Do you remember your first friend at school? Or that best friend you have had since the second grade? On my first day of kindergarten I met a boy with a bowl hair cut, who became my best friend when I was five. As your child starts back to school, the friendships they form now are going to stay with them for the rest of their lives. The boy with the bowl hair cut, though he no longer rocks that classic hairstyle, is still my best friend. The book list below consists of several picture, chapter, and juvenile books that will help children, and maybe even a few adults, understand the value of a good friendship and how important it is to treasure these friends.
Picture and Chapter Books
Big Wolf & Little Wolf by Nadine Brun-Cosme
This new addition to our collection will certainly become a favorite in your household. Big Wolf is all alone and he likes it that way, but he slowly learns to accept Little Wolf as his friend and part of his life. This story teaches children about opening your life and heart to new friends.
Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel
This level 2 chapter book and Caldecott nominee depicts the sweet and entertaining friendship of Frog and Toad through five short stories and is perfect for your beginning reader.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
“There once was a tree….and she loved a little boy.” This classic story has been a favorite among children for decades. It is more than a story of friendship, but also teaches the importance of selfless giving and sacrifice.
Hello My Name is Bob by Linas Alsenas
Bob is a very boring bear, especially compared to his friend Jack. This book teaches children that every bear is different and no matter how different two bears might be, they can still be friends.
Play With Me by Marie Hall Ets
This 1956 Caldecott honor book teaches children that sometimes they have to let friends come to them and to be patient. The simple illustrations really help the story come to life as a little girl tries to make friends with all the different animals in the forest.
The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill
“Mean Jean was Recess Queen and nobody said any different.” In fact Mean Jean terrorized the playground until one day a new girl, named Katie Sue, comes to school and invites Mean Jean to jump rope with her. Mean Jean, the former Recess Queen, is having too much funny playing with her new friend to bully and torment the other kids now.
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
With the help out a stray dog she finds outside of a Winn-Dixie grocery store, ten year-old Opal is able to open her heart and let new friends in. This Newbery Honor book will definitely wiggle its way into your heart, just like a stray dog.
Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
Oh, Clementine. In Pennypacker’s series, Clementine is always in and out of trouble, but she will do anything to show her best friend Margaret that she will always be there for her, even if it means cutting off all of her own hair! There are currently four books in the Clementine series, including the newly released Clementine, Friend of the Week.
The Complete Tales of Winnie-The-Pooh by A.A. Milne
Has there ever been a better friend than Winnie-the-Pooh?
Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. "Pooh," he whispered.
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw, "I just wanted to be sure of you."
Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows
From the moment Ivy and Bean meet, they know that they cannot be friends! But sometimes your best friend turns out to be someone you never thought it would be! There are currently six books in the series, but the seventh installment is set to be released later on this month.
The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
This was one of my favorite books growing up. 12 year-old Matt is left alone in the wilderness to defend his house during the 18th Century. Here is meets, a Native American boy named Attean. Together they realize they have a lot that they can teach each other.
If you would like more information on any of these books, please visit the Jefferson County Library Cooperative Homepage.