Picture Books About Friendship, Kindness, & Belonging

Picture books to teach friendship, kindness, and belonging

Starting school is one of the biggest times in a child’s life to make new friends. Fostering a sense of belonging for our children and establishing the expectation that they will extend a sense of belonging to others is especially important at the beginning of a new year. 

Some children will confidently walk into their new classroom. For others, it is an overwhelming experience because of their shyness and fears. Friendships help all children develop trust, compassion, and a sense of belonging. 

Harmonious friendships take practice, explore these books about friendship to encourage children to share, cooperate, and see events from a different perspective.

The Day You Begin

A heartening book about finding courage to connect with others, even while feeling scared and alone

The Invisible Boy

This gentle story shows how small acts of kindness can help children feel included and allow them to flourish.

Be Kind

A thoughtful picture book illustrating the power of small acts of kindness.

Stick and Stone

A delightful story about making and helping friends and sticking up for them.

Strictly No Elephants

A sweet story that captures the magic of friendship and the joy of having a pet.

The Adventures of Frank and Mustard: Differently Awesome

A book that inspires readers to take pride in and accept the differences that make us each unique.

Horton Hears a Who

A tale of compassion and determination proves that any person, big or small, can choose to speak out for what is right.

Download the Novel Effect app for free to bring these stories to life with music and sounds that respond to your voice.

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