Although what it takes to be a friend can come naturally to many kids, there are certain situations that can arise between mini BFFs that may prompt you to want to discuss the meaning of friendship with your kids. Whether they're starting middle school and either made, or were the subject of a hurtful comment, or they're a little one who's learning how to be a good pal, the importance of understanding both friendship and acceptance from a young age is so vital.
Read through for nine books that will help teach your child about friendship and why it's so important in a number of different ways.
1. The Rainbow Fish
A children's book classic, The Rainbow Fish ($19) tells the story of a beautiful rainbow fish who wouldn't give his scales to the other fish, which caused them to distance themselves from him. Once he starts to give away his scales, everyone in the group becomes happy together and he learns that having a group of friends is more important than his individual happiness.
For ages: 4 and up
2. My Friend Maggie
Paula and Maggie are best friends until Veronica says that Maggie isn't the best. Paula ends up going along with mean-girl Veronica, until she decides to ignore her and go back to the way she used to feel about Maggie. My Friend Maggie ($18) explores what happens when one breaks from mob mentality to do what's right, especially when friendship is involved.
For ages: 4-8
3. Leonardo the Terrible Monster
Leonardo the Terrible Monster ($18) isn't very good at being a scary monster like he's supposed to. He eventually figures out how to be more frightening and scares a nervous little boy, which helps him realize that he doesn't really like being scary very much. He discovers that even though he's not great at being a monster, he can learn how to be a good friend instead.
For ages: 3-6
4. Days With Frog and Toad
Days With Frog and Toad ($17) celebrates the amazing friendship between Frog and Toad through a number of silly tales that will show your children what a good friendship looks like.
For ages: 4-8
5. George And Martha
George And Martha ($3) is full of short stories about George and Martha, two very good friends. Over the course of their adventures they go through the basics of friendships — caring about each other, being considerate of each others' feelings, and making up after arguing.
For ages: 3 and up
6. Enemy Pie
Enemy Pie ($17) is a funny and entertaining tale about turning your enemies into friends, which can sometimes turn out to be the most rewarding type of friendship.
For ages: 5-8
7. The Name Jar
In The Name Jar ($8), Unhei fears that no one at school will be able to pronounce her unique name, so she tells her classmates that she's going to choose a new name. Once her classmates begin to fill a jar with sample names, Unhei starts trying them all out until one of her new friends discovers her real name. Then the rest of the class helps to encourage her to just be herself. because that's what friends are for.
For ages: 3-7
Auggie doesn't look like other kids — in fact, he's called a "zombie" by his classmates. In Wonder ($13), 10-year-old Auggie goes to school for the first time and learns that though not everyone is going to want to be your friend, finding those who will stand up for you no matter what is so much more important.
For ages: 9-12
9. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone ($11), Harry finds himself in a number of difficult situations — from tough homework to fighting off a troll — and discovers the importance of having great friends.
For ages: 9-12