Salina Yoon’s recent book praises individuality and speaks about emotional intelligence and friendship

Salina Yoon, Be a Friend

Published 2016 by Bloomsbury, 40p


There is a certain skillfulness and agility that children prove when adapting and connecting to the world but the sense of belonging and the need of building unique personalities develop in time along with effort.

Salina Yoon moved from Korea to America when she was a child; having experienced herself the effort of understanding the unfamiliar and longing for friendship in her new universe she used her own background to write a warm and tender story about expressing emotions and creating connections.

DENNIS  was an ordinary boy who expressed himself in EXTRAORDINARY ways.


As he only wore the classic black and white striped outfit, stage make-up and didn’t speak a word but only act, everyone called him Mime Boy.

Some children liked to CLIMB a tree. Dennis was happy to BE a tree.

But his style made him different and very often Dennis felt lonely and invisible.

It was as if he were standing on the other side of a WALL.

Then Joy appears and catches Dennis’ imaginary ball. Children are extremely creative but they need real connections, so when Dennis realized that Joy could see the world his way he not only self-accepted but felt the comfort of having a true friend.

Dennis and Joy didn’t speak a WORD because FRIENDS don’t have to.


Obviously Marcel Marceau’s poster in Dennis’ wardrobe made me rewatch some of the actor’s performances.

2016-06-24 14.32.55.jpg

Complement your reading with Christine Baldacchio’s story on gender identity and the courage to be different.

You can find the book here:



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