Navigating friendship in elementary school can sometimes be a challenge. Growing up and learning how to maintain relationships is so extremely important to our social emotional health and growth. Having models of great friendships is such an extraordinary way to teach little ones how to maintain and grow their social relationships. When real life models are not available, why not use a read aloud! Friendship read alouds is tremendously impactful. 

Friendship Read Alouds For Any Grade

Read on for 8 of my favorite friendship read alouds to use today!

1. 48 Grasshopper Estates by Sara de Wall

This sweet book is all about a young girl named Sicily that creates and invents and shares her inventions with the older people in her apartment building. Sicily really wants a real-life friend though. So many young children can relate to the idea that they have something to share, but aren’t finding the perfect friendship fit! Sicily eventually finds another young boy in the building who needs help with his invention and it is a perfect friendship fit! This is a great story of compassion with great illustrations and perfect for K-2.

2. Be a Friend by Salina Yoon

What an incredible story of being unique and accepting of your friends. This adorable story of Dennis, who is a mime. Being a mime can be lonely for Dennis, until he meets Joy and a beautiful friendship is born! Dennis and Joy become friends without a words, but use gestures and smiles. Individuality is celebrated. The feeling of isolation is explored, and friendship is described in a different way. This is another great story for K-2 and even older children would enjoy it!

3. Little Beauty by Anthony Browne

This is a fictional tale, but is loosely based on Koko the gorilla that learned sign language. Little Beauty features a gorilla who expressed loneliness to the zookeepers using sign language and they bring in a kitten. The unlikely friendship blossoms. When the gorilla’s anger threatens the situation, Little Beauty, the kitten, finds a way to step in and help. This story has incredible illustrations and shares a dynamic of unusual friends and deals with a range of emotions! Pair this with nonfiction about Koko the gorilla and see the gorilla and kitten friendship in real life too!

4. Madame Badobedah

by Sophia Dahl

If you are looking for a book that is a little longer, but carries through the theme of friendship, this is definitely the one! Mabel’s family runs a bed and breakfast and this older woman, who comes off pretty rude, with lots of luggage makes Mabel believe she must be a supervillain! Mabel does some spying, but eventually Mable and Madam Badobedah become friends! Sometimes first impressions are not always true! This is a tale of friendship across age groups. No matter age, anyone can be friends!

5. Don’t Hug Doug: (He Doesn’t Like It)

by Carrie Finison

This book is adorable, rhymes and has an incredible lesson about when friends don’t want hugs. It helps our youngest learners understand personal space with friends, and lets others know it is just fine not to want to hug everyone! All children need to feel seen and some are huggers and others aren’t! Help the littles understand that there are different perspectives on hugging, even between close friends!

6. Stick and Stone

by Beth Ferry, Tom Lichtenheld

Stick and Stone are the characters in this lovely book about being there when your friends need you! Stick stands up for Stone against the Pinecone bully and a beautiful, unlikely friendship is born! Stone also has to save Stick when a storm blows him away!  The book rhymes and has incredible illustrations, teaches lessons and even has adorable word play like when Stick sticks up for Stone! This book is timeless, but great for even the youngest learners. 

7. How the Crayons Saved the Rainbow
by Monica Sweeney

The sun and the cloud are best friends, but they have a huge fight. Because of their fight, all of the color disappears from the world. There are no more rainbows. A forgotten box of crayons band together to bring the color back to the world. This lovely book is about forgiveness, remembering sometimes friends fight, and apologies can help you make up! The diverse personalities of the crayons show perseverance and teamwork too, as they bring the colors back to the world. This book could definitely be paired with science lessons about color, rainbows, or even clouds! Children in K-2 learning to manage friendships would definitely benefit from this one!

8. Enemy Pie by Derek Munson

Kids often make snap judgements and this book is all about how sometimes we should take another look at our first impressions. Enemy Pie  is all about a young boy who has an enemy and his dad gives him an idea- spend the day with him and serve him enemy pie! The boys become best friends after spending the day together! What a sweet story with  lessons of learning how to deal with conflict in friendship and giving everyone a shot! Making friends is sometimes difficult and this book shares those sentiments, but also shares how rewarding it is to make a friend!

Friendship Read Alouds Your Students Will Love 

Friendships are ever changing in elementary school, but some of our elementary friends become our lifelong friends! Managing conflict, and celebrating our differences are just great lessons for all elementary aged students. Plus, adding some fun friendship games to your day can make these friendship read alouds even more important. Feeling of loneliness and acceptance and even standing up for friends are all included in the list above! Take some time to build character with these 8 favorite friendship read alouds today!

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