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The theme of friendship is a vital strand to this rich novel. The children prove the way in which friendship based on unconditional acceptance, no matter what the background or appearance of people may be, can be achieved more easily by children than by adults. However, at first, it is clear that April, because of her lack of friends in the past, is more concerned with trying to maintain her image of the daughter of a movie star, with her outlandish dress and her fake eyelashes. Note for example the first time that she plays with Melanie it is only after a while that she forgets the persona she is trying to project, removes her fake eyelashes so that she can read, and actually manages to enjoy herself. It is only as she is leaving at the end of this chapter that she makes a very interesting observation to Melanie:
You know what? I never did call them that before, but imagining games are just about all I ever play because most of the time I never have anybody to play with.
Friendship then is something that is a new experience to April, and this explains the struggles that she has in accepting the friendship of Melanie and how she has to adjust in order to be part of a friendship group that satisfies her need for belonging and love. What makes April change in her attitude to friendship is the constant love and acceptance that Melanie and others show towards her. The novel tells the story of how April moves from being a very isolated and lonely girl who has not experienced true friendship to being a young girl who is able to accept herself and others through the love that she is shown. This is demonstrated through the way in which she gradually changes the way she dresses and does her hair. Having only had her mother to model herself on, it is only natural that she tries to pass herself as an adult. When she gets to know other children her age, however, she realises that it is alright to be a child, just like them.
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