Books · Kids

Book Review: We All Need Friends By Dawn-Maria France

I recently posted a review of  The Naughtiest Girl In The World By Dawn-Maria France which I had been sharing with my son Leo and I was thrilled when we recently received the second book in the Jenny and Phillip series to read. This follow up story again features independent and self-assured Jenny and her magical cat Phillip, but also introduces two new characters. Author Dawn-Maria France has deliberately taken the opportunity to include some diversity to her series with the introduction of both a male and a BAME character which she hopes offers a realistic reflection of modern Britain. 

Despite her promises at the end of the last book it’s immediately evident from the first page that headstrong Jenny still has the tendency to be a little bit naughty at times! This story sees a new neighbour moving in next door to Jenny whom she immediately forms a special bond with becoming firm friends. That is until Jenny’s new friend George has a visitor that wants to join the gang. Immediately put out that cousin Jessica appears to have taken her place, Jenny gets very cross and is extremely mean to George, leaving him in tears.  

Hearing what has happened Jenny’s Aunt and Uncle send her to her familiar haunt, the naughty step, to think about what she has done. Step in magic cat Phillip to help Jenny see the error of her ways and the impact her behaviour has had on her friend and before long she knows what she has to do to make things right. 

This book offers another beautifully written reflective story to help guide children through a realistic situation they may encounter. It’s a great way to show children how they should react in the same situation despite how they may feel and by reading this book will help open the lines of communication between child and carer regarding feelings and friendships. The message in both of the books in the Jenny and Phillip series is one of inclusion and empathy for others which are both extremely important life lessons for children to learn from a young age.  

We really enjoyed sharing this book and have found it particularly helpful for us as Leo often finds ‘three’s a crowd’ when it comes to playtime at school, so this book enabled us to have a chat about his own situation. Like the first book Jacqueline Tee has provided the illustrations which are bight, colourful and engaging, helping bring the story to life. I love the fact that Jenny isn’t ‘perfect’ and represents a realistic representation of how children can be – let’s face it they all have that ‘naughty’ streak! I hope there will be more releases in this series focusing on different messages as we have found them really beneficial to prompt discussion and learning. 

About The Author

Dawn-Maria France is an accomplished, award-winning journalist, Broadcaster and travel writer who is passionate about children’s rights, women’s rights , equality and diversity. Dawn-Maria is the Editor-In-Chief of news-based women’s news magazine Yorkshire Women’s Life.

She is a broadcasting veteran with experience on BBC TV, Sky and on radio. Prior to studying journalism, Dawn-Maria was a youth worker in Yorkshire.

The Adventures Of Jenny and Phillip: We All Need Friends is available to purchase from Amazon*

*This post contains affiliate links

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