3 Quirky Picture Books on Friendship (Plus 5 Classics)
Friendship is important for children to understand. Little ones are not born with empathy–what they feel, see and experience starts and ends their world. As your children learn other people see and feel things separately, they begin to shape their understanding of connecting with others. Books on friendship can reinforce their education on empathy, selflessness and what it means to be a good friend.
Here are three really fun and quirky books on friendship that don’t fit the traditional mold of two best friends hanging out. The illustrations are beautiful and the stories are thoughtful in different ways. Then, check out the bottom for five classic friendship stories you will want to have in your library.
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3 Quirky Books on Friendship
1. The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig
This backwards fairy tale is about three close siblings that have to build smart to outwit a Big Bad Pig. Not only do they meet friends who help them out along the way, they work well together (yay for a sibling win!). Not to give any spoilers away, but even the bully has a slight change of heart when the wolves change up their tactics. Funny story and beautiful illustrations for this friendship tale.
2. Mother Bruce
This is the first book in the newer Bruce series and I completely got sucked in by the fabulous illustrations. What is Bruce going to do when his breakfast hatches? Ugh. He has to put up with some pretty pesky visitors. He might be a grump every unwilling step of the way, but Bruce pulls through as a great friend and mentor. And, he may find himself a little better off for all his trouble.
3. The Old Woman Who Named Things
Slightly crazy, wispy white haired old ladies that wear lots of layers and have fabulous gardens are basically my spirit animals. This woman has lost a lot of friends over time, so she’s decided no more friends that might not outlive her. Instead, she names her chair, car, bed, house and other familiar items that are sure to last. In a change of pace, this slightly sobering story is thoughtful and beautiful. She finds herself making a friend she doesn’t want and needing him as much as he needs her.
5 Classic Friendship Picture Books
- Horton Hears a Who! – Horton happens to have great hearing and overhears an entire city living on a speck. He goes above and beyond to help out his new friends.
- Just My Friend and Me – Little Critter is the master of self confidence. This book on friendship may show an angle of a few things you should not do as a good friend (much to the delight of young kids).
- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie – This book teaches a bit on boundaries just as much as it teaches obnoxious friend behavior. Are you the mouse? Do you know a mouse? You can still work through your friendship. I find this story line all to familiar with a bunch of young kids (if you give a kid a cookie…).
- The Rainbow Fish – Is being cool, admired and beautiful better than having friends? This fish finds that sharing gets him what he really wants, while being conceited and selfish leaves him feeling sad and lonely.
- Ginger and Petunia – I grew up inspired by the artwork of Patricia Polacco and so this book is a classic for me. Pet or best friend? I’ll let you decide as Petunia acts in Ginger’s stead for the day.