12 Kid's Books That Model True Friendship

by ParentCo. July 10, 2023

Cartoon of frogs playing under water

Friends help each other, remember each other, and share life together. And kids love reading all about it. These twelve kids book celebrate the magic and power of friendship. 

Fancy Nancy – Best Reading Buddies

By Jane O’Connor

On Mondays, Fancy Nancy’s class visits the library to read with the older kids. As all kids do, she loves having a “big kid” friend. When her friend, Violet, misses reading day for a field trip and a holiday cancels school, Nancy is disappointed to not see her friend. When the doorbell rings, Nancy finds that Violet has set up a playdate for them to read books and go to the library. She loved reading with Nancy, too! Friends help each other, remember each other, and share life together.

Dragons Love Tacos

By Adam Rubin

With a desire to befriend dragons, who really do love tacos, a little boy learns how to make them exactly the way dragons like. He throws a party for the dragons, but when a mistake happens, it comes with a big catastrophe. The new friends work together to solve the problem and celebrate...with tacos of course!!!

The Blueberry Pie Elf

By Jane Thayer

In a desperate hope for the family to make blueberry pie again, an elf cleans the house and makes the beds, because “no one can see an elf and no one can hear an elf.” When the family makes a cherry pie, the elf tastes it. Disappointed, the elf walks away from the pie leaving cherry juice footprints. Ecstatic over the appearance of the elf, the family realizes he was the one who had helped them with their chores. When the elf overhears them talking about how to thank him, he writes in cherry juice, “Blueberry Pie Please.” This book shows that family and friends help each other and always use their manners!

Rosie and Rex – A Nose For Fun

By Bob Boyle

Two friends argue over a mysterious item they found and how to play with it. They take turns trying out their different ideas. When a robot shows up on the scene, he helps them plan something they both love to do…a robot, ballerina tea party!!

Peanut Butter & Cupcake

By Terry Border

Peanut Butter has just moved to town and is hoping to find a friend. He is cheerful, brave, and persistent. After a long day of asking meatball, cupcake, hamburger, and a few more comical foods to play, he finds the perfect friend. Together, they share new tricks and find that their fun and laughter draw more friends into their game.

Penguin on Vacation

By Salina Yoon

A story of meeting new friends and long distance visits. Unlikely friends, Penguin and Crab, share adventures and build a friendship that spans miles between Tropics and the Artic. This tale reminds us we don’t have to be the same or live in the same place to have a special connection.

Llama Llama – Time to Share

By Anna Dewdney

A realistic story of learning how to play together. There are differing opinions, unkind words, consequences, compromises, and joy found in new friendships. The element of mothers developing a friendship alongside their children is an added bonus.

Teeny Tiny Toady

By Jill Esbaum

A story of a little sister not being listened to by her older, tougher brothers. But she doesn’t let them push her away. She loves them despite how they treat her. And she never gives up to save the mother and brothers she loves deeply. When the rescue is complete family.

Otis and the Puppy

By Loren Long

A sweet friendship develops on the farm when a new puppy arrives. Otis the tractor learns what it is like to have someone follow you around who needs looking after. When the puppy gets lost, Otis learns to face his fears for the good of his friend. With great love, care, and hope for his friend, Otis braves the woods to rescue a scared friend and finds joy and courage in the reunion.


By Sarah Weeks

When a family’s dog comes to visit, Glamourpuss attempts to gain affection through competition. Then the dog and cat realize their jealousy is a desire for common freedom. Glamourpuss teaches the dog how to be adorable without costumes, and they learn that working together is better than being adversaries.

Bear Says Thanks

By Karma Wilson

In this book, true friendship is shown through giving to our friends no matter what they offer in return. Bear learns that what you can give is not always tangible and that friendship is the most important gift.

Berenstain Bears – Kindness Counts

By Jan and Mike Berenstain

Brother Bear learns that working together, teaching someone younger, and showing kindness is more fun than doing everything himself. Sometimes making one new friend can lead to a whole group of new friends.



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