The Worst Best Friend

( 2 )

Overview

The creators of the hugely successful (and rollicking) THE RECESS QUEEN are back with a frank and funny look at the challenges and rewards of friendship.

Mike and Conrad, Conrad and Mike are best, best friends. That is until Victor, a new boy, a big boy, a cool boy, arrives at school. Suddenly, Conrad turns into the WORST best friend and forgets all about his pal, Mike. But when Victor's need to win leaves Conrad crushed, it's Mike who steps up...

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Overview

The creators of the hugely successful (and rollicking) THE RECESS QUEEN are back with a frank and funny look at the challenges and rewards of friendship.

Mike and Conrad, Conrad and Mike are best, best friends. That is until Victor, a new boy, a big boy, a cool boy, arrives at school. Suddenly, Conrad turns into the WORST best friend and forgets all about his pal, Mike. But when Victor's need to win leaves Conrad crushed, it's Mike who steps up to the plate and shows how to be a real friend, a true-blue friend, a best, BEST friend.

Exuberant illustrations and rhythmic text bounce off the pages in this frank and funny look at the challenges and rewards of friendship. A perfect read-aloud to share with all friends again and again.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ann Farina
Mike and Conrad are best friends until Victor arrives. Victor is the new kid in school, the new BIG kid in school. Conrad thinks Victor is awesome and forgets about his old friend. Victor likes to brag and talk only about himself. At recess one day, Mike and Victor are team captains picking their teammates. Victor only picks the big kids and Conrad is not big enough. As a true blue friend, Mike picks Conrad for his team. Conrad learns what it means to be a true friend, and Mike learns about forgiveness. This engaging story makes for a great read aloud book. There are secret handshakes and great sound effect words that will catch the attention of the listener. Young readers will want to memorize that handshake! The text is spread throughout the pictures, inviting the reader to examine each picture as a major component of the story. Overall, this book is an appealing story for primary grades and would do well as part of a theme about friendship. Reviewer: Ann Farina
School Library Journal

K-Gr 2

Mike and Conrad do everything together-until a new kid arrives in their classroom. Victor, a self-involved braggart who excels at sports, captivates Conrad's attention, leaving Mike feeling left out. At recess, Victor declares himself captain for a kickball game and picks only the biggest kids, cruelly telling Conrad he's too small to help the team win. Mike, the other captain, feels bad and chooses Conrad. Ultimately, Conrad apologizes and the boys make up. This tale about the vagaries of young friendship is predictable and a bit slick, and the characters are too lightly drawn for readers to become fully engaged in the story. The brightly colored illustrations move the action along and provide funny details. The cafeteria menu board advertises delicacies like "Chocolate Glazed Carrots" "Humble Pie," and "Broccoli Ice Cream." Kevin Henkes's A Weekend with Wendell (HarperCollins, 1986), Isabella Hatkoff's Owen & Mzee (Scholastic, 2006), and George Shannon's Rabbit's Gift (Harcourt, 2007) are all stronger titles on the topic.-Mary Hazelton, Elementary Schools in Warren & Waldoboro, ME

Kirkus Reviews
Longtime best friends Conrad and Mike do everything together: They "ate together / Read together / Played together..." Until Victor joins their class. Their new, big, bold schoolmate brags and blabs and excels at just about everything he tries. As Conrad puts it, "He-is-awesome!" Pretty soon, it's Conrad and Victor who "walked together / Ate together / Played together- / No room for Mike." Huliska-Beith tackles this age-old psychodrama with bright, textured illustrations that incorporate Victor's incessant, pervasive boasting: "Me, Me, Me...Wow, Wow, Wow...Blah, Blah, Blah" swirls around him, Joe Cool sunglasses marking him as the grandstander he is. Environmental print-written details on the blackboard or book titles-adds fizz. A showdown game of kickball convinces Conrad and Mike that winning or losing has nothing to do with being best friends and that loyalty is its own reward. While there's little new in this insight, the message bears repeating, and the delivery in this volume provides plenty of zing. The ending "high five" says it all. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545010238
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2009

    THE Worst Best Friend

    This is a great book to read to children to show the measure of a true friend. Conrad and Mike have a friendship children can relate to. They do everything together until one day new, cool, big kid moves into their class and Conrad is drawn into a type of hero worship. Victor the new kid tends to brag about himself excessively. Mike is left without his best friend. One day a kickball game becomes a competition. The new kid will only pick BIG kids for his team so he can WIN. Mike isn't such a big guy and gets left out in the cold. Conrad comes to the rescue and includes his best friend in the game. Of course the story ends well with the best friends reuniting. I was pleased by the ending. It was more realistic and thus a good lesson is being a good friend and the value of being ones self. Victor doesn't change his ways or see the light of his actions. Victor only cares for him self. His strategy for choosing the biggest kids did help his team win in the kickball game but his snubbing of Mike showed is true personality. He really wasn't a good friend and didn't care about others feelings. The cartoon type illustrations were fun. Little comments about friends and feelings are imbedded in the illustrations such as "humble pie" written on the black board as a lunch special and A girl in the background reading a book titled how to be a best friend. Fun read with plenty of material to start great discussion with your children.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2008

    fun read with wonderful lessons

    It is reported that bullying is one of the big problems in schools today. Not all bullying is necessarily physical. Bullying can be mental and emotional too. Mike and Conrad are best friends. That is, until one day Victor comes along. Victor does not beat up on other kids, but he boasts and brags about how good he is at sports. So Conrad no longer plays with Mike but follows after Victor. Mike feels very hurt. His best friend becomes his worst friend. The next day, Victor and Mike are captains of the kickball teams, so when Victor's desire to win does not leave any room for Conrad, what will Mike do? In addition to its being a fun read, there are some wonderful lessons in this story for children about the importance of true friendship, the need for showing kindness, and even the fact that winning is not always the most important thing. The lively illustrations will appeal to young readers, and observant students may find what is written on the blackboards in the classroom and cafeteria scenes quite amusing. I thoroughly enjoyed reading and looking at this picture book and recommend it highly. While the target audience is ages 5-8, even my twelve-year-old said that he liked it too.

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