The picture book opens with a little boy sitting on a porch. He's just moved and he doesn't know anyone in the neighborhood. He yells out: "Friends! Friends!," hoping someone will apply for the position. Soon he has friends of all ages and descriptions. "Do you want a friend, too?" the author asks. "Do you want a friend who loves you? Do you want a friend who comforts you when you are sad or sick?" Who helps you be strong, who helps you know God, who makes you happy, who prays for you, who forgives you, who helps you do good?
"Maybe you have a lot of friends. But can any of them do ALL these things ALL the time? No. Jesus is the only friend who is everything we need. There is no friend like Jesus."The author then explains that Jesus died for our sins and that he is "the best friend of all."
What I Like: Every page describing Jesus includes a quote and reference from the Bible to back up the claim. Throughout, colorful illustrations by Gail Schoonmaker show people of many ethnicities and abilities. On the last page of the book, the sheet music to "One There is, Above All Others" (vocal line only) is printed.
What I Dislike: The author's offers next to no explanation about why Jesus died on the cross and what that means for each of us. Do You Want a Friend? does a good job of making the idea of knowing Jesus appealing, but you will need another book to help explain why we need Jesus.
Overall Rating: Good.
Age Appeal: 4 - 8
Publishing Info: Crossway, 2009; ISBN: 978-1433506215; hardback, $12.99.