Best Friend Day – Picks for Young Readers
Best Friend Day falls on June 8, 2017. Though the day is still unofficial and not extensively celebrated everywhere, it serves as a suitable opportunity for us to share our favourite stories about having a best friend.
We can make a best friend early on in life and sometimes, quite remarkably, this relationship can last for a lifetime. Some of our most treasured experiences in life are shared with our best friend. During difficult times, our best friend can be there to offer support.
To help young children comprehend the value of having a best friend, try out some of my personal favourites on the subject, which are perfect for beginner readers (ages 0-5):
Gossie and Gertie, by Olivier Dunrea
A simple story for very young readers, this book tells the tale of two chicks, Gossie and Gertie. As young friends have a tendency to do, Gossie follows Gertie everywhere. Well, almost everywhere...
Dog and Bear: Two Friends, Three Stories, by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Seeger offers three separate stories about best friends that explore the ways in which friends bring out the best in each other. Dog helps bear to be brave in the first story, bear realizes the value of companionship in the second, and the final story illustrates the laughter that best friends can share.
Don't Worry Bear, by Greg Foley
A simple yet delightful book about the caring nature of friendship. Bear learns that his friend, Caterpillar, will be staying inside his cocoon for a while. Bear becomes concerned about his friend during the darkness, wind, rain and cold, and he checks on him regularly. Will Bear ever see Caterpillar again? The large text and great illustrations make this book perfect for story times that connect with the themes of friendship and (spoiler alert) butterflies.
George and Martha, by James Marshall
Billed as 'Five Stories about Two Great Friends', this book exemplifies the companionship and shared experiences that best friends offer each other. When George loses a tooth in the final story, Martha is there to console him. From this act of kindness, George astutely recognizes that best friends “always look on the bright side and they always know how to cheer you up”.
Days with Frog and Toad, by Arnold Lobel
In this series of four tales, Frog and Toad demonstrate all that is great about having a best friend: camaraderie, support and shared adventures. With a large focus on sight words, the Frog and Toad series is great for beginner readers.