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Book Jacket

32 pages
Apr 2009
Crossway Books

Do You Want a Friend?

by Noel Piper

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


An African American family moves into an ethnically mixed neighborhood. Their little boy sits on the door step, calling out “Friends!” Pretty soon he has many. From this simple beginning Do You Want A Friend? moves into the wonderful realities of having Jesus as a friend. With engaging full-page illustrations and apropos scripture verses, pre-school through early elementary age children are introduced to the One who loves, comforts, strengthens, accompanies, knows, prays, makes us happy, forgives, keeps us obedient, and protects us. Then, it simply and understandably tells about how the reader can find Jesus as a friend and Savior.

The illustrations in Do You Want A Friend? are full of motion, color, and feeling. The neighborhood into which our little protagonist moves makes a good example. Full of neighborliness, its two page spread depicts town houses, cars, shops, church, playground, and a rainbow of active people. A wide assortment of actions, prayer, play, shopping, as well as types of people, handicapped, old, young, happy, sad, are portrayed. With illustration and words integral parts of each other, the narrative engages the eye and mind. Important words are highlighted in varying colors. Closing with the words and music to John Newton’s hymn, One There Is, Above All Others, provides a satisfying bonus. The words are simple, easily learned, and tell about our Lord as personal friend to all who turn to Him. Do You Want A Friend? will find use at home, in the library, in church work with children, and for school. Little ones will love to hear it; adults will enjoy reading it out loud; and early readers will be proud when they read it to themselves. -- Donna Eggett,

Noel Piper has created a book that is not just scripturally correct but politically correct as well, in her children's picture book for 3- to 7-year-olds titled Do You Want a Friend? A little boy moves to a new neighborhood and seeks new friends. He discovers that friends can be his age, but they can also be much older. Friends can be male or female, able-bodied or physically challenged, tall or short. They can be of various nationalities, colors, and ethnic origins.

The most important lesson to learn, however, is that there is no greater friend in any circumstance than the Lord Jesus. If we try to be like Him, not only will be have more friends, but we will also be a better friend to others.

Each double set of pages teaches young readers the value of friendship. This is shown in bright colorful drawings by Gail Schoonmaker of friends loving each other, comforting each other, playing together, studying together, and sharing with one another. Each time a lesson about friendship is taught and is displayed with a drawing, it is supported by a passage from the Bible. For instance, one lesson is that a friend will forgive you when you do something wrong, and the passage cited is Ephesians 1:7, "In him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace."

The book concludes with the words and music of John Newton's hymn "One There Is, Above All Names." This is an attractive little book that is filled with practical advice and biblical wisdom. – Dr. Dennis E. Hensley,

Book Jacket:

A sweet story that helps children ages 3–7 recognize that potential friends are all around them, while reinforcing that Jesus is the best friend of all.

For any adult who ever wanted to introduce kids to the friendship of Jesus, Noël Piper’s sequel to Most of All, Jesus Loves You! is a wonderful choice.

The story begins with a little boy whose family has just moved to a new place. As he sits on his front steps calling out for friends, he is surrounded by a diversity of would-be friends—up and down the street, in windows, around corners; he just can’t see them yet. Before long, though, he finds them and they find him.

Then the story broadens: “Do you want a friend too?”—“a friend who… loves you? comforts you when you are sad or sick? helps you know God? makes you happy? forgives you when you do something wrong? will save you from danger?” Pointing to Jesus as the only one who cares for us in all these ways, all the time, this colorfully illustrated book helps three- to seven-year-olds recognize Jesus as the best friend of all.