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          The Girls by Lauren Ace and Jenny Lovelie
I bought this for my six year old's birthday and it's been a real hit. I think I spied it on Twitter and thought it looked just the sort of thing she would like. Particularly since the requested theme for her birthday party was 'friendship'. Unfortunately I didn't quite manage to deliver on that and just hired an entertainer and booked a hall - her friends were all there though! Just think of the instagramable/pinterest moments I could have captured if I'd properly gone to town on the friendship theme though. Hey ho - time is precious and crammed full of people needing attention so that didn't come to fruition.
Anyway, I've totally digressed from the subject in hand...
The Girls is a wonderful depiction of friendship starting from a young age and going through to adulthood. There isn't a narrative as such but it's captivating reading through and seeing the characters grow and change and the main message is that through it all they stick together and are there for one another. It also shows how everyone is different and has many strengths and that we can all be good at different things and support each other when times are good and bad. This book in particular is lovely because it shows how valuable and deep friendship can be if you nurture it and keep it going. 

I particularly like this book for my six year old who's just gone into Year 1 since I feel that she's at precisely the age where they really start to work out relationships with friends and it can be a huge struggle. It targets the issue is a very soft and likeable way.

The hardback format is very nice, cloth effect and feels very gifty. I love the illustrations too, the colours are slightly muted and I think the palette really works in this context. There is loads of detail to spot and talk about in the illustrations, in particular as the girls grow up and other people are added to their lives. Gorgeous!

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