Highly recommended books about friendship and being kind

True friendship can be hard to find and maintain. But picture books can be a wonderful way to discuss it with children. As adults, we know it is important to be kind. However, particularly toddlers and younger children need to learn this skill! So, here are my highly recommended books, to discuss just that. Whether you are a parent, a teacher, or just looking to buy a gift for a young child in your life. This is the post for you!

Mrs Noah’s Pockets by Jackie Morris and James Mayhew

Have you heard the story of Noah’s Arc? When the animals went in two by two? But did Noah have enough space for all of the animals? Or was that even his intention? In this story, Noah has no intention of bringing all the animals with him in his arc. However, his wife Mrs Noah does not want to leave anyone behind. So, she sews a beautiful coat with plenty of pockets. What does she hide in those pockets? You will need to read the book to find out.

I like this book for the following reasons:

  • Firstly, it involves a retelling of a well known tell.
  • Secondly, Mrs Noah is very inclusive and decides to stand up for what she believes in.
  • Thirdly, it has an important moral tale for children and adults alike.

What questions could you ask children about the book?

  1. If Mrs Noah had not sewn all of those pockets in her coat, what would have happened?
  2. How can we learn from the actions of Mrs Noah? We can learn…. for example….
  3. Who would you rather be friends with, Noah or Mrs Noah and why? I would rather be friends with…
This Zoo is not for you by Ross Collins

What is the story about?

Platypus decides to visit the zoo. Immediately, the animals assume he is there for an interview. He meets lots of animals, from a panda, to flamingoes to monkeys. Sadly, they all tell him that this zoo is not for you (him.) On what basis do they make that judgement? Actually they base it on how he looks and what they think he can and cannot do. But do they realise the errors of their ways?

  • Sometimes in life, people can make judgements about others, based on their own prejudices. However, this is a book that challenges children to look passed these.
  • The book has a good message about friendship and inclusion.
  • Certainly, it shows children what they should not do and how they can change their ways.

Questions to ask:

  1. How do you think Platypus feels when the animals tell him that the zoo is not for him? I think Platypus feels…because….
  2. Why do you think the animals thought that the zoo wasn’t for him? But was that the right way to treat someone?
  3. Do you think that the animals regretted how they had treated Platypus? Why had Platypus actually visited the zoo? The animals…because it says…
  4. What kind of character do you think Platypus was? I think Platypus was…for example….
The Girls by Lauren Ace and Jenny Lovlie

Would you like to read a book that gives an example of what it means to be a good friend? The story follows a group of girls as they face life together. They grow up, fall in love and have their hearts broken. But what does not break is their friendship. A story of true friendship that can stand the test of time.

What questions could you ask about the book?

  1. How were the girls in the book different?
  2. What happened when the girls fell out?
  3. Why do you think that they were able to stay good friends over time? In what ways can you learn from their friendship? I think they were able to stay good friends because….
The Way Home for Wolf by Rachel Bright and Jim Field

The Way home for Wolf has a different slant on friendship. Wilf the Wolf does not want help from anyone. No thank you! But one day he gets lost at night. What will he do? How will he get home? Will he realise that he needs to ask others for help sometimes?

Questions to ask:

  • How would you describe Wilf’s character? For example…
  • What can we learn from Wilf’s pride? Firstly, we can learn…..
  • In what different ways did the animals help Wilf return home? What do you think would have happened if they had not been kind to him? Did they even need to help him?
Once Upon a Dragon’s Fire by Beatrice Blue

What is the story about?

Surely you have all heard tales of fearsome, kitten eating, fire breathing dragons? But how did they get their fire? This story follows two children, Sylas and Freya. Following a cold storm and the books that they have read they seek out the dragon. However, the dragon that they find is cold and lonely. What can these children do to bring back it’s warmth and flames?

This story focusses on the beauty of friendship and kindness and how the smallest actions can make the biggest difference!

Questions to ask:

  1. How and why do Freya and Sylas’ opinions about the dragon change? They change because…
  2. In what way do Freya and Sylas help the dragon to gain back his warmth? Freya and Sylas help him by…for example…
  3. What can we learn from this story about friendship and being kind? From the story we can learn…for instance…


Are you looking for high quality, teacher recommended picture books? Take a look at my bedtime stories to read post.

Which other picture books would you recommend on the topic of kindness and friendship? Please comment below and get in touch.

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