This latest book in the Understanding Children’s Worlds series is a beautifully written account of children’s early friendships from Judy Dunn, the leading international authority on childhood development. Drawing on evidence from studies on both sides of the Atlantic, it considers the nature and significance of such relationships for children’s development and well-being.The book also features a foreword by Jerome Bruner, one of the most influential psychologists alive today.Three arguments run through the book. The first is that friends can matter to a young child in a way that is different to parents and siblings. The second argument is that our understanding of a child’s development can be greatly enhanced by studying children within these relationships. The third theme is that the influence a friend has on a child depends on the quality of their friendship.In a final section, the author draws out the practical implications of research for parents, teachers and those who care for children. She discusses how to manage friendships at different developmental stages, how to help children with friendship difficulties, and what to do about ‘trouble-making’ friendships and bullying.