Percy’s Perfect Friend Reviews

School Library Journal 

“Imaginative play can be scary for newcomers in school, but this book offers a gentle lesson in socializing and making friends for even the shyest of readers. Bright illustrations, including Miss Petticomb’s beautiful pink fur, make each page eye-catching as the simple story moves along. Thick paint strokes also encapsulate the moods of the students swiftly, specifically the worried look on Percy’s face following his stuffed friend’s disappearance….This is the ideal classroom or library read-aloud for the beginning of the school year to coincide with learning all the rules and being a good friend.”

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Kirkus Reviews

“A little boy adjusts to his first day at a new school with the help of a fluffy pink stuffed feline….Button, an early childhood educator, explores a difficult but important skill for children—entering a situation as a newcomer—and shows how imaginative play can lead the way. Percy effectively manages an unsettling moment by making a creative suggestion. Equally important is the positive response from Percy’s classmates, who welcome him into the fold….Bright, expressive, realistic drawings bring to life a diverse group of children….A wonderful example of how to resolve social snafus through the power of play.”

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“Making a friend is a matter of approachability, but it’s not so simple if it takes you time to warm up to others….The cheerful artwork warmly depicts a classic preschool classroom in the middle of open play….The large facial expressions nicely portray emotions….This story about making friends, stepping out of a shell, and building confidence will pair well with Gustavo the Shy Ghost (2020), by Flavia Z. Drago.”

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Youth Services Book Review

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4…Percy is the kid in a diverse classroom and he doesn’t have any friends, until he finds a stuffed kitty. He plays with the kitty steadily, but when he turns his back, someone else takes the kitty. There is a small conflict over sharing, but then he asks if he can join the other kids in their play and they end up becoming friends as well. Bright, touching illustrations show diverse children playing happily with each other.

Anything you didn’t like about it? Not at all….Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Near the top”

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CM Magazine

“The story illustrates the way young children interact with each other and their inanimate objects…It shows how, through play, youngsters can learn to get along with others and make friends. The full-page, full colour, cartoon format illustrations support the text. Children can relate to the play group setting, with its arts and craft supplies, reading materials, dress up clothes, and toys everywhere. The children depicted are also a reflection of the diversity of today’s classes, with a variety of ethnicities and abilities shown. Teachers/caregivers can use Percy’s Perfect Friend to stimulate conversation about making friends, cooperation, and play. Highly Recommended.”

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The International Educator

“A gentle story to share with new, hesitant students. The book also offers information on social interaction for parents or educators.”

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CLCD – Children’s Literature

Percy’s Perfect Friend is a picture book rich in diversity and intriguing vocabulary for young readers. The illustrations are adorable, diverse, non-gender stereotyping, and inclusive. This book is great for preschoolers, gifts for little ones about to start preschool and young children who are about to join a play group for the first time. It would be a helpful book for teachers with a new group of students.”

YA Books Central

“[M]any children who were at a critical developmental stage for social interaction during the pandemic would benefit from a book like this to reinforce social skills that might be lacking…I appreciated that Percy was wearing glasses, and there was a boy in a play kitchen wearing an apron.”

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CanLit for LittleCanadians

“Finding a way to fit in and make friends can be very difficult, especially if the other kids have already established friendships…In Percy’s Perfect Friend, Lana Button models for children how to engage with new friends by scaffolding that interaction with a perfect pink friend, although any toy might work as nicely. She sees the kids as they are, some exuberant and extroverted and others reserved and perhaps even anxious. A toy, whether pink or blue, soft or hard, can be that catalyst for meaningful and playful interaction. Peggy Collins…brings her cheerful digital artwork into the play-based classroom…Her young characters represent all children of different abilities and ethnicities, energies and interests.”

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Storytime with Stephanie

“Lana Button is the queen of social emotional stories for our youngest readers. Percy’s Perfect Friend is an amazing book to share with preschoolers and kindergarteners to help them navigate all the new social situations they will find themselves in. Working in a preschool, the premise of Percy’s Perfect Friend is something we see everyday and it is so wonderful to have a loving story to share with the children to help them with new friendships, turn taking and social play.

I love how Lana Button keeps things short and concise story so that any parent or educator will not hesitate to share with their young readers. The font is also nice and large making it extremely easy to share with a crowd or to share with a crowd of one.

Peggy Collins’ illustrations are big and bold adding to the shareability of this story. There is lots to see in her beautiful art. It’s very inviting and loving because you can clearly see all of the faces of the children and understand their emotions during each part of the story. These incredible illustrations lend themselves to discussions about how emotions look and feel. Each time we read a book illustrated by Peggy, it feels like we are getting a warm hug.”

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Book Time

“What a wonderful picture book from Lana Button and illustrated by Peggy Collins….In her author’s note, Button talks about how some kids don’t make friends naturally and often turn to a stuffed toy to work through those play skills. They also need adults to show them how to do and give them an opportunity to practice that skill. Books also help and this book does a fantastic job on showing kids how to make new friends.”

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