This week, the New York Times Book Review highlighted three new kids books that “remind children–and grown-ups–what real-life friendships look like,” which got me to thinking. Aren’t all my favorite kids books about friendship?
From modern books like Ladybug Girl all the way back to classics like Jenny Linsky, the books we read over and over in my house are the ones about friendship.
Looking for a great recommendation? These are our favorites:
1. Jenny and the Cat Club by Esther Averill
“In Greenwich Village an orphaned black cat lives happily with her master, a sea captain. Still, the gentle Jenny Linsky would like nothing more than to join the local Cat Club, whose members include Madame Butterfly, an elegant Persian, the high-stepping Macaroni, and stately, plump Mr. President. But can she overcome her fears and prove that she, too, has a special gift? Join Jenny and her friends, including fearless Pickles the Fire Cat, on their spirited downtown adventures and discover why The Atlantic Monthly called Jenny ‘a personality ranking not far below such giants as Peter Rabbit.'”
2. Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad by Jackie Davis
“The Bug Squad – Bumblebee Boy, Dragonfly Girl, and Butterfly Girl – are coming to Lulu’s house for a play date and she know exactly what they are going to do all day. They use their big imaginations to create their own fun games right in Lulu’s backyard. But when some things don’t go just the way Lulu planned, Dragonfly Girl’s feelings get hurt. This is a job for Ladybug Girl! When Lulu is Ladybug Girl, she knows that even if it isn’t easy, it is important to apologize.”
If you haven’t been turned on to Ladybug Girl yet, be sure to check other titles in the series for the friendship theme too!
3. Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle
“Beep! Beep! Beep! Meet Blue. A muddy country road is no match for this little pick up–that is, until he gets stuck while pushing a dump truck out of the muck. Luckily, Blue has made a pack of farm animal friends along his route. And they’re willing to do whatever it takes to get their pal back on the road.”
4. Wibbly Pig Has Ten Balloons by Mick Inkpen
“Wibbly Pig has ten balloons but not for very long! As he gives them away, he holds on tightly to his favourite teddy bear balloon. But then Big Pig’s shouting sister comes along…
“From the creator of Kipper, this brilliant rhyming story is the perfect introduction to numbers and counting for young children.”
Haven’t met a kid who doesn’t LOVE this book yet! It’s one of my favorites to gift.
5. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
“Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.
“E. B. White’s Newbery Honor Book is a tender novel of friendship, love, life, and death that will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come. It contains illustrations by Garth Williams, the acclaimed illustrator of E. B. White’s Stuart Little and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series, among many other books.”
6. The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson
“When a tiny snail meets a humpback whale, the two travel together to far-off lands. It’s a dream come true for the snail, who has never left home before. But when the whale swims too close to shore, will the snail be able to save her new friend?”
7. The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
“With stunning illustrations from celebrated artist Charles Santore and a child-friendly, abridged retelling that remains faithful to Frank L. Baum’s original text, this Classic Edition of The Wizard of Oz is a must-have for every family’s library.
“Readers of all ages will follow the Yellow Brick Road on an unforgettable journey that takes them from Dorothy’s gray Kansas home into the blue Munchkin land; the sparkling bejeweled Emerald City; the dark, foreboding forest; and the ruby-red throne room of Glinda the Good Witch in this gorgeously illustrated, classic edition of THE WIZARD OF OZ.”
8. Charlie & Lola, My Best, Best Friend by Lauren Child
“Lola and Lotta are best, best, BESTEST friends who do completely everything together. They always pair up, they look after the tadpoles in the pond, and they especially always swap lunches. But when Evie, a new girl, joins the class, suddenly it’s Evie whom Lotta does everything with, even lunch swapping. Lola tells her brother Charlie that she has lost her best friend forever, but Charlie isn’t so sure.
“The always lively Lola is front-and-center in the latest escapade of the duo made popular by their successful Playhouse Disney show. Charlie and Lola’s unique style will charm existing fans and attract new readers to this especially likable series.”
Sooo many great Charlie & Lola books on the theme of friendship and kindness, especially between siblings!
9. Uni the Unicorn by Krouse Rosenthal
“Uni is just like all the other unicorns . . . except for one thing: she believes that little girls are REAL. This magical story by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (author of I Wish You More) illuminates Uni’s not-so-fantastical dream and celebrates the sparkle of believing.
“Uni the unicorn is told there’s no such thing as little girls! But no matter what the grown-up unicorns say, Uni believes that little girls are REAL. Somewhere there must be a smart, strong, wonderful, magical little girl waiting to be best friends. In fact, far away (but not too far away), a real little girl believes there is a unicorn waiting for her, too. This magical story of friendship reminds believers and nonbelievers alike that sometimes wishes really can come true.”
10. Olive and the Embarrassing Gift
“Olive’s best friend, Joe, has bought her a special hat. The only problem is that it’s hideously, cringe-inducingly embarrassing! Their whole gang of friends is giggling about it. She tries all kinds of excuses to avoid wearing the hat, then all kinds of ways to get rid of it, until Joe catches her stuffing it into the trash. He’s totally heartbroken. How can Olive make it up to him? Shoving the hat back on her head, she’s off to create something even more embarrassing — a huge best-friends sign to wear proudly.”
P.S. We love the other Olive books too!
So, which sweet little stories about friendship do you come back to again and again?
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