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Friendship Stories: Books About Friends

Testing the Bonds of Friendship

By Luisa LaFleur, The Children’s Book Review
Published: January 7, 2013

Most friendships have their ups and downs. Some survive, while others perish—but the memories of those friendships can last a lifetime. Here are some precious tales for the younger set about trials and tribulations and the joys of having a best friend.

Bear Has a Story to Tell

By Philip C. Stead; Illustrated by Erin Stead

Reading level: Ages 2-4

Hardcover: 32 pages

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

What to expect: Friendship, seasons, passage of time

In this timeless tale about the permanence of friendship, Bear sets out to tell his friends a story. But pressing concerns intervene—the animals must prepare for winter and Bear puts his story on hold to help his friends. The animals rush to find shelter and begin the long hibernation during the winter. As time passes and the weather warms, Bear awakens and goes to find his friends. He still wants to tell his story. In a clever twist, we learn that the story itself is irrelevant but his friendships are precious.

Add this book to your collection: Bear Has a Story to Tell

Good News Bad News

By Jeff Mack

Reading level: Ages 2-4

Hardcover: 32 pages

Publisher: Chronicle Books

What to expect: Friendship, comic catastrophes, perseverance

In this sure-to-become classic children’s book, a bunny and a mouse set out for a picnic. With clever illustrations and just four simple words, we’re taken on a turbulent journey filled with trials and tribulations that would test any relationship. But the friends persevere and find a way to enjoy each other’s company despite the whims of destiny. A great book to help children understand that sometimes things are beyond our control and yet we can still find a way to make the best of situations.

Add this book to your collection: Good News Bad News

Ollie and Moon: Fuhgeddaboudit

By Diane Kredensor

Reading level: Ages 2-4

Hardcover: 32 pages

Publisher: Random House

What to expect: Emotions, friendship, perseverance

In this cleverly laid out story, Ollie and Moon are great friends in New York City. Ollie loves a good laugh and Moon enjoys making him laugh. But sometimes, laughs don’t come easily and Moon is tested to her limit while trying to make Ollie laugh. With instantly recognizable photographic scenes set in New York, this is a great story for little ones to learn the value of laughter and friendship.

Add this book to your collection: Ollie and Moon: Fuhgeddaboudit

Are You My Friend Today?

By Gyo Fujikawa

Reading level: 2-4 years

Hardcover: 37 pages

Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books

What to expect: Descriptions of children at play in various situations

This beautifully illustrated book captures the essence of childhood in its descriptions of different settings–at the park, at school or at a picnic–and the activities of children at play. Sometimes the activities are joyful, sometimes sad (like when one of the children is having a bad day) but all of them highlight the fun to be had with one’s friends.

Add this book to your collection: Are You My Friend Today?

Lenore Finds a Friend: A True Story from Bedlam Farm

By Jon Katz

Reading level: 4-8 years

Hardcover: 32 pages

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

What to expect: Unlikely friendships, farm animals

In this beautifully photographed book, author Jon Katz documents the true story of the friendship between a puppy named Lenore and a grumpy ram named Brutus. When Lenore first comes to the farm, she finds it hard to make friends. Although she tries, the other animals aren’t interested, until she meets Brutus. Her attempts at friendship are richly rewarded in the end.

Add this book to your collection: Lenore Finds a Friend: A True Story from Bedlam Farm

Kate & Pippin: An Unlikely Love Story

By Martin and Isobel Springett

Reading level: 4-8 years

Hardcover: 32 pages

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

What to expect: Unlikely friendships, country life

Pippin, a young fawn that was found by the author’s wife, is brought to live with Kate, a Great Dane that has never had any puppies. The photographs chronicle the loving relationship that develops between Kate and Pippin, as each one becomes the other’s family. This true story may require some explanation for little ones—such as why Pippin was abandoned—but ultimately, it is a heartwarming tale about finding love in a non-traditional way. It allows for numerous teaching moments about the strength of love and loyalty, regardless of the origin of the familial bonds.

Add this book to your collection: Kate & Pippin: An Unlikely Love Story

Lady Hahn and her Seven Friends

By Yumi Heo

Reading level: Ages 4 to 7

Hardcover: 30 pages

What to expect: Lessons on teamwork; how to value your friends

Lady Hahn is a seamstress who sews lovely silk shirts and skirts. She has a team of helpers—seven important tools that help her make the beautiful clothes. Mrs. Ruler helps with measuring the silk, Newlywed Scissors helps with cutting the fabric, Young Bride Needle helps with the actual sewing, and so on—and each believes she is most important to the process. There’s an argument and eventually Lady Hahn comes to understand that the shirt can only be completed when they all work as a team. This cleverly written story is based on a Korean classical essay from the 1800s—but its message is timeless. Perfect for helping little ones understand the importance of teamwork and the value of friendship.

Add this book to your collection: Lady Hahn and her Seven Friends

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Luisa LaFleur reviews bilingual books for The Children’s Book Review to help parents choose the best books for their budding linguists. She was born in Argentina, attended school in NYC and speaks three foreign languages–Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. Formerly an editor in NYC, Luisa is currently a stay-at-home mom to two little ones.

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