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Books That Teach About Friendship

Friendship is a special and magical thing to celebrate! On International Friendship Day we wanted to share some of our favourite children’s books about friendship. 

Children are always so happy to see and play with their friends, and so excited when they have made a new one. It is during our younger years that we learn about how to share and express our feelings and how our friends make us feel, whether that be joyful, special and happy, or sometimes hurt. Having stories, where characters experience their own friendship journeys can help children to share their own stories, or help them understand experiences and decisions better themselves.

The Girls 

The Girls is a simple and gorgeous picture book about four girls that are friends as children and their friendship through to adulthood. This truly is such a wonderful tale about the ups and downs of life, going from a child to a grownup. It teaches children that if you surround yourself with likeminded and kind people, you will never have to face anything life has to offer alone. Find out how their friendship flourishes as the years pass by and the girls become women.

Henry would like to make a friend in his new class at school, but struggles when he finds many of the children too loud, bright, noisy, scary and just too much for him. Henry is on the autistic spectrum and there are problems and misunderstandings as Henry tries to fit in. As the story goes on, Henry finds a friend in calm Katie. This is a sweet story of a neurodivergent boy finding quiet friendship in a noisy world. This is a wonderful story for autistic and neurodiverse children, as well as an informative, thoughtful and helpful way to teach children about autism.

Pink Is for Boys 

by Eda Kaban and Robb Pearlman

An empowering and educational picture book that proves colours are for everyone, regardless of gender. 

Pink is for boys . . . and girls . . . and everyone! This timely and beautiful picture book rethinks and reframes the stereotypical blue/pink gender binary and empowers children (and their grown-ups) to express themselves in every colour of the rainbow. This book has beautiful pictures, your child will love looking at and it's simple message is retold as we go through the colours; "green is for boys.....and for girls". A very good opening for discussion about differences, likes and dislikes.

This is such a sweet story about friendship and what draws us to another person. This delightful story celebrates new friendships — those times you meet someone and instantly “click,” knowing it’s the beginning of a long, joyful relationship. This book is wonderful to introduce the idea of a best friend to your young child, as well as what it means to have a best friend. The pictures are endearing and draw the reader into the book. 

Birt and Etho are best buds, using their big imaginations every time they play. But what happens when a new boy comes along and their two turns into three? This story has a fantastic message about including new friends into your current friendships - viewing it as gaining a new friend not losing your current friend. Three is such a tough number for small children - this story reminds children that there is always room for one more -- and making a new friend in no way means you forget the old. A children’s book about friendship that touches on a serious aspect of friendship and teaches an incredibly valuable lesson!

Louise and Andie: The Art of Friendship 

by Kelly Light

In this story Louise gets a new neighbour, the creative and offbeat Andie. They soon find out that they are both lovers of Art, but liking the same thing doesn’t always mean you agree on it. The topic of appreciating your friends' individual tastes is a great message to share with children, sometimes friendship, like art, can require collaboration.

We Don't Eat Our Classmates

By Ryan T.Higgins

This is a very funny story that uses humour to teach empathy. It's the first day of school for Penelope Rex, and she can't wait to meet her classmates. Penelope Rex finds it’s hard to make human friends when they're just so yummy! That is, until Penelope gets a taste of her own medicine and finds she may not be at the top of the food chain after all…

Lost and Found

by Oliver Jeffers

This tale about a boy who finds a penguin on his doorstep and assumes that he is lost is very sweet. The boy takes the penguin back to the south pole, but goes on to realise the penguin is not lost, just lonely. This story is great for introducing the concept of looking for friendship to children. 

The Smartest Giant in Town 

by Julia Donaldson

Meet a very helpful giant in this funny, big-hearted tale about a giant named George. Throughout the story George gives away his giant sized clothes to help some animals who desperately need his help – and his clothes! This tale teaches about kindness, helping others and most importantly gratitude. At the end of the story the animals come together to let George know how grateful they are for his help. 

by Jonathon Emmet

When Mole is out exploring, he discovers a newcomer to the forest – a newcomer called Mouse! The two quickly become friends, but Mole isn’t keen to introduce Mouse to the other forest animals. In fact, he doesn’t want to share her with anyone! In this story Mole discovers that friendship is worth sharing and he realises it's much nicer for everyone to be friends. This book has beautiful illustrations and the story is a celebration of friendship, teaching why it's always good to share.

Happy International Day of Friendship Everyone!

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