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Jarvis offers a moving tale of friendship, kindness, and acceptance, softly touching on the subjects of illness or hardship in a way that young children can understand.
Everyone likes David, the boy with flowers in his hair. He’s sweet and gentle, just like his colorful petals. David and his best friend have a great time together, finding the good puddles, making up songs, and running away from the bees. But one day David comes to school wearing a hat, and he is quiet. When he takes off the hat, his bright petals flutter down like butterflies. Now, where his flowers were looks twiggy and prickly, causing the other children to stay away. But David’s best friend has an idea—a way to help David get his color back, wielding paintbrushes and plenty of love. Sensitively told and simply illustrated, Jarvis’s story invites even the youngest children to talk about difficult subjects in an age-appropriate way—and feel inspired to support others when they face trying times.
About the Author
Jarvis is the author-illustrator of Tropical Terry; Follow Me, Flo!; and Alan’s Big, Scary Teeth and the illustrator of Pick a Pine Tree and Pick a Pumpkin, both written by Patricia Toht. He is also an animator who has worked as both a record jacket designer and an animation director. Jarvis lives in Manchester, England.
Accompanied by beautiful, uncluttered digital images against lots of white space, Jarvis’ simple, gentle story gives adults room to explain David’s hardship to young readers in their own ways. . . . A sweet example of how to be a kind and supportive presence in the life of a struggling friend.
This tender story about emotions made manifest could help children talk about trauma and recognize its effects on themselves and others.
Beautifully conveys from a child’s perspective the adaptability and acceptance of a child facing hardship. . . this heartfelt demonstration of compassion is fantastic and realistic in equal measure.
—School Library Journal
Keeping the focus on one child’s sudden change and the narrator’s willingness to help, Jarvis crafts an extended metaphor about how good friends can share the burden of bad times.
A simple yet powerful story about the importance of having a good friend to help during difficult times, . . . an effective tool for navigating complicated feelings with young readers. . . . a valuable resource for teachers, caregivers, and guidance counselors.
—School Library Connection
The story — so simple and stark, illustrated with beautiful washes of color — says so much about kindness, friendship, acceptance and being there for friends suffering something difficult, without a single wasted word. It ends in a simple, dreamlike embrace between two best friends, one covered in blossoms, both smiling.
—The Virginian Pilot