There are so many ways to be a friend to others. The books below include different examples of how we can help, encourage, make and keep friends. This collection of books about friendship is a helpful resources that includes fiction books and nonfiction books that readers will enjoy.
Here you’ll also find a free printable list of the books mentioned so that you can have a quick reference guide as you gather your own books about friendship.
The free printable also includes a writing prompt activity for kids to do after they’ve discussed ways to be a good friend to others.
FIND GREAT ACTIVITY IDEAS FOR THIS TOPIC IN OUR PRINTABLE FRIENDS THEME LESSON PLANS.
Books About Friendship
Hooray for Hat! By Brian Won
I love this sweet book that shows how happiness can be shared. The story starts with an elephant who is grumpy and receives a stack of hats that cheer him up. He sets off to find friends and show off his hats, but along the way he shares his hats and cheers them up. The story is very bright, colorful and shows how easily we can improve our friends’ day. This is a great read!
Peanut Butter & Cupcake by Terry Border
Peanut Butter & Cupcake is a fun and delicious book to read. Peanut Butter, a real piece of bread with peanut butter on it, looks around the park for a new friend. Along the way he meets lots of other foods but nothing goes with peanut butter quite like…… My favorite part of the story is the photographs of real treats playing. Oh, and the hamburger walking his hotdog. 🙂
Bad Apple: A Tale of Friendship by Edward Hemingway
The story Bad Apple is about Mac an apple and Will a worm. The two begin an unusual friendship that others think is weird. Will their friendship last even when others make fun of them?
The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson
The Snail and the Whale is a great story that reminds us that we can always help our friend no matter how big or small we are. Snail wants to explore the world and Whale is happy to show him the many different sights. When Whale becomes stuck on the beach it is up to his new friend to save him.
Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity by Mo Willems
Knuffle Bunny Too is the second story about Trixie and her stuffed bunny. In this story, Trixie takes Knuffle Bunny to school and discovers that Sonja also has a stuffed bunny just like hers. The two non-friends quickly discover they have more in common than they think.
The Adventures of Beekle : the Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat
The Adventures of Beekle is a fun book that takes readers from the land of imaginary friends to the real world. Beekle is tired of waiting to be picked as an imaginary friend so he sets out to find his friend. This was a great book to read with Little Bit. Her imaginary friend Curley is a big part of play in our house. Little Bit loved seeing all the different types of imaginary friends.
Little Elliot, Big City by Mike Curato
Little Elliot, Big City is a sweet story that reminds us that no matter how small or unimportant we feel, there is always someone we can help. Little Elliot feels lost and so small in the big city until he meets Mouse. I enjoyed the vintage looking illustrations.
The Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell
In The Gift of Nothing, Mooch wants to give his friend Ed the perfect gift but Ed has everything he could need. Mooch decides to give him nothing and that is a perfect gift. Readers will see in the end that friends don’t need us to do or give anything, just to simply be there.
Penguin and Pinecone: Friendship Story by Salina Yoon
Penguin and Pinecone is an unusual story of friendship. When Penguin finds Pinecone he sets off to find a forest so he can grow. Over time the two continue to be friends and their friendship grows.
My Friends by Taro Gomi
My Friends is a sweet and simple story about a little girl who has learned many things from her animal friends. Readers will be reminded that we learn many different things from our friends.
My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann
My Friend Rabbit is a story of a rabbit who has good intentions but always makes a mess of things. Together with mouse he tries to do the right thing but trouble always follows. This is a sweet and simple story that shows that friends stick together and help each other.
Best Friends: We Are Best Friends by Roger Priddy
We Are Best Friends is a sweet rhyming book about pairs that are just meant to be together. Use it to inspire kids to think or more pairs that go together. You can even create your own simple rhymes to go along with them.
Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller
In Be Kind kids learn how two simple words can help us make a difference in the lives of others. In the story the main character shows readers how simple acts can help others feel better and help us be a better friend.
True Stories of Animal Friends
The books listed below are stories of true friendships between animals. For animal lovers these books are perfect.
Tarra & Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends by Carol Buckley
Tarra & Bella is a sweet story of a retired entertainer elephant. When she is moved to an elephant sanctuary she finds a best friend in a dog that belongs to a caregiver.
Hope for Winter: The True Story of A Remarkable Dolphin Friendship by Craig Hatkoff
Hope for Winter is the amazing story of two dolphins and how they save each other. The text for this story is longer and includes real photographs taken throughout the time Hope was rescued.
Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship by Isabella Hatkoff
Owen & Mzee is an amazing story that makes me smile. Owen is a hippopotamus that is orphaned and taken to an animal sanctuary. There he meets a 130 year old tortious and the two become great friends.
Two Bobbies is an incredible story of a dog and cat that survived Hurricane Katrina and then wandered alone in New Orleans for months afterwards. This is an amazing story but does talk about how animals were left alone during and after the hurricane and the difficulties faced by people and animals.
Suryia and Roscoe: The True Story of an Unlikely Friendship by Bhagavan “Doc” Antle
Suryia and Roscoe are a dog and orangutan that live on an animal preserve and are great friends. The book includes many pictures of the two friends on the preserve. This is a great read for little ones.
A Friend for Einstein, the Smallest Stallion by Charlie Cantrell
In A Friend for Einstein we meet Einstein, a mini miniature horse. Einstein looks for a friend that is his size who loves to run and play, will anyone on the farm play with him?
Friends: True Stories of Extraordinary Animal Friendships by Catherine Thimmesh
If you are looking for a book full of animal friendship for preschoolers, Friends is a great pick. This book is written for preschoolers and includes great pictures of animal pals.
Unlikely Friendships for Kids: The Monkey & the Dove (book 1) by Jennifer S. Holland
This is the first of several books in a series about animal friendship. Unlikely Friendships for Kids is written for kids ages 7 and up. The other books in the series are listed below, including the adult version.
Unlikely Friendships for Kids: The Dog & The Piglet (book 2)
Unlikely Friendships for Kids: The Leopard & the Cow (book 3)
Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom (for adults)
Do you have any favorite books about friendship to add to the list? We’d love to hear about them in the comments.
GET YOUR COPY OF THE BOOKS ABOUT FRIENDS LIST AND ACTIVITY SHEET
Complete the form below to get a free printable copy of the titles referenced in this book list and the How to Be a Friend Writing Prompt Sheet. Use the Books About Friendship list as you gather your books, and use the writing activity with preschoolers and kindergarteners after you’ve read some of the book suggestions.
MORE FRIEND THEME FUN WITH PRINTABLE LESSON PLANS
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
GET YOUR LESSON PLANS
Also available on Teachers Pay Teachers.
More Resources for Little Book Lovers
The best way to encourage a love of reading is to provide kids with many opportunities to engage with a wide variety of books that are of interest to them. That’s why we share so many books lists on Fantastic Fun and Learning. We want to make it easy for you to find great books your kids will love. Over the years we’ve also discovered some helpful tools for connecting kids and books.
Digital libraries are one very handy way to do this. Epic! is one of our favorite online libraries. It’s full of over 25,000 books, learning videos, quizzes and more for kids 12 and under…and it’s free for educators. Click here to learn more and sign up.
Book Boxes are another fun way to get kids excited about reading. What kid doesn’t love to get a special delivery in the mail?! The crew over at Bookroo finds the best little known books that you won’t already have in your library, and they send them to you each month. Take a peak inside a Bookroo Box here.
Book-Based Activities are also a lot of fun for kids. Jodie over at Growing Book by Book has saved us all a ton of time and created a full year of Book-Based Activity Calendars so that you can extend the fun with a special book each week.
Originally published January 2015. Updated January 2019.