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Children's Fiction Friendship

Ways to Make Friends

by (author) Jairo Buitrago

illustrated by Mariana Ruiz Johnson

Greystone Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Aug 2022
Friendship, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, New Experience
Recommended Age
4 to 7
Recommended Grade
k to 2
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2022
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


This “sublime picture book” (Kirkus STARRED Review) offers a hilarious and insightful guide to making new friends at your own pace. For kids aged 4 to 7, Ways to Make Friends will bolster compassion and make kids laugh on their way back to school.

What’s the best way to make friends? Toad has the most magnificent ideas! Sometimes they don’t go according to plan… but that’s okay. Eventually Toad tires of making new friends, but comes to a marvelous conclusion: sometimes being with yourself is a good way to pass the time too.

A hilarious and heartfelt read for kids who are starting school or experiencing other unfamiliar social situations, Ways to Make Friends will give them the courage to stand on their own—and maybe try one of Toad’s unconventional methods to make a friend for themselves.

About the authors

JAIRO BUITRAGO is a children's book author who has collaborated with Rafael Yockteng on several picture books, including Jimmy the Greatest! (six starred reviews), Two White Rabbits (three starred reviews), Walk with Me (three starred reviews, Kirkus Prize shortlist), Lion and Mouse (two starred reviews) and most recently, Cave Paintings. They won the "A la Orilla del Viento" contest for the Spanish edition of Walk with Me, which was also named to IBBY's Honor List. Their books have also appeared on "Los mejores libros del año" (Venezuela's Banco del Libro), Kirkus Best Books, the Horn Book Fanfare and in the White Ravens Catalogue. Jairo has also won the Hispanoamericano Castillo prize for children's literature and the Antonio García Cubas Award. He lives in Mexico City.


Jairo Buitrago's profile page

Mariana Ruiz Johnson's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Every creatively interpreted spread... is chock-full of friendly-looking, personality-filled creatures of many different species—potential pals, all. And introverts, rejoice. The best and most self-empowering advice for those who find themselves depleted after a long day of socializing appears at the end: But if by late afternoon you get tired of making friends, just be by yourself and forget everything that this book has told you."
Horn Book Review

“This sublime picture book offers gentle guidance to all readers, from reluctant youngsters in prickly social situations to more experienced friendship seekers needing a refresher. Peppered among moments of pure hilarity and suggested creative outlets are nuggets of encouragement meant to bolster compassion.”
—STARRED Kirkus Review

"This whimsical playbook for making friends explores a universal theme in a humorous and appealing way.”

“Certain to spark ­lively debate at story hours."
School Library Journal

"The art reminds me of the friendly animal world of Richard Scarry….A fun and silly way to think about friendship and self sufficiency for the very young."
Youth Services Book Review

"Sweet and funny with helpful but quirky advice, you will love this book's gentle message about kindness toward others as well as learning how to be your own best friend….I adore this book!”
Imagination Soup

"First grade books about friendship are essential for starting the school year. Toad has lots of quirky ideas for making friends that are great for class discussion. We appreciate that this book also acknowledges that working on making friends can be tiring sometimes; time alone can feel good too."
We Are Teachers

Praise for The Lion and the Mouse written by Jairo Buitrago, illustrated by Rafael Yockteng

"An intelligent glimpse at how a friendship between unlikely candidates might be possible. A stellar addition for all collections."
School Library Journal, STARRED Review

"Jairo Buitrago's retelling of the classic fable "The Lion and the Mouse" is likely to have early readers giggling with glee… . The entertaining text and superb illustrations combine to spark new life in this old tale of kindness, compassion and friendship."
Shelf Awareness, STARRED Review

"A grand, morally opulent retelling with a message for our age."
Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Two White Rabbits by Jairo Buitrago, illustrated by Rafael Yockteng

A Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of the Year
A School Library Journal Best Picture Book of the Year
A USBBY Outstanding International Book

"'s a masterpiece of understatement. In leaving readers with much to wonder about, the book packs the most powerful of punches."
Kirkus Reviews, STARRED review

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