New Friends is the first book of the Life in the Neck series of children’s books by award-winner Diane Davies. Davies is the lovely grandmother that tells the stories of the idyllic spot of nature she lives in: the Neck. As the foundation of the series, New Friends sets the path and tone for the tender adventures that follow.
As the title suggests, this tale is about a little newborn fawn called Delaney meeting the other inhabitants of the peaceful woods. She and her Mother Deer discover good, real friends for Delaney: the superfast cottontail rabbit Rocket and the zealous soon-to-be father, Cardinal Red. They play together and share experiences – and dangers. The presence of a natural predator, Old Coyote, makes everyone run for their lives.
When a more significant threat reaches the Neck – a fire caused by a lit cigarette – the animals use their friendship, trust, and compassion to help each other get to safety. That includes Old Coyote, who could have taken advantage of the chaotic
situation to fill his belly.
However, he ends up valuing Delaney’s life more than his own hunger so that they can both survive. An excellent message for child readers!
And while the book is indeed full of great lessons, that isn’t the only gem we can find when reading it. Davies partners up with prolific illustrator Margarita Sikorskaia to deliver a book that not only feels like those of our own childhood but also looks magnificently similar to the classics of the past. New Friends: Life in the Neck is a safe read for kids of all ages, who will be able to feel the magic of a pure, innocent tale such as those of times past. It’s an especially great gift for kids aged 5 to 7.
– The Moving Words Review
Official Entry, The Most Moving Book Award, Jan. 2, 2023
Like? Share it with your friends