Friends care, and
Friends are fair.
Friends support one another in multiple ways. Whether it is cooking a meal, playing, giving a hug, or listening, friends are there for each other in good and bad times. Here are few books about the many ways we care for and accept our friends.
Listening to gossip can be dangerous as Mouse learns in Help! A Story of Friendship by Holly Keller. After hearing his friend Snake eats mice, Mouse worries so much he forgets to look where he is going and falls into a hole. No one is able to help to him out until a true friend comes by and rescues him.
Rosie and Michael are friends through thick and thin, even when they do things that get on each other's nerves and even though neither of them are perfect. Learn more about what it means to be a friend in Rosie and Michael by Judith Viorst. After reading this book, talk about how friends accept us for who we are even when we have bad habits or do annoying things.
In Forever Friends by Carin Berger, a rabbit and a bird form a friendship that lasts through the seasons until the world turns cold again. After Bird migrates south for the winter, Rabbit is worried that Bird won't be his friend anymore. A wonderful tale showing how friendship can survive even when friends are apart from each other. Write a letter to a friend or family member who lives far away. If you are a teacher ask parents for addresses of family or friends and have each child write a letter that person. Ask those people to send a letter back.
To celebrate Chinese New Year, a family makes a rice cake using the last of their flour. While taking the rice cake out the oven, it jumps out and runs away in Run Away Rice Cake by Ying Chang Compestine and Tungwai Chau. They are able to catch it only after it runs into an old woman. They share the cake with her, but she is so hungry she eats it all. Sadly, the family heads home knowing there is little food. When they arrive home neighbors start to share part of their New Year's food with them. The magic of sharing ends up creating enough food for everyone.
One thing people do for those they care about is cooking good food. In Good Food by Demar Reggier and David Austin Clar, a boy and his father go to the grocery store to buy food for dinner. They pick healthy things and then go home to make dinner for his mother. After reading, ask your child who they like to cook for and make a dinner for that person. If you are in a school have the kids make no-cook snacks and lemonade for their families and invite them for a snack.
Larnel gets to know his elderly neighbor, Mrs. Katz after he brings her a kitten to keep her company in Mrs. Katz and Tush by Patricia Polacco. She shares stories of her past and her heritage that resonant for Larnel. A sweet story of a cross-cultural, cross-generational friendship. After reading this book, try to get to know an older neighbor and listen to their life story.
Brian feels invisible at his school in The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig and Partice Barton. The teacher barely notices him, he is never chosen to be on a team, and he always eats alone. That is until Justin comes. When Justin is laughed at because he brought different food, Brian reaches out to him and that is the start of their friendship. This book includes ideas for activities and discussions at the end.
When Unhei starts her new school in America, she is embarrassed by her name so decides to choose a new, American one in The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi. Her new classmates put names in a jar to help her choose, but before she decides one classmate helps her realize that she already has the perfect name and people will be able to say it. Sometimes friends can help us find and accept ourselves. Research what your child's name means, and discuss that friends accept us for who we are.
As always, I hope you enjoy these recommendations. Feel free to share with credit to Words Reflected and Kim Bogren Owen on Facebook, your website, or in your newsletter. Please add your recommendations for additional books or activities about being a friend in the comments.
(This blog uses the Amazon affiliate program so when you click on the title or image to purchase through Amazon, you are supporting us! If you don't purchase through these links, please, be sure to support your local, independent bookstore or find these titles at your library!)