Sugar plans to come back to meet his friend in their favorite playground. The wind blows him into the middle of a busy Manhattan street. He has to figure out how to find his way to the Laughing Ground, where he eventually meets his friend.
Something happens to the Boy that he doesn’t understand. He’s afraid to tell anyone because he’s been told it is supposed to be a secret and, if he tells anyone, his family might get hurt. Sugar explains the difference between a secret and a surprise: a surprise is something happy that will be revealed soon. When you’re young, secrets can be confusing so it is always all right to tell your mom or someone you trust.
The Laughing Ground
A Children's Book by Nancy Sellin
A person asks for help
Sugar and the Boy meet a person who has lost his dog. The person asks them if they would help him look for his dog. He says he lives on the next block and asks them to go there with him so he can show them a picture of his dog. They know they should not go anywhere with strangers, but the man is such a nice man and really needs their help. What should Sugar and the Boy do? Sugar and the Boy tell the man that they will get the Boy’s mother or a policeman to help. The man says he can’t wait and rushes away.
The Boy loans his favorite toy to Sugar. Sugar accidentally breaks it. The Boy is upset and says Sugar should have taken better care of the toy. Sugar says he’s sorry but the Boy says he doesn’t want Sugar for a friend anymore. Sugar is sad but understands how the Boy feels. When the Boy is alone he starts to miss his friend. The Boy finally realizes that a friend is more important than a toy. Sugar and the Boy put the incident behind them and are, once again, best friends.
Being afraid and doing it anyway
The Boy is afraid to do something he must do. He asks his friend, Sugar, to go with him, but Sugar knows that this is something the Boy must do alone. The Boy is angry at Sugar for letting him down. Sugar says but he will be waiting for the Boy. The Boy agonizes of the situation and finally does what he must. When the Boy and Sugar meet, the Boy tells Sugar that he realizes, now, that it was better for him to go alone. Sugar confesses that it was hard for him, too. Both Sugar and the Boy feel empowered and their bond is strengthened.