My little sister purchased the print and audio versions of this book at the book fair when we were little kids. We read and listened to it incessantly (well, we stopped to eat, sleep, and go to school), but most of our other waking hours for about a week or so were consumed with Best Friends for Frances by Russell Hoban (writer) and Lillian Hoban (illustrator).
Frances and Albert are best friends. They are also badgers who do not wear clothes, but that is completely irrelevant and only an issue if you are reading the book. Personally, as a child, I preferred listening to the book because of the cute, clever, and catchy songs (although, the illustrations are perfectly delightful, too).
Albert proves to be a bad best friend (a bbf, which is quite different than a bff) because he chooses to play baseball with the boys and leaves bf Frances (a girl) out in the cold. Frances is not a happy badger.
She decides to teach Albert a lesson by fixing a picnic that includes all of his favorite, mouth-watering treats and inviting her little sister, Gloria (previously thought to be a too-little-to-play-with pest) to go on a best-friends-no-boy-outing.
Frances’s ploy works. Albert comes crawling back to her with his tail (yes, badgers do have tails) between his legs. And Frances learns that little sister Gloria is not a pest, but can also be a friend.
And we all learn valuable lessons about being a true friend, being more inclusive, and learning to like your younger siblings (they have a lot to offer…my younger sister shared her book with me!) In other words, or as Frances puts it, we’re not just friends ‘when it’s goodies in the hamper time.’