Friendship Booklist (Part 1)
Friendship is something so important for little ones to be able to foster, nourish and develop. During the beginning stages of development, little children often engage in parallel play. As they mature, they seek out other children with like interests or personalities to form bonds with. I believe as parents and caregivers it is important to help them develop the skills of being a good friend and to show them how great it is to have someone special in their lives who they can truly call a friend.
Here is the first part of a two part series of books with a strong friendship theme:
- Lost and Found | Oliver Jeffers – I have always loved this story and the movie is just as delightful. The story is so beautifully told that it captures the reader’s imagination immediately. We have the pop-up version, which is perfect in every way.
- Marshall Armstrong is New To Our School | David Mackintosh – A new little boy, Marshall Armstrong, arrives at school and everything about this little boy is very different from the main protagonist. Sometimes different does not mean that you have nothing in common. Different can be just delightful. If you’re interested you can see an interview with David Mackintosh here.
- A Hare, A Hound, and Shy Mousey Brown | Julia Hubery and Jonathan Bentley – Julia and Jonathan have created a special book which shows readers that you certainly do not need to be alike to be friends. Friends come in all shapes and sizes.
- Max and George | Cori Brooke and Sue deGennaro – Max and George, is simply an adorable book. It would make the perfect gift for a child who has just started school. It is illustrated by the clever Sue deGennaro. Her lovely and unique style works beautifully with Cori’s words. I especially love that Max’s special friend is possibly imaginary (wink, wink). As Max becomes more comfortable, he reaches out and finds another special person to spend his days at school with. If you’re interested, you can see an interview with Cori Brooke here. You can also visit Cori Brooke’s website here.
- The Moose Belong to Me | Oliver Jeffers – This is a tale about a little boy who would really like to own a friend called Marcel (or is that Rodriego or Domonic?). We certainly don’t own our friends, and this story illustrates that although you may love someone or something, you need to let them also be themselves. Very thought provoking.
- Ted | Leila Rudge – Sometimes it takes a little while for you to find that special friend.
- Little Tug | Stephen Savage – Little Tug may not be very tall or very fast, but he is a wonderful helper to all of his friends on the water.
- The Very Hungry Bear | Nick Bland – This is part of a series of delightful titles by Nick Bland. This title is about a hungry bear who is very altruistic in the end and thinks of his new friend before himself. There is also an app!
- Bear’s Best Friend | Lucy Coats and Sarah Dyer – Bear has a lot of friends, but he does not have that one special friend. Bear’s talent for topiary helps him find a new special friend.
Here are a few friendship activities to try:
- Friendship high five : Trace around a child’s hand on paper and place a photograph of the them in the middle. On each finger record a fantastic friendship fact about that person.
- Friend puppets: I did this with my littles (aged 2 and 5) a few years ago. I printed off a number of photos of family and friends and had them laminated. Then I attached a popsicle stick to the reverse to make a little friend and family puppet. These were simply perfect to encourage role-play and learning the names of family and friends for really little ones.
- Who did you play with?: This is an activity, which can be done straight after school (or lunch if you are a teacher at school). Create a friendship journal to write a sentence or two about whom you played with and what games you played that day. Depending on each child’s ability, you could extend this by asking them to list any issues that arose and how these were solved. They could write about strategies that they put into place, or new and interesting facts they have found out about their friends, such as music they like or food they don’t like.