HMH Books for Young Readers
978-0-358-07428-1 board book
978-0-544-81012-9 paperback

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True Stories of Extraordinary Animal Friendships

What makes a camel friends with a Vietnamese pig? Or a wild polar bear with a sled dog? In a young preschool book, Catherine Thimmesh makes us wonder at the truth and mystery of unlikely animal friendships. Because the stories behind these friendships are true, not contrived, they not only give readers insight into animals, but challenge preconceived notions about compatability. Without becoming didactic or laden with message, this book expresses tolerance of differences and makes us look the kindness of animals—and humans—a little differently. 

Because they were there at just the right time, photographers in Siberia, India, Africa, the U.S., China, England, Germany and Japan were able to capture the truth and mystery of these existing friendships.

Awards and Recognition

2011 Summer IndieNext List
NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book
California Reading Association’s Eureka! Nonfiction Children’s Book Award
Chicago Public Library’s 2012 Best of the Best
Minnesota Book Award finalist
Selected for inclusion in Amazon’s Prime Book Box

Friends board book
two-page spread from the Friends board book, copyright © Catherine Thimmesh, published by HMH Books for Children
two-page spread from the Friends picture book, copyright © Catherine Thimmesh, published by HMH Books for Children


“Thimmesh uses a simple rhyming text and stellar color photos to celebrate unusual friendships…The photos radiate trust and warmth, and the text is soothing and reassuring.” (School Library Journal)

“Thimmesh hops on the cuteness bandwagon with this collection of 13 animal duos who met by chance and, for a time at least, showed mutual curiosity and affection.” (Booklist)