Franklin spent a lot of time creating his valentines for his friends. But in his rush and excitement to get to school for the party that day, his valentines fell out of his backpack. When he calls home to see if they are there, Mother tells him they fell into a slush puddle and were ruined. Franklin runs out of the classroom and hides in the cloakroom, convinced that he doesn't belong at the party. Mr. Owl reassures him that it will be okay.
Franklin returns to class and feels bad as his pile of valentines grows, but he has none to give in return. Bear tells him that he doesn't need a valentine to know Franklin is his friend. That eening, Franklin talks to his parents about making extra special cards for next year, but can't wait that long. The following morning, Franklin is busy cutting out new cards for his friends. When he delivers them to his friends, he tells them that they are in honor of Friendship Day, which can be any day you want.
The most important lesson in this book is that real friends don't need material things from you to know that you are a friend. In today's society, it feels like there is more and more emphasis on giving gifts and treats for little to no reason whatsoever. Commercial valentines being passed out on February 14th are a perfect example of his. Something that is hand-crafted by a friend has that extra ingredient of love that cannot be emulated in a mass-produced card.
The other aspect that I liked about this book is how Franklin comes to realize that you don't need to wait for a specific holiday to let your friends know you care about them. Friendship Day can happen at any time of year. It is more special when you decide you want to honor your friend.
Reading this book reminds me of my young students. On their own, they will create little cards, drawings and books for their friends, just because. The children are more impressed by these handmade gifts than they are by anything purchased in a store. When I read them this book, they seemed to relate to that aspect of the story, even at their young age (preschool through kindergarten).
I received a complimentary set of galleys from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for this review.