Books About Friendship

Bob and Otto by Robert O. Bruel is a lovely story about 2 friends who must part ways , in this case because one is a caterpillar who needs to build a chrysalis and the other an earth worm who needs to dig deep into the ground. What I like about this book is that it goes on to explain that the earth worm’s digging is vital for the trees to grow so that the caterpillar can eat the leaves and turn into a butterfly. I like the lesson about how we all play a part!

Best Friends (Owen And Mzee) by Isabella and Craig Hatkoff is a board book with real photographs of the friendship of orphaned baby hippo and his 130 year old adoptive tortoise named Mzee.  The text is simple and perfect for toddlers, although older children will better understand how amazing the story is. There are so many learning opportunities between these pages from the Tsunami, to learning about hippos and tortoises. The real lesson though is about friendship and I like that it shows animals being affectionate , something rare to see and something that can help foster a true appreciation for animals in young kids.

Fish Is Fish by Leo Lionni is a cute book that not only talks about friendship but it also explains the transformation of a tadpole into a frog in an entertaining way . I have used this book in classrooms while doing animal life cycles and kids always love how the fish in the book imagines people as fish with legs! The story of friendship between the little tadpole and minnow can’t be ignored either, it’s a great message about change and the way friendships if true can withstand change.

Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson is such a heartwarming story about friendship. Bear is hibernating but his friends wake him up to celebrate Christmas. It’s not easy at first , Bear is super sleepy and wants nothing more than to cuddle back up and fall back to sleep.  They get a tree, decorate it, hang their stockings and sing carols. When all the other animals snuggle in and go to sleep Bear stays up. He is busily making gifts for all his friends, he is so busy he doesn’t even notice Santa coming and filling the stockings. He delights in the friendship and when his friends present him with a lovely quilt, he snuggles under and goes back to sleep happy and filled with friendship. This is such a wonderful book , I love it’s focus on friendship and the excitement of giving gifts!

The Boy Who Grew Flowers by Jennifer Wojtowicz is one of those books that stays with you. Rink is a little boy who’s family is strange, Rink is no exception, with every full moon he sprouts flowers , from his head. At school he is an outsider and only when a new girl comes to school does he make a friend. He reaches out to her because she too is an outsider, not at school, in her own family. In the end the kindred spirits celebrate their uniqueness. This odd romantic story will warm your heart and serves as a great lesson about how we all feel different and like an outsider sometimes. The illustrations by Steve Adams will stun you, they were so vibrant and paired so perfectly with the story. Wonderful!

Photo Wreath – Valentine’s Day Kids Craft

valentine's day heart wreathEvery holiday whether it’s a hallmark one or not deserves a wreath! This craft uses holiday photo cards and recycles them into a fun Valentine’s tribute to friendship. You can also sneak in a color mixing lesson if you want , by making pink paint with red and white. As you will see further down when a 2 year old has decided he is done- there isn’t much you can do.
Roll with it !
  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate, a cereal box, some paint, glue, a marker, scissors , some ribbon, photos and a heart shaped paper punch.
  2. Draw some hearts on your cereal box.
  3. Have your child paint the hearts. Let dry.
  4. While they are painting, cut out pictures of your friends using the paper punch. Older children can do this themselves after finishing painting.
  5. Cut out the center of the paper plate.
  6. Cut out the hearts.
  7. Try and try and try to get your child from the sink to come and glue the hearts on but understand that bubbles and water are second only to Dora the Explorer and accept defeat.
  8. Glue the pictures on the middle of the hearts.
  9. Glue onto the paper plate- even if your child hasn’t staged a mutiny this step is tricky so be prepared to help a lot .
  10. I put my plastic place mat on my wreath for a few minutes to press it down, it did the trick!
  11. Let dry.
  12. Loop some ribbon around it and hang up to cherish your friends this Valentine’s Day !
Books !

“Jessica” by Kevin Henkes is a cute book for anyone who may have a child who has an imaginary friend. I think it’s more a book for adults to clue back into what these invisible people really are all about than a book for kids, although your child will like it. The story follows a little girl Ruthie and her imaginary friend Jessica. I have had children over the years tell me they can see the invisible Jessica in the pictures and I am just too old to see. As a parent I so enjoy this author’s ability to remind big people the depth and complexity of small children’s emotions and motivation. He gets it !

” Slugs In Love “ by Susan Pearson had me giggling while reading it. The story is about 2 slugs who write poetry to each other while admiring each other from afar. The book is too complex for the tiny crowd but PreK and up will appreciate the humor and it could be a great springboard for a unit on poetry . A silly but fun book about those slimy garden pests!