friends and bring her back into the friendship.

My message to children through this lovely book is to always be mindful when you are in a group friendship. Is everyone feeling respected? Included? Taken care of? And if you are not being respected - how can you assertively speak up? This is a great example of friendship and inclusion. 
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