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Touring Book Club: The Girls #TouringPictureBook

Welcome back to the Touring Book Club! This month we have a very special picture book to share with you,  The Girls written by Lauren Ace, illustrated by Jenny Lovlie and published by Caterpillar Books. If this is your first visit, the Touring Book Club is a monthly collaboration between four UK based book bloggers, where we take a look at the same picture book and share our own ideas for going beyond the story.

This month inspired by The Girls we explore the meaning of friendship and share a few simple ideas to celebrate International Friendship Day.

About the book

The Girls celebrates the beauty, power and importance of female friendships. The story begins under an apple tree with four girls, Sasha, Lottie, Alice and Leela. We are told that the girls were "as different as they were the same, and they were best friends." As we turn the pages we see their friendship flourish, as the apple tree grows. When the girls have a falling out, we are shown the importance of forgiveness and saying sorry. They learn to celebrate each other's successes and how to support each other when things go wrong. The girls grow up, have their own adventures and become women but always remained rooted to each other and remain the best of friends despite their differences.

There are so many things that I love about this wonderful and heartfelt story. The diversity in the girls' characters, their cultures, interests, career choices, even sexuality is refreshing. Especially as the differences are for the most part only portrayed through the stunningly poignant illustrations and do not feel forced as in some books. The story itself is inspiring as it shows four women working hard to achieve their childhood dreams, whatever they may be. But most importantly The Girls demonstrates that things do not always go smoothly in life, there are ups and downs but with the right support we will get through the tough times. 

This is possibly my favourite picture book of the year so far, I certainly shed a tear or two when I first read it and I have already purchased several copies as a gifts!

Exploring the meaning of friendship 

International Friendship Day takes place a week today (30th July 2018) and as The Girls is an ideal book to explore the meaning of friendship with children, we thought we would do just that. Having read the story together with Mini Reviewer, Izzie (6), we went on to write lists of five things that are important to friendship. When we compared our lists, they were surprisingly similar! Izzie then created this friendship flower:

  • Team work
  • Care
  • Share
  • Love
  • Ask them things (and listen to them)

Celebrating Friendship Day

Next we thought about kind things we could do for our friends to show that we care about them. Izzie really enjoys making things and so she came up with some simple things she can create for her friends during the summer holidays:

1. Make friendship bracelets
2. Paint a rock and leave it for them to find
3. Write postcards
4. Make a bookmark
5. Make friendship sticks

She then went on to make a friendship stick for her close friend. I remember making these little sticks many, many years ago as a Brownie so I believe it is an idea that originated from the Girl Guides. We loosely followed these instructions. Izzie is going to drop this little package round to her friend later this week. She has included a book that she thinks he will enjoy!

"This little stick means friendship of a very special kind"

The Touring Book Club

We hope you enjoyed our post, if you do decide to mark International Friendship Day in any way, do let us know! Also don't forget to take a look at the other blog stops for the Touring Book Club and how The Girls has inspired them:

Mamma Filz - Picking Apples and Baking
Bookbairn - Planning the Perfect Playdate
Acorn Books - Positive Male Friendships in Children's Books

The Girls can be purchased via our Amazon Store here with lots of other books about friendship so why not take a look?

Until next time...  HAPPY READING!
Kate & the Mini Reviewers xx

Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of this book for review purposes from the Publisher. All opinions are, as always, our own. This post contains an Amazon Affiliate link you can find out more about affiliate links here.


  1. This looks like a beautiful, beautiful book. I absolutely love the friendship flower and thinking about the kind things that children can do for their friends. It's a lovely way to encourage children to think about what is important in a friendship :)


  2. Having four girls of my own this seem like the perfect book for my daughters to read! #readwithme

  3. What a shame that I missed Friendship Day. It sounds a lovely idea to celebrate your friendships. And the book sounds like it tackles some good themes #readwithme

  4. What great ideas for friendly fun! I love it! think we need to make a few gifts for folk!

  5. The friendship sticks are such a lovely idea, it sounds like Izzie is a very good friend to have. #Readwithme