Meesha makes friends by Tom Percival
Big Bright Feelings. Bloomsbury, 2020. ISBN: 9781526612953.
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Meesha a shy girl who loves making pictures from scrap materials, numbers and sounds, cannot make friends. Other children are loud and boisterous and do not like the things she likes, so she avoids them. One day her parents go to a party taking her along. She is worried but takes the friends she has made with her. These friends, made from paper, cardboard, and scrap materials are not loud or boisterous but sit in her carry bag just waiting for her to take them out. At the party the other children are noisy and chaotic, ignoring the little girl with the carry bag. Meesha withdraws to a safe place under the stairs and takes out her friends to play. A boy named Josh comes long and asks if he can play too. She is unsure but allows him to play with her friends. He is impressed with Meesha's handmade toys and makes some too, suggesting that they show the others. Meesha is unsure, but it all works out well in the end and she has a bevy of new friends all of whom try out their new skills making the toys.
This charming tale of being yourself will appeal to younger readers who can recognise their own fears and concerns through Meesha. They will understand what it means to be alone in a group, to have no friends, to feel unsure of yourself when in a new situation, of being a little reticent when others offer friendship. All of these concerns will have resonance with younger readers as they navigate the world in which they live, where friendship is important to your self esteem and being part of a group offers security. The fourth in a series of books about anxious moments in a child's life, these provide a great starting point for discussion amongst students at home, in the classroom or library. The other three, Perfectly Norman, Ruby's worry and Ravi's roar are part of a series called, Big Bright Feelings, and support mental and emotional health issues amongst children.
Themes; Emotional health, Mental health, Self esteem, Confidence.