Friends are the next best thing to families.

For some, they are their families. There often is a saying that goes, “blood is thicker than water,” and people usually translate it as “familial bonds will always be stronger than other relationships.” However, some people say that the saying is a misquote. They believe that the original saying goes, “the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb,” which means “that the bonds you choose for yourself can mean much more than the ones you did not choose or have much say in.” The saying implies the opposite of what has entered common parlance.

Friendships are important. They are special bonds that we choose with people. They are different from a family where people have no choice but to be born into one. This is why some friendship bonds are stronger than familial bonds. Just the fact that both parties have a kind of covenant means that there is a mutual agreement between both sides.

 Now kids need to understand why friendships matter. Furthermore, kids need to know how to select the right friends and, by extension, the right friend groups. Sure, the best way to go about this is to try and go out there and make friends. However, for those very shy, as well as those who are just trying to figure things out, the next best thing would be books. As such, here are some books that show the importance of friends

Friends Here…There..Everywhere by Rosella Calauti

 This children’s picture book was written by author Rosella Calauti and illustrated by Irene Olds. It was written with a target audience of two to five years of age. Calauti wrote this book intending to enhance social and literacy development in young children. The book tells of a group of friends who make their way around their neighborhood and find things that may prepare them for the real world. However, it has the most simplistic plot among the books on the list. It still gains points for being the most accessible to younger audiences.

Fancy Nancy: Tea for Two by Jane O’Connor

 As illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser, this book talks about when friends have a misunderstanding and need to apologize to each other. The wonder of this book is that it allows kids to know that friendships are not always smooth sailing. It is a book that teaches kids that sometimes fights can break out between friends, but everything is not the end of the world. It is a book that teaches kids the value of saying sorry.

Friends by Helme Heine

 also illustrated by Helme Heine, it is the story of three friends: Percy the Pig, Charlie Rooster, and Johnny Mouse, who do everything together. From bike rides to household chores, nobody could ever separate these three until when night falls, and it is time to go to bed. This is a book that teaches kids that being apart from friends does not end friendship. And instead, it tells us that even the strongest of friends need to rest too.

Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship by Craig Hatkoff, Isabella Hatkoff, and Paul Kahumbu

 This book is based on an unlikely true story between an orphaned baby hippo, Owen, and a 130-year-old tortoise named Mzee. Two very different animals somehow bonded at the wildlife conservation park in Kenya where Mzee lived. Due to the December 2004 Tsunami, Owen was brought to the same conservation park. Lacking other hippos to interact with, Owen thought that Mzee’s shell was another hippo. Despite the tortoise’s reluctance at first, soon, the two friends bonded, and this book is a testament to it.