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Children's Fiction Friendship

Billy and Rose: Just the Way They Are

by (author) Amy Hest

illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton

Candlewick Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2023
Friendship, Farm Animals, Humorous Stories
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2023
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2024
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 8
  • Grade: p to 3


Billy and Rose are back—and prone to serious discussion—in four charming stories about the ups and downs of negotiating friendship.

The diligent sheep and the mellow pig who debuted in Billy and Rose: Forever Friends are back—and they have strong opinions! Even best friends can disagree, whether the topic is books (tall blue books versus fat red ones), rain (will it or won’t it?), the perils of a bad hair day (should Rose concur that Billy is having one?), or the incendiary question of which flavor of cupcake is best. Sharing—books and a purple umbrella, compliments and cupcakes (two flavors)—is the very antidote to seriousness in this second set of four witty stories to feature the endearing pair. Kady MacDonald Denton’s warm and spirited illustrations complement Amy Hest’s gentle study of friends as they debate the important issues of the day—and reap the rewards of compromise.

About the authors

Amy Hest's profile page

Kady MacDonald Denton has illustrated more than forty picture books, including the New York Times bestseller A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker, and A SECOND IS A HICCUP by Hazel Hutchins. She lives in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. Please visit her website at

Kady MacDonald Denton's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Beginning readers who enjoyed Billy and Rose: Forever Friends (2022) will welcome this equally charming sequel. Written with the simplicity of empathy, it makes the point that friends may not agree on everything, as long as they care about each other. Denton's gentle ink-and-watercolor illustrations portray Billy and Rose with soft, spring colors and the graceful, expressive positions and movements of dancers. A beguiling choice for beginning readers.

Gentle words and fluid watercolor-and-ink illustrations remind readers how special friendship is. . . . Patterns within the stories will help early readers break into reading. . . but what stands out is how Billy and Rose clearly and calmly verbalize their opinions and model sharing, compromise, acceptance, and respecting individual differences. . . . A treasure trove of social-emotional skills.
—Kirkus Reviews

Charming illustrations are the perfect accompaniment to ‘Billy & Rose: Just the Way They Are’ — a delightful story of friendship and how differences are not a barrier to getting along with one another.
—The Reading Eagle

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