Claire Malone Makes a Friend
October, 2021. Dixi Books
Age, race, culture, loneliness, relationships and the pandemic are all neatly drawn together in this outstanding picture book for young children.
Claire Malone and her cat, Marmalade are back in Claire Malones Makes a Friend, a delightful and charming picture book about life in lockdown.
In her trademark style of positivity and action, Claire works through the loneliness and monotony of lockdown by looking outside her own life to affect change. Claire, yet again, shows us how to be an agent for positive change in our own neighbourhoods.
A charming and relevant sequel to Claire Malone Changes the World with delightfully lively and colourful illustrations by Alisa Knatko.
This beguiling book is about reaching out, making friends, and being there - a universal message.
Sally Holdsworth, Editor
This moving tale reads like a fable and begins during the time when children stayed inside everyday. Set during one of the many COVID-19 lockdowns, it tells the story of Claire who watches people in their windows from her own window. The observant and caring Claire is concerned about the person who lives in one apartment where the curtains stay drawn and makes a sign which she displays in her own window Are you okay?
From here, Claire becomes friends with a lonely old lady, Mrs Ong. Claire draws a picture for her, Mrs Ong shares a recipe, Claire sends over a pack of seeds, Mrs Ong knits her a hat and so on. Interestingly, the story concludes with the characters still locked inside their own worlds but anticipating the day they can come together for a picnic in the park.
This story could be used to help children talk about lockdown and the combined trauma our society has experienced as a result of the pandemic. It encourages kindness, emotional maturity, and acceptance of difference. Some children will still be scarred by the experience of lockdown and might be suffering social anxiety as a result. This book could be a valuable tool for therapeutic discussions.
Reviewed by Heather Gallagher
CBCA Reading Time
What a beautiful message. It was not lost on our Year Ones. They loved it!
Vanessa, Primary School Teacher
I love your book because it teaches us how to be kind and nice. It teaches us to make a friend even if they're smaller than us or bigger than us. Your book is amazing!
Keevah, Year 1
The colours in this book are astonishing. I really like this book.
Felix, Year 1
I can't stop reading this book because it teaches us that we can make a friend no matter what. When are you going to write another book?
Annaliese, Year 1
Your book helps me to be myself. I cannot stop reading it. I love the illustrations.
Tahj, Year 1
The illustrations are fantastic. My favourite part of this book is when Claire makes friends with Mrs Ong. This is a great book.