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Clare and Mary do everything together. After all, they're best best friends. But on Mary's birthday, she gets a party, a shiny crown, and lots of attention--and Clare gets jealous. The best best friends get into a big, big fight. Only after Clare comes up with a way to make peace do the girls realize that between true friends, love triumphs over jealousy every time (even when it comes to crowns and cupcakes).
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MARGARET CHODOS-IRVINE is the author and illustrator of Ella Sarah Gets Dressed, a Caldecott Honor Book, and the illustrator of several other highly praised picture books. She lives in Seattle, Washington.
*Starred Review* PreS-K. In spot-on words and crisp, gaily patterned prints, the illustrator of the Caldecott Honor Book Ella Sarah Gets Dressed (2004) captures the unselfconscious affection and quicksilver shifts in mood that characterize preschool friendships. Classmates Clare and Mary hug hello, sit together at storytime, and hold hands when they go outside to play. But when Mary's birthday merits queen-for-a-day treatment, Clare vents her jealousy by informing her pink-clad friend that "yellow is prettier." The argument explodes in double-page spreads that zoom close to the girls' furious profiles, culminating in a bitter outburst: "YOU ARE NOT MY FRIEND!" After time apart, a nap, and a birthday card lovingly crayoned in both girls' favorite colors, the children reestablish their "best best BEST" bond. Like Molly Bang's When Sophie Gets Angry--Really, Really Angry (1999), this shows children working through conflict without adult intervention, and the message is further buoyed by a cozy classroom backdrop that will prompt chatter about kids' own preschool routines. A perfect choice for supporting the socialization aims of the earliest years of school, when instincts about generosity, empathy, and loyalty begin to balance the egocentric impulses of babyhood. Jennifer Mattson
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