Friendship isn’t always easy – but it is always important. These children’s books about friendship focus on the strength we get from our friends, the laughs we share along the way, and the importance of building lifelong bonds. Through thick and thin, good times and bad, these amusing, richly illustrated books showcase how essential friendship is.

Top 5 Children’s Books About Friendship

frog & toad together Frog and Toad Together: Frog and Toad are the very best of friends. They do everything together and are always there to help each other in any way they can. Toad compliments Frog’s garden, and Frog gives him seeds to plant his own. Toad bakes delicious cookies, and Frog is there to help him eat them – and to later uncover a plan for future cookie eating. When both of these fun-filled creatures are scared, they put on a brave face together. This book includes 5 adventures of these two best friends, and each one is an enchanting tale, told with humor and affection.
i like you I Like You: This classic, simple book is full of creative language to describe the ways in which one friend likes another. Through unique rhymes, made-up words like “snurkle,” and heartwarming stories, I Like You is a delightful romp for fun loving friends. Beautifully illustrated with pen and ink drawings of laughing children, dancing alligators, and other types of goofiness, the whimsy of this book makes it stand out from the other books on this list. While it was written in 1965, the lessens are still as true and relevant today as they were more than 50 years ago.
owen and mzee Owen and Mzee: An inspiring true story, this book is about a baby hippo named Owen, and his best friend – a 130 year old giant tortoise by the name of Mzee. They met after a terrible accident caused by the December 2004 tsunami, in which Owen became stranded. An entire Kenyan village worked to rescue him, and when he was finally freed, they were awestruck by the friendship that grew between Owen the hippo and Mzee the tortoise. This true store uses actual photos and fun facts to demonstrate this loving friendship, as the inseparable friends swim, eat and play together.
how to be a friend How to Be a Friend: For some, friendship comes naturally, while others need some guidance to learn the best ways to find friends and keep them. This picture book provides practical advice on determining who can be a friend, how to show someone that you’d like to be friends, when to stand up for yourself and your friends, and how to handle arguments between friends. The colorful, whimsical cartoon style drawings humorously deal with these sometimes tricky situations. While many children’s books about friendship deal with the realities of friendship, few of them offer this kind of practical, real life advice that children can take to heart.
the lion and the little red bird The Lion and the Little Red Bird: Children will be challenged on every page of this book, as they’re given clues to guess what’s coming next. The book centers on a language barrier between a lion and his would-be-friend the bird. Because they are unable to communicate, the bird becomes frustrated as it tries to figure out why the lion’s tail is a different color every day. On each page, clues are given as to what color it will be on the next page. Eventually the bird discovers the secret – the lion uses his luxurious tale as a brush to paint murals in his cave.

Honorable Mentions: Other Great Books About Friendship

little blue and little yellow Little Blue and Little Yellow: This is a truly unique story that focuses not on humans or animals as characters, but on two different blobs of color: green and yellow. They both have many friends at school, and both enjoy playing games just like children do. Everything is fine, until one day blue can’t find yellow. Eventually, the two are reunited and so overjoyed that they embrace. The portion of their colors that touched each other turn into something else entirely – a green blob. This book uses non-traditional characters to send a powerful message about the way we can affect our friends – and the effects they can have on us.
friends Friends: Percy the Pig, Johnny Mouse and Charlie Rooster are the main characters in this very sweet and straightforward tale about friendship. The three inseparable friends enjoy a fun-filled day together, and when night falls they learn an important lesson about the necessity for friends to be a part at times. This tale is simply charming, and includes many hidden lessons on teamwork, compromise, being thoughtful, considering the feelings of others, and accepting that other people are different than us. Told with fresh, funny humor and touching, lighthearted candor, this is a book that kids will ask for night after night.
two bobbies Two Bobbies: This book will touch your heart more than many children’s books will. It is the tale of a cat and dog who survived Hurricane Katrina, spent four months searching for their homes and families, and were eventually rescued by the Best Friends Animal Society. This animals in this true tale both had bobbed tails, and were thus named Bob Cat and Bobbi. The rescuers later discovered that Bob Cat was blind, which made their survival even more unbelievable. While the story does deal with a terrifying natural disaster, it’s told in a very straightforward way that focuses on the positive aspects of the magical tale of these two best friends.
help!: a story of friendship Help!: A Story of Friendship: While this story is a very simple one that holds few surprises, the story is one that children will be able to relate to. A series of characters, including a hedgehog, mouse, skunk and squirrel, deal with rumors and gossip. While some of them fall prey to the rumors, others dismiss them outright. Together they work through the story, and discover the truth that lies underneath. Told with fresh, fun banter, this book subtly encourages children not to listen to hurtful stories children tell about one another, and to find the truth before they pass judgment.
farfallina and marcel Farfallina and Marcel: Everyone, whether child or adult, must come to terms with the fact that everything changes. This gentle story centers around a young gosling named Marcel, and their friend Farfallina the caterpillar. They initially find many similarities between one another, and become very close friends. Then one day, Farfallina the caterpillar begins to feel strange, and climbs a tree to rest. Marcel realizes that Farfallina is not coming down any time soon, and the two don’t see one another for quite some time. When they do, they don’t recognize each other, as Farfallina has turned into a beautiful butterfly, and Marcel’s become a sophisticated goose. They eventually realize that though some things have changed, they are still compatible friends.
how to lose all your friends How to Lose All Your Friends: Reverse psychology is used in this book, as it tells readers not to smile or share, to bully each other and to generally be a bad sport. As each rule is written, examples are given and illustrated with bright, bold pictures. This book seeks to grab children’s attention as they discover the complications and problems that arise from characters following this bad advice. The examples given are light and nondestructive, such as pushing in the lunch line or cheating at cards. This book asks many questions of the reader, and encourages good friendship and good manners.
dog and bear Dog and Bear: Three stories of two of the best of friends are shared in this delightful and uniquely illustrated book. Dog is a frisky little puppy, who’s always getting into lighthearted trouble. Bear is a shy, serious creature, who is sometimes overwhelmed by Dog’s trouble. This book shares three of their greatest adventures, as the two compliment each other and work together towards common goals. Important lessons about friendship are demonstrated here, such as the importance of cheering each other on and learning that differences don’t set them apart from each other – they actually work to create a much stronger bond of friendship.

The above books cover every type of friendship, from complimentary friends, to the most unlikely of duos. Some of the books are simple expressions of friendship, while others focus on how friendships can change over time. Through them all, one lesson is clear: the friendships we have enrich our lives.

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