akibird

A Blog of Children's Literature

Fred Stays with Me February 13, 2011

Fred Stays With Me!Fred Stays With Me! by Nancy Coffelt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fred Stays with Me! by Nancy Coffelt and illustrated by Trica Tusa (2007)

Picture Book, 32 pages

Living at each parent’s respective home, the protagonist in Fred Stays with Me! gets picked up and dropped off between divorced parents. Her adjustment to the lifestyle and separation seems to be going well because of Fred, her constant dog companion who shares her travels, while creating a disaster in his wake at both parents’ homes. As parents fight over who has to take Fred, the main character confidently interrupts her parents to remind them, “Excuse me! Fred stays with ME!” This book can work as an aid for children with newly separated parents but is also a reminder for parents, reinforcing consistency during this often difficult change in a child’s life. In a book more about regularity and companionship, Coffelt introduces another type of family in a matter-of-fact manner, while Tusa uses warm colors and welcoming illustrations to help young readers adjust to the concept. With its design and careful wording, Fred Stays with Me! would be a great book to share with a group.

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