Quill and Quire


« Back to
Book Reviews

Friends Are Friends, Forever

by Dane Liu and Lynn Scurfield; ill.

The cover of Friends and Friends, Forever by Dane Liu and Lynn Scurfield, ill.

From Andrea Wang and Jason Chin’s Watercress to Thao Lam’s The Paper Boat to Chris Naylor-Ballesteros’s The Suitcase, explorations of the immigrant experience with messages about sharing kindness and the importance of love have found their way into the hearts of even more readers. Friends Are Friends, Forever, the debut picture book by author Dane Liu with illustrations by Lynn Scurfield, is a beautiful addition to this form of storytelling.

Based on the author’s childhood experience of immigrating to a new country, Friends Are Friends, Forever takes readers on an engaging and reflective journey through the heartache of moving, the pleasure found in familiar traditions, and the comfort gained in friendship. As the book begins, readers are introduced to Dandan, the story’s young narrator, and her best friend Yueyue as they prepare for Lunar New Year celebrations with Dandan’s family. Amid the delicious food and joyous festivities, however, there is sadness: Dandan and her parents will soon be moving far away to another country.

On Lunar New Year’s Eve, Yueyue and Dandan make the most of their time together by preparing red paper cut-outs to freeze and then drape as sparkling snowflake decorations. After a close hug and a promise of forever friendship, Dandan experiences a bout of melancholy in her new home. She finds that her new life in North America lacks the warmth of her previous one and feels at odds with her classmates, who display unwelcoming behaviour regarding her heritage. The kind, warm face of a girl named Christina – who embraces Dandan and partakes in some of her favourite traditions, such as paper cutting – slowly helps turn things around.

The balance of Liu’s elegant, heartfelt prose and Scurfield’s buoyant and rich pencil, ink, and collage artwork makes for a multi-layered, emotional, and compelling story. Friends Are Friends, Forever also includes an author note about Lunar New Year, paper cutting, and how to make paper snowflakes just like Dandan and her friends.


Reviewer: Michelle Callaghan

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company


Price: $25.99

Page Count: 40 pp

Format: Cloth

ISBN: 978-1-25077-818-5

Released: Dec.

Issue Date: January 2022

Categories: Children and YA Fiction, Kids’ Books

Age Range: 4–8