Having best friends can be one of the most wonderful things about childhood, but making friends isn’t always easy. Caroline shares with us five books which celebrate all different types of friendship…
With themes of finding friends in unlikely places, helping new children feel welcome and showing kindness to others, there are plenty of books which can offer reassurance and help little ones find their confidence when making friends.
1. Omar, The Bees and Me by Helen Mortimer and Katie Cottle.
Published by Owlet Press, 2021.
When Omar joins a new school, he brings in a slice of honey cake and explains that his grandpa used to keep bees in his sunny garden, far away. After the class make a bee corridor out of paper flowers, Maisie has an even better idea - why don’t they make a real bee corridor outside? Omar and Maisie work together and as the flowers grow and flourish, so does their friendship.
2. Out of Nowhere by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros.
Published by Nosy Crow, 2020.
A beetle and a caterpillar are best friends, and they spend their days together on a big rock. But one day the caterpillar disappears. The beetle goes off in search of his friend, but he can’t find her anywhere. When a butterfly appears something is familiar about her. Will the pair rediscover their friendship? A visually striking book with a beautiful message about how although we all have to grow, it doesn't mean we have to grow apart.
3. I’m Sticking with You by Smriti Halls and Steve Small.
Published by Simon and Schuster, 2020.
A brilliant, funny story about not taking our friends for granted. A lovely bear tells us all the ways he is there for his best friend, Squirrel. However, although Bear is very well intentioned, the illustrations show us how Squirrel is not impressed with some of Bear's kind gestures. Eventually Squirrel tells Bear he needs some space. But soon things are very quiet and strange without Bear. Will Squirrel realise what's missing?
4. Leo and the Octopus by Isabelle Marinov and Chris Nixon.
Published by Templar Books, 2021.
Written by Isabelle Marinov who was inspired by the experiences of her son, this gorgeous book tells the story of Leo who has Asperger’s Syndrome and sometimes finds it hard to make sense of the world. One day he meets Maya, an octopus, who changes colour depending on her mood. Leo finds Maya’s clear, visual signals about her feelings easier to understand and the duo form an incredible bond, one which helps Leo to make other friends too.
5. Meesha Makes Friends by Tom Percival.
Published by Bloomsbury, 2020.
Meesha has created her own toy friends because she finds it hard to play with other children. When Meesha's Mum says they are going to a party, Meesha is worried. It's too noisy and she runs off to a corner to make her toy friends. Josh sees her and asks if he can join in. Meesha isn't sure at first but gradually she invites him to play, and with Josh's support, Meesha is able to share her world with the other children too.