Books About Friendship for Babies and Toddlers

by Miranda Rosbach

Image credit: Jill Lehmann Photography/Getty Images

Making friends and exploring friendships is an important part of growing up. Stories that celebrate the joy, drama, and love between pals are great tools for teaching little ones about what it takes to be a good friend. They also provide children with authentic, inspiring examples of positive and fulfilling friendships — including all the ins and outs and ups and downs.

Sensitive, vibrant, and compassionate, these heart-warming tales of friendship and love will introduce the littlest of readers to the power of true friendships and elicit some laughs along the way. Whether they are next door or miles away, true friends are never far apart.

  • A Friend Like You

    by Andrea Schomburg and Barbara Rottgen, illustrated by Sean Julian

    After a busy autumn day collecting acorns, Squirrel takes a break to survey his handiwork with a sense of satisfaction. Soon, Bird arrives and Squirrel offers a nut to the weary newcomer. The two then scamper and fly to the top of the tree and back down again to enjoy the sunset. Though seemingly so different, the two devise a way they can spend time together through the winter months, enabling them to cherish and nurture their newfound friendship.

  • Baby's Best Friend

    by Suzanne Curley, compiled by Tiger Tales

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    Together in the sun or snuggled up for a snooze, the precious pairs in this short board book serve up a massive dose of adorableness — with each spread featuring a baby beside their furry, four-legged canine pal. An instant favorite for all babies who can't resist seeing other babies.

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  • Dust Bunny Wants a Friend

    by Amy Hevron

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    Dust Bunny sits under a chair watching the world go by. When a little bug scoots by, Bunny offers a warm hello, but the bug continues on. When ants march past, Bunny says hi to them one-by-one, but they too continue their journey uninterrupted. A curious cat stops to sniff at Dust Bunny but only blows Bunny away with a massive sneeze. Soon Bunny is swept into a forgotten part of the house where at last it meets a nest of other dusty bunnies. Sparsely worded, this is an achingly sweet read.

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  • Hug

    by Jez Alborough

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    Little Bobo the monkey spies an assortment of jungle creatures, each giving one another hugs. From elephants to chameleons, snakes, and giraffes, Bobo accurately identifies embrace after embrace. At last, the young monkey laments that he, too, wants to join in the camaraderie of friends and family sharing a hug. This 20-year-old classic reminds us (perhaps now more than ever) that nothing beats a good hug.

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  • Ladybug Girl Makes Friends

    by Jacky Davis, illustrated by David Soman

    With spotted wings, matching rain boots, and a red tutu Lulu transforms into Ladybug Girl. At the sandbox and through the garden, Ladybug Girl flies with her friends. With her dog Bingo, she looks at the world from a different angle and creates something new during art time. An enthusiastic helper, Ladybug Girl even lends a hand to her neighbor. It’s impossible not to love the effervescent antics found throughout this entire series.

  • How to Grow a Friend

    by Sara Gillingham

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    Much like planting a seed, growing a friendship requires good soil, sunshine, and water. It takes time to grow a friend, and a friend may even bug you at times. However, good friends cheer each other up when they feel down and welcome new friends wherever they are found. Gillingham’s signature cheery graphics help make it easy to soak up this uplifting tale.

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