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Two Lions/Amazon, June 4, 2024

Illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff

ISBN-10: 1662516169

ISBN-13: 978-1662516160

A touching story of true friendship and the power of forgiveness.

Best friends and neighbors Anthony and Julian are having the summer of their lives. Making pancakes, riding bikes to the beach, playing in the sand and surf…They have everything they need for an epic summer vacation. But Anthony is worried. He has a secret―a secret about Julian’s missing marble. And he knows that once Julian finds out about it, he’ll be mad. He may not even want to be Anthony’s best friend anymore. So Anthony is determined to have the best last day as Julian’s best friend…until he can’t hold in his secret any longer. But maybe Julian has a surprise of his own to share with Anthony.

Review on Vivian Kirkfield’s Perfect Picture Book Friday

Review on Publisher’s Weekly

Review on Kirkus: “A touching exploration of the complicated dynamics of friendship.

Review on Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books:  “In the end, Julian’s response shows readers that honesty and forgiveness are crucial components of true friendship at any stage of life.”

Recently on Goodreads: “A story of friendship and forgiveness, The Last Day Julian Was My Best Friend is such a great example of what it means to value others and have show compassion. We all make mistakes and do things we regret but true friends see our value and love us beyond those mistakes.” -Sara R.

“As a teacher of young children, I’m always looking for books like this to share at storytimes. Social situations can be tricky for young kids to manage, and books that touch on topics like friendship, forgiveness, and the importance of being honest are great conversation-starters.

In this story, we have two boys who are best friends. They have wonderful summer days together, riding bikes, making pancakes, and playing at the beach. But one of them is worried that something he has done will end the friendship.

Jody Jensen Shaffer tells this story in a way that children will relate to. And the illustrations by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff are beautiful. Together, they bring readers into this perfect summer day in a way that shows what is at stake if this friendship is lost. The story’s resolution is kid-friendly and has lots of heart.” -Sheri D.

“This book is SO cute for kids and filled with important lessons! The artwork is sensational and captured my eyes and heart immediately. And the story centered around what being a best friend means, making mistakes, apologizing, with emphasis on the power of forgiveness! The best part is that I loved it, my niece loved it long enough to sit still the whole time and pay close attention to details of the illustrations *and* the story, and even my mom and grandma listened and agreed, saying how cute and great this book was! Overall, I rate this book: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟/5 (5/5) Stars!🤩” -Tee Hee Tara

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