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Friendship and Sharing: 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

The Snatchabook book
#1
The Snatchabook
Written by Helen Docherty and illustrated by Thomas Docherty
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Where have all the bedtime stories gone? A delightful addition to the picture book canon about the love of reading One dark, dark night in Burrow Down, a rabbit named Eliza Brown found a book and settled down...when a Snatchabook flew into town. It's bedtime in the woods of Burrow Down, and all the animals are ready for their bedtime story. But books are mysteriously disappearing. Eliza Brown decides to to stay awake and catch the book thief. It turns out to be a little creature called the Snatchabook who has no one to read him a bedtime story. All turns out well when the books are returned and the animals take turns reading bedtime stories to the Snatchabook.

The Nice Book book
#2
The Nice Book
Written and illustrated by David Stein
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A perfect introduction to manners and playing nice, by David Ezra Stein—author of Caldecott Honor winner Interrupting Chicken, Pouch! (a Charlotte Zolotow Honor book) and Leaves (recipient of the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award). From cuddling koalas to friendly penguins, an array of animals illustrates fun, sweet, and silly examples of “how to be nice,” showing simple ways young children can show they care for those around them. The lyrical text, funny illustrations and upbeat friendship message make this a great gift and a wonderful introduction to manners.

Famously Phoebe book
#3
Famously Phoebe
Written by Lori Alexander and illustrated by Aurelie Blard-Quintard
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Phoebe was the shining star of her family. Then someone came along to take her place. For as long as Phoebe can remember, she’s known the clickety click click of a photographer snapping her picture. Thanks to the camera-carrying “paparazzi” (aka Mom and Dad), she’s always been the star of the show . . . until the day a tiny newcomer arrives on set. Will Phoebe learn to share the spotlight and assume the role she was born to play: big sister? This sweet tale of sibling rivalry resolved is perfect for every older brother and sister.

Too Many Carrots book
#4
Too Many Carrots
Written by Katy Hudson
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

The bestselling picture book that Publisher's Weekly calls “simultaneously sassy and sweet.” Rabbit loves carrots — and that’s a big problem! In this phenomenal bestseller, Rabbit loves carrots a little too much. In fact, his carrots are crowding him out of his cozy burrow. When his friends offer to help, they're just asking for trouble — a lot of trouble! This charming and lovingly illustrated children's book, by acclaimed author Katy Hudson (A Loud Winter’s Nap and Bear and Duck), shows how friendships get us over the rough spots in life, even if the going gets a little bumpy. Too Many Carrots is the perfect springtime, Eastertime, and anytime gift.

And Away We Go! book
#5
And Away We Go!
Written and illustrated by Migy England
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Mr. Fox is going to the moon! Away he goes in his hot air balloon. . . . But wait! Can Elephant come too? Sure! Let's bring along some pizza. What about Giraffe? And Squirrel? Everyone is welcome in Mr. Fox's balloon, but look out--will everyone fit? In the tradition of classic cumulative tales like Mr. Gumpy's Outing, Migy's And Away We Go! is an unforgettable debut picture book from an exciting new talent.

Love Monster and the Last Chocolate book
#6
Love Monster and the Last Chocolate
Written and illustrated by Rachel Bright
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

When Love Monster receives a box of chocolates as a gift, he has second thoughts about sharing them with all of his friends.

Cody Harmon, King of Pets book
#7
Cody Harmon, King of Pets
Written by Claudia Mills and illustrated by Rob Shepperson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Cody Harmon doesn't love reading, math, spelling, or really any of the subjects that Miss Molina teaches in her third-grade class. But he lives on a farm and he loves animals--he even has nine pets--so when the school holds a pet-show fund-raiser, it should be his time to shine. There's a ten-dollar entrance fee per pet, though, and Cody can't pay it for all nine pets. He'd love to take his pig, but what about the others? In the end, Cody figures out a way to lend out his pets so that every person in the class (and every pet) gets to participate in the show.

Little Cub book
#8
Little Cub
Written and illustrated by Olivier Dunrea
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A young bear cub, who is alone in the world, and Old Bear, who is grumpy and tired of living alone, meet and discover what they have been missing. By the best-selling creator of the Gossie and Gertie books.

I Am the Boss of This Chair book
#9
I Am the Boss of This Chair
Written by Carolyn Crimi and illustrated by Marisa Morea
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Pom-Pom the kitten threatens to unseat Oswald, a top cat who thinks he's top dog--even to the extent of taking over a favorite chair.

Pie Is for Sharing book
#10
Pie Is for Sharing
Written by Stephanie Ledyard and illustrated by Jason Chin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

A picnic, a beach, a pie cut into pieces and shared with good friends. Pie is for sharing. It starts off round, and you can slice it into as many pieces as you want. What else can be shared? A ball, of course. A tree? What about time? Through the course of one memorable Fourth of July picnic, Stephanie Ledyard and Jason Chin take young readers through the ups and downs of sharing in this lovely picture book.

Copy Cat book
#11
Copy Cat
Written and illustrated by Mark Birchall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Cat was small and Dog was big, and whatever Dog did, Cat did too... Dog is fed up with Cat copying everything she does. But when Cat stays away, Dog discovers she is lonely without him. A charming story about friendship, sharing and play.

That's Not Mine book
#12
That's Not Mine
Written by Anna Kang and illustrated by Christopher Weyant
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Two fuzzy creatures both want to sit in the same comfy chair. The trouble is, they can’t agree who it belongs to. They get madder and madder, until… With expressive illustrations and simple text, this giggle-inducing tale about (not) sharing and (not) being a good friend features the endearing characters from Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner You Are (Not) Small.

A Twin Is to Hug book
#13
A Twin Is to Hug
Written by Boni Ashburn and illustrated by John Nez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Hand in hand, side by side, a twin is your friend. Every step of the way, from beginning to end. Having a twin can be great! With a twin, you have a lifelong bond, a partner in crime, and a food-I-don’t-want-to-eat eater. But with a twin, you also have to share, and take turns, and compare. It’s not always easy, but for better or worse, a twin is a friend who will always be by your side. With a small trim and expressive illustrations, this package will make the perfect gift for the expectant mother or twin in your life.

Little Mouse and the Big Cupcake book
#14
Little Mouse and the Big Cupcake
Written by Thomas Taylor and illustrated by Jill Barton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

When one small mouse finds one BIG cupcake (a chocolate chip, raspberry cream cupcake!), he wonders how he’ll ever manage to get it home. So, one by one, Little Mouse asks his friends to help. They all say “yes”—but only afer nibbling the yummy treat. Will there be any leffor Mouse? A tasty story offriendship and sharing . . . with a satisfying ending!

Play! book
#15
Play!
Written and illustrated by Linda Olafsdottir
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

Phil and his buddy, Puff, a stuffed puffin, do everything together. They hide and jump and crawl and growl! They wash and share and wiggle and giggle! Frida and her friend, Fox, a stuffed fox, do everything together, too. They love to play! But when Frida and Fox ask Phil and Puff to play, Phil and Puff are not so sure. Play? Will Phil and Puff and Frida and Fox play together? This sweet and spare picture book by Linda Olafsdottir captures the delicate negotiations and simple joys of toddlers.

Duck and Goose book
#16
Duck and Goose
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

It’s an unforgettable children’s classic starring two beloved characters, and a must-have for any child’s home library. Meet Duck and Goose, two young birds who mistake a polka-dot ball for an egg and have to master the art of cooperation—and sharing—to take care of it. But friendship is not always easy, as proved in this funny, accessible story. Young readers will instantly recognize themselves in these adorable and eternally optimistic characters. And this beautiful keepsake edition features extra content from the author on how to draw Duck & Goose.

Fergus Barnaby Goes on Vacation book
#17
Fergus Barnaby Goes on Vacation
Written and illustrated by David Barrow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Family, friendship, sharing, vacations, and apartment living are just some of the things that are celebrated in this charming children's book! Fergus Barnaby is so excited! Mom, Dad, and Fergus are about to go away on vacation for a few days of fun in the sun. But first... Dad tells him to pack everything he needs, and now Fergus has a problem. Fred has his bucket and shovel, Emily Rose has his swimming goggles, and Teddy has his kite. Fergus lives on the first floor, but his friends--and the toys he let them borrow--are all upstairs. So many stairs, so little time! Will Fergus and Daddy remember to pack everything they need to bring? (Hint: this story ends with a surprise and a big laugh!) Lots of bold illustrations and an enchanting story about friendship and life in the city will make Fergus Barnaby one of your child's favorites.

Odd Dog book
#18
Odd Dog
Written and illustrated by Claudia Boldt
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Peanut, an odd dog who doesn't like bones, but apples, worries that his next-door neighbor, Milo, might steal all the apples from his tree, but Peanut discovers something about Milo (and himself) that changes everything.

Want to Play Trucks? book
#19
Want to Play Trucks?
Written by Ann Stott and illustrated by Bob Graham
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Jack and Alex meet almost every morning in the sandbox at the playground. Jack likes trucks — big ones, the kind that can wreck things. Alex likes dolls — pink ones, with sparkles. And tutus. But Jack doesn’t want to play dolls, and Alex doesn’t want to play trucks. Readers will smile at the quintessential playground squabble on display in this amusing, relatable tale from Ann Stott and Bob Graham. Luckily for Jack and Alex, the day is saved with a little bit of compromise — what about dolls who drive trucks? — and the easy acceptance that characterizes the youngest of friendships. Not to mention a familiar jingle from nearby that reminds Jack and Alex of something else they both like: ice cream! Jack likes trucks. Alex likes dolls. What will they play together? Their new favorite game, of course!

Not Your Nest! book
#20
Not Your Nest!
Written by Gideon Sterer and illustrated by Andrea Tsurumi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A hilarious and oh-so-honest look at the art of sharing, from two rising picture-book stars. Bird is just about to put the finishing touches on his new home when he suddenly finds that his nest is already full--of someone else. So he reluctantly builds another nest. But Fox finds this new nest quite comfy, and Brush Hog loves the view from Bird's next attempt. Soon the Acacia tree is bursting with happily nested animals of all shapes and stripes--everyone except bird! But when Bird finally finds a way to evict his unwelcome guests, the animals realize their mistake and build a nest that's big enough for all of them. Well, almost...

Amanda Panda and the Bigger, Better Birthday book
#21
Amanda Panda and the Bigger, Better Birthday
Written by Candice Ransom and illustrated by Christine Grove
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Amanda Panda’s birthday is tomorrow. She’ll be the first kid in her class to turn six! But when she gets to the bus stop, her best friend/worst enemy Bitsy announces that today is HER birthday! And her party is planned for Saturday, the same day as Amanda’s! Birthday dreams ruined, Amanda’s can’t keep her temper in check at school. By recess, it looks like Amanda’s birthday plans—and her friendship with Bitsy—is over. But when the girls stop arguing long enough to listen to each other, they come up wtih a birthday plan that is TWICE the fun. Young children will learn about sharing, compromise, and conflict resolution, all the while laughing along with Amanda and Bitsy in this adorable, school-based story from a new favorite character.

Stinker book
#22
Stinker
Written by David Zeltser and illustrated by Julia Patton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Stinker is a puppy stuck in the pound. He's playful and loving and wants more than anything to be adopted. Unfortunately, little Stinker is always making big smells. As family after family return the ever-patient pooch back to the shelter, even he begins to lose hope. That is, until Stinker meets a snarky tomcat who can wriggle his way out of any situation. Together they stage a great escape in order to find just the right home, where Stinker will be loved in spite of his smells.

Eleanor Won't Share book
#23
Eleanor Won't Share
Written and illustrated by Julie Gassman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Eleanore does not like to share and soon learns a valuable life lesson about sharing and friendship

This Way that Way book
#24
This Way that Way
Written by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Renata Liwska
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

The perfect spot is this way! says Boom. The perfect spot is that way!” tweets Twitty. Snot is smartly silent. How will these three friends decide which way to go to find the perfect spot? With humor, wisdom, and perfect storytelling and illustrating pitch, New York Times bestsellers Doreen Cronin and Renata Liwska present a tale of authentic friendship.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!