OLD FRIENDS Featured On J Brianne Jahn’s Blog

I was thrilled that OLD FRIENDS was featured on J Brianne Jahn’s blog. Here is what she had to say about the book:

I love reading and writing reviews for debut authors. It’s exciting to come alongside them and gives me a little hope that one day I’ll be a debut picture book author as well! Until that day, I would love to introduce you to Margaret Aitken’s debut picture book OLD FRIENDS.

Our main character, Marjorie, she is as sweet as she is portrayed on the cover. You must meet her:

“Marjorie loved growing seeds into gardens, knitting cozy creations, and curling up in front of her favorite baking show.”

I already want to be her friend! Don’t you? Here is when the conflict comes in: Marjorie can’t seem to find anyone who loves the same things. Someone like her Granny. This is what makes this picture book so special. Through beautiful, simplistic writing we learn that Marjorie’s granny has passed away. Now, the book does not directly say this, nor is it the focus, but it sets up the story. Marjorie was best friends with Granny. Don’t we all have that one child who just connects with a grandparent? The child with the old soul? That’s Marjorie.

One day, Marjorie sees a sign at her community center advertising a “Senior Citizen Friends Group”. Perfect! Only, it’s not exactly what she thought it was, and the lady who works at the center points Marjorie towards the kids club.

The walk home and thoughts of Granny inspire Marjorie’s next steps.

“Marjorie knew just what to do. It was time for a cardigan camouflage!”

I mean, just read those last two words again, “cardigan camouflage”. First time ever reading those two words together and they are perfect!

I really don’t want to give away Marjorie’s entire plan because it’s so cute! You’ll just have to read the book because the illustrations ups the cuteness factor to the same level as a surprise puppy all wrapped up with a bow.

Now, everything seems like it’s going well. Everyone is having a grand ol’ time even when it’s time for cha-cha-cha, but as Marjorie gets “trapped in a tango tangle” (Aitken’s alliteration is so good!), her disguise slips right off!

“‘I’m sorry.’ Marjorie sniffed. ‘I just wanted to make new friends.’”

Well, of course, just like we have from the first page – the seniors love her! They’re so glad she joined their group and Aitken shows that they have learned from Marjorie and she has learned from them. Isn’t that what a relationship is as we love and serve each other?

The end wraps up just as sweetly as it began with Majorie as the youngest member of the Senior Citizen Friends Group. Hooray! Aitken gives us a wonderful surprise at the very end, and if you look close on page 6, you may love the character of Frank just as much as I do!