My Real Friend

by David Hunt

Illustrated by Lucia Masciullo

On Sale: 15/04/2019



About the Book


Rupert isn't real, but he has a real friend, William. They both love sport, painting and music and have amazing adventures together in William's imagination.

But why can't they have the adventures that Rupert wants? And what will happen if William no longer wants an imaginary friend?

A heartwarming story of friendship, identity and the power of imagination from bestselling author David Hunt and award-winning illustrator Lucia Masciullo.


'... With its clever text and expressive illustrations this is a quality book. The contrast between the friends and their lifestyles is hilarious and the pictures of their respective families are a delight. Hunt has made Rupert real as he addresses the reader directly and his comments are unintentionally humorous as he complains about the roles he has to assume. His sudden rejection by William still comes as a shock and the illustration of William with his new, real friend shows a Rupert shadow attached to the new friend's skateboard.

Mascuillo's use of collage (including pieces of music and cuttings in foreign languages) is intriguing and Rupert is an endearing creation, especially in his roles as the Black Knight and a teapot. His expressions are a joy to behold and his longing to be real brilliantly conveyed. There is so much illustrative detail on each page that there is a lot for young readers to explore and enjoy. The joys and sadness that accompany friendships are conveyed through Rupert's increasingly wistful expressions and the change in the narrative from first person to third person. The power of a child 's imagination is well depicted as the reader is drawn into William's world. This is a heartwarming celebration of friendship, with all its highs and lows. Best of all, this book is fun to read and should provoke lots of discussion. Recommended.' - Magpies magazine

'My Real Friend qualifies as one of the most imaginative picture books around, with concepts that will put young readers' minds into a spin. Bestselling author of The Nose Pixies, David Hunt, and highly acclaimed illustrator, Lucia Masciullo, work brilliantly as a pair to bring about a wildly explosive combination of heart, humour and energy.

Rupert is the imaginary friend to young William. They have a lot in common, including music, sport, and painting. They both have parents (Rupert's mum is the one with the beard), and live in houses (William's is the weird one!). However, despite Rupert being the one in William's head, he has a mind of his own and sometimes wants different things. Like, how many times does he have to lose the battle of SIR WILLIAM OF THE ROUND TABLE VERSUS THE BLACK KNIGHT? But Rupert's greatest fear is that of fading; that is, no longer being a figure of William's imagination. Until one day, this actually comes true. Will Rupert be replaced, and does he is still exist?

There are loads of visual elements in the vivacious, multi-media illustrations to explore, ponder and have a good giggle about. The colour palette of teal blues and lemon yellows are perfect for this story combining effervescence and tenderness at the same time. My Real Friend is a clever narrative asking readers to consider differing perspectives, as well as inviting thought on the power of friendship and its effect on one's identity. Heart-warming, funny and brilliant. Highly recommended for children aged three and up.' - CBCA Reading Time magazine

' ... visual cues keep the reader oriented and bring out many of the punchlines the text leaves space for ... Ideal to share with children aged 4-7 ... can easily be imagined onto the shelves of any library or lower primary classroom.' - Books+Publishing

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780733334894
  • ISBN 10: 073333489X
  • Imprint: ABC Books - AU
  • On Sale: 15/04/2019
  • Pages: 32
  • List Price: 24.99 AUD
  • Age: From 4 years


David Hunt is the bestselling author of Girt (Black Inc), which won the 2014 Indie Award for Non-Fiction and was shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Literary Awards and the ABIAs. His first book for children, The Nose Pixies, was released in 2016, with his follow-up picture book, My Real Friend, released in May 2019.

More about the author

Other Works by David Hunt

The Nose Pixies

by David Hunt

See all


Lucia Masciullo grew up in Livorno, Tuscany and she moved to Queensland in 2006. Since then she has become a much-loved, award-winning Australian illustrator. Her books include The Boy and the Toy, Come Down, Cat, The Wild One (all with Sonya Hartnett) and Olive Of Groves trilogy (with Katrina Nannestad). The Hole, with Kerry Brown, was published in 2018, and My Real Friend (her second collaboration with David Hunt after The Nose Pixies) is due in 2019.  

More about the illustrator

Other Works by Lucia Masciullo

The Hole

by Lucia Masciullo

Olive of Groves

by Lucia Masciullo

See all