A Friend Like You

Overview


Adorable photos of unlikely-but-true animal friends, paired with easy-to-read text, create a heartwarming portrait of the many faces of friendship.

Photographer Tanja Askani adopts orphaned or injured animals -- wolf pups, raccoons, owls, rabbits, and fawns, among others -- and under her care, unexpected friendships form. This collection of Tanja's heart-meltingly cute photographs, accompanied by simple text celebrating the comforts and delights of friendship, is sure to appeal...

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Overview


Adorable photos of unlikely-but-true animal friends, paired with easy-to-read text, create a heartwarming portrait of the many faces of friendship.

Photographer Tanja Askani adopts orphaned or injured animals -- wolf pups, raccoons, owls, rabbits, and fawns, among others -- and under her care, unexpected friendships form. This collection of Tanja's heart-meltingly cute photographs, accompanied by simple text celebrating the comforts and delights of friendship, is sure to appeal to anyone who loves animals and appreciates a true friend.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Askani runs an animal refuge/rehab center out of her home in Germany, and the unlikely and almost criminally adorable friendships that have sprung up among the inhabitants are the subject of this book. Many of Askani's photographs depict some kind of nuzzling (a piglet bumps noses with a puppy; a dormouse seems to steal a kiss from a turtle) but other images fall into the “critters do the darnedest things” category (a pointer sits placidly as a song thrush perches on his head; a rabbit seems to stick out his tongue to tease a hedgehog). That the accompanying text, usually set within swoopy boxes opposite the photos, never rises above the level of a greeting card (“Being friends is easy... when the friends are you and me,”) is beside the point: readers will supply text of their own, certain to coo and say “aww” every time they turn the page. They'll also pore over the closing section, which gives the names and histories of all of the animals featured. Ages 4–8. (Dec.)
Children's Literature - Sarah Maury Swan
This picture book has enchanting photos of unlikely animal pairings playing and cuddling. Ms. Askani lives in Germany where she nurses injured wild animals back to health. Her domesticated animals often interact with the injured ones. And the injured animals interact with each other. Several of the pictures are of an Artic Wolf pup who plays with a dachshund, a German shorthaired pointer pup, a beagle and a raccoon. A deer and rabbit strike up a friendship as do a lamb and a Rhodesian ridgeback dog. Other odd pairings include a cat and a rat, a dormouse and a turtle, and a dachshund and fox. The text is very simple, as it should be to not interfere with the photos. Some of the animals are unfamiliar to American children, so this is a nice way to introduce them. At the back of the book, the photos are reproduced in smaller versions with text about what the animals are. Reviewer: Sarah Maury Swan
School Library Journal
PreS—Photographs of surprising animal companions (a piglet and a dog, a deer and a rabbit, etc.) are paired with a text that touts the importance of friendship. The large, clear, well-lit photos were taken by Askani, who lives at a game park in Germany and has cared for numerous wild animals throughout her life. While these photographs are charming, the sentimental text is disappointing ("Even if you think I am…different. Something just tells me we are going to get along."). The anthropomorphism actually weakens the impact of the pictures by distracting readers from the reality of these unusual relationships. More successful is the end matter in which children learn about the author's work with animals and get a little background on each of the creatures depicted. These stories are the heart of the book, and a focus on this material could have created a powerful piece of nonfiction along the lines of Isabella and Craig Hatkoff and Paula Kahumbu's Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship (Scholastic, 2006). Despite this missed opportunity, the pictures are sure to draw readers' interest.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
Kirkus Reviews
This well-intended but ill-conceived look at disparate animal pairs features high-quality nature photographs of appealing creatures that are not normally found cavorting through verdant meadows in tandem. Each spread includes a full-page photo of a different pair, along with one simple sentence in large font on the facing page. Several animals are difficult to identify in the photos (a wolf cub that looks like a white dog, for instance) or are species not familiar to children in the United States (a dormouse, a hedgehog and a coati). The cheery, first-person text indicates the animals have willingly chosen to become friends and that their feelings about their animal friends are comparable to human feelings, attaching anthropomorphic sentimentality in a way that does not accurately reflect the natural world. The final pages recap the photos and describe the animals and their particular circumstances. Though the animals are undeniably endearing, the concept will confuse young children, who do not yet have the background to understand that most animals don't pair up in this friendly fashion-and shouldn't. (author's note) (Picture book. 2-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545058513
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/1/2009
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 695,797
  • Age range: 3 years
  • Product dimensions: 10.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Tanja Askani has always had a special way with animals. She takes diligent care of her large adoptive family at home, and also regularly visits the wolf pack that she established at the nearby Lüneburger Heide Wildlife Preserve. She is the author of a book for adults, KINSHIP WITH THE WOLF. Tanja lives in Germany, near Hamburg, with her daughter.
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