Freckleface Strawberry: Best Friends Forever

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
Freckleface Strawberry: Best Friends Forever Book Poster Image
Unlikely duo finds true friendship in fun boy-girl tale.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Plenty of opportunity here for discussing feelings and friendship, especially what it means to be a best friend and whether or not boys have to stick with boys and girls with girls. Also, it gently teaches the lesson that best friends don't have to be exactly the same, and they don't have to spend every minute together. And it encourages us all to recognize and respect each other's differences.

Positive Messages

Best friends can be the same in some ways, but also different. They don't have to do every single thing together all the time. And, i's OK for girls to be best friends with boys, and vice versa. Friendship is more about sharing common interests. Respecting and tolerating different looks, choices, and behaviors can be part of it, too.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Both Freckleface Strawberry and Windy Pants Patrick act like normal, kindhearted kids. They really like spending time together and sharing books, play and fun, and they look out for each other when they are with others. When the other kids try to convince them that boys and girls should not be best friends, they listen. But in the end, they are honest with themselves and follow their own hearts to find what it really means to be a BFF.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Freckleface Strawberry: Best Friends Forever is the third of Julianne Moore's Freckleface series. It can stand alone, but will make even more sense after reading the first two books. The issue here is whether a girl and boy can be best friends, even when they share many things in common. And, do they have to share everything to be best friends? Also, though it's not really a big issue in the book, Windy Pants Patrick has two moms. Parents should be prepared to explain that to kids who ask.

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What's the story?

FRECKLEFACE STRAWBERRY: BEST FRIENDS FOREVER is about the friendship that develops between Freckleface Strawberry and Windy Pants Patrick after the dodgeball incident of the second book in this series. The two unlikely friends find they share so many things in common, especially because they feel so different from the other kids. However, the other girls think Freckleface should play with girls, not boys. And the boys feel Windy Pants should play with the boys. The duo tries it both ways, and discovers the friendship they share is a special one after all.

Is it any good?

Kids will love this latest Freckleface adventure, and grown-ups certainly will enjoy reading it aloud to them. It's a cute, funny story that carries another very positive message about learning to respect and tolerate each other's differences, even value them. Julianne Moore's narrative is entertaining and sweet, LeUyen Pham's illustrations are playfully expressive, and an important lesson is gently nudged along to the end. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes someone your best friend, especially a best friend forever. How about  friend duos you've read about in books like Frog and Toad, Bink and Gollie, or Ivy and Bean? How are these sets of friends the same? How are they different? 

  • Illustrations are an important part of any picture book. The same purple monster from previous Freckleface books shows up again here, this time with Windy Pants Patrick. What does he stand for? 

  • What do you think about the idea that boys should play with boys, and girls with girls? 

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For kids who love picture books and strong female characters

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