Optimism Pays! You Will Be My Friend! by Peter Brown
LUCY WAS VERY EXCITED THE MINUTE SHE WOKE UP.
"MOM! I'VE DECIDED I'M GOING TO MAKE A NEW FRIEND TODAY! ISN'T IT EXCITING?"
Mom tries to suggest that this idea might do with a bit of pre-planning, but the ebullient Lucy can't wait to get into her trademark tutu and start looking for fun critters to befriend.
Enthusiasm and self-confidence definitely aren't Lucy's problem. But she comes on too strong when she meets up with a pleasant-looking frog beside his pond.
"WE'RE GOING TO DO CARTWHEELS AND CLIMB TREES AND HAVE PICNICS!" SHE GUSHES.
And just in case the frog isn't into those activities, Lucy decides to prove that she can enjoy his agenda, too, and with a loud "WOOHOO! jumps into the pool.
The resulting splash empties the pool and ends the nascent friendship before it begins, but Lucy is undeterred. She climbs a tree to befriend the top-grazing giraffe, and interrupts her breakfast. She invites herself to a tete-a-tete with some bees and unfortunately snacks on their honey-filled house, prompting a fast farewell to those potential friends.
In rapid order Lucy strikes out with a beaver, some fish, and commits the ultimate faux pas when she asks an ostrich how it feels to fly. Her only chance for playmates comes with some human toddlers, but they exuberantly make her their toy, as Lucy gets a taste of her own medicine.
But from that encounter, Lucy begins to get the message that coming on too strong is not the way to make a friend, and she lets a lonely flamingo approach her with a friendly overture and finally finds a friend at last.
Last seen in Peter Brown's recent hit, Children Make Terrible Pets, (see my recent review here) the gung ho Lucy learns another lesson about looking before she leaps in YOU WILL BE MY FRIEND! (Little Brown, 2011), filled with Brown's inimitable mixed media art and punctuated piquantly with speech balloons and wry facial expressions that make the over-the-top Lucy lovably irresistible.