Exploring Theme: Heartwarming Picture Books About Friendship


One of the things I love most about teaching writing is the opportunity to share my favorite books with others. I had fun teaching a class through the Rehoboth Beach Writers' Guild on May 12 -- “Top 10 Tips for Writing Picture Books." Everyone especially enjoyed these two books: Super Manny Stands Up and Strictly No Elephants.

I used these books as examples when we discussed and explored story theme. Theme is a story's central idea -- what the story is really about. I deeply appreciate stories that say something about life and humanity. Super Manny Stands Up and Strictly No Elephants make great gifts for kids; they are stories that tug at your heart and never let go.

Super Manny Stands Up

Written by Kelly Dippuchio

Illustrated by Stephanie Graegein

Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

From the inside flap: "Every day after school, Manny saves the world from formidable foes….But when Manny encounters a real-life nemesis in the school cafeteria, will he be able to summon his superhero strength to save the day?" I love how this book highlights the importance of standing up to bullies, doing the right thing, and being a loyal friend.

Strictly No Elephants

Written by Lisa Mantchev

Illustrated by Taeeun Yoo

A Paula Wiseman Book, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

From the inside flap: "Today is Pet Club Day. There will be cats and dogs and fish, but strictly no elephants allowed….Now it is time for a boy and his tiny pet elephant to show them what it means to be a true friend." This book’s simple, direct language draws readers in: “The trouble with having a tiny elephant for a pet is that you never quite fit in…” This book emphasizes friendship and raises some important points about diversity and inclusion.

In both of these wonderful books, you’ll root for these characters right from the start.

Author Michelle Meadows blogs about reading, writing, and publishing children’s books. Subscribe to receive Michelle’s email newsletter/blog posts, and get a chance to win signed books through giveaways.

#picturebooks #friendship #theme

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