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The Friendly Four

by Eloise Greenfield
Illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist

Published by Amistad / HarperCollins, 2006
47 pages
ISBN: 9780060007591

Ages 5-8

Eloise Greenfield chronicles a summer of friendship, fun, and the occasional disagreement among four African American children in a series of lively poems in multiple voices. The first voice is Drummond’s, lamenting the boring summer ahead. Then Doreen moves onto the block and they quickly become friends. Not long after Louis comes to live with his new mama, and two becomes three. Finally, Rae, whose mother is sick, arrives to stay with her cousin Doreen. Quieter poems in a single voice describe a particular child’s feelings—of sadness, frustration, or excitement. As friendships are established and grow, the voices mingle in a cacophonous description of the group’s adventures and imaginative play. The poems can be read silently or aloud as a story, but the format makes the book a wonderful choice for shared or choral reading. The poems are set against the backdrop of Jan Spivey Gilchrist’s colorful illustrations.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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