Sewing a Friendship
Written and Illustrated by Natalie Tinti
Copyright © 2009
This past weekend I had the pleasure of participating in the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books held at UCLA. This particular event is awesome as an author to see the number of people all excited about books. It helps give me faith in the path I am pursuing in continuing to write and produce stories for readers. I love having the chance to talk with my target readers and find out some of their interests. One of the additional joys of participating in book festivals is the opportunity to meet other authors face to face and talk with them. I was delighted to meet Natalie Tinti in person at the festival. Ms. Tinti is a poised, professional, 10-year old, who has written and illustrated a book about friendship. She not only had books, but also had colorful illustrated posters from her book to help promote her product.
Sewing a Friendship starts with a picture of each of the characters in the book and character profile of each, answering the questions of birth date, age, family, eye color, hair color, favorite food, favorite color, and specialty. For the target age group Natalie is writing for, I found this to be a nice way to start the story. The reader then knows who the characters are that they will meet and have a visual they can refer to if they need to during the course of reading the book. As a young reader, I always loved character profiles, just a little snippet about the character outside of the actual text. Then I would compare throughout my reading experience to see if the author kept true to the profile, or whether I could spot any discrepancies.
The story starts with the wind blowing through town and checking on each of the main characters at each house along the way. Ms. Tinti has very unique character names. Along with the wind, you meet the four friends, Sokron Blossom, Nina Key, Meeka Venya, Jonsy Jipsy, and the outcast Kiki Shaver. In addition to the friends and Kiki, there is Sokron's grandma, Babushka and her dog, Dogon.
The four friends get together to have a beginning of summer sleep over. Then they find out about a fashion show and are excited to participate. However, Kiki Shaver threatens to stop their participation. The girls find because of the rules, they need Kiki and Kiki needs them and through working together they are able to become friends by seeing the value in each other. My favorite character is Dogon, as he snoops on the girls and helps to ensure the friendship is knit together.
The illustrations are delightful and highly colorful, and each chapter has a different border, which makes it a happy read. I look for a bright future for this young author and illustrator.
Natalie Tinti is an author here on AuthorsDen.
Originally reviewed for the LL Book Review