Book Review: Meet My Best Friend by Shelia Walsh, Sarah Horne

Meet My Best Friend is a picturebook written by Shelia Walsh and illustrated Sarah Horne. The McDougal twins are excited to meet their new neighbor, Abby, who has just moved in next door. Poor Abby is sad that she had to leave her friends behind when she moved. To cheer her up, the twins lead Abby on a crazy hunt to meet their best friend, one that can go anywhere they go. But first Abby has to find it!

Meet My Best Friend starts off fairly well, with Abby trying to find her place in a new home and dealing with leaving behind her friends and everything familiar. The McDougal twins want to help her, and want to be friends. So far so good, with decent illustrations that are reminiscent of Dr. Suess and text. I like the idea so far, and it seems like it is going to be a sweet book. Then the twins take Abby on a wild game of hide and seek in search of their best friend. I like that they want to play with Abby and become her friend. That is good. Then the twins announce that their best friend is the bible. Silly me, I was expecting a pet or maybe even a tree or other more earthly answer. The bible is a book, an object. while I have loved and appreciated books, and escaped into them when the world is less than hospitable, it is not a friend. I would have had less of an issue if they had claimed God, Jesus, or any other religious figure rather than the bible. It just rubbed me the wrong way on several levels.

I was not paying attention when requesting the book, because I normally do not read religious fiction. Totally my fault for not looking, but I tend to get easily annoyed at books that push an agenda, any agenda, even one I might personally agree with. I am a practicing christian, but often find religious fiction to be too heavy handed to be realistic or enjoyable to read. This happened as soon as the twins announce that the bible is their best friend. I think this might be a good read in a Sunday School setting, or in a very religious household. I just found it over the top and a little unrealistic. For those that are looking for this style of book, I have discovered that this in the first in a series titled, The Bible Is My Best Friend.
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