We've probably all had a "My Friend Rabbit" in our lives! I love that this book looks into the aspects of relationships we may overlook. Rabbit's "helping nature" doesn't always work out for Mouse's best interests.
Friendship goes beyond what we "get" out of it though. Kids need to learn that to have a friend, you must first be a friend. Friends don't have to look like us or even act like us. Differences in friends can build patience, consideration and understanding - all needed qualities for any relationship.
My friend Rabbit means well.
But whatever he does,
wherever he goes,
Mouse displays patience and true friendship. His friend rabbit means well, but they usually get Mouse into trouble somehow. Told from the first person point of view from Mouse, this short, simple tale will have preschoolers and older kids laughing out loud! It will also help them see their own friendships from another point of view...and hopefully help develop understanding of and for others as well as themselves better.
My Friend Rabbit offers readers a great opportunity for predicting what's about to happen. Pause as you read and allow your listeners to take in all that takes place in the illustrations.
Ask questions like -
Take time to discuss friendships and the emotions we may have when dealing with others. How can we handle our frustrations or disappointments in a way that will help our friendships grow and develop?
Two really special friends in the Bible were David and Jonathan. They were different, but God used their friendship of them working together to move David towards taking his position of King of Israel. Led by God, Samuel had already anointed David as the future king.
Their story is found in 1 Samual 18. Jonathan was actually the king's son and in line to take over his father's place, but instead he helped David by protecting him from being killed and also gave David items that were his own as the king's son.
God brings a variety of people into our lives. Some of these may at first seem like unlikely friends, but help us grow and become who God created us to be.
Of course the greatest friend we can have is Jesus! In John 15:15 Jesus says:
"I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you."
Have fun working together to create unique paper airplanes. Talk about how each one came out different; friends can also be very different, but differences are not bad!
My Friend Rabbit has even been extended into a cute video series. The theme song would be a fun one to learn as a reminder that friends can work together to achieve goals!
Rabbit thought he could stack the animals in a tower to reach the airplane. Use blocks, books, or a variety of items to see who can stack them the highest before they fall.
Or you can always play a balancing game like Jenga or Suspend! Take time to talk about ways friends work together and how our differences can "balance" our friendships.