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66 Favorite Board Books About Friendship

Updated Feb. 16, 2019

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

Top 10 Friendship Books

Penguin and Pinecone book
#1
Penguin and Pinecone
Written and illustrated by Salina Yoon
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Geisel Honor-winning author/illustrator Salina Yoon introduces readers to a beloved character in Penguin and Pinecone--a picture book about friendship that will warm your heart! When curious little Penguin finds a lost pinecone in the snow, their friendship grows into something extraordinary! But Grandpa reminds Penguin that pinecones can't live in the snow--they belong in the warm forest far away. Can Penguin help Pinecone get home? And can they stay friends, even if they're miles apart? Prolific author/illustrator Salina Yoon's spare text and bright, energetic illustrations bring to life this endearing story celebrating friendships lost and found, and overcoming the odds to be with the one you love.

Stick and Stone (Board Book) book
#2
Stick and Stone (Board Book)
Written by Beth Ferry and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-0

Stick and Stone are sticking together in this hilarious and heart-warming board book that proves once and for all why best friends ROCK!

A Sick Day for Amos McGee book
#3
A Sick Day for Amos McGee
Written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This book is beautifully told through both words and illustrations. I love how the story comes full circle from Amos visiting the animals and helping them every day to the animals coming to visit Amos on his sick day, demonstrating that true friendship goes both ways!

THE BEST SICK DAY EVER and the animals in the zoo feature in this striking picture book debut. Friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In Amos McGee's case, all sorts of species, too! Every day he spends a little bit of time with each of his friends at the zoo, running races with the tortoise, keeping the shy penguin company, and even reading bedtime stories to the owl. But when Amos is too sick to make it to the zoo, his animal friends decide it's time they returned the favor. A Sick Day for Amos McGee is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year and the winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal. This title has Common Core connections.

Hopper and Wilson book
#4
Hopper and Wilson
Written and illustrated by Maria van Lieshout
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

I really like this book. As Hopper and Wilson set out on their adventure they are not afraid of anything. Their sight is completely set on the good that could be at the end of the world. I love this optimism. When they come across some trouble they don't hide or shrink, but they look for a solution and try to find one another. I think it gives the reader reason and hope in focusing on the good in the world and not worrying or fearing what may come.

A playful tale about friendship and home "What," Hopper asks his little friend Wilson, "do you think it's like at the end of the world?" Hopper, the blue elephant, imagines a staircase to the moon, while Wilson, the yellow mouse, hopes for an endless supply of lemonade. So the two sail off in a boat made of paper . . . only to discover they already have everything they could wish for in each other, and at home. Maria van Lieshout's adorable new picture book tugs at heartstrings, inspires discussion, and reminds us all how good returning home can feel.

Hooray for Hat! book
#5
Hooray for Hat!
Written and illustrated by Brian Won
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Elephant wakes up grumpy—until ding, dong! What’s in the surprise box at the front door? A hat! HOORAY FOR HAT! Elephant marches off to show Zebra, but Zebra is having a grumpy day, too—until Elephant shares his new hat and cheers up his friend. Off they march to show Turtle! The parade continues as every animal brightens the day of a grumpy friend. This sturdy board book is an irresistible celebration of friendship, sharing, and fabulous hats.

Boy and Bot book
#6
Boy and Bot
Written by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

The story of an irresistible friendship between a boy and a robot, now in board for little hands. One day, a boy and a robot meet in the woods. They play. They have fun. But when Bot gets switched off, Boy thinks he’s sick! So Boy tucks the bot into bed and falls asleep. Bot is worried when he powers on and finds his friend powered off. He takes Boy home with him and tries all his remedies: oil, reading an instruction manual. Nothing revives the malfunctioning boy! Can the Inventor help fix him? Using the perfect blend of sweetness and humor, this story of an adorable duo will win the hearts of the very youngest readers.

The Nice Book book
#7
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.

How to Grow a Friend book
#8
How to Grow a Friend
Written and illustrated by Sara Gillingham
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A lovely metaphor teaches valuable lessons in how to treat others and make friendships blossom! Making a friend takes patience, care, and room to bloom--just like growing a flower. Soon your little gardeners will have their very own green thumbs for this most important of life skills.

The Whale in My Swimming Pool  book
#9
The Whale in My Swimming Pool
Written and illustrated by Joyce Wan
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

One sunny day, a little boy heads outside for a swim, but his pool is already taken . . . There's a big whale in the water and it's not budging! The boy tries everything to get the whale to leave. Nothing seems to work. Not fetch. Not tag. Not even offering his allowance. What's a boy to do? Luckily, he comes up with the perfect solution: he decides to chill out on a spray of water over the whale's spout. This colorful whale of a tale from the talented Joyce Wan is sure to inspire giggles from little guppies!

Best Friends: We Are A Family book
#10
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.

Books About Love & Friendship

Penguin and Pinecone book
#1
Penguin and Pinecone
Written and illustrated by Salina Yoon
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Geisel Honor-winning author/illustrator Salina Yoon introduces readers to a beloved character in Penguin and Pinecone--a picture book about friendship that will warm your heart! When curious little Penguin finds a lost pinecone in the snow, their friendship grows into something extraordinary! But Grandpa reminds Penguin that pinecones can't live in the snow--they belong in the warm forest far away. Can Penguin help Pinecone get home? And can they stay friends, even if they're miles apart? Prolific author/illustrator Salina Yoon's spare text and bright, energetic illustrations bring to life this endearing story celebrating friendships lost and found, and overcoming the odds to be with the one you love.

Best Friends: We Are A Family book
#2
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.

We are Better Together book
#3
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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Small Bunny's Blue Blanket - Small Bunny does everything with Blue Blanket. Blue Blanket helps him paint the best pictures, go the highest on the swings, and read the hardest words. They need each other. But one day, Small Bunny’s mother insists Blue Blanket needs to be washed. She says Blue Blanket will be as good as new after. But Bunny isn’t sure he likes new. Will his friend ever be the same?

  2. Hey, Boy - In the classic style of The Giving Tree comes a touching debut picture book about the unfaltering love between a boy and his pet. One day a boy finds a dog. He takes him home, already dreaming of the adventures they will have and the games they will play. But when the boy gets hurt, he and his new best friend are separated. Will the boy be able to grow up quickly enough to get his furry companion back, or will life keep getting in the way? With dreamily spare text and sweeping yet simple illustrations, Hey, Boy is a reminder that true friends always find their way home to each other.

  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. L Is for Love - Introduce your brilliant baby to the ABCs with this colorfully illustrated primer about love and friendship. Valentine's Day is a time to reflect on the themes of love and friendship, and what better way to introduce toddlers to these concepts than with a new ABC volume from artist Greg Paprocki. The book's 26 fully illustrated pages take aim just like Cupid's arrow at lovebirds, sweethearts, BFFs, and secret admirers. Part of the BabyLit Alphabet Series. Greg Paprocki works full-time as an illustrator and book designer. In addition to illustrating several Curious George books, he's provided illustrations for a number of books for Gibbs Smith, including A Is for Atom, S Is for Santa, B Is for Boo, and The Big Book of Superheroes. He began his career as an advertising art director after studying fine art and graphic design at the University of Nebraska.

Want to see even more books about friendship and love?

How about books about love?

Books About Adventure & Friendship

Hopper and Wilson book
#1
Hopper and Wilson
Written and illustrated by Maria van Lieshout
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

I really like this book. As Hopper and Wilson set out on their adventure they are not afraid of anything. Their sight is completely set on the good that could be at the end of the world. I love this optimism. When they come across some trouble they don't hide or shrink, but they look for a solution and try to find one another. I think it gives the reader reason and hope in focusing on the good in the world and not worrying or fearing what may come.

A playful tale about friendship and home "What," Hopper asks his little friend Wilson, "do you think it's like at the end of the world?" Hopper, the blue elephant, imagines a staircase to the moon, while Wilson, the yellow mouse, hopes for an endless supply of lemonade. So the two sail off in a boat made of paper . . . only to discover they already have everything they could wish for in each other, and at home. Maria van Lieshout's adorable new picture book tugs at heartstrings, inspires discussion, and reminds us all how good returning home can feel.

Anne of Green Gables book
#2
Anne of Green Gables
Written by Stephanie Clarkson and illustrated by Kevin Meyers
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

BabyLit(R) Storybooks give classics new life for the next generation of early readers. In Anne of Green Gables, preschoolers get to know the beloved redheaded orphan Anne Shirley, who is sent to live with Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert in Avonlea. Tag along with Anne on her adventures with her best friend Diana and classmate Gilbert as they explore Prince Edward Island. Easy-to-follow, engaging text combined with original quotes and beautiful artwork create a book to be treasured through childhood and beyond. Part of the BabyLit(R) Storybook Series. Stephanie Clarkson authored Pride and Prejudice BabyLit(R) Storybook. She is also the author of Sleeping Cinderella and Other Princess Mix-ups, illustrated by Brigette Barrager (Scholastic). She lives in Surrey, England. Annabel Tempest illustrated three previous BabyLit(R) Storybooks: Pride and Prejudice, The Jungle Book, and Moby-Dick. She lives in Somerset, England.

Hey, Boy book
#3
Hey, Boy
Written by Benjamin Strouse and illustrated by Jennifer Phelan
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In the classic style of The Giving Tree comes a touching debut picture book about the unfaltering love between a boy and his pet. One day a boy finds a dog. He takes him home, already dreaming of the adventures they will have and the games they will play. But when the boy gets hurt, he and his new best friend are separated. Will the boy be able to grow up quickly enough to get his furry companion back, or will life keep getting in the way? With dreamily spare text and sweeping yet simple illustrations, Hey, Boy is a reminder that true friends always find their way home to each other.

Honorable Mentions
  1. All about Spot - Little hands will love this adorable puppy-shaped board book! Join Spot as he has lots of fun, rain or shine, playing with friends as well as by himself. Spot’s everyday adventures fill the pages of this big puppy-shaped board book that children will love.

  2. Peanut and Grape - "Peanut and grape are a perfect pair! Morning and night, rain or shine, through thick and thin...these two friends are always better together!"--Back cover

  3. I am a Puppy - The classic board book I am a Puppy is back—fully reillustrated and ready to be embraced by a new generation of children. Join Bruno, an adventurous puppy, as he plays with friends, leaps in the snow, takes a bath, and more! With simple words and adorable illustrations, this is perfect for toddlers.

  4. Ladybug Girl Loves... - Readers from ages 3 and up will love this delightful board book! It’s the perfect complement to the Ladybug Girl picture books. Ladybug Girl is Lulu, a little girl who loves to dress up in her ladybug costume and use her imagination to turn every moment into an adventure. In this board book, readers will learn about the many loves of Ladybug Girl, from climbing the tallest trees to playing with her friends on the playground. And her beloved dog, Bingo, is always by her side!

Want to see even more books about friendship and adventure?

How about books about adventure?

Books About Animals & Friendship

The Nice Book book
#1
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.

The Whale in My Swimming Pool  book
#2
The Whale in My Swimming Pool
Written and illustrated by Joyce Wan
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

One sunny day, a little boy heads outside for a swim, but his pool is already taken . . . There's a big whale in the water and it's not budging! The boy tries everything to get the whale to leave. Nothing seems to work. Not fetch. Not tag. Not even offering his allowance. What's a boy to do? Luckily, he comes up with the perfect solution: he decides to chill out on a spray of water over the whale's spout. This colorful whale of a tale from the talented Joyce Wan is sure to inspire giggles from little guppies!

Owl & Friends book
#3
Owl & Friends
Written and illustrated by Joyce Wan
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

I play with the squirrels, sing with the birds, and have a picnic with the deer. What am I? Children are asked to figure out just who does all these things in this delightful, bright board book. By opening the gatefold at the end, they discover it's a big, strong tree.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Little Bitty Friends - "A cuter-than-puppies companion to Little Sleepyhead. Little bitty chipmunks, chattering all the day, Little bitty ladybug always comes to play. Marching with ants, snuggling with baby rabbits, reaching for the sun with happy buttercups-young children form special bonds with nature's little creations. Lyrical verse and charming scenes capture an enchanted world of little bitty friends."

  2. But First, We Nap - Sloth wants to nap. Rabbit doesn't. Who will win in the end? For every parent who's struggled to get their child to nap, But First, We Nap is a hilarious book to replace the naptime wrestle. Funny illustrations depict Rabbit upping his antics while the ever-patient sloth repeats, "But first, we nap." Finally worn out, Rabbit gives in, and the pair--and hopefully your child--snuggle and nod off. The perfect book for nap time!

Want to see even more books about friendship and animals?

How about books about animals?

Books About Rhyming & Friendship

Best Friends: We Are A Family book
#1
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.

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.

Room on the Broom book
#3
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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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.

  2. Llama Llama Jingle Bells - 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!

  3. Peep and Ducky It’s Snowing! - 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.

Want to see even more books about friendship and rhyming?

How about books about rhyming?

Books About Dogs & Friendship

Hey, Boy book
#1
Hey, Boy
Written by Benjamin Strouse and illustrated by Jennifer Phelan
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In the classic style of The Giving Tree comes a touching debut picture book about the unfaltering love between a boy and his pet. One day a boy finds a dog. He takes him home, already dreaming of the adventures they will have and the games they will play. But when the boy gets hurt, he and his new best friend are separated. Will the boy be able to grow up quickly enough to get his furry companion back, or will life keep getting in the way? With dreamily spare text and sweeping yet simple illustrations, Hey, Boy is a reminder that true friends always find their way home to each other.

All about Spot book
#2
All about Spot
Written and illustrated by Eric Hill
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Little hands will love this adorable puppy-shaped board book! Join Spot as he has lots of fun, rain or shine, playing with friends as well as by himself. Spot’s everyday adventures fill the pages of this big puppy-shaped board book that children will love.

I am a Puppy book
#3
I am a Puppy
Written by Ole Risom and illustrated by Olivia Chin Mueller, Ole Risom
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

The classic board book I am a Puppy is back—fully reillustrated and ready to be embraced by a new generation of children. Join Bruno, an adventurous puppy, as he plays with friends, leaps in the snow, takes a bath, and more! With simple words and adorable illustrations, this is perfect for toddlers.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Brave Little Puppy (A Wish Book) - "A very curious puppy gets lost in the woods! Luckily, his kind forest friends help guide him home"--Page [4] of cover.

  2. Ladybug Girl Loves... - Readers from ages 3 and up will love this delightful board book! It’s the perfect complement to the Ladybug Girl picture books. Ladybug Girl is Lulu, a little girl who loves to dress up in her ladybug costume and use her imagination to turn every moment into an adventure. In this board book, readers will learn about the many loves of Ladybug Girl, from climbing the tallest trees to playing with her friends on the playground. And her beloved dog, Bingo, is always by her side!

  3. Spot's Peekaboo - Easter Egg hunting with Spot! It's Easter, and Spot and his friends hunt for eggs at Spot's grandparent's house. Once everyone has collected the eggs, there is still a surprise waiting in the bushes. What could it be? This charming reissue of Spot's Easter Surprise is perfect for children to share with their grandparents this Easter.

Want to see even more books about friendship and dogs?

How about books about dogs?

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