In “The Friends in Fantasy Forest” by Ulf Stark and Sara Nilsson Bergman, Tuka is sad because his house is blown away by a snowstorm the day before his birthday. All of his friends pitch in to surprise him with a new house and a party. This is truly a wonderful surprise! When he gets to his new home, all of his friends are there. All but one: his best friend Kota. He again becomes sad because his best friend isn’t there to celebrate his birthday with him, but his attention is drawn to a big box in the corner. What’s in the box? The best surprise of all: his best friend Kota! The Friends in Fantasy Forest story beautifully illustrates the importance of friendship. Life can become pretty overwhelming at times.

Just like how the snow storm came out of nowhere in the Fantasy Forest, we can be caught off guard by the storms in our lives. That is why friends are so important. Whether we are just having a bad day or it is something as terrible as losing our home, we need our friends to be there to pick us up and make us feel better. Our friends are one of the greatest gifts we can have in life, so we should cherish them. It is important for us to accept help from our friends and to reach out and help our friends in their time of need because the hard times can become too much for us to handle alone.

– Intern Tara