The Friendship Surprise

The Friendship Surprise
Co-Authors / Illustrators
  • Paolo Proietti
Publisher Name
Red Comet Press
Age Range
Release Date
March 29, 2022
It is spring and Little Red fox is excited to be reunited with his best friend, Hazel, a dormouse who will shortly wake from a long sleep. But over the winter, the fox has made another friend, Brock the badger. Little Red decides revealing the new friendship is not the surprise Hazel will want to wake to, so he delays bringing it up as they resume their games. Bu the fox needs to find a way to introduce the friends while maintaining the special friendship with Hazel he holds so dear. Eventually the dilemma is resolved, but not without a surprise or two along the way. This book continues the friendship story told in the companion title Before We Sleep, also by Volpe and Proietti, although it may be read and appreciated completely on its own. 

Editor review

1 review
sweet story of friendship
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
THE FRIENDSHIP SURPRISE is a sweet picture book read about evolving friendships and finding room in your heart for more friends. Little Red loves spring when his friend Hazel awakes from hibernation. This year, he is excited to see her, but he has a new friend, Brock, and he is nervous about telling Hazel about Brock. Little Red delays telling Hazel about Brock, but she can tell that something is different. When she finally learns what has made him nervous, she reassures them that they can all be friends. As they meet, they find that they all have great fun together.

What I loved: This is a really charming story about friends and the way that our worlds can expand to fit many friends. The story speaks to the worries of worlds coming together and keeping secrets. Little Red learns that honesty is best and that things will work out when sharing. The illustrations are gorgeous and feature the lovely animals throughout. The animals manage to be quite expressive and their friendship comes to life through the beautiful imagery.

Of note, this is an extension of the prior story, BEFORE WE SLEEP, and children will love revisiting these friends, their worries, and this lovely world in this new book. The amount of words per images will work well for preschoolers and older picture book readers, who will also appreciate the pictures and details.

Final verdict: THE FRIENDSHIP SURPRISE is a beautifully illustrated story about friendship, secrets, and worries that will resonate with young readers.
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