Everyone likes having friends, whether they want to laugh and talk with everyone or confide in one or two special people. For many kids, preschool and elementary school is where they first learn to interact with others and make those early bonds of friendship. All of these books are aimed at children in the early elementary grades and feature themes such as helping others, being a good friend, and overcoming differences.
Do You Want to be my Friend? by Eric Carle.
A mouse searches everywhere for a friend. Even without words, this beautiful picture book relates perfectly the struggle to find a just-right friend. (Preschool; Stories without words.)
Just a Duck? by Carin Bramsen.
Being a friend does not mean you have to change who you are. Duck and Cat discover that being yourself makes for being the best of friends!
Virgil & Owen by Paulette Bogan.
Virgil the penguin finds the perfect friend in Owen, a polar bear. But Owen wants to splash with the terns, slide with the seals, and twirl with all the penguins too. Virgil risks losing his friend entirely if he can’t learn to share Owen with others.
Who Wants a Hug? by Jeff Mack.
Everyone likes Mr. Bear except grouchy Dr. Skunk, who devises a plan to make Mr. Bear stop being happy and hugging others.
Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard.
Feeling too grumpy to fly, Bird begins to walk, shunning all the other animals he encounters. But soon he finds that his mood changes as the other animals join him, despite his frown.
Pig and Small by Alex Latimer
Pig and Bug want to become friends but their size difference gets in the way. Will they ever be able to find something they can both do together?
Squirrel’s Busy Day by Lucy Barnard
While collecting acorns for the winter, Squirrel has no time to play with his friends. But when things go wrong, Squirrel will need to turn to his friends for help.
When You Need a Friend by Suzanne Chiew
When the other animals are fearful of an approaching storm, Badger helps them all prepare their homes to withstand the strong winds and rain.
Tip's Tips on Friendship adapted by Sheila Sweeny Higginson
Tip the alien has lots of tips on how to be a good friend (whether Boov or Earthling), including teaching how to dance, giving makeovers, and sharing knock-knock jokes. (Ready-to-read. Level two, Superstar reader!)
Yeti and the Bird by Nadia Shireen
Everyone knows the Yeti is a big, hairy, scary monster. But when a small bird is able to befriend the lonely creature they discover that he may not be so scary after all. (Preschool)
Unlovable by Dan Yaccarino
Alfred, a pug, is made to feel inferior by a cat, a parrot, and the other neighborhood dogs. Just when Alfred begins to feel unlovable, a new dog moves in next door and helps Alfred to realize he is fine just the way he is.
Friendship is Like a Seesaw by Shona Innes ; Írisz Agócs
This book explores what it means to be a friend, from enjoying such good experiences as laughing, sharing, and playing together to accepting the bad times. It also explains how to rebalance and fix friendships through communication and friendship skills. (Preschool)
Armond Goes to a Party: A Book About Asperger’s and Friendship by Nancy Carlson
Because he as Asperger’s Syndrome, Armond is nervous about attending his friend’s birthday party. With the support of everyone around him, Armond battles through his fears and even has a little fun. Not just for kids with Asperger’s, this book is great for anyone who has ever felt left out, different, or uncomfortable in social situations. (Reading grade level 2; ages 5-9)
Am I a Good Friend? : A Book About Trustworthiness by Robin Nelson.
What if a friend asks you to share a secret? Is it ever okay to tell? Can you sometimes lie to stay out of trouble, or is it better to be completely honest? It's not always easy to tell right from wrong. Learning about trustworthiness will help you do what's right. The examples in this book show you how to be a good friend even in the trickiest situations. See how good it can feel to be trustworthy!
The Smart Kid's Guide to Friendships by M. J. Cosson
Provides kids with a guide to the joys and pitfalls of friendships, including how to deal with difficult friendship situations.
The Blessings of Friendship Treasury [compiled and illustrated by] Mary Engelbreit.
Presents an illustrated collection of poems, personal letters, and selections from literature on the value of friendship.