Tiny Makes a Friend

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Review by Marisa Rose

Tiny Makes a Friend by Eva Schmidler is a chapter book geared towards early, independent readers. The story is separated into four chapters chronicling the friendship between a mouse, Tiny, and a tiger, Toby, living on a nature reserve. The two start out as strangers and quickly become quick friends after Tiny bravely enters Toby’s cage. The rest of the story focuses on the maturation of the unlikely pair as well as the evolvement of their friendship.

The illustrations in Tiny Makes a Friend are subtle and don’t serve as the main focus of the book. Rather, the black and white, sketch-like drawings usually take up less than half a page and act as a basic visual aid. The images convey important scenes and characters from the story; however, they are more an accessory to the narrative than an important element of the book. That being said, the ratio between illustrations and wording, along with the illustrator’s refrain from childish images is impressive and clearly considers the maturity level of the older audience this book caters to.

The story of Tiny the Mouse and Toby the Tiger is wholesome and engaging. The unlikely pair serve well as a means for conveying messages about friendship, overcoming differences, trust, and the realities of growing up. The topics in this book are nothing new, yet the author provides a more in-depth look at these themes than one would expect to find in a typical picture book. For example, when Toby is going through a particularly rough time with his new handler, the story stresses that by simply listening to Toby's explanation of his problems and trying to empathize with his feelings, Tiny is a great comfort to his friend.

At approximately seventy pages, this picture book is more suitable for young, independent readers or early readers helped along by an adult. The story of Tiny and Toby is followed by a set of twenty discussion questions related to the main themes and events in the story. The author’s use of language, illustrations and discussion questions are appropriate for the suggested age of seven to twelve-year-olds; however, some of the subject matter and writing may seem juvenile for readers at the older end of the suggested age range.

Tiny Makes a Friend is a refreshing read that will be enjoyed by children and adults alike. The author does a wonderful job handling the subject matter and illustrations in a more complicated manner than is typical of the genre. For the well-rounded story, simplistically-mature illustrations, and thoughtful discussion questions, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. This book is sure to appeal to young, independent readers wishing to challenge their reading abilities with a beginner chapter book.


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Price: $3.99
Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
Price: $8.99