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Whether meeting new acquaintances, or rekindling seasoned friendships, these new titles will help your reader learn the importance of making and keeping friends.
Friendship is Like a Seesaw. Written and illustrated by Shona Innes.
The picture book series, A Big Hug, which provides a road map for children and parents to navigate difficult subjects such as death and bullying, offers a new title worthy of exploration. In Friendship is Like a Seesaw, familiar critters learn the ups and downs of friendship, how to play together, and what to do when left out of the fun. Innes offers practical solutions for young children to mend friendships, and delicately illustrates just how tough making and keeping friends can be.
The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend. Written and illustrated by Dan Santat.
In Dan Santat’s new Caldecott Award-winning picture book, Beekle gives up waiting for the perfect friend to imagine him, and bravely sets off on a quest to find the true meaning of friendship. Readers will be drawn into Beekle’s imaginary world, where adventure awaits, and relate to the “real” world, where people are too busy to listen to the music and always need a nap. This is a first pick for any child who loves to imagine or pretend.
My New Friend is So Fun! Written and illustrated by Mo Willems.
What is a best friend? Children will relate to this hilarious tale of what happens when friendships blossom and their social circle expands. Mo Willems does not disappoint with this new, humorous addition to his series, when Elephant and Piggie discover that their best friend may not need them anymore. A great choice for beginning readers, the book brings to life relatable characters that give children the confidence to deal with jealousy and make new friends.
The One and Only Ivan. Written by Katherine Applegate.
Based on a true story, Katherine Applegate offers a provoking and gripping tale of the unlikely friendship between a silverback gorilla, kept in confinement for 27 years at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall, and a baby elephant named Ruby. Awarded the Newberry Medal, Ivan narrates his story in short chapters that read like prose. Readers will explore what it means to create safe friendships, and how important relationships with animals can be. Perfect for children who’ve had to say good-bye to an old friend.
El Deafo. Written and illustrated by Cece Bell.
In her graphic-novel memoir, Cece Bell illustrates her life growing up with severe deafness after contracting meningitis at the age of four. Readers in upper elementary will agree; making and keeping friends at school can be especially challenging when you’re labeled with a disability. Bell captures the alienation of her peers, and how she turned her impairment into her superpower. Recently awarded a Newberry Honor, and a Best Book of 2014, El Deafo has a format will appeal to struggling and advanced readers, and offers a fresh perspective on bullying and fitting in.
Prairie Evers. Written by Ellen Airgood.
When her grandmother, who also happens to be her best friend, moves back home, Prairie Evers must attend school for the first time. Prairie finds herself struggling to fit into the confines of public school, having been homeschooled her entire life, and making friends proves even more difficult. This debut novel, and well-received title, has also been nominated for the Tennessee Volunteer State Book Award. Readers will welcome Airgood’s refreshing perspective on issues like peer pressure, and maintaining autonomy in complicated friendships.