Meet Anna and her beloved wiener dog, Banana, in this start to a charming illustrated chapter book series about the joys and challenges of elementary school friendships.
Anna has been best friends with Sadie for as long as she can remember. So Anna is utterly perplexed when, on Anna’s birthday, Sadie unceremoniously stakes claim to Anna’s new pony necklace, then suddenly stops speaking to Anna altogether. Did Anna do something wrong? With a little help from her wiener dog, Banana, as well as some sage advice from her family, Anna makes some important discoveries about what it means to stand up for herself, and how to be a true friend.
Anna, Banana, and the Friendship Split Chapter One Make a Wish
Sadie says the best thing about birthdays is getting presents, but my favorite part is the birthday wish. I’ve read all the fairy tales—I know you have to be careful what you wish for—so this year, I planned my wish out weeks in advance. I was ready.
Everyone sang as Dad brought out the cake and placed it on the picnic blanket spread across our living room floor. It was chocolate cake with pink vanilla frosting: Sadie’s and my favorite. Nine yellow candles flickered on top.
I opened my mouth to suck in a huge breath, when Mom startled me. “Banana!” she said. “Get your nose out of there! Cake is not for dogs.”
Banana backed away from the birthday cake, making guilty eyes. She wagged her whole backside to tell Mom sorry and turned to sniff my best friend, Sadie, instead.
Sadie giggled and pulled Banana onto her lap. “Come on, Anna,” she said to me. “Make a wish!”
I closed my eyes for just a second and pictured what I wanted: a trip to Water World. I could almost feel myself racing down a tall, twisty waterslide, zipping around the curves with Sadie right behind me, and splash-landing together in the giant wave pool below. The commercials made it look like the funnest place on Earth, and I’d been wanting to go since forever. Chuck had said our parents would never take us there, but I knew if I used my birthday wish on it, it would have to come true. Birthday wishes have extra magic. That’s how I got Banana.
I leaned toward the candles, ready to blow. But before I could let out my breath, Sadie whispered, “Wish for a pony.”
I froze. Where would we keep a pony?
“Any day now, monkey face,” Chuck said, sticking his finger in the frosting.
Ugh. For a second I considered using my wish to ask for a less-annoying older brother, but even birthday-wish magic probably couldn’t fix Chuck.
Sadie nudged me. She snorted and flared her nostrils like the horses we’d seen at the park, and gave a little whinny of encouragement. She sounded just like a real stallion.
I grinned at her and Banana and turned back to my cake. Blowing out the candles with one big breath, I thought, I wish for a pony.
I can never say no to Sadie. She’s my best friend.
Anica Mrose Rissi grew up on an island off the coast of Maine, where she read a lot of books and loved a lot of pets. She now tells and collects stories, makes up songs on her violin, and eats lots of cheese with her friends in Princeton, New Jersey, where she lives with her dog, Arugula. Find out more at AnicaRissi.com and follow @AnicaRissi on Twitter.
Meg Park is a character designer and illustrator for clients including Disney, Nickelodeon, and Paramount Pictures. Meg lives in Scotland with her two cats Louie and Boo. She loves drawing, painting, and telling stories through her artwork.