Best buddies

Learning how to be a good friend isn’t easy. Sharing and saying sorry sincerely (when you’ve made a mistake) are required skills. And — as these new stories show — children must also learn empathy, patience, loyalty, inclusiveness and even the ability to look past prejudice and the intimidation of bullies.

My Friend Maggie

This tale of friendship highlights what happens when a longtime best friend becomes — in the eyes of some — suddenly uncool. It can be hard to stick by that friend when social pressures, especially borderline bullying at school, abound. But the protagonist here (a Beaver named Paula) quickly discovers who’s a true friend and who isn’t. 

Ages 4–8 / $17.99 

Get Well Soon, Spot

Feeling empathy for sick friends and family isn’t always intuitive. In this 10-page board book, Spot copes with the reality of his cold, but also learns the value of friends who understand how he feels.

Ages 3–5 / $6.99

Your Alien Returns

It’s the boy’s turn to visit his friend’s home planet in this adorably illustrated sequel to Your Alien. But once he’s immersed in the alien’s fascinating world, he can’t help but feel out of place. However, his alien friend — calm, kind and compassionate — saves the day in a creative way that’s fun for the whole planet.

Ages 3-5 / $14.95

The Monster Next Door

In this whimsical story, a boy and a monster end up building tree houses near the same open field. As their friendship blossoms, the two create an ingenious pulley-line to pass notes between their balconies. After a disagreement, however, the boy — in a fit of anger — cuts the line. What follows is a relatable journey from super upset to sincerely sorry.

Ages 3–5 / $17.99

Dear Dragon

George’s and Blaise’s teachers assign them to be pen pals. Immediately through their letters — about their families, hobbies and pets — they find they have a lot in common. But what the reader knows (and the pals do not) is that one of them is a little boy, and one of them is a little dragon! What will happen when the two friends finally meet face to face?

Ages 4–8 / $16.99

Oliver’s Tree

In this precious board book, a game of hide and seek quickly turns tricky when Oliver (an elephant) realizes he isn’t fit for playing in trees like his two best friends, Lulu (a bird) and Charlie (a bunny). Just when all hope appears lost, Oliver’s friends find a thoughtful and special way to include him in their world.

Ages 3–5 / $6.99