When I was young I was shy and had a hard time making friends. Maybe this is why I loved today's picture book so much, because it is about a fellow who wants to make some new friends, and who has to overcome some rather large obstacles to do so.
For ages 5 to 7
Simon and Schuster, 2014, 978-1-4424-8147-3
Brimsby is a hat maker and he lives in a cottage in the country. Every day Brimsby’s friend visits, and while Brimsby works on his splendid hats, his friend makes some delicious tea and they talk about all kinds of fascinating subjects. This special friendship lasts for years and then one morning Brimsby’s friend announces that he is going to leave soon. He wants to become a sea captain.
Brimsby makes his friend a wonderful hat and then he sees him off, wishing him “the best of luck.” Now Brimsby works on his own and his days a quiet. He finally gets to the point when he realizes that his days are too quiet and that he is “awfully lonely.” So, on a cold snowy day Brimsby sets off to make some new friends. He soon comes to a tree that is filled with little birds. The poor little creatures are have a terrible time “shoveling the snow out of their nests and keeping the cold wind from blowing out their fires.” The birds are far too busy to take the time to make friends with Brimsby. Still friendless, Brimsby walks home.
Making new friends is not easy at the best of times and poor Brimsby finds that his quest to find some new friends is going to be rather challenging. Readers will be charmed when they see how Brimsby uses his gift for making hats in a very creative way. Brimsby’s delightful story is accompanied by wonderfully expressive artwork. The illustrations take us into Brimsby’s world to such great effect that we rather wish we could jump into the page and visit.