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May I Bring a Friend Unit Study

May I Bring a Friend?

 Author: Beatrice Schenk de Regniers
Illustrator: Beni Montresor

The King and Queen are most gracious hosts to a certain little boy--and any friend of his is a friend of theirs. When he brings a giraffe to tea, the King doesn't blink an eye and says, "Hello. How do you do?" and the Queen merely exclaims, "Well! Fancy meeting you!" The royal pair continue to invite the boy as their guest for tea, breakfast, lunch, dinner, apple pie, and Halloween, and each time he politely asks if he can bring a friend, waits for their assent, then brings a hippo, monkeys, an elephant, and once even a pride of Lions into their elegant home. Beatrice Schenk De Regniers's gentle, repetitive, rhyming story, with the refrain "So I brought my friend," will resonate with young children, who will be pleased to see the well-behaved wild animals wreaking harmless havoc in the palace, and soothed by the unfalteringly open arms and perpetual politesse of the King and Queen. 

Level 3 unit study written by Karen Robuck


Copy and memorize 1 Peter 2:17.

Language Arts

~Make a list of all the rhyming words.

~Write a song or poem entitled "Long Live Apple Pie."

~Write invitations for a tea party or meal you will be serving to your family. See the cooking section below.


~Use the book to review the days of the week. Enlarge a calendar or create a chart with the days of the week. Record what happens on each day.

~Ask your child, "In what month does the story take place?" The story takes place the last week of October/first week of November. (They all dress up for Halloween).

~If you are doing any of the cooking activities for your family (see below), make out the shopping list. Help with the shopping by comparing prices. How much did the meal (or party) cost to make per person?


Choose one of the following animals to research and learn about:


Social Studies

The King and Queen and their young friend have very good manners.
Write down the good manners shown.
Practice each of the manners throughout the week. Some of the manners are more about good habits and attitudes. Think of ways you can improve your manners. Make a Good Manners chart to help you keep track.
Practice good manners at mealtime.
Use your best manners at a tea party. (See the cooking ideas below).


Food is frequently mentioned in this story. Try at least one of the following activities:

~Plan a tea party. Serve tea, herbal tea, or fancy lemonade, punch, or milk (poured from a teapot). Have finger sandwiches. Include peanut butter and jelly if you must. Other suggestions are: cucumber; cream cheese and jelly; tuna, chicken, turkey, or egg salad; pimento and cheese. Include something sweet, usually fancy cookies or small pieces of cake. Younger children can help by using cookie cutters to cut cookie dough or sandwiches or by setting the table.

~Make stew from a favorite recipe. Younger children can help by assembling the ingredients, putting cut vegetables into the pot, or adding water to the stew.

~Make apple pie. Younger children can help cut the apples with a plastic or table knife, mix the apples with the filling ingredients, or use leftover pie dough (if you're making it from scratch) to decorate the top .

~Make breakfast for your family. Some simple ideas that need little or no adult supervision are cereal with fruit or raisins, yogurt, and fruit cups. Children who are allowed to use small appliances can prepare toast, frozen pancakes or waffles, muffins, or smoothies.

~Make lunch for your family.


~Beni Montresor, the illustrator, created jewel-like artwork for the book. Try this yourself. Begin with a picture you have drawn yourself or use a good quality coloring book, such as a Dover stained glass coloring book. Use brightly colored chalks or pencils.Use vibrant colors. They don't have to make sense. Some of the pictures in the book show a pink sky, for example.

~If you're having a tea party, design and make the invitations.

~Make place cards for the tea party, stew dinner, lunch, or breakfast.


The Game of Graces was a popular game in the 1800s. The goal of the game was to make young ladies more graceful. It is a perfect outdoor game for a tea party, but you can try it even if you're not having a tea party. Game of Graces instructions

Since the story shows good manners, play any game, but practice good sportsmanship.