A guest post from Melissa Taylor:
Today on Babble, I wrote how much pleasure moms take in Young Adult fiction. Likewise, the children for whom these books are written, learn so much about life through a fictional story: how to solve problems, how others have the same issues, and so forth. One of the biggest issues for children is friendships. With that in mind, here are my picks for the best children’s books about friendships — making, keeping and dealing. See what you think — and if these give your child new ways to look at friends.
1. The Worst Best Friend by Alexis O’Neill, illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith (ages 4+)
When a cool new boy comes to school, Mike’s best friend Conrad decides to be friends with the new boy, leaving Mike feeling sad and lonely.
2. Who’s Your Best Friend by Todd Parr (ages 3 – 6)
Todd realizes that he doesn’t need to have just one best friend — he can have four!
3. The Sandwich Swap by Her Majesty Queen Raina Al Abdullah and Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Tricia Tusa (ages 3 – 7)
Based on events in the Queen’s own childhood, this story shows how two best friends can learn to appreciate each other’s differences.4. Big Little Elephant by Valeri Gorbachev (ages 5 – 7)
Big Little Elephant wants to play, so all of the animals work together to figure out a way that everyone can play, big or small.
5. Lola and Tiva by Juliana, Isabella, and Craig Hatkoff (ages 4 – 8)
Lola, a young child in Africa, who forms an unlikely friendship with a Kenyan baby rhino named Tiva.
6. How Do Dinosaurs Play With their Friends? by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague (ages 3 – 6)
Just like children, dinosaurs must share, take turns and be kind when they play with their friends.
7. Horace and Morris but Mostly Dolores by James Howe (ages 4 – 8)
Horace and Morris form a boys-only club that leaves their friend Dolores out. They eventually learn that boys and girls can all be friends.
8. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (ages 10 +)
Stargirl is the powerful story of a unique girl who feels pressure to conform to social norms and the boy who falls in love with her quirky personality.
9. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes (ages 6 – 10)
The narrator, Maddie, feels guilty for her cruelty to her classmate, Wanda, and is forced to deal with her own sadness about not being kind.
10. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (ages 9 – 12)
Miranda’s best friend Sal stops speaking to her, an unknown stranger delivers warning notes to her, and she learns the true meaning of friendship.
Which friendship books are your child’s favorites?
Recently awarded the Scholastic Best Book and Reading Blog Award for her playful learning blog, Imagination Soup, Melissa Taylor is a learning junkie, recovering teacher, freelance writer and mom of two — an introverted roller skater and an extroverted fairy princess.