Cyril and Pat: a tale of friendship that overcomes social boundaries


My kids (like most kids) LOVE going to the park; they love the climbing, jumping, swinging and running, but I think the thing they like the most is making new friends. Every time we go Ivy makes a new best friend. They are often different from her – different age, nationality or gender – but none of that matters, she rarely even learns their name. They have fun together so they are friends.

I think that’s why we found Cyril and Pat so relatable.

Cyril and Pat is the story of Cyril the Squirrel and his new friend Pat.


‘Lake Park only had one Squirrel, All alone and sad (poor Cyril).

Until the morning he met Pat, His new best friend, a big grey…

SQUIRREL! Just like me.’ 

They have so much fun together and Cyril is happy. The trouble is Pat in not a Squirrel like Cyril but a Rat, and the other park animals do not approve. When Cyril realises that Pat is a Rat the other animals all have something to say:

‘Oh Cyril, can you see that your friend Pat Is nothing but a dirty rat?

Oh Cyril, can’t you see that your friend Pat Is nothing but a thieving rat?

Oh Cyril, can’t you see it? Facts are facts. SQUIRRELS CAN’T BE FRIENDS WITH RATS!’

Thankfully despite popular opinion Cyril realises life is better with Pat and they continue as friends.


Cyril and Pat is a beautiful, funny action packed story that teaches some important life lessons:

  • We should choose our friends on what we can give each other, not what is different

  • Focusing on what we have in common will bring new connections and joy

  • Not letting others form your opinions – see people as they are/can be not what others label them

  • Surround yourself with people who make your heart happy and life full

Cyril and Pat is a wonderful read it before you need it book, especially for those inevitable friendship struggles at school.

Cyril and Pat
by Emily Gravett – Pan MacMillian, 2019
ages 2 to 8 years / funny + friendship

Book Depository has free postage anywhere in the world and great pricing, but North American readers may prefer Amazon.

Names in this book – Cyril, Pat