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The world is a friendlier place for preschoolers, where every same aged peer is an instant friend simply by the virtue of being kids in a shared space. This youthful innocence and kind spirit is explored in one of Disney’s newest children’s books, The Friend Ship. So climb aboard and set sail for a heartwarming lesson in how easy it should be to make friends.

While alone in the woods, Hedgehog overhears some animals commenting on how lonely she seems and how she needs friendship. Envisioning an actual ship full of friends, Hedgehog decides that she must set sail and find this vessel, picking up some similarly interested animals along her journey. Until at last, she discovers that the “Friend Ship” is right where she is.

Kat Yeh tells this sweet and heartwarming story aimed at ages 3 to 5. Chuck Groenink’s illustrations are charming with a wonderfully earthy color scheme. The colors in particular will set this apart from most books in your children’s collection, which tend to favor bright primaries as opposed to these earth tones.

The classic Disneyland attraction “it’s a small world” features the lyric “A smile means friendship to everyone,” which kept repeating through my head as I read The Friend Ship, which made this book feel all the more at home with Disney. It’s full of charm and heart and may even be a source of comfort to kids who find it difficult to make friends. But hopefully they can take Hedgehog’s open spirit to heart to leave the door open, for friends are often found in unlikely places.

 
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.
 

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