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15 Friendship Picture Books Your Students Will Love

friendship picture books

Using friendship picture books can be one of the most impactful ways to teach your students important friendship skills. Do your students need help any of this friendship skill list?

  • Conflict Resolution
  • Being Inclusive
  • Making New Friends
  • Being a Kind Friend

If you’re thinking “Yes they sure do!” then I highly recommend trying some of these children’s books about friendship. These friendship books can be just the thing to give your students some reminders of how to be a good friend.

Looking for the best friendship picture books? Read on for my top picks!

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How To Use Friendship Picture Books

I absolutely LOVE using children’s books in my teaching whenever I can. This is true for academic areas, but even more so for social emotional learning topics.

You can use picture books about friendship anytime, but I find them to be especially useful…

  1. In response to a specific problem you see popping up in your classroom. Then you can introduce the book by saying, “I’ve been noticing ____ happening a lot. Let’s see what the characters in this book can teach us about it!”
  2. To encourage students to be problem solvers. As you read, you might say, “I’m noticing characters in this book are having a lot of trouble with _____. What do you think they should do?”
  3. As part of a monthly theme or focus. I love having a monthly focus for our social emotional learning work. For example, in December we read a lot about generosity and sharing. Friendship books are perfect for April, when all the drama drama starts to rear its ugly head!

There are lots of ways to weave these friendship read alouds into your day. Try using them during transitions, as part of your morning meeting, or even as a way to end the school day.

My favorite way is to have a designated time of the week for Social Emotional Learning lessons, and to use them in conjunction with your SEL work (you can check out the SEL Friendship Unit here!)

Okay, now let’s dive into these friendship book choices!

Picture Books About Friendship

I’m so excited to share my very favorite friendship children’s books! These are the best read alouds to pull out when your class is having a little friendship drama.

I’ve divided them into categories for you to make it easier to find what you need:

  1. Being A Good Friend
  2. Making New Friends
  3. Being Inclusive
  4. Fixing Friendship Problems

Children’s Books About Being A Good Friend

Being a good friend is a skill that children have to practice over time. It takes a long time for some children to be able to put themselves in others’ shoes, and to build the empathy of a true friend.

These read alouds are so helpful for students, because they give concrete examples of what friendship looks like. They are full of simple strategies that any child can try on the playground that same day.

My Way To Making Friends

friendship children's books

In this story, the main character Melissa has trouble making friends. Melissa is very relatable to those students who may feel like they can never connect with their classmates.

Throughout the story, she learns some important strategies to help her overcome these challenges. In the end, the lessons she learns help her connect with others and find friendship.

Make a Friend, Be a Friend

friendship picture book

This book is a helpful guide about all things friendship for kids. Full of clear and simple strategies, it can be a great starting place for students who have trouble making friends, or a great reminder for students who may have forgotten what friendship is all about.

It has sections on making friends, being a good friend, showing you want to be a friend, and fixing friendships – so you can jump to exactly what your students need most!

Teach Your Dragon To Make Friends

friendship children's books

This is a very cute friendship book in the Teach Your Dragon series. Dragon is having trouble making friends, and he can’t figure out what keeps going wrong. His friend helps him understand that friendship requires being kind and inclusive.

As Dragon learns to be a good friend, he practices various strategies that students can utilize too. I love this book because of the highly engaging pictures and the sweet friendship between a boy and his dragon.

The Kids’ Book of Friends

This is one of the best friendship picture books as another helpful guide for students. It contains straightforward tips and strategies that will get students thinking about how they can be a better friend.

Children’s Books About Making New Friends

Making new friends may seem like a “back to school” topic, but it is actually important to revisit all the time. In elementary school, friendships fluctuate constantly. I find that students are always shifting in who they are playing with.

For students who find that they’ve suddenly lost their best playmate, it can be a helpful reminder that they have the tools to make new friends at any point in the school year. These friendship picture books help students with strategies for doing just that.

Let’s Play!

books about making friends

This friendship picture book shares the story of a new girl who is nervous about making friends. Luckily, her classmates know just how to make her feel welcome!

Words To Make A Friend

children's book about making friends

Two girls who speak different languages learn that making new friends doesn’t always need words. This is such a sweet book to show that friendship is powerful enough to overcome all kinds of barriers. And it can help your students feel brave enough to reach out to make new friends in all kinds of situations.

Can Cat And Bird Be Friends?

childrens book about friendship

A sweet friendship book about a bird who decides to befriend a cat. The cat is a little hesitant at first, because after all – isn’t he supposed to want to eat him? But this bird doesn’t give up on this potential new friend!

Children’s Books About Being Inclusive

We all wish our students could learn to be a little more inclusive, don’t we? These friendship picture books will help remind your students that their actions matter, and that small acts of inclusivity can make a huge difference for a friend in need.

Words To Make A Friend

picture books about being inclusive

A poignant friendship book about what can happen when we aren’t inclusive and kind to new people. This book is a great conversation starter for talking about the power of our actions.

The Invisible Boy

being inclusive picture book

In this story, a little boy with no friends helps makes a new student feel welcome. This book shows the power we have to make people feel seen and included.

The Big Umbrella

being inclusive book

A sweet and funny story about a big umbrella where there is room for everyone.

Children’s Books About Conflict Resolution

As teachers, we can end up spending a lot of energy on putting out fires between friends. This can look like helping friends communicate clearly, navigating apologies, and helping students see things from someone else’s perspective.

But those are all skills that children can learn to be independent with! This next set of friendship picture books is perfect for helping your students navigate those inevitable friendship bumps.

The Sour Grape

friendship picture books

This series is definitely one to add to your friendship picture books list. In this book, the Sour Grape always holds a grudges. He learns important lessons of friendship and forgiveness in this story.

Enemy Pie

friendship picture books

A funny story that gives great ideas for turning an enemy into a friend.

My New Friend Is So Fun

childrens book about friendship

My students go wild for Piggie and Gerald books! In this one, they learn to navigate some friendship bumps when Piggie finds a new friend to play with.

Friendship Picture Books

I hope these friendship picture books have given you lots of ideas for how to start doing some serious friendship work with your students. These topics are usually the biggest ones that pop up during the year, so it’s a good idea to have these read alouds about friendship on hand!

And remember, these are the perfect books to revisit all year long. Pick one up when your students are having friendship troubles, or even just as a reminder to prevent any problems from popping up!

friendship lessons
Which friendship book are you going to try out? Let me know in the comments!

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