Friendship Picture Books to Teach Empathy

Friendship picture books teach children what it means to be kind, caring, and empathetic.
Picture books to teach friendship, kindness, and belonging

When a child starts school, making new friends is one of the most exciting activities in their lives. It’s important at the beginning of a new year to foster a sense of belonging in our children and to establish the expectation that they will extend it to others. Friendship picture books help develop these skills.

Some children enter a new classroom with confidence while others feel overwhelming. By developing friendships, a child – no matter their disposition – can develop trust, compassion, and a sense of belonging with their classmates.

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

friendship picture books titles include be kind, stick & stone, the day you begin, how do dinosaurs play with friends, and the invisible boy

3 Picture Books That Help Children Understand Friendship

Understanding how others feel isn’t always easy. Neither is choosing picture books that illustrate empathy in a way that is developmentally appropriate. Whether reading friendship picture books to 3-year-olds or 8-year-olds, Novel Effect is your friend. Our librarians have curated a collection of friendship picture books just for you. 

When choosing your next read-aloud about friendship, empathy, kindness, or belonging, turn to the Novel Effect app. Here are three books from our friendship collection that make it easier to understand how others feel, and how our actions can affect others when paired with its Novel Effect soundscape.

The Invisible Boy book coverWhile reading The Invisible Boy with the Novel Effect app, children understand how Brian, the invisible boy, feels when he is mistreated. When Brian makes a new friend, the soundscape’s voiceovers and sound effects shift to show readers the power of a kind gesture.

The Day You Begin book coverThe soundscape for The Day You Begin  initially creates a feeling of being scared and alone for the reader. As the story continues, the music changes tone, and more laughter is heard, helping the reader feel the courage it takes to connect with others.

How Do Dinosaurs Play with Their Friends book coverYounger children who are new to a school environment or navigating friendships benefit from explicit picture books about friendship. The playful nature of How Do Dinosaurs Play With Friends is amplified when paired with its Novel Effect soundscape. The voiceovers, sound effects, and whimsical music highlight the emotions of the dinosaur’s friends when the dinosaur is (and isn’t) so friendly.

Download the Novel Effect app to bring stories to life with music and sound that respond to your voice. 

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