Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Hardcover, 9780374324636, 48pp.
Publication Date: August 1, 2004
From the beloved husband-and-wife team of The Gardener, a Caldecott Honor Book
Annabelle Bernadette Clementine Dodd
Was a good little girl, though decidedly odd.
Belle lived every day as if she were grown --
She thought she could do everything all on her own.
Lucky for Belle, she has a friend at home, a caregiver named Beatrice Smith -- Bea -- who keeps a close eye on her so she doesn't get into too much mischief. Through the week Belle helps Bea as she does chores or shops or bakes, and at the end of most days they head to the beach -- Belle and Bea, hand in hand, by the sea. But one afternoon Belle sneaks outside to play all alone, and something happens that changes her life forever.
A lyrical rhymed text and pictures that pack emotion combine to present powerful portraits of a girl and her loving guardian.
"[Sarah Stewart and David Small's] most personal work to date...[The Friend] explores the subtle, intense bond shared by a girl and her caretaker...Stewart wastes not a word as her text sets a rhythm to the duo's days...the portraits that follow convey their ineffable connection."
-- Starred, Publishers Weekly
"Glorious, sweeping ink-and-watercolor illustrations...a heartfelt tribute." -- Booklist
"An homage...warm, touching, and bravely unsettling."
-- The Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books