The Kraken’s Rules for Making Friends by Brittany R. Jacobs

[I received a review copy from the author. No other compensation was received.]

kraken-coverThe Kraken’s Rules for Making Friends is a playfully illustrated, gratifying, and thoughtful look at what it takes to make friends.

From The Kraken’s Rules for Making Friends by Brittany R. Jacobs © 2016. Used with permission.

Everyone needs friends — even legendary sea monsters.  The Kraken may be terrifying, but really, he is just like the rest of us and wants friendship.  It isn’t his fault that he’s a monster.  He is who he is.  But one day, Kraken starts to really think about why the other sea creatures don’t like him and what he can do about it.

He takes matters into his own hands, knits an awesome Koi fish costume (I’d love to be able to knit like that) and gives making friends an honest go.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t make for a good or even passable Koi.  This isn’t one of those fake-it-til-you-make-it scenarios and the others see through it immediately.  They run away in horror and leave our hero confused, heartbroken, and frustrated.  Why can’t he make friends?  Seriously! He’s a nice and all-around-good guy! Why can the Great White Shark make friends but not him?

From The Kraken’s Rules for Making Friends by Brittany R. Jacobs © 2016. Used with permission.

And then he makes a great decision:  He’s going to ask the Great White Shark how he does it!  How does this fearsome shark have so many friends?

He’s incredible!  (That’s how!)  The Great White Shark takes our beloved Kraken under his fin and gives him the lowdown with six expert rules on how he makes friends.  These are such spot-on rules that range from the overly universal (be yourself and share) to the more nuanced but vital (keep your cool and lend a helping fin).  These are such important rules that human kids and their parents, too should take heed — not just in making friends, but in keeping them, too.

Armed (or rather tentacled) with the Great White Shark’s advice, Kraken decides to go for it!  He gives it his best shot and…

Well…

Hrm.

It doesn’t quite go like he had wanted it to go, but he still ends up the better for it. And that ends up making the story better, too.

The Kraken’s Rules for Making Friends has so many important lessons.  It adeptly addresses how to make friends, how life doesn’t always go as expected (even when you’re following sound, solid rules), courage, problem solving, and steps to take to accomplish your goals.  The tone of the story is masterfully cultivated with a mix of scary looking and friendly illustrated sea creatures, the ingenious use of a Kraken knitting a Koi costume, and the downright amiability and congeniality of the Great White Shark.

This book had both my sons giggling, asking lots of questions about sea creatures, feeling sympathetic for the Kraken’s plight, baffled as to why no one wanted to be his friend, and nodding along with the good advice.  Then they both asked for me to read it again and again.  My two-year-old son was so active when we read it.  He would point to the Kraken each time we read it and say, “Awww, the Kraken so sad!” and then a, “Awww, they’re hugging!”  My six-year-old son took the story very seriously.  He laughed and had a good time, but when the Great White Shark was dolling out the advice, he was concentrating on every single word.  There are a lot of books out there about how to make friends, but this clever story is not one to miss.

The Kraken’s Rules for Making Friends will make you smile, make you take note, and then make you want to read it again.

Recommended Ages 3 to 7. POW! October 2016. 40 pages. ISBN: 9781576878149. Fiction.

Where Obtained:  I received a review copy from the author. No other compensation was received.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Where to Get it:

Author and Illustrator Websites:

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FTC Disclosures:  Some of the links in the post above are Amazon affiliate links and others are IndieBound affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase something, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Which goes to fund my family’s picture book habit.  It’s a vicious cycle, but we manage.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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