Friday, July 8, 2011

Friendship


Do You Want to Be My Friend? which was published forty years ago in 1971 is my favorite book. It has only eight words. But it's not a simple book. It's a guessing game: what animal is attached to each tail? And a mystery: why is there a green border on the bottom of every page? And it is a story about friendship. Friendship is very important to children, adults sometimes forget that.


When I was six years old my parents and I moved from Syracuse NY, where I was born, to Germany. Almost daily, I would ask them "When are we going home?"


Soon after our move to Germany, I received a letter from my friend Carlton Mayer in Syracuse. "Dear Eric," he wrote. "I would licke to see you so bad wen are you koming back again?" Twenty years later, I arrived at his doorstep and he recognized me. "You're Eric!" he said. I still have his precious letter and in my heart Do You Want to Be My Friend? is for Carlton.

15 comments:

Jara said...

That is a precious story! There is nothing like a great friend!!!!

Kristy said...

Thank you for sharing that most touching story! How wonderful! :) I too remember having a beloved friend move far away and the continued hope of maybe seeing her again some day. Maybe still...

@jeannezoo said...

wonderful book and wonderful true story of your childhood friendship. thanks for the post AND thanks for all your incredible books that are like friends to us all :)

Charlene said...

A big "Thank you" for sharing (from Germany) :-)

Laura Zarrin said...

I love this story! Thanks for sharing!

Le Bec said...

OH! That is so sweet!

Mary said...

I loved hearing this story. A big thanks for all your wonderful books! Your art has inspired many projects in my children's art classes. They are always favorites!

ANGELA COX said...

Hiya Eric, I love your Hungry Caterpillar Book, I have done ever since I was a little girl:) great illustration technique. I use coloured pencils and black ink in my work. I have written and illustrated a children's picture book called 'Tess the Slinky Glamour Puss' inspired by my beautiful cat Tess :)I am now working on my second book called 'The Pink Cow' I invite you to visit my website Eric :) Take care, Angie (Leeds,England,UK) www.cartoonpostcarddesigns.webeden.co.uk

aloi said...

what a beautiful story! thank you for sharing.

who are you in the photo (l or r?)? and i love the fact you were able to save carlton's letter :)

guiltlessreading.blogspot.com

quiltmom said...

What a great story Eric- friendship is very important to all of us all through our lives.
I have this book and use it every year around February when I do a friendship theme.
Thanks for sharing your lovely story of Carlton.
Regards,
Anna

Shelley said...

Love that! Having had the same best friend since third grade, and now turning 40 together this year, I have a special place in my heart for little "best friends" in my classroom. My special link to this book is that my husband is the one who gave it to me...my true best friend.
Thanks for sharing, both your talent and your stories.

Brenda H said...

I have enjoyed sharing that book with my students for many years. It is even more special now that I know the story behind it. Thank you for providing literature my students always love!

belleandboo said...

well that just brought a tear to my eye.

Shazzer said...

That was heartbreaking and beautiful. I have never forgotten your wonderful illustrations since seeing them in "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See" as a child. Thank you for sharing. :-)

cloud9design said...

what a touching story...that's exactly what art is. we are telling a story. through words, through imagery. just lovely, and i love that you saved your friend's letter.

i feel blessed to have found your blog after looking you up online.

~Amber