May I Bring a Friend? was written by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers and illustrated by Beni Montresor. It was published in 1964 and received the Caldecott Medal in 1965. In the story, the king and queen invite a young boy to their castle each day for a different meal or celebration. The boy inquires whether he may bring a friend to each of these visits, then shows up every time with a different zoo animal. The following are extension activities to share after reading the book.
I’m Looking for a Friend
Create flannel board pieces of the animals which appear in the story - giraffe, rhinoceros, monkey, elephant, lion, and seal - and line them up on the flannel board. Tell your child you are looking for a specific friend,then give a description of one of the animals. (For example, “I am looking for a friend with a long neck.” ) Have your child locate and remove the correct animal from the flannel board. Then allow your child to take a turn giving the clues and allow you to guess. This game can also be played on a tabletop.
Clipart images of the animals can be found on kizclub.com in the following documents:
Feed the Animals
Use the animals you created for the game above along with the linked images of food below to play a matching game. Decide which animal would be most likely to eat each food and “feed” the animal by placing the food next to it on the flannel board or table top.
King and Queen Match-Up
The kings and queens in the printable document below each bear the name of a day of the week. Mix them up and have your child match King Monday with Queen Monday, King Tuesday with Queen Tuesday, etc.
Cut & Paste Calendar
Using the printable calendar below, have your child retell the story by cutting and pasting the appropriate animals and foods into the space for each day of the week. (Lunch is represented by a sandwich, and Halloween by a jack o’lantern.)
For more learning activities for favorite children's books, click here.