Old Friends is a heartwarming story about finding friends that have the same interests as you, regardless of age and experience. It celebrates the way that wonderful relationships can be enjoyed by young and old and how mutually beneficial the exchanging of ideas and experience between two generations can be.
The Story: Marjorie enjoys baking, gardening and knitting just like Granny. But her friends in the neighbourhood don’t get excited about them like she does. Walking past the community centre Marjorie sees a sign for a group that enjoys the same activities as her and tries to join. But the group is for senior citizens. Undeterred Marjorie goes undercover and has a wonderful time making new friends. Until it’s time to dance the cha-cha-cha…
Although not mentioned in the text we assume that Granny has passed away and Marjorie’s hobbies were previously shared and enjoyed with her. Marjorie really misses Granny, one of the more poignant illustrations shows Marjorie surrounded by memories of Granny – she’s hugging Granny’s photo. But Marjorie is a resourceful main character and soon discovers a way to make friends who have similar interests.
There’s also a lot of joy in the story. The senior citizens group has some very active members – we love the vitality and diversity of the scene where they dance.
Lenny Wen’s fabulous illustrations are bright, vibrant and full of life. She effectively captures Marjorie’s emotions when she’s missing Granny and we love the way that she transforms Marjorie into Undercover Granny 😀
Old Friends is such a beautiful story to gift to a child who has a special relationship with a grandparent or even an older neighbour. It could be used in a classroom project about family trees and even inspire children to learn how to cha-cha-cha!
Age Range: 3+
Author: Margaret Aitken / Illustrator: Lenny Wen
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