Book List: Books about making friends

Book list to help children make friends_ My Little Bookcase

A number of months ago, I met up with some wonderful blogging friends in a Google + Hangout, and we chatted about the difficulties some children have when it comes to making friends.

It was an effective way to share some of the strategies we use as parents and teachers to help our own children and students initiate friendships.

In a nutshell:

  • Pauline of Lessons Learnt Journal talks about ways we can encourage children to think outside the box when making friends.

Books make wonderful resources when helping children through milestones and challenging times. So I, of course, shared 7 books that I think introduce some wonderful and unique strategies to children that might help them to make friends.

Watch our conversation for details on the plots and characters in the books I share. Below the video you will find book details that will help you find these books in your library or local bookstore.

Disclaimer: I usually like to hide behind my computer rather than put myself in front of a camera. I’m terribly embarrassed, but I think the strategies offered by these amazing bloggers is worth sharing with you. Feel free to add other strategies that you have found successful with your kids.


Jessica’s Box encourages children to be themselves when making new friends.

Children's Book Review -Jessica's Box by Peter CarnavasAuthor/Illustrator: Peter Carnavas

ISBN: 978-1921042911

Format: Hardcover, also available as a Little Treasure’s mini book.

Publisher: New Frontier Publishing

RRP: $24.95

Suitable for ages: 4+

For more information on this book, view the video or read our mini review of Jessica’s Box.


In The Terrible Suitcase, an object becomes stimulus for play between peers.

Children's Book Review of The Terrible Suitcase by Emma AllenAuthor: Emma Allen

Illustrator: Freya Blackwood

ISBN: 978-1862919402

Format: Hardcover

Publisher: Omnibus Books for Scholastic Australia

RRP: $24.99

Suitable for ages: 4+

For more information on this book, view the video or read our review The Terrible Suitcase.


Mr Darcy shows that writing letters or invitations can be a great way for shy children to make friends.

Children's Book Review of Mr Darcy by Alex FieldAuthor: Alex Field

Illustrator: Peter Carnavas

ISBN: 978-1921042836

Format: Hardcover

Publisher: New Frontier Publishing

RRP: $ 24.95

Suitable for ages: 4+

For more information on this book, view the video or read our review of Mr Darcy.


The Little Refugee illustrates that friendships are made when someone takes the initiative to invite a peer to play.

Children's Book Review of The Little Refugee by Ahn DoAuthor: Anh Do and Suzanne Do

Illustrator: Bruce Whatley

ISBN: 978-1742378329

Format: Hardcover

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

RRP: $24.95

Suitable for ages: 5+

For more information on this book, view the video or read our mini review of The Little Refugee


Imaginary friends and telling jokes are strategies presented in Max & George, helping children to for feel more confident in starting new friendships.

Kids Book Review of Max & George by Cori BrookeAuthor: Cori Brooke

Illustrator: Sue deGennaro

ISBN: 9780670076352

Format: Hardcover

Publisher: Viking, Penguin Australia

RRP: $24.99

Suitable for ages: 5+

View the video for more information on this book


I’m Here was actually inspired by an Autistic boy. It shows children that there are other ways to communicate and invite play without using words.

Children's Book Review of I'm Here by Peter H ReynoldsAuthor/ Illustrator: Peter H Reynolds

ISBN: 9781416996491

Format: Hardcover

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

RRP: $19.99

Suitable for ages: 5+

View the video for more information on this book


Not Like Georgie is a story that teaches children that it is okay to have just one special friend.

Children's Book Review_ Not Like GeorgieAuthor: Scott Hatcher

Illustrator: Heather Potter and Mark Jackson

ISBN: 9781921529504

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Walker Books

RRP: $16.95

Suitable for ages: 4+

View the video for more information on this book

About Jackie Small of My Little Bookcase

Book List: Books about making friends


  1. Thank you so much for your priceless advice Jackie. Love the books you’ve picked. xo P

  2. You are a gem! So many helpful books that I never knew about but will be sure to refer to as a teacher and parent. Thank you so much Jackie. Wonderful to share this video experience with you.

  3. Oh I just watched this over on Laughing Kids Learn. Great video and I love the books that you suggested!

  4. Great list jackie – thank you
    I have a couple if these on the way now :-)

  5. Some fabulous recommendations and a great video! :) Lovely to see you all in the video and hear your great tips!

  6. Thank you for sharing these Jackie, I always find the books you recommend to be great! I think these will come in handy.

  7. I love Mr. Darcy :) I’ll have to check out the other ones.

  8. This topic is very timely for me, just last week I spoke to my daughter’s pre-school teacher because I realised that although she has one good friend in her class she won’t speak to any of the other children. When I dropped her off a friendly girl said hello and she only stared back, even when I patted her on the shoulder and reminded her to say hello. Lots of interesting ideas here that I can use so thank you. The pre-school teacher also suggested I make a book with pictures of my daughter saying hello and being friendly with other kids, and read it to her so it’s like a form of visualisation (which I plan to do). I’ll check out some of these books too :-)

  9. Many of our favourites in there. Love your blog Jackie!

  10. This is a topic that I need to focus on with my son. Thank you for all the great recommendations :)

  11. Thanks so much for this resource, my little shy girl has trouble making friends, I think it’s something that she’ll always struggle with. This collection will really help her find her feet.

  12. Hello, my children ( 2 girls) are in their early 20′s now but when they were little they also had a hard time making friends. One thing that work amazingly with my youngest was when she was about 5 and we were on our way to a babyshower, I knew she felt akward around kids so on the way to the shower I told her that I loved how she made friends so easily. She looked at me with a confused look in her eyes but I continue saying “yeah, I sow you talking to a little girl the other day, and when we went to so and so’s house, you went straight to the little boy and started playing with him. I think that making friends comes easy to you and I just love that about you”. She pondered for a little bit and we changed the conversation before we got to the shower. Once at the babyshower, I sat with the ladies that were already there. My daughter would usually cling to me during social events but that day she went on with the rest of the children. The babyshower was held at a dancing saloon so it was a very large place with a dancing floor and a rised platform for the music groups so the kids had a lot of room to move around. After 15-20 minutes in there I forgot about the conversation we had in the car but was reminded of it by the children’s voices. I kept hearing my daughter’s name coming out of one child or another. When I looked to see where my daughter was, she was having the time of her life and all the children (about 20 of them) where around her and when she moved they followed her. It was so awsome to see that, I felt so proud of her. On the way back home she said to me: “Mom, you are right. I do make friends easily!” You see, our children believe what we tell them (good or bad) so if they hear us speak positively about their inhabilities, we can turn that into abilities. One more idea in case that does not work (but I am sure it will). If your child has been moved to a new school or just needs help adjusting and making friends: Be a few minutes early when picking him or her from school, look around and observe the other parents and their children. See which children are friendly to your child then talk to the parents “Hi, I am so and so, this is my child (name). We are new here and (name) seems to be getting along with your child. Would you mind if we get together one day after school for ice cream? (or play at the park) etc. (Name) can really use new friends and I would love it if they can spend time together after school for like an hour or so. Thank the person and also make sure once you get to know the parents that you offer little activities at your house and invite the new friends once or twice a month. Let the parents join and everybody can have a good time making new friends. I hope this helps.

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