We’ve put together a list of children’s books about friendship to add to your school or children’s library. These books will remind your child of the importance of being a good friend.
Written by Reem Faruqi
Illustrated by Mikela Prevost
HARDCOVER ISBN: 978-0-8028-5504-6
Price: $ 17.99
When Ms. Underwood asks if anyone wants to help Kyle, Zahra always volunteers. She loves spending time with Kyle—he’s creative and generous, and he makes the funniest jokes at lunch. But when Zahra’s other classmates start teasing her for helping him, she starts making choices she regrets.
Written by Alexandra Garibal
Illustrated by Sibylle Delacroix
Translated by Vineet Lal
A school story to encourage friendship and understanding among children of all abilities.
Expressively illustrated in colored pencils, this school story
will foster discussions about navigating differences and
embracing creativity. A Head Full of Birds is a sensitive portrayal of neurodiverse friendships and the joy that comes when we reimagine the world together.
Full-color illustrations throughout
It’s the principal Mr. Slipper’s birthday, and while the rest of the class gets busy writing cards for the occasion, Stan becomes frustrated when his letters come out all in a muddle. Stan is afraid to ask for help, until a friend assures him that nobody’s good at everything. And after lots and lots of practice, Stan’s letters come out the right way round and the right way up.
This delightful book deals with a common childhood frustration and will remind readers that practice pays off and that everyone has to ask for help sometimes.
Ages 10 to14
A relatable novel-in-verse about loss… and what happens afterwards
Twelve-year-old Birdie Briggs loves birds. They bring her comfort when she thinks about her dad, a firefighter who was killed in the line of duty. Life without her dad isn’t easy, but at least Birdie still has Mom and Maymee, and her friends Nina and Martin.
But then Maymee gets a boyfriend, Nina and Martin start dating, and Birdie’s mom starts seeing a police officer. And suddenly not even her beloved birds can lift Birdie’s spirits. Her world is changing, and Birdie wishes things would go back to how they were before. But maybe change, painful as it is, can be beautiful too.
With compelling verse and a lighthearted touch, Eileen Spinelli captures the poignancy of adolescence and shows what can happen when you let people in.
Black and White
Trim Size, in inches: 9 x 11.5
A clever tale that will charm book lovers
Brother Hugo can’t return his library book — the letters of St. Augustine — because, it turns out, the precious book has been devoured by a bear! Instructed by the abbot to borrow another monastery’s copy and create a replacement, the hapless monk painstakingly crafts a new book, copying it letter by letter and line by line. But when he sets off to return the borrowed copy, he finds himself trailed by his hungry new friend. Once a bear has a taste of letters, it appears, he’s rarely satisfied!
Brother Hugo and the Bear is loosely based on a note found in a twelfth- century manuscript — and largely on the creative imaginings of author Katy Beebe. Lavishly illustrated by S. D. Schindler in the style of medieval manuscripts, this humorous tale is sure to delight readers who have acquired their own taste for books.
Trim Size, in inches: 5.25 x 8
Seventh grader Jun Li is a brilliant student, more comfortable around computers than people. But his world turns upside down when the principal accuses him of a cyberbullying incident. To prove his innocence, Jun has seven days to track down the true culprit.
Jun’s investigation will bring him face-to-face with computer hackers, a jealous boyfriend, and more than one student who has been a victim of bullying. But he discovers along the way that everyone’s story is more complicated than it seems — and that the people he meets might have more in common than they think.
Trim Size, in inches: 5.5 x 8.25
Other Editions: Hardcover
With my old-people lunches in wrinkled plastic bags, I was basically a freak of nature at Parker Junior High. Like, “Come see the kid with seven heads” or, “Come see the kid who’s alive in a jar.” Everything I did — opening my locker, turning in homework, drinking from the water fountain — was so freakish the whole school had to stare. I didn’t even have to do anything stupid like trip or spill food. Just by being myself, I was the most ridiculous person alive. After getting suspended from school, Ethan Oppenheimer is uprooted from his comfortable suburban life in Pennsylvania and sent to live in Washington, D.C., with grandparents he hardly knows. At Parker Junior High, he stands out as the only white student. Making friends there is difficult; fitting in, impossible. It doesn’t help that his overprotective grandparents expect him to live their old-fashioned, frugal lifestyle.
As he tries to find his way in this new world, Ethan also struggles with issues from the world he left behind — guilt about the events surrounding his suspension, anxiety about his parents’ separation, loneliness for the company of his family and friends.
Slowly, Ethan adjusts. He makes a few friends; he joins the jazz band and learns a new instrument; he even gets used to dried-out dinners at 4:30 pm. Along the way he learns a lot about prejudice and acceptance — and about himself and his changing family situation.
Karen Lynn Williams
Full-color Illustrations Throughout
When relief workers bring used clothing to the refugee camp, everyone scrambles to grab whatever they can. Ten-year- old Lina is thrilled when she finds a sandal that fits her foot perfectly, until she sees that another girl has the matching shoe. But soon Lina and Feroza meet and decide that it is better to share the sandals than for each to wear only one.
As the girls go about their routines — washing clothes in the river, waiting in long lines for water, and watching for their names to appear on the list to go to America — the sandals remind them that friendship is what is most important.
Four Feet, Two Sandals was inspired by a refugee girl who asked the authors why there were no books about children like her. With warm colors and sensitive brush strokes, this book portrays the strength, courage, and hope of refugees around the world, whose daily existence is marked by uncertainty and fear.
Trim Size, in inches: 5.25 x 8
It’s 1773, and Boston is in political turmoil. As tension rises between England and the colonies, lines are being drawn between the Loyalists and the Patriots. And Sally Gifford, a shoemaker’s daughter, finds herself on the opposite side from her best friend Kitty Lawton, the daughter of a wealthy merchant.
Sally is torn between her cherished friendship and her loyalties to her own family and community in their fight for freedom. As the conflict continues to grow more charged in the weeks leading up to the Boston Tea Party, Sally finds within herself a bravery she didn’t know she had, and ultimately takes a stand for what she comes to find is most important.
Trim Size, in inches: 10 x 13.5
Ages 4 to 8
An inviting book about resolving conflicts
Bobby and William aren’t quite sure how the argument started, but it escalates until William gets so frustrated he tells Bobby to leave. Bobby does just that, hopping on his bike and furiously riding away. As he travels through the city and into the countryside, though, he begins to calm down. Maybe William had a point after all? Bobby bikes back into town, hoping William will forgive him, and discovers that he’s not the only one who wants to apologize.
With mesmerizing illustrations reminiscent of Richard Scarry, this vibrant book offers a sensitive, realistic portrayal of a conflict. . .and a compromise.
Trim Size, in inches: 7.5 x 10
Full-color and b&w illustrations
This is one of the oldest stories in the world, and it’s about things that still matter to us today: friendship, fame, courage, happiness.
Gilgamesh and Enkidu are friends — best friends. Together they can work wonders, fight monsters, brave earthquakes, travel the world! But waiting in the dark is the one enemy they can never overcome.
Retold by award- winning author Geraldine McCaughrean, and illustrated with great power by David Parkins, Gilgamesh the Hero is a story that will linger in the imagination long after the book has been put down.
Written by Daniel Nesquens
Illustrated by Miren Asiain Lora
Trim Size, in inches: 9 x 8.25
The cat and the tiger are best friends. Every day, the cat enters the zoo and visits the tiger’s cage. They talk about everything, but when the cat confesses that he’d like to be big and strong like the tiger, he’s shocked to learn that the tiger envies him for being free to go wherever he wants. The tiger has a plan to escape from the zoo and find his real home—all he needs is some help from his best friend.
Animal lovers of all ages will fall in love with this fanciful story about friendship and freedom.
Trim Size, in inches: 8.25 x 11
Ages 4 to 8
An emotionally stirring book about kindness and friendship
Life isn’t easy for a bear. Not when he has to sleep on the sidewalk among cardboard boxes and old clothes. Not when he lives in a city full of people who are repulsed by him. Not when he’s hungry and homeless. But one day a young girl smiles at the bear, and he realizes that maybe there is something that could make life a bit easier — a friend.
This poignant, heartwarming tale will move readers of all ages and inspire them to be more compassionate and empathetic towards others.
Trim Size, in inches: 9.5 x 11.75
Full-color illustrations throughout
Lily loves to read . . . so much so that she forgets to do anything else. She reads right through summer, fall, winter, and spring. But one day Lily meets a girl who hates reading. Milly invites Lily to have adventures of her own outside the pages of a book — and Lily shows Milly that books can be exciting, too.
Gillian Shields’s heartwarming story of imagination and friendship will resonate with book lovers of all ages, and will remind readers that adventures, whether on or off the page, are best with a friend along.
Bibi Dumon Tak
Trim Size, in inches: 5.375 x 8.5
Ages 8 to 12
Another moving animal tale from the award-winning author of Soldier Bear
One day, Mikis’s grandfather has a surprise for him: a new donkey waiting! Mikis falls in love with the creature, but his grandparents tell him that the donkey is a working animal, not a pet. However, they still let Mikis choose her name — Tsaki — and allow the two of them to spend their Sundays together. Mikis and Tsaki soon become fast friends, and together the two have some grand adventures. Eventually, both Mikis and his grandfather learn a bit more about what exactly it means to care for another creature.
Brought to life by drawings from Philip Hopman, Bibi Dumon Tak’s gentle, humorous story is perfect for any readers who may have their own soft spot for animals.
Trim Size, in inches: 6.75″ x 8.625″
Friendship, fear, loneliness — these are things that are universally experienced but difficult to describe. In this arresting poetry collection, Synne Lea explores these concepts and more through the thoughts and experiences of a family. As the family members examine their connections with each other and the world around them, they gain a deeper appreciation of love and friendship and learn how to reach beyond the confines of their own isolation.
Accompanied by breathtaking artwork, these enchanting poems will stay with readers long after they have turned the final page.
Trim Size, in inches: 11 x 8.25
Ages 4 to 8
A joyous glimpse into different cultures
Children living in different parts of the world see very different things when they gaze out of their windows. One child looks out over a boulevard lined with palm trees, another sees a train whistling past snow-capped mountains, and another waves to her father as he tends to their garden. But while their lives may seem different, there’s something important that they all share.
This beautiful book will spark readers’ curiosity and imagination with its celebration of global diversity.
Trim Size, in inches: 8.25 x 9
Ages 5 to 9
A story for anyone who has felt like a fish out of water
There’s a boy in class who doesn’t say anything. He doesn’t yell when a student steps on his foot, and he writes his answers to the teacher’s questions on the board. One of his classmates is trying to understand why he’s so quiet, but she can’t figure it out. But then one day the class goes to the science museum, and she discovers a phone with an aquarium full of fish on the other end of the line. And the fish, as it turns out, aren’t silent after all—they just have their own way of communicating.
This empathy-building story will encourage readers to approach others with compassion and understanding.
Koen Van Biesen
Trim Size, in inches: 9.625″ x 9″
Ages 4 to 8
Roger and his neighbor Emily are heading to the lake to do some fishing. But the city sidewalks are crowded—so crowded that Emily accidentally catches a few things that are decidedly not fish. A small mob starts to chase after her and Roger, but soon everyone discovers that a trip to the lake is just what they needed to cool off.
This zany read-aloud from the author of Roger Is Reading a Book shows readers that sometimes a series of mishaps can turn strangers into friends.
Trim Size, in inches: 8.25 x 8.875
Samira likes school, especially when she gets to sit next to her best friend, Frida. But when they learn about the skeletal system in science class, Samira suddenly begins to imagine everyone in school as a walking skeleton. Soon she starts avoiding her fellow classmates, even Frida, but Samira still can’t escape her own skeleton. With some clever help from her mother, though, Samira realizes that maybe having a body full of bones isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Enhanced by delightfully impish illustrations, Camilla Kuhn’s playful book depicts the hilarious results of an imagination gone awry.
Trim Size, in inches: 10″ x 10″
Ages 6 to 10
A poetic story inspired by Psalm 121
Jordan lives in fear of Tanya, the class bully. But Tanya has worries of her own, no matter how much she tries to ignore them. It seems impossible that Jordan and Tanya could be anything other than enemies, but the Lord is watching over them, guiding each of them along a path that might just help them to understand one another.
Nikki Grimes takes the words of a Psalm 121 and masterfully transforms them into a golden shovel poem of compassion, friendship, and faith. Coupled with powerful artwork from Bryan Collier, this heartfelt story is one that readers will treasure.
Trim Size, in inches: 8.5 x 11
When no one is watching, it’s easy to be brave — to dance and sing, growl and cheer. But when everyone’s watching, this book’s shy young narrator fi nds it far easier to hide. With her best friend, Loretta, though, she doesn’t feel shy, embarrassed, awkward, or odd — not one bit. Together they’re like two peas in a pod, whether anyone’s watching or not.
Any readers who have felt shy will certainly recognize themselves within the pages of this adorable book, which will encourage even the most timid of audiences with its celebration of the value of a good friend.
Celebrate National Friendship Day