Friday, March 20, 2009

Friendship - Plain and Simple

Young children are exploring social relationships starting at a very young age and are beginning to learn that there are people apart from themselves.  Some of the themes that books about friendship can help young children explore include celebrating uniqueness and individuality, learning to trust true friends, building lasting relationships and treating friends with respect and kindness.  The books below are about friendship - plain and simple.  Check them out from your local library and curl up with your favorite young friend.  Or even consider one of these friendship books for a friend's birthday gift!

A Splendid Friend, Indeed by Suzanne Bloom
Bear wants to read, but his friend Goose is interrupting and trying to get Bear's attention.  Although this bothers Bear, their true friendship shines through in the end.  (Ages 2-5)

(Full bibliographic info: Bloom, Suzanne. A Splendid Friend, Indeed. Mills Press, 2005.)

Help!: A Story of Friendship by Holly Keller
Mouse is stuck down a hole and none of his friends can help get him out.  He is scared to ask his friend snake for help because he heard a rumor that snakes eat mice.  After snake gently eases mouse from the hole in a non-threatening way, mouse realizes his true friendship with snake.  The illustrations are an unusual medium called collographs.  (Ages 4-9)

(Full bibliographic info: Keller, Holly. Help!: A Story of Friendship. Greenwillow Books, 2007.)

Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
"How can we be so different and feel so much alike...and how can we feel so different and be so much alike?"  These questions are the heart of the story of Stellaluna, a baby fruit bat who becomes separated from her mother and grows up in a bird's nest.  A touching story of lasting friendship and understanding differences.  (Ages 3-8)

(Full bibliographic info: Cannon, Janell. Stellaluna. Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich, 1993.)

A Dinosaur Called Tiny by Alan Durant
Tiny, a small dinosaur has trouble fitting in and finding his place among all the large dinosaurs.  He finds a small friend and in the end his tiny size saves one of the large guys.  A story of being true to who you are and finding the gifts you have to give.  (Ages 4-9)

(Full bibliographic info: Durant, Alan. A Dinosaur Called Tiny. Harper Collins Children's Books, 2007.)

Thank You Bear by Greg Foley
Bear has found a box and thinks it will be the perfect gift for his friend, mouse.  However some other animals along the way cause Bear to doubt and question his gift.  In the end, his friendship with mouse and having given the perfect gift bring Bear back to his sense of joy.  The simple pictures and text allow this a story of friendship for very young readers. (Ages 2-5)

(Full bibliographic information: Foley, Greg. Thank You Bear. Viking, 2007.)

Corduroy by Don Freeman
This is the classic children's story of friendship.  Corduroy, a toy bear in the department story, is missing his button and so even though he isn't perfect, Lisa brings him to her home to sew him a new button and to become his friend.  (Ages 3-6)

(Full bibliographic info: Freeman, Don. Corduroy. Viking, 1968.)

Little Quack's New Friend by Lauren Thompson
Little Quack's brothers and sisters don't want to play with Little Quack's new friend, Little Ribbit because he's a frog and he's different from them.  Then they learn that they have more in common than they originally thought and join in the fun to make a new friend.  (Ages 2-5)

(Full bibliographic info: Thompson, Lauren. Little Quack's New Friend. Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2006.)

Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity by Mo Willems
Trixie is older and more verbal than she was in her debut story, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale.  She is on her way to preschool to bring her one and only Knuffle Bunny only to discover that Knuffle Bunny is not so one and only.  After switching bunnies with Sonja by mistake, a middle of the night exchange must take place which solidly cements the girls' friendship.  Continuing the format from the first Knuffle Bunny, Mo Willems brings more of the great illustrations of cartoon-like characters imposed on actual photos.  (Ages 2-5)

(Full bibliographic info: Willems, Mo. Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity. Hyperion, 2007.)

Bear's New Friend by Karma Wilson
Bear senses that someone new is hiding and he keeps asking, "Who?".  But it isn't mouse or hare or raven or badger or any of the old gang.  Who will their new friend be?  (Ages 2-5)

(Full bibliographic info: Wilson, Karma. Bear's New Friend. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2006.)

How Do Dinosaurs Play with their Friends? by Jane Yolen
A part of Jane Yolen's How Do Dinosaurs... series, this title investigates all the things that dinosaurs wouldn't do while playing with friends and then celebrates the things that dinosaurs would do.  This title comes in board book format for the youngest readers.  (Ages 2-5)

(Full bibliographic info: Yolen, Jane. How Do Dinosaurs Play with their Friends? Blue Sky Press, 2006.)

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