The Word For Friend | Book Review

“The Word For Friend is a heartwarming story of the most universal language of all: friendship. The must read story with a wealth of interesting information, language and heart.” – Momma Braga


Kemala the pangolin is sure she’s going to make friends at her new school in her new country. After all, Kemala loves to talk. The kids at school like talking, too –but their words are all different. This country speaks a language Kemala doesn’t know.

At first, no one understands Kemala either. This realization makes her curl into a little ball, like most pangolins do when they’re nervous. But a classmate helps draw her out with an art project that doubles as a vocabulary exchange. Soon, Kemala is learning the most universal language of all: friendship.


The Word For Friend is such a beautiful story for children. The illustrations and story is absolutely captivating. Such an important message to convey to children on the importance of kindness and there are many ways to communicate without speaking.

The use of art as a way to connect and express was beautifully written. We loved how the book introduced readers to a new language; Esperanto. We truly enjoyed learning about this language that was created in 1887 by L. L. Zamenhof to provide the world with an easy-to-learn common language. There is more interesting info included at the back of the book and you even get some translated sentences. Happy Learning! 🙂

We also loved learning about Pangolins who are so adorable and unfortunately they are also threatened with extinction. 🙁 They are the only mammals covered in scales – how cool is that! You can’t help but fall in love with Pangolins with the main character, Kemala.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this book 10 hearts out of 5! I personally connected with this story as it reminded me of my first day of Kindergarten. I remember being terrified of school as everyone around me spoke a different language than me as the only one that I knew was Portuguese. Even though I was born in Toronto, Canada, my parents only spoke Portuguese with me. Therefore, the first day was a scary one. But the power of play helped me make many friends and eventually as the year progressed we all knew how to communicate with one another. The power of friendship and kindness is remarkable. This will be one of my favorite books as it allowed me to go back down memory lane.

“I loved how the animals can play together even if they don’t speak the same language. It is important to always be kind even if someone can’t speak like you. We can all be friends together.” – Nikki, Age 5

If you would like to purchase a copy of this book, click here.

About the Author/Illustrator

Aidan Cassie is the picture book author and illustrator of Sterling, Best Dog Ever and Little Juniper Makes it Big!. She attended the Emily Carr University of Art and Design and Edinburgh College of Art, where she studied animation and earned a Media Arts degree. She lives on a small artist-covered island in the Salish Sea of British Columbia.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

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