Building Relationships Through Books

Books that build a bridge and foster connections between children, adults, and peers


The Dot

Written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds, this story illustrates how a sensitive, responsive teacher helps a young artist finds inspiration in her own artwork.

Page of the book Benny Doesn't Like to Be Hugged, where two children are flying kites

Benny Doesn't Like to Be Hugged

Written by Zetta Elliot and illustrated by Purple Wong, this is a simple, yet beautiful story about a friendship between a child with autism and a typicially developing child.

A page of the book Thank You Omu, where children and adults are gathered

Thank You, Omu

Written and illustrated by Oge Mora, Thank You, Omu is a story about how small acts of kindness, like sharing, can bring a community together.


The Night is Yours

Written by Abdul-Razak Zachariah and illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo, this story is about a little girl who makes sure to include everyone in her game of hide-and-seek.


Little Elliot, Big City

Written and illustrated by Mike Curato, this is a story about a small elephant who faces some challenges throughout his day. But with the help of a new friend, no challenge is too big.

A page of the book share and take turns. Young girl playing at table while two other children are nearby.

Share and Take Turns

Written by Cheri J. Meiners, this book provides many opportunities to talk and think about social situations that young children may encounter in the classroom, such as sharing toys or taking turns.


Key Takeaways

Highlight teachers as a resource

Teachers can help children view them as a resource by sharing stories that feature adults showing empathy and working together with children to find solutions.

Explicitly teach social skills

Reading books that explicitly teach social skills can help all children learn how to interact with peers in a positive and respectful way.

Focus on problems and solutions

Preschool children are still learning how to share, take turns, and work collaboratively with their peers. Teachers can help children develop social problem-solving skills by discussing how characters in stories encounter social challenges and solve problems together.