================================================== --> 6 books that teach children about friendship – The Story Corner

6 books that teach children about friendship

Posted on February 10 2019

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As parents there are so many things we want to teach our children from learning to count to using the potty but where do you start when it comes to helping them make friends?

Teaching children to be sociable with their peers and form funand lasting friendships can be tricky. It takes time for young children to develop their social and emotional skills and toddlers are often quite happy to play alongside others rather than with them.

Books are a great way of teaching little ones all about what friends are and how they behave towards each other. Through different stories, they can see friendships in action, which can help them understand how to interact with other children in a positive way.

Sharing a story is also a great way of starting a conversation with your child about friends, how to behave nicely around other children and the best way to handle arguments. Talking to your child about the story you are reading and asking them what they think about what is happening will help you gauge their level of understanding and give you the opportunity to address any worries they may have from their own experiences.

Today is National Make a Friend Day so we’ve put together a list of our favourite books to help your child learn how to forge their own friendships.


1. Sharing a Shell by Julia Donaldson

Beautifully illustrated by Lydia Monks, this rhyming tale gently introduces the importance of teamwork and sharing with others, even when you might not initially be keen. It follows a hermit crab trying to find a new shell he can make his home in. At first, he thinks he’d rather be alone but he soon learns that life is happier when you share it with others and work together. 


2. Iris and Isaac by Catherine Rayner

Iris and Isaac, the polar bears in this enchanting picture book, start the story by deciding they no longer want to be friends. After some time apart, they both realise how much they miss each other and that they are happier together than they are alone. Iris and Isaac is a great story to demonstrate to your child that having a disagreement doesn’t have to spell the end of a friendship as the characters manage to resolve their differences and make friends again.


3. I Want a Friend by Anne Booth 

When three-year-old Arthur goes to nursery school, he is determined to make a friend but he isn’t at all sure how to go about it. In the story, he thinks of all the different things he could try to find a friend, including trapping them in a hole or catching them in a net. As you’d expect, his plans don’t work out how he wants them to but in the end, Lily comes along and shows him what having a friend is really all about.


4. The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

The Rainbow Fish is the most beautiful creature in the sea but no one wants to play with him as he refuses to share his glittering scales with the others. Lonely and upset, he discovers that although sharing can be difficult, being kind to others brings happiness and friendship.Marcus Pfister’s underwater tale has become something of a modern classic and is the first in a series of books featuring the Rainbow Fish.


5. Little Dinos Don’t Push by Michael S Dahl

Aimed at very young children, this board book focuses on positive behaviour and aims to discourage pushing – a common problem which occurs when toddlers and pre-schoolers start playing together. With bold, bright illustrations which will capture your little one’s attention, it is part of a series of Little Dinos books including Little Dinos Don’t Bite and Little Dinos Don’t Hit. These books are particularly useful if you have been experiencing problems with your child lashing out at others while playing.


6. Cyril and Pat by Emily Gravett

This charming picture book shows children that you can still be friends with someone even if they are different to you. Cyril is the only squirrel living in his park and that makes him very lonely. One day, he thinks he has found the answer when he comes across what he thinks is another squirrel called Pat. The other animals are adamant that the pair cannot be friends as Pat is not a squirrel after all but a rat. Emily Gravett’s story demonstrates that differences don’t have to get in the way of friendship.





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