Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Great Picture Books for Friendship

Friendship is interesting at a young age.  It truly is fleeting, but children learn so many important things from it.  

My two-year-old girl loves nothing more than going to a "friend's" house and trying on all their beautiful princess things.  Although we know she is too young to really play side-by-side with others, we want to teach her to respect and enjoy others as best we can.  

My five-year-old boy wants to make friends with everyone that he encounters.  He enjoys going to his friends' houses and playing with their toys, but when they come to our house to play he wants to hide all of his toys and share nothing.  

The following stories have helped both children understand the importance of respect for others and how wonderful friendship really can be.  

Leonardo, the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems
One of our favorite books from one of our favorite authors, whom I have mentioned a few times thus far (and more below!).   Leonardo is not a very good monster.  Silliness ensues before Leonardo makes a very important decision.  The kids think this book is a hoot, but the ending is really touching.

City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems, illustrated by Jon J. Muth
Not the usual silly Mo Willems fare, but a terrific tale of friendship, loss and renewal.

Pigs Make Me Sneeze! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) by Mo Willems
Any of the Elephant and Piggie book series could fall under the friendship category.

Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship by P. Kahumbu
Tarra & Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends by Carol Buckley
Both of these are fantastic friendship stories that actually occurred. Children adore the animals pictured and the true stories can't be beat. 

My Friend and I by Lisa Jahn-Clough
Sharing - the most difficult part about early childhood friendships.  Best for young children, but effective for any preschool or early school age child.

Making a Friend by Alison McGhee, illustrated by Marc Rosenthal
A truly beautiful book about the power of friendship.

Ninja Cowboy Bear presents The Call of the Cowboy by David Bruins, illustrated by Hilary Leung
This is a silly story, but was very influential on my five-year-old.  The Cowboy is not respecting his friends and must learn to do so before they can enjoy their time together.

The Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell
A wonderful book that shows that friendship is more important than things.

This is Our House by Michael Rosen
Most kids would rather play with a cardboard box than expensive toys, so this book is great because the plot revolves around a cardboard box.  But the story that unfolds is so much more than creativity with a box.  It is a perfect story for a child that is not eager to share.

Sam's New Friend by Thierry Robberecht, illustrated by Philippe Goossens
This simple story has a great message about friendship.

We love new books at our house - if you love any other literature on this topic, please share!

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