The best books about best friends

Billy Aronson and Jen Oxley Author Of Melia and Jo
By Billy Aronson and Jen Oxley

The Books I Picked & Why

Can I Play Too?

By Mo Willems

Book cover of Can I Play Too?

Why this book?

Thoughtful Elephant Gerald and his playful pal Piggy are a pair of best friends created by Mo Willem, author of beginning-reader bestsellers Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! and Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale. While all the books in the Elephant and Piggy series are delightful, Can I Play Too? gets extra points for dealing with disability in a sweet and clever way. Though a Worm who wants to play catch with Elephant and Piggy has no arms, our super-friendly heroes come up with an ingenious solution, and a new friend.

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Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea (a Narwhal and Jelly Book #1)

By Ben Clanton

Book cover of Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea (a Narwhal and Jelly Book #1)

Why this book?

When the world’s most outgoing Narwhal meets the deadpan Jelly Fish a deep-sea best friendship is born. With their loopy dialogue, goofy logic, and slapstick physical comedy, all presented in comic book-style frames, Narwhal and Jelly are a classic comedy duo capable of cracking up humans of all sizes. This first book in the Narwhal and Jelly series features two wacky stories followed by breaks for funny facts about Narwhals and Jelly Fish and the official Narwhal song and winds up with an extra-clever story in which the wet besties create their own book within the book.

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Chirri & Chirra

By Kaya Doi, Yuki Kaneko

Book cover of Chirri & Chirra

Why this book?

In Chirri and Chirra, Japanese author and artist Kaya Doi captures the magic of best friendship with gorgeous colored pencil illustrations and a dream-like tale. When twins Chirri and Chirra head off into the woods for a bike ride they find themselves in a wonderland that blends the strangeness of Lewis Caroll with the sweetness of Goodnight Moon. Along the way they stop to enjoy chestnut coffee, clover blossom tea and jelly sandwiches, all served by forest animals. They swim in a lake, nap under a tree, and ride on to a cozy hotel just in time for a forest animal concert that lights up the night of the girls’ perfect day.

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Imaginary Fred

By Eoin Colfer, Oliver Jeffers

Book cover of Imaginary Fred

Why this book?

Can imaginary friends count as best friends? Totally. Imaginary Fred is a brilliant riff on imaginary friendship, told from the point of view of the imaginary friend. When imaginary Fred befriends non-imaginary Sam, the two have so much fun that Fred panics he’ll be replaced by a real kid (again!). But when real Sam brings home his new friend real Sammi, Sammi befriends Fred too…and her own imaginary friend Freida becomes Fred’s total B(I)FF! The book is quirky/funny, but really moving too. Everybody gets a best friend.

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The Terrible Two

By Jory John, Mac Barnett

Book cover of The Terrible Two

Why this book?

Miles Murphy and Niles Sparks are up to no good, but their no good is SO good that we have to include them among our best best friends. The Terrible Two, a chapter book of over 200 pages and twice that many laughs, tells the tale of these two most ingenious, wily, and slightly maniacal middle school pranksters. Their pranks are disruptive but never destructive, and are aimed mainly at pompous meanies. Though Miles and Niles begin as prankster rivals they soon come together in a beautiful friendship, challenging one another to be the best they can be, which in this case means filling the school with cows.

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