Reviewing kids’ books is nothing new to me. I’ve actually reviewed quite a few over the years for the site, but now that I have a kid, I’m sure it sticks out like a sore thumb when I do review them. To be honest, I did check out You Are My Best Friend in the hope that it would be something worth reading to my child. After all, what parent doesn’t want their kid to grow up loving dinosaurs? And if the answer is you, then we should call the State on you. I kid… or do I?
You Are My Best Friend is about a Tyrannosaurus that is basically a jerk to everyone. It’s a kids book so it doesn’t cover the more gruesome details of why the Tyrannosaurus is a jerk, but you get it. One day while being a jerk, he falls into the ocean and is saved by an Elasmosaurus. The Tyrannosaurus wonders why he saved him and the basic answer is, “you’d do the same for me.” The two become friends all while the Tyrannosaurus hides his jerky past. One day though the Elasmosaurus meets a bigger jerk in the sea and the Tyrannosaurus has to help his friend.
The message is good. I think that a lot of kids don’t always know that they’re jerks or how to change it and while I don’t think this book is just going to curve their behavior, it definitely would open up a conversation. That, and as far as preventative parenting goes, it’s pretty good. It’s a bit long, even for the age group it’s geared towards, and the ending was kind of sad actually, so I don’t think your kid is going to want it read to them every night. Unless you’re raising them Goth, in which case… you’re doing it right.
The art isn’t my favorite style. The line work is thick, the coloring is monotone and flat. Something about it though really reminded me of books when I was a kid and those books always made me want to draw. It made me feel like I could draw too. Maybe that’s the point, maybe not. Overall though, I liked what the art did for the story and I came to really like the art.
I’m not going to pretend to know what age this book is for. I’m sure it’s out there somewhere, but for me it’s definitely a kid in school with some reading comprehension because it’s long and has plenty of narration. It’s a good story though and one that I think will resonate with a lot of kids for years to come.
[su_box title="Score: 4/5" style="glass" box_color="#8955ab" radius="6"]
You Are My Best Friend
Creator: Tatsuya Miyanishi
Translator: Mariko Shii Gharbi
Publisher: IPG Books/Museyon
Release Date: 5/1/16
Format: Hardcover; Print