Exploring the Power and Processes of Friendship through Picturebooks


  • Patricia Crawford Editor. University of Pittsburgh
  • Kaybeth Calabria Franciscan University of Steubenville


Friendships are among the most treasured and important experiences in the lives of children.  These relationships afford young learners opportunities to develop social skills, gain self knowledge, and make authentic human connections. This article offers an overview of the role friendships play in children's lives and positions high quality picturebooks as relevant, accessible, and developmentally appropriate resources to explore ways of initiating friendships, sustaining friendships, and navigating challenges within friendships.  Touchstone texts are explored and suggestions for supporting transactions with relevant literature are provided.


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Author Biographies

Patricia Crawford, Editor. University of Pittsburgh

Patricia A. Crawford is an associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh, with appointments in the Early Childhood Education and Language, Literacy, and Culture. She also serves as the associate chair for the Department of Instruction and Learning.  Her work focuses on the ways in which social, emotional, and cultural issues intersect with early literacy, children’s literature, and teacher education.

Kaybeth Calabria, Franciscan University of Steubenville

Kaybeth Calabria is an associate professor of Education and the Director for the Advancement of Teaching Excellence at Franciscan University.  She has taught in the teacher preparation program in the areas of special education with a focus on preparing early childhood educators to work in inclusive environments.  She currently coordinates professional development initiatives for professors in the areas of active learning strategies, classroom technology, and high impact practices for online instruction.