The Faithful Friend

The Faithful Friend



A friendship is tested by love and magic in this beautiful, Caldecott Honor–winning retelling of a traditional tale from the French West Indies.

Clement and Hippolyte are best friends who live together on the lush tropical island of Martinique. They set off together toward the woman Clement loves so he can propose, but her uncle—a quimboiseur, a wizard—doesn’t approve of the match. When his niece flees with the two inseparable friends, the vengeful man sends evil magic after them. Hippolyte may be able to protect the young couple—but will he lose his own life in the process?

About the Author

Robert Daniel San Souci (October 10, 1946 – December 19, 2014) was a multiple award-winning children’s book author, who resided in San Francisco, California. He often worked with his brother, Daniel San Souci, a children’s book illustrator. He was a consultant to Disney Studios and was instrumental in the production of the film Mulan, for which he wrote the story. He studied folklore in graduate school. He died after suffering a head injury while falling from a high height in San Francisco in December 2014. He was only 68 years old. 


Born in Boston, Massachusetts, (Jerry) Brian Pinkney was raised in an artistic household. “My two brothers and sister and I played musical instruments, and we were always drawing, painting, or building things,” the illustrator once recalled of his childhood. While his mother, children’s book author Gloria Jean Pinkney, would inspire all her children with a love of reading, it would be his father, illustrator Jerry Pinkney, who would serve as a mentor to young Brian. “I did everything he did,” Pinkney would later admit. “My desk was a miniature version of his desk. The paintbrushes and pencils I used were often the ones from his studio that were too old or too small for him to use. I had a paint set like his and a studio like his. Except my studio was a walk-in closet, which made it the perfect size for me.”

According to the book back flap, he has played the drums since he was eight years old. He still keeps a set of drumsticks in his studio where, when resting from his illustrations, he sometimes taps out rhythms on the back of his chair.

With his wife, writer Andrea Davis Pinkney, he makes his home in Brooklyn NY.


Caldecott Honor Book
Coretta Scott King Award Book

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