Top 40 Books to Teach Your Kids About Teamwork

Updated Apr. 22, 2019

In the words of Helen Keller: "Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much." Teamwork is one of those principles that serve us well, from age 2 to 102, and it's never too early to learn how to make it work since it can often be easier said than done... especially depending on the group! Since books are a great way to allow children to put themselves in a variety of situations without experiencing it first-hand, we've compiled a list of some truly fantastic books showcasing different elements of teamwork!

The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR! book
#1
The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR!
Written and illustrated by Rob Biddulph
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Goodfather

Rob Biddulph is a phenomenal children's book author and illustrator, and I love his work in The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR!. His creative rhyming leads readers through a wonderful tale of the value of competition and friendship, while his fun illustrations bring the story to life.

From the award-winning author and illustrator of Blown Away, Rob Biddulph, comes a delightfully hilarious story about a grizzly bear named Fred who loses his GRRRRR. Each year, for as long as the forest has stood, a contest is held for the bears of the wood… Fred is the champion. He’s the best. But being the best takes time and training, especially when it comes to having the loudest growl. Then, one morning, disaster strikes—Fred’s GRRRRR is gone! Oh, no! Will Fred find his GRRRRR and realize that there’s more to life than being a winner?

Stone Soup book
#2
Stone Soup
Written and illustrated by Jon J Muth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An award-winning artist adds a Zen twist to a favorite tale. As three monks travel along a mountain road, they encounter villagers ravaged by harsh times, making them cold to strangers. When the monks entice them to make soup from stones, the villagers discover how much they have to give. Full color.

Little Blue Truck book
#3
Little Blue Truck
Written by Alice Schertle and illustrated by Jill McElmurry
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

A cute book with popularity that makes it seem almost destined to be a classic. The combination of animals (and reminders of the sounds they make!) together with a couple of trucks is probably enough alone to make this a favorite for many kiddos and the message of teamwork and being kind is one that all can appreciate. Rhyming books always get extra credit in my book and the manners and personality of the Little Blue Truck (who never says anything but "Beep!") conveyed by Shertle and McElmurry is impressive!

Beep! Beep! Beep! Meet Blue. A muddy country road is no match for this little pick up--that is, until he gets stuck while pushing a dump truck out of the muck. Luckily, Blue has made a pack of farm animal friends along his route. And they're willing to do whatever it takes to get their pal back on the road. With a text full of truck sounds and animal noises to read aloud, here is a rollicking homage to the power of friendship and the rewards of helping others.

Duncan the Story Dragon book
#4
Duncan the Story Dragon
Written and illustrated by Amanda Driscoll
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

Poor Duncan. He loves to read, but because he is a fire breathing dragon he can't seem to ever get to the end of the book without it catching fire. Talk about a problem that needs solving! Instead of giving up and becoming miserable, he finds the best solution of involving someone else, creating a lasting friendship. I like that this story shows that sometimes we do need to turn outwards and ask for help for some things we can't do on our own. This can be difficult, but often creates the most rewarding experiences.

Duncan the Dragon loves to read. When he reads a story, his imagination catches fire! Unfortunately . . . so does his book. Fire breath is great for roasting marshmallows, but it’s not so great for reading. Duncan just wants to get to those two wonderful words, like the last sip of a chocolate milk shake: The End. Will he ever find out how the story ends? This bright, warm tale champions determination, friendship, and a love for books. And milk shakes!

How to Build a Snow Bear book
#5
How to Build a Snow Bear
Written by Eric Pinder and illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

Super cute book about two brothers and their day in the snow. I appreciated that while at first the older brother tried some annoying things to wake his little brother up, he settles on making his favorite snack and waiting patiently. The message that sometimes we can't accomplish everything by ourselves and need to rely on a little teamwork is great too! The metaphor of a sleeping bear for a younger brother is endearing, and the illustrations are lively yet calm.

Thomas wants to build the biggest and best snowman ever. Since he can't do it alone, he'll need a helping hand—or a paw. But little bears love to hibernate. How do you wake up a snoozing bear? By tickling it? Singing to it? Maybe making its favorite snack? How to Build a Snow Bear is a story about two siblings sharing a wondrous wintry day.

We are Better Together book
#6
We are Better Together
Written by Roger Priddy
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

The illustrations in this book are so fun--a mix of real pictures and illustrations. Some of the images have a different texture. This book has a lot of great content. There are a lot of different items in the book to look at and talk about, different colors, and a lot of different topics. Overall, I just love the personality in this book and think it's adorable!

Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

I was a little lukewarm on this book until I read it 100 times to my toddler (who loves it!) and realized that a) I wasn't getting particularly tired of it and b) it was great for playing "I spy" and he was getting name actual pictures of things he sees in everyday life. The illustration style of drawings over photographs is original and fun and it's now a favorite at our house—plus the message is fabulous!

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.

Officer Buckle and Gloria book
#7
Officer Buckle and Gloria
Written and illustrated by Peggy Rathmann
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from Grammy

It has been easily more than a decade since I read this book aloud and yet whenever someone brings up the book Officer Buckle and Gloria, I immediately think, "Always stick with your buddy." Officer Buckle is a roundish, straightish, serious police officer who makes a career of giving school presentations on safety tips. Once Gloria, a precocious and animated K-9, becomes his partner, their presentations get really entertaining. While the tips themselves are a little droll in their obviousness, Gloria's charades and Peggy Rathman's imaginative illustrations will have them laughing in the aisles. Officer Buckle and Gloria are much better together than singly; they learn how important it is to stick together.

The children at Napville Elementary School always ignore Officer Buckle's safety tips, until a police dog named Gloria accompanies him when he gives his safety speeches.

I Can Play book
#8
I Can Play
Written and illustrated by Betsy Snyder
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

The finger holes for I Can Play are so fun! There are a few other books in this series, but I love that this book talks about teamwork. This book is sure to occupy little ones for a long time as they use their fingers to be limbs for all of the people in the book! I also love that this book talks about all the wonderful things we can do with our bodies: jump, kick, run, etc!

Readers make athletes splash, sprint, or score just by wiggling their fingers! Then, with two sets of hands, readers help the athletes unite as a team in the gatefold finale. Active and adorable characters model independence and teamwork, making this innovative board book perfect for interactive reading and playtime fun!

Old MacDonald Had a Truck book
#9
Old MacDonald Had a Truck
Written by Steve Goetz and illustrated by Eda Kaban
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

Super cute and original take on the classic Old MacDonald, jam packed with awesome trucks and other construction vehicles! Super fun to sing or just read out loud and adorable illustrations. I particularly enjoyed when the E-I-E-I-O transitioned throughout the book to different sounds and actions associated with each new truck (E-I-E-I-mow!) and the big reveal at the end of what Old MacDonald and all his helpers created.

Old MacDonald had a farm E-I-E-I-O. And on that farm he had a...TRUCK?! With a DIG DIG here and a SCOOP SCOOP there, this classic folk song just got revved up! Beloved machines—the excavator, dump truck, bulldozer, and more—will have the vehicle-obsessed of all ages reading and singing along.

The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig book
#10
The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig
Written by Eugene Trivizas and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

It was time for the three little wolves to go out into the world, so off they went and built themselves a splendid brick house. But they hadn't reckoned on the big bad pig who soon came along and knocked their house down. The little wolves built a stronger house of concrete, in which they were sure to be safe. But that didn't stop the big bad pig, who made short work of it with a pneumatic drill. Even a house made of armor plates could not protect them. It was only a chance encounter with a flamingo bird that solved their dilemma in an entirely unexpected and satisfactory way. Helen Oxenbury's enchanting watercolor illustrations, full of humorous details and visual excitement, are the perfect accompaniment to this hilarious retelling-in-reverse of the traditional tale.

Max and Marla book
#11
Max and Marla
Written and illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

The watercolor illustrations in this book are gorgeous and beautifully convey this story of two friends who brave a winter wonderland to show exactly what it takes to become true Olympians. Friendship, perseverance and preparation prevail in this humorously and child-friendly portrayal of overcoming failure and pushing through obstacles to achieve your goals.

Two fearless Olympians sled to victory in this delightful new picture book Max and Marla are best friends. And aspiring Olympians! With their eyes on the prize, they know exactly what it’ll take to reach sledding success: preparation, practice and perseverance. So when rusty blades, strong winds and difficult slopes get in their way, Max and Marla realize true joy lies not in winning but in friendship. Obstacles turn into victories! With delightful illustrations and charming text, Alexandra Boiger brings to life the story of two unstoppable pals—true Olympians who never give up!

The Junkyard Wonders book
#12
The Junkyard Wonders
Written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Inspired by a teacher who believes each of them is a genius, a class of special-needs students invents something that could convince the whole school they are justifiably proud to be "Junkyard Wonders."

Mighty, Mighty Construction Site book
#13
Mighty, Mighty Construction Site
Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato

Not as cute as the original Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, but still an enjoyable read if you've got a little one that likes construction vehicles. This sequel introduces 5 additional construction workers and focuses on teamwork between the original and new trucks. It ends with the trucks bedding down for the night and a fun throwback to the original book.

At last—here from the team behind the beloved international bestseller comes a companion to Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site. All of our favorite trucks are back on the construction site—this time with a focus on team-building, friendship, and working together to make a big task seem small! Down in the big construction site, the crew faces their biggest job yet, and will need the help of new construction friends to get it done. Working as a team, there's nothing they can't do! The millions of fans of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site are in for a mighty good time!

Oliver's Tree book
#14
Oliver's Tree
Written and illustrated by Kit Chase
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

This is such a great story about friendship and working together. Sometimes we see things differently and this book shows us how we can work through those differences and make things better for everyone involved.

A board book about three adorable best friends! Oliver, Charlie, and Lulu love to play outside together. Their favorite game is hide-and-seek, but it’s not fun for Oliver when his friends hide in the trees—he can’t reach them! So the friends set off to find a tree that Oliver can play in. But there’s a reason we don’t see elephants in trees, and just when Oliver is ready to give up the search, Charlie and Lulu surprise him with the perfect tree for them all to play in together!

Roadwork book
#15
Roadwork
Written by Sally Sutton and illustrated by Brian Lovelock
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Big machines and their drivers work together to build a road.

Construction book
#16
Construction
Written by Sally Sutton and illustrated by Brian Lovelock
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Big machines and their drivers work together to build a library.

Swimmy book
#17
Swimmy
Written and illustrated by Leo Lionni
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The gorgeous, Caldecott Honor-winning tale of a very clever fish by beloved picture book creator Leo Lionni. Deep in the sea lives a happy school of fish. Their watery world is full of wonders, but there is also danger, and the little fish are afraid to come out of hiding . . . until Swimmy comes along. Swimmy shows his friends how—with ingenuity and team work—they can overcome any danger. Winner of the 1964 Caldecott Honor, this beloved tale of a brave little fish has been a favorite to generations of readers. To celebrate Swimmy's fiftieth anniversary, we are issuing a handsome special edition hardcover that includes a bonus poster.

Shark in the Dark book
#18
Shark in the Dark
Written by Peter Bently and illustrated by Ben Cort
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from Readerly Mom

This is a cute and clever book with a solid story and nice message. The illustrations of ocean animals are darling and really pull you into the book. The story is simple enough to engage young readers well, and the rhyming text is fun to read! The message about working together toward a common goal would work well for a preschool or elementary school class.

The shark has been lurking in the deep, dark sea, searching for a fishy snack. He's big and he's mean and he's always hungry. Tired of fleeing the shark, the other seas creatures come up with a plan. If they all work together it might be possible to teach the shark a lesson he'll never forget. With a lively rhyming text; bright, expressive illustrations; and a playful die-cut cover, this is one shark's tale that will be a hit either at story hour . . . or feeding time.

Franklin Plays the Game book
#19
Franklin Plays the Game
Written by Paulette Bourgeois and illustrated by Brenda Clark
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Franklin and his friends love to play soccer, even if they never succeed in scoring a goal, but when they learn to work together, their playing improves.

Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree book
#20
Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree
Written and illustrated by Naoko Stoop
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

The story is cute and I love that they create a book nook and turn it into a library, with the over-arching message of sharing and the joy of reading! I like the different feel of the illustrations, too, but I do struggle to say "Red Knit Cap Girl" as often as it's written in the book, and get a little tired of saying it after reading it once

Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

For avid readers especially, this story about building a little community library is charming, with everyone bringing a little something of themselves to share. The illustrations are lovely and feel calm and soothing.

This new adventure with Red Knit Cap Girl and her friends uses simple prose and radiant illustrations to shine a light on the joy of reading and the importance of working together. One day Red Knit Cap Girl and her friends discover a hollow tree in the middle of the forest. What can be done with one ordinary tree? "I will keep my book in this nook so everyone can read it," Red Knit Cap Girl says. But the tree isn't only for books. Little by little, one by one, the animals share their unique gifts and turn the ordinary tree into a special spot for everyone to enjoy!

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles book
#21
The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The Whangdoodle was once the wisest, the kindest, and the most extraordinary creature in the world. Then he disappeared and created a wonderful land for himself and all the other remarkable animals -- the ten-legged Sidewinders, the little furry Flukes, the friendly Whiffle Bird, and the treacherous, "oily" Prock. It was an almost perfect place where the last of the really great Whangdoodles could rule his kingdom with "peace, love and a sense of fun"-- apart from and forgotten by people. But not completely forgotten. Professor Savant believed in the Whangdoodle. And when he told the three Potter children of his search for the spectacular creature, Lindy, Tom, and Ben were eager to reach Whangdoodleland. With the Professor's help, they discovered the secret way. But waiting for them was the scheming Prock, who would use almost any means to keep them away from his beloved king. Only by skill and determination were the four travelers able to discover the last of the really great Whangdoodles and grant him his heart's desire. Julie Andrews Edwards, star of stage and screen, has written a unique and beloved story that has become a modern classic. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles is sure to continue to delight readers everywhere. This edition includes a new foreword by the author.

The Little Red Hen book
#22
The Little Red Hen
Written and illustrated by Paul Galdone
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Unaided by her three lazy animal companions, an industrious hen tends to all the chores on their New England farm.

The Seven Chinese Brothers book
#23
The Seven Chinese Brothers
Written by Margaret Mahy and illustrated by Mou-Sien Tseng
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Seven Chinese brothers elude execution by virtue of their extraordinary individual qualities.

Tractor Mac Teamwork book
#24
Tractor Mac Teamwork
Written and illustrated by Billy Steers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

All the vehicles and animals on Stonybrook Farm are enlisted to help build a new swimming hole for their town's residents. It is a big job, but Tractor Mac and his pals are willing to lend a hand. But a tractor named Deke thinks he can do it all by himself--and do it better than everyone else. He soon learns that a complex job is done best when each member of a team does his or her part.

Appleblossom the Possum book
#25
Appleblossom the Possum
Written by and illustrated by Holly Goldberg Sloan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Mama has trained up her baby possums in the ways of their breed, and now it’s time for all of them—even little Appleblossom—to make their way in the world. Appleblossom knows the rules: she must never be seen during the day, and she must avoid cars, humans, and the dreaded hairies (sometimes known as dogs). Even so, Appleblossom decides to spy on a human family—and accidentally falls down their chimney! The curious Appleblossom, her faithful brothers—who launch a hilarious rescue mission—and even the little girl in the house have no idea how fascinating the big world can be. But they’re about to find out! With dynamic illustrations, a tight-knit family, and a glimpse at the world from a charming little marsupial’s point of view, this cozy animal story is a perfect read-aloud and a classic in the making.

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