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Must Read Monday: Books About Friendship

June 22, 2015 6 Comments

I LOVE books!  Professional books, cheesy chick-lit books, picture books for my classroom; it doesn’t matter I love them all.  That’s why I’m so excited to kick start summer with my first official Monday off and joining two sweet bloggers for their Must Read Monday linky party!  Thank you Kindergarten Planet and The Kindergarten Connection for this great idea!  

Every year I hope to instill in my students a love of reading and books.  I try and do that with enthusiastic read alouds (I have been told I am QUITE the funny reader) and ample time for my students to read books that they’re interested in.  Reading picture books that showcase friendship between characters and how to be a good friend are so important to the first grade curriculum.  
Here are my favorite selections for books about friendship, I hope you’ll learn some new titles to add to your library over the summer!

Swimmy by Leo Lionni

Swimmy is a childhood favorite of mine that my students have always loved!  It shares the story of Swimmy who is the only fish out of his brothers and sisters who is born black instead of red.  He teaches his family and other schools of fish to band together to fight a larger bully.  Students not only learn the importance of friendship but also how valuable standing up for what’s right is.

Peanut Butter & Cupcake! by Terry Border 

Peanut Butter & Cupcake! is a new picture book that is just adorable.  It tells the story of Peanut Butter who is lonely and searching for a friend.  But, Peanut Butter has a hard time searching for its soulmate.  Your students will love hearing Peanut Butter go through his search for a friend and laugh along with you as you read.
My Friend is Sad by Mo Willems
My kids went NUTS for all Mo Willems books this year but this title was a fast favorite.  My students love seeing the friendship between Elephant and Piggie and this particular book shows Piggie desperately trying to cheer up Elephant.  In the end, Mo Willems’ adorable pictures and funny text have kids not only seeing how important friendship is but in a very silly way!
Chester’s Way by Kevin Henkes
Kevin Henkes teaches children lessons in a beautiful and poignant way.  In Chester’s Way Henkes introduces students to characters they’ve seen before in other beloved stories.  Chester and Wilson are the best of friends who do everything together until Lily moves into the neighborhood.  Students will love seeing how the three friends come to be!
Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
Another Mo Willems favorite of my students this year was Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale.  Trixie takes her beloved best pal Knuffle Bunny to the neighborhood laundromat with her dad and leaves her there!  My kids love seeing the real photographs and listening to the silly words that Trixie uses to tell her dad how she’s feeling.  But, it also hits home with my kids who have friends that are stuffed animals or blankets and realize how much those things mean to them as well.
The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
The Rainbow Fish is a timeless classic that every one of my students always loves and connects to. The Rainbow Fish is a beautiful glittery fish but the beauty of her scales makes her standoffish and selfish.  She has to learn a valuable lesson about friendship and sharing that resonates with young children.  
Thinking about these picture books gets me so excited to start a new year and expose my incoming first graders to these much-loved stories.  Anyone else get so excited over children’s books?  Make sure to link back to Alex and Suzanne’s sites to see more fabulous bloggers’ favorite books!


  • Suzanne June 22, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Hi Jayme! I loved reading about your book selections! Peanut Butter and Cupcake sounds absolutely adorable and I will have to investigate that book for sure! I also love Knuffle Bunny. I was blown away when I saw a video clip with Mo Willems and he said Knuffle is actually pronounced with the /k/ sound at the beginning. What???? I was reading it wrong up until that point. Ha! Thanks so much for joining our linky!
    Kindergarten Planet

  • Positively Learning June 22, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Love these suggestions! We teach Rainbow Fish every year during the first week and follow a character education lesson plan. I just picked up Peanut Butter and Cupcake this weekend – can't wait to add it to the mix. I'm off to go check out the blogs, too! Thanks, Jen

  • Erin Murphy June 23, 2015 at 12:25 am

    You shared some really awesome books!! I love all things Mo Willems and Knuffle Bunny is a huge favorite in my room! Swimmy is such a wonderful story about bravery and friends helping each other, and Rainbow Fish is a must read every year! Peanut Butter & Cupcake is definitely going on my Must Haves List! Thank you so much for sharing such awesome books!

    Warmest Wishes,

  • Recipe for Teaching June 23, 2015 at 4:39 am

    Peanut Butter and Cupcake is SUCH a cute book!!! I bought that one last year and it is adorable! And I love the Knuffle Bunny stories! Thanks for sharing your favorite friendship books!!

  • Deirdre Garcia June 23, 2015 at 5:02 am

    I love all of your choices! Peanut Butter & Cupcake looks adorable! Thanks for sharing!

    Mrs. Garcia's Super Scholars

  • Unknown June 24, 2015 at 3:28 am

    Thanks so much for linking up! What great books! I almost included peanut butter and cupcake – so cute!! I love Swimmy and Rainbow Fish. I need to get some Knuffle Bunny books!

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    Hi! I’m Jayme! A former elementary teacher turned stay at home mom sharing toddler activities, mom tips, and educational resources to help you learn and play with your children. I believe in the power of PLAY and creating meaningful activities for you and your little ones to enjoy together.

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