You Can’t Lend a Friend and Preston’s New Glove, both by Tim Whitney, have similar messages for kids that can be wrapped up by saying, “Quit worrying about what your peers think of you and be proud of who you are. THAT is what others will like about you!”
You Can’t Lend a Friend centers on a little mouse who is new in town. She hasn’t met many others her age and is afraid that she will be the only girl at school who does not have a lot of friends. As she takes on the task of organizing the children of the neighborhood into groups of friends by drawing their pictures, she finds that all of the other children are amazed by her talent for drawing and like her for who she is, not how many friends she has.
Preston, of Preston’s New Glove, is a young pack rat hoping for a new glove so that he doesn’t have to use his dad’s old glove for little league practice. His father makes a deal with him: If Preston will help his grandfather clean out the garage for a sale, Preston’s dad will buy him a new glove. Through out the process of cleaning the garage, Preston keeps his grandfather talking by asking about all of the objects he finds and what they were used for. He finds a Rock ’em Sock ’em punching robot game, an Atari, a Polaroid camera, records, and many other things that parents and grandparents will have fun talking to their little readers about (I know I did! “Did you have one of those, Mommy? Wow! Really?”). The story comes to its turning point when Preston discovers a box filled with pictures, trophies, and another old baseball glove and learns just how great a player his dad really was and why his old little league glove is so valuable.
Both You Can’t Lend a Friend and Preston’s New Glove are stories with lessons that are important to kids these days. Whitney does a great job relating to both boys and girls in their realms of peer pressure, but I would rate Preston’s New Glove as a bit more successful at telling at story instead of only making a point. I also appreciated that Preston’s New Glove ends by drawing a father and son closer together instead of only focusing peer relationships.
You Can’t Lend a Friend: 2/5
Preston’s New Glove: 3.5/5
Alyssa Katanic is a wife and homeschooling mother of 6 children under 10 years old. She loves reading and collecting great books to share with others and knows that one can never have too many!
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Tim Whitney. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.