The best books about friendship that I know

Graham Annable Author Of Peter and Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths
By Graham Annable

Who am I?

I'm a cartoonist, animator, and Oscar-nominated film director who's worked and continues to work in the mediums of books, film, and video games all the darn time. When I think about great stories I've had a chance to read, the element of friendship always stands out for me. When there's a special, authentic bond between characters that you feel with every page and frame there's nothing better! You live the moments in the story and they stay with you forever. Like a true friend would.


I wrote...

Book cover of Peter and Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths

What is my book about?

Peter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths is the first book of my series, Peter & Ernesto, and it's a story of two very different sloths who experience the world in their own ways with equal value. Ernesto is a bombastic adventurer always looking to dive head first into the latest idea he's consumed with, but could perhaps use a lesson or two in pre-planning. Peter is the polar opposite, a fellow who knows what he likes and sticks very close to it without much courage to expand his world in any given situation. A Tale of Two Sloths explores this odd couple friendship and shows how both perspectives have their advantages and disadvantages, but at the end of the day, it's truly the friendship that counts. 

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

Frog and Toad Are Friends

By Arnold Lobel,

Book cover of Frog and Toad Are Friends

Why this book?

I don't know that there has been any greater friendship in the world of children's books than the one shared between Frog and Toad. Arnold Lobel's ability to say so much with so few words is rivalled by none. Between Toad's consistent worrying and panicking and Frog's stoic reserved nature the immense bond they share comes through in every story Arnold Lobel wrote. 

Frog and Toad Are Friends

By Arnold Lobel,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Frog and Toad Are Friends as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This beautiful commemorative picture book edition of the Caldecott Honor title Frog and Toad Are Friends is the perfect way to celebrate Frog and Toad's 50th anniversary!

This handsome edition features matte paper, remastered artwork, and a green ribbon book marker. It makes a lovely gift for collectors, fans of children's literature, and anyone and everyone who loves Frog and Toad!

First published in 1970, Frog and Toad Are Friends was the first of the four beloved Frog and Toad books. This special edition contains all of the original stories-from the story about going swimming, to finding lost buttons!

This…


George and Martha

By James Marshall,

Book cover of George and Martha

Why this book?

This collection of really short stories never fails to make me laugh. I'm always in awe of how funny they are and yet so incredibly simple in their layout and construction. The quirkiness and tension that is fraught between George and Martha are so perfectly balanced by how much they care for each other. I love these two. 

George and Martha

By James Marshall,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked George and Martha as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this picture book classic that belongs on every reader's shelf, two lovable hippos impart funny lessons on the true meaning of friendship.

Like all best friends, George and Martha do everything together. George and Martha teach each other (and adoring readers) that even in a close friendship, privacy is important, practical jokes can sometimes backfire, and among other things, pouring split pea soup into your loafers to spare the chef’s feelings is not the best-laid plan.

A man with a talent for friendship, James Marshall defined its very essence in his stories about the world’s two best friends. Each…


Bread and Jam for Frances

By Russell Hoban, Lillian Hoban (illustrator),

Book cover of Bread and Jam for Frances

Why this book?

It's a book more centered on Frances and not so much on friendship but I live for the moments between Frances and her friend Albert in this story. Because Frances has foolishly committed to eating just her favorite lunch every day, bread and jam, she listens with great interest as Albert lays out his entire elaborate midday meal at school. I used to always read this story aloud to my two boys doing my best Jack Nicholson impression for Albert's voice. I don't have a specific reason for why I did it but it really felt like it added to the whole experience. 

Bread and Jam for Frances

By Russell Hoban, Lillian Hoban (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bread and Jam for Frances as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The classic funny story about a stubborn little badger with very particular tastes in food.

Frances is a fussy eater. In fact, the only thing she likes is bread and jam. She won't touch her squishy soft-boiled egg. She trades away her chicken-salad sandwich at lunch. She turns up her nose at boring veal cutlets.

Unless her parents can come up with a plan, Frances just might go on eating bread and jam forever!

Join the generations of families that have laughed along as Frances sings "Jam on biscuits, jam on bread, Jam is the thing I like most, Jam…


Sam & Dave Dig a Hole

By Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen (illustrator),

Book cover of Sam & Dave Dig a Hole

Why this book?

This is such a fun book. Between Mac's clever writing and Jon's perfect illustrations I seem to always feel the same anticipation I did on the very first read. Sam and Dave keep digging deeper and deeper, nearly revealing incredible things along the way. It's such a compelling and entertaining story to read aloud to your kids as you turn the pages and dig alongside the persistent Sam and Dave and their dog.

Sam & Dave Dig a Hole

By Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Sam & Dave Dig a Hole as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With perfect pacing, the multiple award-winning, best-selling team of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen dig down for a deadpan tale full of visual humour.

From the award-winning team behind Extra Yarn, and illustrated by Jon Klassen, the Kate Greenaway-winning creator of This Is Not My Hat and I Want My Hat Back, comes a perfectly paced, deadpan tale full of visual humour. Sam and Dave are on a mission. A mission to find something spectacular. So they dig a hole. And they keep digging. And they find ... nothing. Yet the day turns out to be pretty spectacular after all.…


An Elephant & Piggie Biggie!

By Mo Willems,

Book cover of An Elephant & Piggie Biggie!

Why this book?

The energy and enthusiasm of this series are so impressive. Mo Willems is a master at page layout and building astounding anticipation in all of his children's books. Elephant & Piggie stories are so perfectly distilled down to the simplest and most enjoyable elements that they are an absolute joy to read with young kids or on your own. 

An Elephant & Piggie Biggie!

By Mo Willems,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An Elephant & Piggie Biggie! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mo Willems, a #1 New York Times bestselling author and illustrator, celebrates ten years of Elephant & Piggie in this special bind-up collection: Today I Will Fly!; Watch Me Throw the Ball!; Can I Play Too?; the award-winning Let's Go For a Drive!; and I Really Like Slop!


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in perseverance, hippos, and cooperation?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about perseverance, hippos, and cooperation.

Perseverance Explore 10 books about perseverance
Hippos Explore 7 books about hippos
Cooperation Explore 12 books about cooperation

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Winnie-the-Pooh, The Stinky Cheese Man, and Frindle if you like this list.