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Children's Fiction Friendship

Clara and the Bossy

by (author) Ruth Ohi & Newbigging

Annick Press
Initial publish date
Mar 2005
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2005
    List Price

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Out of print

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Clara the guinea pig loves purple. She also loves triangles, tuna, and making new friends. That’s why she’s thrilled when a classmate says to her, “Let’s be best friends!” Madison is bold and glamorous and soon the girls are inseparable. Madison even lets Clara clean up all her toys after they play together.

But Madison’s demands begin piling up. Why, she asks, does Clara wear the same purple dress every day? And why does she always eat triangle-shaped tuna sandwiches? It’s not long before Clara’s lunches aren’t nearly as much fun, and her favorite outfit stays in the closet. When Clara loses a treasured stone because she lacks pockets (the purple dress had big ones), she decides to go back to the things she likes.

Back to her true self, Clara is amazed to discover that being her own guinea pig not only makes her a new friend, but also helps her to keep an old one: Madison.

Through words and full-page pictures and vignettes, author/artist Ruth Ohi creates a charming world full of rich details and memorable characters. Children will recognize the experience of having a bossy friend, and will glean important knowledge from Clara’s gently learned wisdom.

About the authors



Ruth Ohi a illustré plus de 50 livres pour enfants et est l'auteure de certains d'entre eux. Ses livres, traduits en plusieurs langues, se vendent à travers le monde et ont figuré sur la liste de plusieurs prix littéraires prestigieux. Elle vit avec sa famille à Toronto.


RUTH OHI has illustrated more than fifty children’s books — several of which she has also written, including Fox and Squirrel, Fox and Squirrel Make a Friend, Shh! My Brother’s Napping, and Scribble. Her books have been nominated for many prestigious awards, including the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award, Mr. Christie’s Award, Chocolate Lily, Shining Willow, Blue Spruce and the Governor General’s Award. She lives with her family, and many backyard squirrels, in Toronto, Ontario. Visit her online at

Ruth Ohi's profile page

Newbigging's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“... this picture book will strike a chord with many young children who are learning to navigate friendships.”—Booklist, 08/06

“... a cute and gentle story from the ‘graceful quill’ of Ruth Ohi. Sensitive and subtle, this well-written picture book encourages chidlren to stay true to their own likes and dislikes. Excellent for moms and little ones.”—Resource Links, 04/06

“This book could be used in a primary classroom to open discussions about individuality, peer pressure and persuading chidlren to make their own decisions.” —Canadian Children’s Book News, 10/06

“Highly recommended.”—CM Magazine

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