Here are some excellent books about friendships, feelings and bullying to share with your class. A few contain ideas for follow up activities and have guidelines for teachers too.


  • Bully by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
    Bull doesn’t have a kind word for any of his friends. When the other animals ask him to play, he responds in the way he’s been taught: Chicken! Slow Coach! You stink! Until, that is, one of his friends decides to stand up to him, and makes him realise what a bully he’s become.
  • Leave me Alone by Kes Gray
    A little boy is feeling sad because every day he has to face a bully. But this story’s little boy also has friends. A frog, a cat, a rabbit, a cow, and other animal friends insist on helping him, even after he tells them: “There’s nothing you can do for me/ there’s nothing you can say.”
  • Willy the Wimp by Anthony Browne
    Willy is kind and gentle, and bullied by the suburban gorilla gang who call him “Willy the Wimp”. Desperate to do something about his situation, Willy answers a bodybuilding advert and grows big and strong, determined no-one will ever call him “wimp” again. As with so many of Anthony Browne’s books, this story works on several levels with sophisticated pictures combining with a simply told story.
  • Sharing a Shell by Julia Donaldson
    The tiny hermit crab loves his new shell. He doesn’t want to share it — not with a blobby purple anemone and a tickly bristle worm. But life in the rock pool proves tougher than Crab thinks, and soon he finds he needs his new housemates in this rollicking story of sea, shells and friendship.
  • The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig
    Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party . . . until, that is, a new kid comes to class.
  • Tease Monster: A Book about Teasing vs Bullying by Julia Cook
    When One of a Kind is laughed at by Purple One and called a name by Green One, is the Tease Monster to blame? This whimsical story teaches children the difference between mean teasing and friendly teasing and is the newest book in Julia Cook’s Building Relationships series.


Non fiction

  • You, Me and Empathy by Jayneen Sanders
    This story uses verse, beautiful illustrations and a little person called Quinn to model the meaning of empathy
  • How are you feeling today? by Molly Potter
    A great dip-in book where children can choose a feeling that relates to them and then turn to the page that provides child-friendly strategies for dealing with that feeling.
  • How to Be a Friend: A Guide to Making Friends and Keeping Them by Laurie Krasny Brown
    This non-fiction book uses precise language and humorous illustrations to offer specific ways to be a friend and specific ways not to be one. A special section on how to deal with bosses and bullies has valuable information for young children going forth in the world and encountering these situations for the first time.
  • Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud & David Messing
    This heart-warming book has become a classic, selling over a million copies, and is listed as one of the top children’s books that encourage kindness towards others. It encourages positive behaviour by using the concrete concept of an ‘invisible bucket’ that holds your good thoughts and feelings. When you do something kind, you fill someone’s bucket; when you do something mean, you dip into someone’s bucket and remove some good thoughts and feelings.
  • Join In and Play by Cheri J. Meiners
    With simple text and really nice illustrations, this book discusses how to develop the skills to make friends and to learn to play with others. It includes great role-play activities.


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