Don't Need Friends by Carolyn Crimi, Lynn M. Munsinger |, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Don't Need Friends

Don't Need Friends

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by Carolyn Crimi, Lynn M. Munsinger
     
 

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There's a new dog in the junkyard, and boy, is he ever grouchy! He seems the perfect friend for surly, grumbling Rat. But the two animals are only interested in shouting at each other. "Don't you come near me!" barks Dog, and Rat mutters back, "Fine with me. Don't need friends, don't need 'em at all!" But as this crusty duo soon discovers,

Overview

There's a new dog in the junkyard, and boy, is he ever grouchy! He seems the perfect friend for surly, grumbling Rat. But the two animals are only interested in shouting at each other. "Don't you come near me!" barks Dog, and Rat mutters back, "Fine with me. Don't need friends, don't need 'em at all!" But as this crusty duo soon discovers, everybody needs a friend. Especially during a bitter winter in a junkyard where warmth is hard to find—and a foot-long salami sandwich is a near-miracle.

Endearing and sassy, this uplifting story of the importance of companionship will put a smile on even the grumpiest of faces.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[A] slyly funny and deeply touching story."— Publishers Weekly, Starred

"Munsinger’s expressive, detailed line-and-watercolor pictures capture the grouchy nonsense and also the real feelings." — Booklist

Horn Book Magazine
In a story tailor-made for Oscar the Grouch fans, Rat gives up on friendship after his best friend, Possum, moves to a different junkyard: "Don't need friends, don't need 'em at all." The other junkyard animals try to exchange pleasantries with Rat, but he's rude to everyone including the new guy, Dog, who's just as grumpy as he. The two begin a daily routine of grousing at each other, until the cold winter day when Dog simply sniffles and sneezes in reply. Rat investigates, and soon the two are friends, a transformation humorously and believably conveyed in a fine melding of art and text: while their words continue to be gruff, loneliness and concern for the other are important on their faces. While they'll never win prizes for congeniality, Rat and Dog together gain a better disposition, occasionally leaving choice tidbits for the smaller animals: "Hate french fries,' Rat grumbled. 'Who needs 'em,' said Dog." The book neatly avoids sentimentality and closes with Rat's nifty new credo: Don't need many friends...Just need one.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Devastated when his best friend moves out of the junkyard, Rat decides to become a recluse. "Don't need friends, don't need'em at all," he grumbles, rejecting overtures of friendship and food from his neighbors. Rat meets his match in churlishness when Dog moves in. "Don't you come near me," snarls Dog. "Fine with me!" Rat responds. It takes calamities of health and weather to make the animals acknowledge--albeit in brusque terms--how much they need and care for each other. Crimi (Outside, Inside) and Munsinger (Tacky the Penguin) are in perfect sync in this slyly funny and deeply touching story. Without overemphasizing their message, they show how gruffness can mask hurt, and how even unwitting selflessness can warm the coldest heart--on both the giving and receiving ends. Crimi's tight, deft prose mines Dog and Rat's petulance for all its comedy and poignancy, while Munsinger offers up yet another memorable cast of all-too-human animals. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-When Possum moves away and leaves his friend behind, Rat turns his back on the other inhabitants of the junkyard, muttering, "Don't need friends, don't need 'em at all." Children will appreciate the snappy dialogue that is flung back and forth between Rat and a curmudgeonly stray dog that moves in, and they'll realize (long before the two animals do) that the two were meant to be friends. Munsinger's pen-and-watercolor illustrations make the junkyard look messy without being utterly dreary and the dog and rat are imbued with plenty of personality and pizzazz. Pair this story with both traditional and nontraditional friendship titles, such as Kevin Henkes's Chester's Way (Greenwillow, 1988) or Marjorie Sharmat's I'm Terrific (Holiday, 1977), for an interesting mix.-Lisa Gangemi Krapp, Rockville Centre Public Library, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780440415329
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
06/28/2001
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
595,746
Product dimensions:
8.44(w) x 10.88(h) x 0.13(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Carolyn Crimi was born and raised on Long Island, New York, and now lives in Evanston, Illinois, with her husband Alfonso, and their two cats, Oscar and Mama. Carolyn received her B.A. from Lake Forest College. The author of several previous children's books, a travel guide, and numerous magazine articles and stories, she also teaches adult education courses in writing for children.

Lynn Munsinger, who was born in Greenfield, Massachusettes, graduated from tufts university, then studied illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design. She has since illustrated more than eighty children's books, including Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester, What Mommies Do Best/What Daddies Do Best by Laura Numeroff, and The Three Blind Mice Mystery by Stephen Krensky. She lives in New York City, where she enjoys attending the opera, zooming around Central Park on her Rollerblades, and walking her two cairn terriers.

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