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Friendship and Rhyming: Books For Kids

Reading about friendship helps us learn how to be a good friend. While friendship can change as we age, it's essence remains the same; friendship is loyalty, fun, communication, support, compassion, and love. Enjoy our list of our favorite books showing the joy, journeys, hardships, and value of friendship! We hope you might even make a few (book) friends along the way.

“Reading for me, is spending time with a friend.” – Gary Pauls

Goat's Coat book
#1
Goat's Coat
Written by Tom Percival and illustrated by Christine Pym
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

This charmingly illustrated rhyming picture book about Alfonzo, a goat with a very special coat, celebrates the power of kindness and friendship. Let me tell you the tale of Alfonzo the goat, who was terribly proud of his lovely new coat. Alfonzo was happy; he pranced and he skipped. Then he heard a sad noise, croaking out of a ditch. Alfonzo couldn't be happier. He just got an amazing new coat, and he feels like a million dollars. But when he discovers some creatures in need of help, will Alfonzo be able to give up his treasured possession to save the day? This great big hug of a book shows that kindness is definitely the best recipe. Awards for Tom Percival Herman's Letter--A Kids' Indie Next List Pick

We are Better Together book
#2
We are Better Together
Written by Roger Priddy
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

You can't paint a picture without paint, or make a milkshake without milk. This charming book of teamwork and friendship shows how individual things are so much better, when they all work together! Flour, eggs, butter, and sugar all join together to make a cake; paper, scissors, and tape wrap a beautiful present. Designed with a mixture of photographs and fun illustrations to engage little ones and make them smile, there are cute rhymes to read and share in this celebration of teamwork in its many forms.

Best Friends: We Are A Family book
#3
Best Friends: We Are A Family
Written by Roger Priddy
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Like peas in a pod, and leaves in a tree, we all belong to a family! Whether they are big, or whether they are small, this charming book shows young readers that there are all kinds of different families to be found in the world around us, from a bunch of balloons, to eggs in a box, and fingers on a hand. Designed with a mixture of photographs and fun illustrations to engage little ones and make them smile, there are cute rhymes to read and share in this celebration of family in its many forms.

Room on the Broom book
#4
Room on the Broom
Written and illustrated by Julia Donaldson
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

The New York Times bestselling Halloween picture book is now a full-size board book, perfect for sharing with little ones! This rollicking, rhyming tale from master storyteller Julia Donaldson is the perfect Halloween read-aloud for the youngest listeners. A friendly witch, hungry dragon, and muddy monster learn about friendship, and readers will delight in the surprising (and not too scary) ending.

Just a Duck? book
#5
Just a Duck?
Written and illustrated by Carin Bramsen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Now that Cat has learned to play games that Duck enjoys, it’s Duck’s turn to try things that Cat likes. However, climbing trees and swatting at leaves prove to be a bit tricky for flat-footed Duck. What’s an unlikely pair of friends to do?

  1. First Snow - Snowflakes falling! What a treat! Friends gather outside to celebrate the first snowfall of the season with snowball fights, sledding, building igloos, drinking hot chocolate, and making the most of a windy, wintry day. With rhyming text and cheerful illustrations, this is a charming celebration of the winter season.

  2. Take a Hike, Miles and Spike! - Take care, GRIZZLY BEAR! Stay loose, MOOSE! Buh-bye, BUTTERFLY! Join Miles and Spike as they take a hike...and a few provisions, as well, much to the vexation of their fellow forest creatures. Travis Foster and Ethan Long offer a hilarious picture book full of silly rhymes, outdoor adventures, and learning how to get along with others.

  3. We Are Best Friends - There are some things that just belong together - milk and cookies, pen and paper, salt and pepper, all best friends forever. This charming book of friendship is full of best friend pairs, and is designed with a mixture of photographs and fun illustrations to engage little ones and make them smile. With cute rhymes to read and share: 'Knife said to Fork: There's no one better. I love it when we are together.' This is a great book to celebrate friendship and love in its many forms.

  4. Two Brothers, One Tail - A sweet and charming picture book about the unending love between a boy and his dog. Two brothers, two hands Two brothers, four paws Two brothers, ten fingers Two brother, ten claws With simple rhyming text by Richard T. Morris and charming illustrations from Jay Fleck, Two Brothers, One Tail is a heart-warming story about a boy and his brother, who just happens to be a dog. Perfect for fans of Bad Dog, Marley and Harry the Dirty Dog!

Llama Llama Jingle Bells book
#10
Llama Llama Jingle Bells
Written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

With short and simple rhyming text, the Llama Llama board books introduce Llama Llama to babies and toddlers before they’re ready for longer full-length stories. And their small size and durable pages are perfect for little hands. In Llama Llama Jingle Bells, little llama and his friends give gifts, sing songs, and decorate cookies. It’s a very merry holiday indeed!

Maybe the Moon book
#11
Maybe the Moon
Written and illustrated by Frances Ives
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Maybe the Moon tells the story of Eric, a little boy who loves his life in his forest home with his animal friends for company. When he moves to the city, he sets about searching for happiness in a strange new environment. Eric's journey shows him that whatever the differences between people and places, we are all united and are never alone when we share the same moon. Frances Ives' beautiful illustrations bring to life this charming story that features a rhyming refrain to enchant both children and parents alike.

The Dragon and the Nibblesome Knight book
#12
The Dragon and the Nibblesome Knight
Written by Elli Woollard and illustrated by Benji Davies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A case of mistaken identity allows two sworn enemies—a young dragon and knight—to become friends. But what will they do when they discover the truth? A funny, rhyming read-aloud picture book illustrated by Benji Davies, of The Storm Whale. - GODWIN BOOKS -

Madeline’s Tea Party book
#13
Madeline’s Tea Party
Written and illustrated by John Bemelmans Marciano
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-7

In this story, Madeline hosts a fabulously dainty tea party. Her naughty friend Pepito makes an appearance as well, and havoc ensues! This easy-to-read book is written in rhyme, and there are full-color illustrations throughout in the same charming style as the original Madeline books.

Peep and Ducky It’s Snowing! book
#14
Peep and Ducky It’s Snowing!
Written by David Martin and illustrated by David Walker
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

What could be a more perfect toddler adventure? When the snow starts to fall, Peep and Ducky climb into their sleds for a race, landing happily after hitting a bump. Irresistible illustrations and a singsong text that beg to be read aloud.

  1. Hold Hands - Hold hands each time you cross the street. Hold hands on the bus if you don’t have a seat. Hold hands when you say goodbye. And also when you’re jumping high. Everybody holds hands. You can hold hands with your little brother or your best friend. You can hold hands with your classmate or even your favorite doll! In Hold Hands, beloved graphic novelist and children's book author Sara Varon offers a sweet rhyming story about friendship and connection. Gather up your little ones, hold their hands, and share this heartwarming book.

  2. Gabe and Goon - Monsters are real! But, so are little boys. Gabe longs to encounter a real, live monster. And tonight’s his lucky night because hiding in Gabe’s closet is real-live monster and easily spooked, Goon, wishes to keep away from the outside world— especially those scary little beings called children. When the two meet, Goon can’t scare Gabe no matter how hard he tries. But an unsuccessful monster makes for a great friend when the boy is actually scared. Best-selling author/illustrator Iza Trapani uses humorous rhyme to share a spirited story of unexpected friendship.

Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!