Childhood friends often become life-long friends. I still have dinner once a month with girls that I went to school with 25 years ago. But friendships also have their ups and downs so today’s booklist highlights books that will help kids learn to navigate the highs and lows of friendships. Best of all, they will inspire our kids to be great friends!
Part of being a good friend is not excluding others. Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev is the story of a young boy and his pet elephant who are excluded from being in a pet club. The boy meets another girl with a pet who are also feeling excluded. Together, they decide to start their own club that allows all kinds of pets.
Tiger and Badger by Emily Jenkins are best friends who get into arguments over silly things. They always find a way to work together to solve those little problems. This is a fun one to read-aloud.
Sometimes friends get mad and stop speaking to each other. That’s just what happens to Cloud and Sun in How the Crayons Saved the Rainbow by Monica Sweeney. The crayons step in and help repair the friendship and bring back the rainbow.
The Almost Terrible Playdate by Richard Torrey is a silly look at the disagreements that often occur between friends on a play date. Two children have different ideas on what imaginative thing they are going to play. Will they ever agree?
Pink Tiara Cookies for Three by Maria Dismondy addresses the topic of teasing between friends and the impact that it can have on friendships.
Friends look out for each other. In Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry we meet two friends who enjoy spending time together. When a bully pinecone enters the scene, they even look out for each other.
Animals are our friends too. Each day Amos spends time with his animal friends at the zoo in A Sick Day for Amos McGhee by Philip Steed. One day, Amos is sick and it’s time for his friends to spend time with him. Sticking with the animal theme, Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson is a wonderful book to share with young children. Bear wants to throw a party. His friends all pitch in and bring food for the get-together. But, Bear has no food to offer and appears to have nothing to contribute. His friends remind him that he has great stories to share. This is a nice tale of sharing and being thankful for our friends.
The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield is a gorgeous book. Bear loves to play the piano. He gets the chance to move to a big city to play concerts where he meets lots of new friends. But, when he returns back to the forest, he discovers that his old friends are still there to support him.
Those Pesky Rabbits by Ciara Flood is a favourite in our house. Bear is happy living on his own. When a family of rabbits move in next door they always seem to be on his doorstep, asking to borrow honey, or for help to chop wood, or if Bear would like to swap books … And Bear responds by telling them to leave him alone! So they do. A lovely story about being kind and welcoming and enjoying the company of others.
My Friend Maggie by Hannah E. Harrison is the story of two friends, Paula and Maggie. One day, Paula’s loyalty to Maggie is tested when another girl begins to tease Maggie. Paula learns a great lesson about true friendship. A great read-aloud to young listeners.
This collection of picture books is perfect for inviting discussion about friendship with children of all ages. Each title is linked to an Amazon page where you can find reviews and age recommendations for those you might not be personally familiar with. These are affiliate links. Let us know which book is your favorite!
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