Books by Theme
Friends fill a special place in a child's life. Fun, secrets, happiness, and sorrows are all better when shared with a buddy, teammate, or pal. Share these recommended books with kids ages 0-9 and together celebrate the way friends know how to stay close, no matter what.
A Letter to Amy
Peter finds a special way to invite Amy, the only girl and a singular friend, to his birthday party. But the wind catches his letter just as he puts it in the mailbox. Keats' well-liked character (first introduced in A Snowy Day) is back for another everyday drama.
The classic story of friendship and how a spider named Charlotte saves Wilbur, a small pig, from certain death with words in a web is now more than 50 years old. Nonetheless, it remains as fresh as the day it was first written.
Joe and John Henry are friends who have many interests in common, including swimming. But because John Henry has brown skin and Joe's is the "color of pale moths," they cannot swim together in the town’s pool. Told by Joe and eloquently illustrated, the emotions and power of friends trying to understand an unfriendly world are timeless.
Frog and Toad Are Friends
Five short stories about best friends celebrate everyday activities. Each of them has a very distinctive personality; but Frog and Toad find that their differences are what make their friendship special. Gentle illustrations and an easy-to-read text create treasured tales. Be sure to read other stories about the amphibious friends in Frog and Toad Together and Frog and Toad All Year.
George and Martha
George and Martha’s friendship is revealed in a series of short stories each illustrated with seemingly simple but hugely expressive illustrations – appropriate for the size of these hippos' happy friendship.
Gossie and Gertie
When Gossie loses her beloved red boots, she searches everywhere for them. Ultimately, she finds Gertie, another gosling, wearing her boots! The small yellow birds settle their issue and go off together, each wearing one red boot. The small, square book ideally supports the crisp, appealing illustrations.
Me, Mop, and the Moondance Kid
T.J. narrates the story of how he and his brother, nicknamed the Moondance Kid, become friends with Mop. Even after the boys are adopted they remain friends, though they worry about Mop – will she be adopted, too? A surprise ending which involves their shared love of baseball allows the children’s friendship to continue in this enjoyable novel.
My Friend Rabbit
Rabbit always thinks of things to do even though they often lead to trouble. When Mouse's toy airplane gets stuck in a tree, Rabbit's animal ladder is sure to release it — with very funny results in this 2003 Caldecott Medal-winning book.
Pink and Say
Both Pink, the son of black slaves, and Say, a poor, white boy, fought in the Union army during the Civil War. Only Say survives the Andersonville Prison to tell of their remarkable friendship and how Pink saved Say and taught him how to read. This poignant story, complemented by Patricia Polacco's signature illustrations, is based on a story from the author’s family.
This illustrated vignette from the career of Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play baseball in the major leagues, depicts his strength and that of his teammate Pee Wee Reese, who stood together against the prejudice of both fans and players. This powerful story makes the life and times of Robinson come alive for younger readers.
The Lost Ball/La pelota perdida
Two boys and their dogs look for the balls they have each lost in the park. Not only do they find them, they each find a friend. The text, in Spanish and English, appears in different colors along with crisply lined illustrations, allowing readers to follow Richard and Ricardo on their hunt. When the boys find their balls and discover their shared interests, they (and the colors) come together on a single page. Reiser's Margaret and Margarita, Margarita y Margaret explores a similar theme as girls and their mothers meet and discover friendship, despite speaking different languages.
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