Author and Illustrator Laurel MacQuarrie
Publisher: Little Lamb Tales
It is never too early to begin discussing with your children the importance of having a good friend. In fact, many years of research suggest that parents can play an immense role in teaching children how to make friends and to help begin this discourse author and illustrator Laurel MacQuarrie has provided us with an accessible resource with her honest and witty picture book, Seefus Finds a Friend.
Appropriately, on the the front cover of the book Ralf Waldo Emerson is quoted: “The only way to have a friend is to be one,” which in essence forms the principal story line involving a slug named Seefus.
One day, Seefus, finding himself quite bored ventures from his home to find a new friend even though he doesn’t have a clue as to how to go about it. He eventually meets up with Saul Snail who tells him that he needs a friend to play. Seefus could not believe his ears and eyes when he comes in contact with someone that looked like a slug in disguise and moreover asking to be his friend.
Seefus explains to Saul that he is bored when alone at home exploring and counting his rocks. Saul shows Seefus the marvelous tunnels he has dug and beckons him to crawl into it. Overjoyed, Seefus rolls through the tunnels and discovers many great rocks that are part of Saul’s collection. Immediately, Seefus asks Saul if he can have a particular rock, and Saul is only too happy to oblige, agreeing to place the rock in his shell to carry in out of the tunnel. Unfortunately, Seefus becomes a little greedy and asks for several more rocks to be carried out by Saul which leads to his shell being packed too tight and eventually cracking as he tries to break free. Unfortunately, Seefus never paid attention for one moment of what he had done to Saul’s shell and how selfish he had been in asking too much of his friend. And when he discovers Saul stuck in the tunnel in tears he knew that what he had done was a crime as he uttered to himself- some friend I am, I did everything wrong, even changed your size. To undo his wrongdoing, Seefus apologizes to Saul and helps him get out of the hole and wonders if he still has a friend in Saul.
There is much wordplay in this 36 page picture book where youngsters have a great deal to discover and ponder. Using simple language, McQuarrie gets to the “nitty gritty” about being a good friend as she drives home several points including the consequences of your actions, being considerate of others, selfishness, greediness, helping a friend in need, doing kind things and having fun with one another. Using her vibrant palette she fills her illustrations with spirited colors incoporating small details that bring life to the two characters, Seefus and Saul. In addition, the illustrations perfectly capture the tone of the underlying themes and the outcome of bad choices. MacQuarrie is to be commended for crafting an enriching inspiring picture book containing invaluable life messages.
Follow Here To Read Norms Interview With Laurel MacQuarrie