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Loneliness: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about loneliness?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to loneliness. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about loneliness.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about loneliness, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Fix-It Friends: Three’s a Crowd to popular sellers like Nooks & Crannies to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles.

We hope this list of kids books about loneliness can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Top 10 Books About Loneliness

#1
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To the Sea
Written & illustrated by Cale Atkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Sometimes Tim feels invisible at school-until one day, when Tim meets Sam. But Sam isn't just any new friend: he's a blue whale, and he can't find his way home! Returning Sam to the sea is hard work, but Tim is determined to help. After all, it's not every day you meet a new friend! This picture book about the power of friendship by new talent Cale Atkinson is brought to life by charming, dynamic illustrations.
#2
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Nobody Hugs A Cactus
Written & illustrated by Carter Goodrich
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Celebrated artist and lead character designer of Brave, Ratatouille, and Despicable Me, Carter Goodrich, shows that sometimes, even the prickliest people—or the crankiest cacti—need a little love. Hank is the prickliest cactus in the entire world. He sits in a pot in a window that faces the empty desert, which is just how he likes it. So, when all manner of creatures—from tumbleweed to lizard to owl—come to disturb his peace, Hank is annoyed. He doesn’t like noise, he doesn’t like rowdiness, and definitely does not like hugs. But the thing is, no one is offering one. Who would want to hug a plant so mean? Hank is beginning to discover that being alone can be, well, lonely. So he comes up with a plan to get the one thing he thought he would never need: a hug from a friend.
#3
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The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles
Written by Michelle Cuevas & illustrated by Erin E. Stead
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
A message in a bottle holds the promise of surprise and wonder, as told in this enthralling picture book by Caldecott Medalist Erin E. Stead The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles, who lives alone atop a hill, has a job of the utmost importance. It is his task to open any bottles found at sea and make sure that the messages are delivered. He loves his job, though he has always wished that, someday, one of the letters would be addressed to him. One day he opens a party invitation—but there’s no name attached. As he devotes himself to the mystery of the intended recipient, he ends up finding something even more special: the possibility of new friends.
#4
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Maple and Willow Apart
Written & illustrated by Lori Nichols
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Funny, relatable sibling dynamics make this story a wonderful way to address navigating big changes. Lori Nichols’s expressive artwork beautifully portrays Maple and Willow’s strong bond, and children will love the creative, kid-powered solution. Maple and Willow have always been inseparable. So what happens when Maple starts big-girl school and Willow stays behind? Well, of course, both girls have marvelous adventures of their own, but the truth is, they miss each other. And when they see that the missing is mutual, they find a unique way to feel connected even when they have to be apart.
#5
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Caspian Finds a Friend
Written by Jacqueline Véissid & illustrated by Merrilees Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Caspian lives in a lighthouse surrounded by a cold gray-blue sea. Every day, he watches, wishing for a friend. But no one comes. So, Caspian decides that wishing is not enough. What follows is an imaginative journey that will inspire readers to reach out to others and remind us all that the power to change our world lies within ourselves.
#6
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Ollie and Augustus
Written & illustrated by Gabriel Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
<b>In a sweet story full of visual humor, first-day-of-school worries take on a new weight when Ollie's best (and furriest) friend must stay at home.</b> <p/><i>Ollie was small -- like a pickling jar or a shoe box.<br>Augustus was big -- like a fridge or a table.<br></i> <p/>Ollie and his dog, Augustus, do almost everything together: painting, riding bikes, digging (Ollie's favorite), and collecting sticks (Augustus's favorite). So as Ollie is getting ready to start school, he's a little worried. Won't Augustus be lonely during the day? Ollie has just the idea: a sign that reads <i>Wanted: Friend for Augustus</i>. But good friends, as it turns out, are hard to find. Luckily, Ollie and Augustus aren't just any kind of friends -- they're <i>best</i> friends, and nothing will ever change that. Endearingly illustrated with scratch-scratchy appeal, this is a tale for animal lovers and new school-goers alike.
#7
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Nerdy Birdy
Written by Aaron Reynolds & illustrated by Matt Davies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Nerdy Birdy likes reading, video games, and reading about video games, which immediately disqualifies him for membership in the cool crowd. One thing is clear: being a nerdy birdy is a lonely lifestyle. When he's at his lowest point, Nerdy Birdy meets a flock just like him. He has friends and discovers that there are far more nerdy birdies than cool birdies in the sky.
#8
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The Storm Whale
Written & illustrated by Benji Davies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Every day, in a house by the sea, a little boy watches his father leave for work. One night, a storm washes a small whale onto the beach. The boy discovers the whale is a good listener, and the father discovers the boy is lonely. Together, they return the whale to the sea, and the boy realizes his father can be a good listener, too. Full color.
#9
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The Rough Patch
Written & illustrated by Brian Lies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Evan and his dog do everything together. They play and read and eat. But mostly you will find them tending to Evan’s extraordinary garden, where flowers and other good things flourish and reach for the sky. But friends don’t always stay forever, and when Evan loses his, he destroys the place that meant the most to them, and creates something to match his mood. Something ugly and twisted, sad and stubborn, ragged and rough—and he likes it that way. Until one day . . . New York Times–bestselling author Brian Lies has created a breathtakingly beautiful and luminescent book about loss and grief, love and hope, and the healing power of friendship, curiosity, and nature.
#10
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Teacup
Written by Rebecca Young & illustrated by Matt Ottley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
A boy must leave his home and find another. He brings with him a teacup full of earth from the place where he grew up, and sets off to sea. Some days, the journey is peaceful, and the skies are cloudless and bright. Some days, storms threaten to overturn his boat. And some days, the smallest amount of hope grows into something glorious. At last, the boy finds land, but it doesn’t feel complete . . . until another traveler joins him, bearing the seed to build a new home. With lyrical text and gorgeous artwork, this poignant picture book is perfect for discussing all of life’s toughest challenges—a big move, a divorce, long-distance separation, or even the current refugee crisis—in a way that’s reassuring and inspiring for children and adults alike.
Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Loneliness and...

Books About Loneliness and Social Themes

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Nobody Hugs A Cactus
Written & illustrated by Carter Goodrich
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Celebrated artist and lead character designer of Brave, Ratatouille, and Despicable Me, Carter Goodrich, shows that sometimes, even the prickliest people—or the crankiest cacti—need a little love. Hank is the prickliest cactus in the entire world. He sits in a pot in a window that faces the empty desert, which is just how he likes it. So, when all manner of creatures—from tumbleweed to lizard to owl—come to disturb his peace, Hank is annoyed. He doesn’t like noise, he doesn’t like rowdiness, and definitely does not like hugs. But the thing is, no one is offering one. Who would want to hug a plant so mean? Hank is beginning to discover that being alone can be, well, lonely. So he comes up with a plan to get the one thing he thought he would never need: a hug from a friend.
Add to list
Maple and Willow Apart
Written & illustrated by Lori Nichols
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Funny, relatable sibling dynamics make this story a wonderful way to address navigating big changes. Lori Nichols’s expressive artwork beautifully portrays Maple and Willow’s strong bond, and children will love the creative, kid-powered solution. Maple and Willow have always been inseparable. So what happens when Maple starts big-girl school and Willow stays behind? Well, of course, both girls have marvelous adventures of their own, but the truth is, they miss each other. And when they see that the missing is mutual, they find a unique way to feel connected even when they have to be apart.
Add to list
Nerdy Birdy
Written by Aaron Reynolds & illustrated by Matt Davies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Nerdy Birdy likes reading, video games, and reading about video games, which immediately disqualifies him for membership in the cool crowd. One thing is clear: being a nerdy birdy is a lonely lifestyle. When he's at his lowest point, Nerdy Birdy meets a flock just like him. He has friends and discovers that there are far more nerdy birdies than cool birdies in the sky.
Honorable Mentions
The Rough Patch book
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Nara and the Island book
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The House of Lost and Found book
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When I'm Feeling Lonely book
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  1. The Rough Patch - Evan and his dog do everything together. They play and read and eat. But mostly you will find them tending to Evan’s extraordinary garden, where flowers and other good things flourish and reach for the sky. But friends don’t always stay forever, and when Evan loses his, he destroys the place that meant the most to them, and creates something to match his mood. Something ugly and twisted, sad and stubborn, ragged and rough—and he likes it that way. Until one day . . . New York Times–bestselling author Brian Lies has created a breathtakingly beautiful and luminescent book about loss and grief, love and hope, and the healing power of friendship, curiosity, and nature.

  2. Nara and the Island - Nara lives with her father on a tiny island and dreams of visiting the island across the waves. So when she gets the opportunity to visit the mysterious island, an amazing adventure unfolds. This stunning story is the debut of exciting author-illustrator talent Dan Ungureanu.

  3. The House of Lost and Found - Pixar’s blockbuster UP meets Coraline in this atmospheric and emotional story.Niles lives alone in a big house full of dust and memories of the people he’s lost.Then one day, the boy from next door asks Niles to look after his plant. Reluctantly, Niles takes the pot of dirt. Can he remember how to care for something?As the flower grows, Niles realizes how empty and lonely his house is and begins to care for the plant, his house and himself. By the time the little boy returns the flower has bloomed into a beautiful poppy and Niles, and his house, are filled with hope again.This feel-good picture book from bestselling Swedish children’s author Martin Widmark and award-winning illustrator Emilia Dzuibak digs deep.

  4. When I'm Feeling Lonely - The Feelings Series are beautifully produced picture books that cover different emotional concepts for young children. These fully refreshed editions of the classic The Feeling series are especially designed to help children better understand their feelings and how to identify, manage and express those feelings in an appropriate and acceptable way - both to themselves and others. These books provide an invaluable tool to help build confidence, self-esteem and contribute to a healthy emotional foundation upon which children can thrive.

Books About Loneliness and Making Friends

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To the Sea
Written & illustrated by Cale Atkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Sometimes Tim feels invisible at school-until one day, when Tim meets Sam. But Sam isn't just any new friend: he's a blue whale, and he can't find his way home! Returning Sam to the sea is hard work, but Tim is determined to help. After all, it's not every day you meet a new friend! This picture book about the power of friendship by new talent Cale Atkinson is brought to life by charming, dynamic illustrations.
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The Fix-It Friends: Three's a Crowd
Written by Nicole C. Kear & illustrated by Tracy Dockray
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
Because no one likes to feel left out. Friends are like sprinkles on a birthday cake—you can never have too many! So when a new girl named Margot joins the class, Veronica and her BFF, Cora, welcome her with open arms. Everything about Margot is super exciting— from her fashion designer mom to the perfect French she speaks—and everyone loves her. Especially Cora. Before long, Cora and Margot have matching outfits and rhyming nicknames. Veronica feels left out, big time, but she won’t give up on her best friend without a fight. Trouble is, the harder she tries to hold on to Cora, the more she pushes her away—until the two besties end up in a showdown that hurts more than just feelings. It’s a job for the Fix-It Friends, to be sure. But can the president of the problem-solvers accept help herself?
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Caspian Finds a Friend
Written by Jacqueline Véissid & illustrated by Merrilees Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Caspian lives in a lighthouse surrounded by a cold gray-blue sea. Every day, he watches, wishing for a friend. But no one comes. So, Caspian decides that wishing is not enough. What follows is an imaginative journey that will inspire readers to reach out to others and remind us all that the power to change our world lies within ourselves.
Honorable Mentions
Ollie and Augustus book
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Trevor book
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Brimsby's Hats book
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Friends book
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  1. Ollie and Augustus - In a sweet story full of visual humor, first-day-of-school worries take on a new weight when Ollie’s best (and furriest) friend must stay at home. Ollie was small — like a pickling jar or a shoe box.
    Augustus was big — like a fridge or a table.
    Ollie and his dog, Augustus, do almost everything together: painting, riding bikes, digging (Ollie’s favorite), and collecting sticks (Augustus’s favorite). So as Ollie is getting ready to start school, he’s a little worried. Won’t Augustus be lonely during the day? Ollie has just the idea: a sign that reads Wanted: Friend for Augustus. But good friends, as it turns out, are hard to find. Luckily, Ollie and Augustus aren’t just any kind of friends — they’re best friends, and nothing will ever change that. Endearingly illustrated with scratch-scratchy appeal, this is a tale for animal lovers and new school-goers alike.

  2. Trevor - Jim Averbeck’s and Amy Hevron’s illustrated Trevor is the charming, simple tale of an unlikely friendship between a lonely caged canary and the lemon that hangs from the tree outside his window…

  3. Brimsby's Hats - A lonely hat maker uses quirky creativity to make friends in this delightful picture book that will charm readers young and old. Brimsby is a happy hat maker—until his best friend goes off to find adventure at sea. Now Brimsby is a lonely hat maker, unsure of what to do. But since making hats is what he does best, perhaps his talents can help him find some friends… Filled with whimsy and wonder, Brimsby’s Hats is a celebration of creativity and friendship.

  4. Friends - A girl from a faraway place begins her first day at school. She doesn’t speak the language and she looks different. She just doesn’t fit in. But one day, she makes an unexpected friend—a squirrel! Then a rabbit joins them. Soon the girl’s fuzzy woodland friends are followed by human ones and school becomes more fun! When a surprising new student joins the class, the girl and her new friends know just how to make him feel at home.

Books About Loneliness and Imagination And Play

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The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles
Written by Michelle Cuevas & illustrated by Erin E. Stead
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
A message in a bottle holds the promise of surprise and wonder, as told in this enthralling picture book by Caldecott Medalist Erin E. Stead The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles, who lives alone atop a hill, has a job of the utmost importance. It is his task to open any bottles found at sea and make sure that the messages are delivered. He loves his job, though he has always wished that, someday, one of the letters would be addressed to him. One day he opens a party invitation—but there’s no name attached. As he devotes himself to the mystery of the intended recipient, he ends up finding something even more special: the possibility of new friends.
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Button and Bundle
Written by Gretchen McLellan & illustrated by Gillian Flint
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
****A tender story about two best friends who must move away from each other. With a sprinkle of imagination and a lot of love, Button and Bundle will learn the true meaning of friendship.**** Button and Bundle are best friends. So are their dolls. But when Button has to move away, she's sad and lonely without Bundle. Until one day, Button finds a single yellow balloon and an idea. With a little luck, maybe she can reunite Bundle with their dolls again! Knowing that her faraway friend would be happy is the happiest idea of all. This sweet and charming friendship story addresses how to cherish old friendships while making new ones. With fun, imaginative play, Button and Bundle create a world they'll share no matter how far apart they are.
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The Lonely Book
Written by Kate Bernheimer & illustrated by Chris Sheban
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Once popular, an increasingly shabby library book grows lonely until a young girl rediscovers it, but when it becomes lost again, both the book and the girl wonder if they will have a happy ending. By the award-winning author of The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum and the award-winning illustrator of Catching the Moon.
Honorable Mentions
My Little Half-moon book
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The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole book
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If This Were a Story book
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Rosie And Rasmus book
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  1. My Little Half-moon - A determined child goes the extra mile to try to cheer the lonely half moon Have you ever looked up at the half-moon hiding in the night sky and thought it looked just the littlest bit lonely without its other half? Imagine . . . having no one to glow with no one to play with no one to share how much you like puppies and big, fuzzy bears. If you’re like this determined young child, you might stay up every night to keep the moon company. Maybe if you share your treats and toys and stories, you’ll cheer him up. But the moon is very shy, so it might take some time. Still, if you’re very very patient, you just might make a new friend.

  2. The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole - A girl’s friendship with a lonely black hole leads her to face her own sadness in this original, funny, and touching middle grade novel for fans of Crenshaw and Flora & Ulysses. When eleven-year-old Stella Rodriguez shows up at NASA to request that her recording be included in Carl Sagan’s Golden Record, something unexpected happens: A black hole follows her home, and sets out to live in her house as a pet. The black hole swallows everything he touches, which is challenging to say the least—but also turns out to be a convenient way to get rid of those items that Stella doesn’t want around. Soon the ugly sweaters her aunt has made for her all disappear within the black hole, as does the smelly class hamster she’s taking care of, and most important, all the reminders of her dead father that are just too painful to have around. It’s not until Stella, her younger brother, Cosmo, the family puppy, and even the bathroom tub all get swallowed up by the black hole that Stella comes to realize she has been letting her own grief consume her. And that’s not the only thing she realizes as she attempts to get back home. This is an astonishingly original and funny adventure with a great big heart.

  3. If This Were a Story - In the tradition of Crenshaw and The Thing About Jellyfish, ten-year-old Hannah copes with the bullies at school and troubles at home through the power of stories in this sweet and sincere debut. Tenacious. That means strong-willed. My mother calls me that. I wish I felt the same way. If this were a story, I would discover I was a direct descendent of a famous soldier who won countless battles and protected hundreds of people. This resilience running through my veins wouldn’t be damaged by the notes; it would fight off bullies and prevent my parents from yelling at each other. But this is not a story. This is real life. My life as ten-year-old Hannah Geller, who is the only girl in fifth grade to have little red bumps on her face, is unable to let the sad thoughts escape her mind, and leaves heads-up pennies wherever she can to spread good luck. And who also finds magic in the most unlikely of places.

  4. Rosie And Rasmus - Two kindred spirits—a lonely young girl and a solitary young dragon—find each other and discover the power and magic of friendship in this sweetly simple picture book. Every day, Rosie waits and watches as children play together, laugh and share stories, hoping she can join in the fun and make a new friend. But every day her wish never comes true. Every day, Rasmus sits in his tree and waits and watches as birds dance in the sky, wishing he could fly just like them. But every day his wish never comes true. Then one day, Rosie and Rasmus meet and girl and dragon are lonely no more. They become the best of friends, playing together, laughing, sharing stories…and Rosie even helps Rasmus learn to fly! But when Rasmus finds his wings, he knows he must also find his fate. Two best friends say goodbye, as Rasmus flies away. But then…a lonely girl watches and waits as children play together, laugh and share stories, hoping she can join in the fun and make a new friend. And today, when Rosie brings her a flower, she does. Serena Geddess’s enchanting tale is sure to make readers believe in the transformative power of love, friendship, and faith.

Books About Loneliness and Friendship

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Little Cub
Written & illustrated by Olivier Dunrea
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
A darling companion to Old Bear and His Cub from the New York Times bestselling creator of the Gossie books What's an Old Bear to do when he finds a Little Cub all alone and afraid of the dark? Adopt him, of course! And help him try to get over his fears. In this book we see the father and son from Old Bear and His Cub meet for the first time--and grow to love one another. With the same bold art and humorous twist on parenting, Olivier Dunrea's tumbling bears will melt your heart and show how strong the bond is between any father and son pair. Praise for LITTLE CUB *"Readers will treasure the bears’ gingerly give-and-take—watching them serendipitously become a family of two is a joy to behold." —Publishers Weekly, starred review *"Dunrea packs a huge amount of emotion into his limited text and engaging art. A delight for fans of these characters and a lovely next step for children ready to move beyond the 'Gossie and Friends' series." —School Library Journal, starred review
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The Pig on the Hill
Written & illustrated by John Kelly
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Enjoying a quiet life of books and lovely views from his hilltop home, a pig is dismayed to encounter an excessively friendly duck who builds an elaborate home obscuring Pig's window and who talks about his numerous athletic exploits. By the award-nominated co-creator of The Robot Zoo.
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Mars' First Friends: Come on Over, Rovers!
Written by Susanna Leonard Hill & illustrated by Elisa Paganelli
Select type book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
**From the creators of _New York Times_ bestseller _Moon's First Friends_ comes a new, heartwarming story about the little red planet who just wants a pet!** In a solar system full of planets, Mars feels all alone. No one has time to play with him. Will he ever get a playmate? _Mars' First Friends_ is a universal story about man's―and Mars'―best friends―our beloved pets. In this sweet solar system book, Mars is lonely and just wants someone to play with, but the planets are all too busy. That is until Earth sends her little brother Mars his first friends: the rovers Spirit and Opportunity! With its darling prose and charming illustrations, this book offers a new take on the Mars rovers stories, and also includes educational back matter with an abundance of information about the solar system, Mars, and his real-life pets―NASA's rovers!
Honorable Mentions
Nooks & Crannies book
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Someone Else's Shoes book
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The Lonely Shadow book
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Goldfish Ghost book
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  1. Nooks & Crannies - Eleven-year-old Tabitha Crum, whose parents were just about to abandon her, is invited to the country estate of a wealthy countess along with five other children and told that one of them will become her heir.

  2. Someone Else's Shoes - Twelve-year-old Izzy’s life just seems to get more and more complicated: she is upset by her father’s new marriage, and a new baby on the way; she is expected to look out for her ten-year-old cousin, Oliver, who has moved in with her family since his mother committed suicide, because his father is depressed and having trouble coping; and now Ben, the rebellious sixteen-year-old son of Izzy’s mother’s boyfriend, is also living with them—but when Oliver’s father disappears, the three children put aside their differences and set out to find him.

  3. The Lonely Shadow - Award winning author/illustrator Clay Rice has created a beautifully poetic tale about a boy’s shadow who has lost his boy and goes in search for him. “I have no you, you have no me, you and me we have no we, but if I find you and you find me, happy we will always be.” The Lonely Shadow sings a universal song. Clay Rice brings the shadow to life and allows us to take a journey with him in search of something, someone who connects with him. It’s a story of longing, a story of discovery, a story of friendship.

  4. Goldfish Ghost - Goldfish Ghost was born on the surface of the water in the bowl on a dresser in a boy’s room. The boy’s room was pleasant and familiar, but Goldfish Ghost wanted company, so he set out to find a friend. He floats over the neighborhood, past the pier, and let the breeze carry him into town where he discovers that not many people pay attention to goldfish ghosts. Off he floats, searching for the perfect home and the perfect friend and then he hears a voice. . .Bestselling author Lemony Snicket and illustrator Lisa Brown brings us a fresh and funny take on what happens after your favorite goldfish crosses over to the other side.

Books About Loneliness and Family

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My Pillow Keeps Moving!
Written by Laura Gehl & illustrated by Christopher Weyant
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-9
A lonely man tries to buy a pillow . . . and ends up with a new best friend in this silly and sweet doggy tale, perfect for fans of Officer Buckle and Gloria. Dogs make good pillows, don't they? A clever pup ends up in a cozy home, and she'll do anything to stay there. She impersonates everything the lonely homeowner needs--a pillow, a footstool, a jacket. But in the end, being herself works best. Laura Gehl's spare, humorous text and New Yorker cartoonist Christopher Weyant's expressive characters will leave young readers giggling and begging for more.
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Hello, Jimmy!
Written & illustrated by Anna Walker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
<b>A funny, noisy parrot comes into Jack's life and brings him closer to his dad in an unexpected and moving way in this gorgeous, emotionally resonant picture book from the creator of <i>Florette.</i></b> <p/>Jack loves staying at his dad's house. They have tacos and milkshakes, and make each other laugh. But lately Jack wonders if his dad is lonely when he isn't there. Then Jimmy arrives. Jimmy is loud and obnoxious, but Dad thinks he's clever and funny. Jack does not think he's clever or funny. And he's starting to wonder if Dad likes Jimmy better than he likes Jack. This beautifully written and illustrated book about the unconditional love a parent has for a child is both heartwarming and reassuring. <br>
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Finn's Feather
Written by Rachel Noble & illustrated by Zoey Abbott
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Finn runs to show his mother the feather left for him by his brother Hamish, who is now an angel, but she only gives him a big hug. In school, Finn’s teacher responds similarly. Why isn’t anyone as excited as he is? Finn sits quietly, cradling the beautiful, amazing feather. “Why did Hamish give it to you?” asks his friend. “Maybe he wanted to say hi?” wonders Finn. “Maybe,” his friend replies, mischief sparkling in his eyes, “Hamish wanted you to have fun with it.” Finn’s Feather, beautifully illustrated by Zoey Abbot, is a story of love, loss, memory, and presence. It was written by Rachel Nobel following the loss of her son in 2012. This marks the author’s and illustrator’s debut into the world of picture books.
Honorable Mentions
Bubble book
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Bronze and Sunflower book
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Love, Mama book
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Full of Empty book
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  1. Bubble - Wonder meets Mark Haddon in the poignant and uplifting debut novel about superheroes, super-nurses, and the beauty you can find in hope. Eleven-year-old Joe has never had a life outside of the hospital, with its beeping machines and view of London’s rooftops. His condition means he’s not allowed outside, not even for a moment, and his few visitors risk bringing life-threatening germs inside his bubble. Then a new nurse offers Joe the possibility of going outside. But Joe doesn’t know if the nurse is serious—or whether he could survive the adventure. Bubble is the touching story of how Joe spends his days, copes with his loneliness and frustration, and looks—with superhero-style bravery, curiosity, and hope—to a future without limits.

  2. Bronze and Sunflower - A beautifully written, timeless tale by Cao Wenxuan, best-selling Chinese author and 2016 recipient of the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award. Sunflower is an only child, and when her father is sent to the rural Cadre School, she has to go with him. Her father is an established artist from the city and finds his new life of physical labor and endless meetings exhausting. Sunflower is lonely and longs to play with the local children in the village across the river. When her father tragically drowns, Sunflower is taken in by the poorest family in the village, a family with a son named Bronze. Until Sunflower joins his family, Bronze was an only child, too, and hasn’t spoken a word since he was traumatized by a terrible fire. Bronze and Sunflower become inseparable, understanding each other as only the closest friends can. Translated from Mandarin, the story meanders gracefully through the challenges that face the family, creating a timeless story of the trials of poverty and the power of love and loyalty to overcome hardship.

  3. Love, Mama - With a heartwarming story and tender illustrations, Jeanette Bradley’s debut picture book is perfect for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and any day when a child needs a reminder of the strength of a mother’s love.

  4. Full of Empty - Princess Claire’s smile has flown away like a bird—and now she feels “full of empty.” But there’s a way to bring that smile back . . . if only . . . Every child gets bored or lonely—and this warm-hearted story teaches parents and children that a parent’s time and full attention are the best remedy. Full of Empty reminds parents that playing with their children is an important form of love. From award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Tim J. Myers, this beautifully illustrated book will bring home the power of quality time.

Want to see books about family?

Books About Loneliness and Self-esteem

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Teacup
Written by Rebecca Young & illustrated by Matt Ottley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
A boy must leave his home and find another. He brings with him a teacup full of earth from the place where he grew up, and sets off to sea. Some days, the journey is peaceful, and the skies are cloudless and bright. Some days, storms threaten to overturn his boat. And some days, the smallest amount of hope grows into something glorious. At last, the boy finds land, but it doesn’t feel complete . . . until another traveler joins him, bearing the seed to build a new home. With lyrical text and gorgeous artwork, this poignant picture book is perfect for discussing all of life’s toughest challenges—a big move, a divorce, long-distance separation, or even the current refugee crisis—in a way that’s reassuring and inspiring for children and adults alike.
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Copy Cat
Written & 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.
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Adelaide's Secret World
Written & illustrated by Elise Hurst
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9
With a poetic story and lush paintings, Elise Hurst conveys how a bit of bravery, empathy, and imagination can transform our lives. Adelaide lives in a city filled with people and wonders, but she is lonely. She is a watcher, and she sees others like her: the quiet ones, those who dance and dream alone. In a chance encounter, Adelaide meets someone who just might be a kindred spirit—and is so startled and shy she runs away! But then she gathers her courage and uses all her ingenuity to make sure that they—and all the other lonely ones—meet and connect and share their dreams.
Honorable Mentions
A Tiger Called Tomás book
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Child of Glass book
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  1. A Tiger Called Tomás - A new edition of the timeless classic by celebrated children’s author, Charlotte Zolotow, featuring Spanish words and phrases! When Tomás and his family moved to a new house on a new street, he took it into his head that the new people might not like him. “Of course they’d like you,” his mamá said. “Why wouldn’t they? ¿Por qué no? “ But Tomás didn’t answer. Tomás’s Mom encourages him to go out and meet the kids in his neighborhood, but Tomas is too shy. Instead, he sits on his stoop, watching the world go by. But on the night of Halloween, opportunity arrives in the form of a tiger costume, complete with a mask that hides his identity. He can go trick-or-treating without anyone knowing it’s him. But Tomás will soon discover his costume doesn’t hide him quite as well as he thinks…

  2. Child of Glass - A story about difference, exclusion, and ultimately self-acceptance, Child of Glass explores the interplay between inner and outer and the journey we have to go on to become ourselves. Child of Glass is about Gisele, a fragile, strong, transparent girl who denounces the meanness that can mark life in the world. In sparse, poetic language that all of us, however young or old, can understand, Child of Glass reminds us of our birthright to become ourselves. Freedom isn’t about accepting what is; it’s about asking the questions and taking the actions that allow us to be at home in the world. Beautifully illustrated in a painterly, drawn, and collaged style, this is a story of layers, textures, and transparencies in every sense. It is also a book that explores the possibilities of form to render idea, thereby providing connective tissue between the world of the book and life in the world. “To draw is to tell. Everyone who feels emotion has something to tell. Emotions keep on changing, growing, as children do. My drawings and stories change with them.” So says Beatrice Alemagna, who was born in Bologna, Italy, in 1973. Alemagna has written and illustrated dozens of children’s books, which have received numerous awards all over the world and have been translated into fourteen languages. She has also had solo exhibitions in France, Italy, Portugal, Germany, Sweden, and Japan. Alemagna’s The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy is also published by Enchanted Lion.

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