By: Sapana Grossi
Illustrated by: Igor Kovyar
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group
Publication Date: October 2, 2023
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: October 26. 2023
An amazing adventure with gorgeous illustrations that follow a boy in search of his best friend (and stuffie), awaits young readers when they delve into the pages of The NeverEnd Friend.
Achille is a young boy who is deeply attached to his stuffed teddy, Benji. Together they have fought dragons, explored the vast seas of the world, and even slept on the moon. They are inseparable, and Achille expects to have many more grand adventures with Benji. That is until one night, when his parents called out to their child, letting him know that it was bedtime. Achille was ready for bed...but he couldn’t find Benji. There was no way that Achille could go to bed without his best friend.
Achille searched everywhere for Benji, but the stuffie was not in any of the usual places – not below deck, not in the den, or even in their favorite crater. The frustrated boy plopped down on his bed, wondering what to do. And soon, he drifted off to magical places...
The young boy floated past the garden and his sandbox, and then found himself being scooped up by the front bucket of a huge bulldozer. He was brought to the base of a mountain where he met...Claire, his guardian angel. Achille asked Claire if she knew where Benji was, and the answer surprised him – Benji was at the top of Mount NeverEnd, that big, big mountain that was right in front of Achille.
A great adventure awaits Achille upon that mountain, but once he finds Benji, Achille will have to make a monumental decision. Benji, it seems, has found his family, and wants to stay with them. But Achille needs his best friend – he really wants his stuffie to return home with him. What will Achille do?
When I received The NeverEnd Friend to read and review, I was immediately taken by the absolutely gorgeous illustrations. Every page, with brilliant artwork, brings the story to life. But illustrations alone don’t tell the tale of Achille and Benji – the creative and unique story of a boy looking for his best friend will keep youngsters captivated. When Benji and Achille are reunited, the joy they share is palpable, and I suspect more than one young reader will clap with delight. But then, the decision that Achille is faced with when he learns that Benji wants to stay with his family will likely pull at the heartstrings. The entire adventure imparts important lessons about family, love, and making difficult decisions that will help others. At the back of the book is an author's note that includes several pages explaining the use of names, places, and things incorporated into the story. It adds a nice touch to an already outstanding book.
Quill says: The NeverEnd Friend is a beautiful story about friendships, adventure, and most importantly, being selfless and willing to do what is needed to help one’s friends.
For more information on The NeverEnd Friend, please visit the author's website at: sapanagrossibooks.com/