Friends Come in All Sizes by Raven Howell is a colorfully illustrated and imaginative children’s book that celebrates friendship and adventure. Lonely kiddo wants to make friends and considers animals that can likely become his friend: “I'd like to have a little gnat, / but dad says gnats are tiny.” He can't pad a teeny gnat and some of them are whiny. An elephant with a large, gray trumpet trunk wouldn't do as mom won't have it in their home. A polar bear won't be an option, either. From the gnat to the porcupine, he doesn’t see any animal that can make for great friendship as each has a quality that disqualifies it. Everything changes when he meets Florenzo, a neighbor and a child who enjoys adventure, exploring things, and the neighborhood. As they set out to look for pirates in the park and imagine bird eggs hatching a dinosaur, they encounter another kid who shares in their friendship.
This is a beautifully written book that will delight children. The loneliness of the child is immediately registered in the opening verses as he desperately imagines what it would be like to make friends with different types of animals. Young readers will enjoy the imagination of the characters and their sense of adventure. Raven Howell’s book is colorfully illustrated and it is most suitable for young readers who enjoy verses. Themes of friendship, family, and adventure are cleverly written into the story and the transition from loneliness to friendship happens abruptly; however, the book is designed to explore the aching need for friendship and companionship in young readers and the world of the characters is stunningly imagined and masterfully illustrated. Friends Come in All Sizes is a highly recommended book for young readers. While these readers will appreciate the beauty of the friendship captured in this book, they will also enjoy thinking about different animals and their traits.