A lonely rabbit, a quiet pine cone, and their perfect bond are tested in this charming picture book about friendship, compassion, and loss. From debut author-illustrator Sandra Salsbury.
“Who is the ‘Best Friend in the Whole World’? After reading this sweet, sensitive tale, children can decide for themselves.” ―The New York Times
Roland lives a quiet life filled with books, music, and tea parties for one, but sometimes he feels rather lonely. When Roland finds the perfect companion in Milton (Good listener! Enjoys music! Also alone!), he is overjoyed. It’s okay that Milton is just a pine cone; they have so much in common.
Then clues start popping up in the woods, suggesting someone else might be missing their best pine cone friend. Roland must decide if it’s worth leaving someone else in their loneliness to keep Milton in his life.
In this sweet and moving picture book, debut author-illustrator Sandra Salsbury explores friendship, compassion, loss, and the transformative power of connection. Soft watercolor illustrations bring a charming forest and endearing characters to life.
“Who is the ‘Best Friend in the Whole World’? After reading this sweet, sensitive tale, children can decide for themselves.” —New York Times
“The simplified forms, curving lines, and muted colors in the watercolor illustrations suit this gentle, rather melancholy story well…. An engaging picture book with craft-project potential.” —Booklist
“Salsbury never allows the tale to become maudlin or cloying, as Roland selflessly deals with disappointment, remaining a kind and compassionate friend. Watercolor illustrations, appearing as vignettes and both single- and double-page spreads, enhance the tale with lively, detailed depictions of Roland’s woodsy home, his expressions of sadness and joy, the sweet-natured Lucy, and, of course, the incredible Milton/Popkin. Young readers will sympathize with Roland and strive to emulate his kindness to his friends, whether real or imaginary. Life lessons gently told. Lovely.” —Kirkus Reviews
“This picture book is charming in its simplicity and thoughtful in centering empathy as it quietly affirms the specialness of imaginary friends.” —School Library Journal
F&P: J, Gr 1, Genre F
Themes: Friendship, Loneliness, Loss, Connection
BISAC 1: JUV039060 JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Friendship
BISAC 2: JUV039050 JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Emotions & Feelings
BISAC 3: JUV002210 JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Rabbits