This month's book list features read-alouds that focus on friendship. Learning to interact with others and fostering friendships is such an integral component of preschooler development. It is at this age that we as humans begin to grapple with and hone relational skills like sharing, communicating, asking for and offering forgiveness, accepting those who are different from us, and more.
Reading books that model these relational skills can create rich opportunities for parent-child conversations about real-life situations. Engage with your child about the relational dynamics presented in these books, asking them questions about the characters and storyline and helping them make connections with their own experiences.
Happy reading and relating!
Do You Want to Be My Friend? by Eric Carle - The creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar illustrates the story of a mouse's search for a friend. With bright colors and few words, this picture book is great for discussing colors, animal names and sounds and, of course, friendship.
How Do Dinosaurs Play with Their Friends? by Jane Yolen - This book is part of a dino-series that teaches manners and personal responsibility. This particular book cleverly uses rhyme, humor and dinosaurs to show readers what it looks like to play nicely.
Making Friends is an Art! by Julia Cook - Written by a former teacher and school counselor, this book tells the story of Brown the crayon as he struggles to make friends and learns what it takes to be a good friend.
The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister - This is a great tale of kindness and sharing. It also has eye-catching illustrations that draw young readers in (think glitter and sparkles).
Owen and Mzee by Isabella Hatkoff - Don't forget about non-fiction! This is the non-fiction, real-life story of an unlikely friendship between an orphaned baby hippo and an old, giant turtle. A good reminder that friends can be quite different!
Horace and Morris but Mostly Dolores by James Howe- Horace, Morris, and Dolores are the best of friends, but one day they join different groups. Find out if they discover a way to save their friendship.
Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester - Rodney Rat has a speech impediment that causes his classmates to tease him. When a new student begins to bully the entire class, Rodney Rat finds a way to save the day.
The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen - Inspite of following a glum fish around as he declares himself to be a pout-pout fish, this story is a heartwarming tale of the transforming power of encouragement. It can also be a guide for those who find a friend in a sad mood.
Peanut Butter and Jellyfish by Jarrett J. Krosoczka - Peanut Butter and Jellyfish are the best of friends, but their neighbor Crabby is a bully. One day, they find Crabby in a predicament and must decide whether or not to help him.
Blocks by Irene Dickson - Ruby has red blocks; Benji has blue blocks. When Benji decides to take some of Ruby's red blocks, it causes havoc for both of them. This is a delightfully simple yet powerful lesson in sharing.
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