Author: Dan Santat
Illustrator: Dan Santat
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 8th, 2014
GoodReads Summary:This magical story begins on an island far away where an imaginary friend is born. He patiently waits his turn to be chosen by a real child, but when he is overlooked time and again, he sets off on an incredible journey to the bustling city, where he finally meets his perfect match and-at long last-is given his special name: Beekle.
New York Times bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator Dan Santat combines classic storytelling with breathtaking art, creating an unforgettable tale about friendship, imagination, and the courage to find one's place in the world.
What I Think: I didn't have an imaginary friend when I was growing up but I sure wish I did. I would totally introduce him or her to Beekle and at least try to convince them to take me on an adventure. It's so fascinating to me how truly important friendship is and how friends do make such a difference our lives. I remember when my grandparents moved to a new house and my grandfather helped me introduce myself to the girl next door. It's not easy finding a new friend but super important!
I love that this book is strongly centered in imagination. Kids are so great at imagining and helping to foster their imagination is such a great opportunity that parents and teachers have. As a mentor text, this book is a great story to read to encourage students to imagine their own stories. The artwork is amazing, colorful and vibrant, and readers can use this as a starting point for their own stories. They can also look at the illustrations and write their own descriptive, narrative or even personal narrative pieces.
When I think of Dan Santat's illlustrations, I think of how much he is able to inject feelings and bring characters to life. There are many points throughout this story when readers can infer what the characters might be thinking and when they can make predictions about what might happen next. This is definitely a text that can be shared again and again and looked at through different lenses.
Read Together: Grades 2 - 5
Read Alone: Grades 3 - 5
Read With: Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, Have Fun, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell, One True Friend by Tony Buzzeo, Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter Yarrow, You Will Be My Friend! by Peter Brown
Snatch of Text:
"Her face was friendly and familiar, and there
was something about her that felt just right."Writing Prompts: Write about what you imagine Beekle might have felt as he traveled to the real world. Write about a time when you made a friend, what did you do and how did you feel?
Topics Covered: Friendship, Imagination, Determination, Adventure, Courage