Clara and the Bossy

Author/Illustrator: Ruth Ohi
Annick Press
Languages:  English, Korean

* Ontario Library Association Blue Spruce Award Nominee
* A Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books Selection







Click here to see a video of this book being read by "Story Standouts".

Booklist :
“… This picture book will strike a chord with many young children who are learning to navigate friendships.”

Storybook Standouts
``Some Friendships Aren’t Friendships at All – Clara and the Bossy Shares an Anti Bullying Message``
(read full review here)

Today’s Parent Magazine:
“Clara loves triangles, tuna and the colour purple. She also loves the idea of her new best friend, Madison, until she finds herself swapping triangles for stars, tuna for ham, and purple for yellow…because Madison said so. At first intimidated by Madison’s bossiness, Clara soon realizes that the only way to be happy is to be herself. Ohi’s warm illustrative style invites readers to share Clara’s victory.”

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Canadian Materials (highly recommended):
“….The cast of characters–young guinea pigs in primary school–are lively and active in a setting familiar to young children as one of their first learning experiences about socialization….The reactions of these characters are realistic and will ring true with young readers.”


Ruth Ohi’s new tale of a little guinea pig and her bossy friend. Clara the guinea pig loves purple, triangles, and tuna. She also loves making new friends, and that’s why she’s thrilled when a classmate says to her, “Let’s be best friends!” Madison is bold and glamorous and soon bossy 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 a Madison-approved dress lacks pockets (the purple dress has big ones), she decides to go back to the things she likes.

Her true self once again, Clara is amazed to discover that being herself not only makes her a new friend, but also helps her to keep an old one: Madison.

From this charming tale of rich details and memorable characters, children will recognize the experience of having a friend and will glean important knowledge from Clara’s gently learned wisdom.