38 Children’s Books About Friendship

Learning how to start conversations, invite friends to play and apologize when we make mistakes is hard.  Even for adults.  You can give your child a jumpstart on becoming a super star friend by brainstorming how to behave before he starts a play date, setting up play dates so that he has plenty of opportunity to practice and, of course, reading books on friendship.  Here are my favorites:


Making Friends


Enemy Pie by Derek Munson


The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister


Swimmy by Leo Lionni


How To Be A Friend: A Guide to Making Friends and Keeping Them by Marc Brown


American Girl: Friends Making Them and Keeping Them by Patti Kelley


Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems


Amelia Bedelia Makes a Friend by Herman Parish


Having Diverse Friends


Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship by Isabela Matkoff


My Friend Has Autism by Amanda Doering Tourville


Susan Laughs by Jeanne Willis


In Jesse’s Shoes by Beverly Lewis


Whoever You Are by Mem Fox


The Family Book by Todd Parr


And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell


My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis


Being a Steadfast Friend


Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni


Frederick by Leo Lionni


Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud


Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun by Maria Dismondy


A Rainbow of Friends by P.K. Hallinan


The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch


The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein


Help! A Story of Friendship by Holly Keller


It’s Mine by Leo Lionni


Working Through Conflict


The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with Friends by Jan and Stan Berenstain


The Berenstain Bears: The Forgiving Tree by Jan and Mike Berenstain


The Juice Box Bully by Bob Sornson


The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill


Being True to Yourself


A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon


Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes


Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell


It’s Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr


The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler


I Like Myself! By Karen Beaumont


American Girl: Stand Up For Yourself and Your Friends by Patti Kelley Criswell


Parent Resources


The Unwritten Rules of Friendship: Simple Strategies to Help Your Child Make Friends by Natalie Madorsky Elman and Eileen Kennedy Moore


How To Make and Keep Friends: Tips for Kids to Overcome 50 Social Challenges by Nadine Briggs


Raise Your Child’s Social IQ by Cathi Cohen, LCSW


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Join the Conversation


What are your family’s favorite friendship books?


About Malia Hollowell

Malia is a National Board Certified elementary teacher turned stay at home mama to three young kids {4.5, 3 and 1}. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Education {go Stanford!} and spent seven years teaching in a classroom. Since starting Playdough to Plato in 2012, her ideas have been featured in Parenting Magazine, Pinterest's Top Educational Pins and Kiwi Crate.


  1. Great list ! We love Enemy Pie & Little Blue and Little Yellow. Some of the books on this list, I have never heard of. I’ll have to check them out on our next library visit. Thanks for the ideas.

  2. Thanks for the post Sharon! I’m happy to hear that you found a few new books to add to your library bag.

  3. Time for a trip to the library! Thanks for the great list!

  4. Hi Jill! Glad that you enjoyed the list. :)


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