Thematic Reading List: Imaginary Companions
Imaginary companions come in all shapes and sizes- monsters, animals, skeletons, and other humans. They come for many reasons too, but in most fiction imaginary companions come to help a child get through a difficult situation. Our Imaginary Companions reading list provides picture books and chapter books from the perspective of the child, and a few from the perspective of the imaginary companion.
By: Kim Ventrella
The day twelve-year-old Stanly finds a finger bone growing into a skeleton in his yard everything changes–his seven-year-old sister Miren adopts the skeleton, which only children can see, as a friend and playmate, and as her health continues to deteriorate Stanly blames the skeleton and tries to drive it away, although it is the only thing that seems to give Miren any joy.
|The Adventures of Beekle: the unimaginary friend
By: Dan Santat
An imaginary friend waits a long time to be imagined by a child and given a special name, and finally does the unimaginable–he sets out on a quest to find his perfect match in the real world.
|Still There, Clare
By: Yvonne Prinz
Thirteen-year old Clara is making new friends, finding her own way of dressing, and enjoying a closer relationship with her mother as she tries to end her ties to Elsa, an imaginary best friend she has had since she was five.
|Ellison the Elephant
By: Eric Drachman
Unable to make the normal trumpet blast, little Ellison gets teased by the other elephants, until his imaginary friend Weasel helps him find his own unique voice.
|Daisy Dreamer and the Totally True Imaginary Friend
By: Holly Anna
In the first book of the Daisy Dreamer series, 7-year-old Daisy Dreamer learns that everything she’s ever imagined or drawn is all real! She meets her totally true imaginary friend, Posey, who invites Daisy to explore the extraordinary world filled with all the things she’s always daydreamed about.
By: Brandon Mull
Teased by his friends for having an imaginary playmate, Chad tries to bid Pingo farewell but Pingo refuses to leave.
|Cassie Was Here
By: Caroline Hickey
After moving to a new neighborhood, eleven-year-old Bree’s long-forgotten imaginary playmate returns, to the dismay of her parents and brother, but the only other girl on the street is thirteen-year-old Cassie, whose behavior may lead to big trouble.
| The Whoopie Pie War
By: Emily Jenkins
Hank Wolowitz and Inkling, his invisible bandapat friend, try to save the family ice-cream store’s business from a whoopie pie food truck parked outside.
By: Tania Unsworth
When her mother disappears and a menacing stranger tries to claim her home, Brightwood Hall, for himself, Daisy must use her wits, courage, and help from her imaginary friends to survive.
By: A. F. Harrold
Rudger, an imaginary playmate, must find his friend Amanda before he fades away to nothing, while eluding the only other person who can see him, evil Mr. Bunting, who hunts–and possibly even eats–imaginaries.
By: Chris McCoy
At age fourteen, Ted Merritt is eager to replace his imaginary friend, a bacon-loving pirate, with real friends but soon he is led from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, into a world of discarded “abstract companions” who are intent on wreaking vengeance on the human race.
|Confessions of an Imaginary Friend
By: Michelle Cuevas
When Jacques Papier discovers he’s imaginary, he sets off on a journey to find his true home.
By: Sean Ferrell
Ruthie has a problem at school. It is the Snurtch. The Snurtch is a scribbly, grabby, rude monster who follows Ruthie around and gets her into all sorts of trouble. It seems Ruthie will never be rid of the Snurtch. But eventually, she realizes she’s not the only one… George has one too.
|We Forgot Brock!
By: Carter Goodrich
Phillip and Brock are best friends, although everyone else thinks Brock is imaginary, so when Phillip gets tired out at the Big Fair while Brock is still having fun, they are separated and it will take a very special twosome to bring them back together again.
|My Four Lions
By: Bernice Gold
A little boy uses his imagination to bring life into his lonely apartment by creating four lion cut-outs that he relates to as companions and protectors during his many adventures in his imaginary jungle.
|A Cool Moonlight
By: Angela Johnson
Nine-year-old Lila, born with xeroderma pigmentosum, a skin disease that make her sensitive to sunlight, makes secret plans to feel the sun’s rays on her tenth birthday.
|Lulu Atlantis and the Quest for True Blue Love
By: Patricia Martin
Lulu Atlantis is peeved when her mother brings home little brother Sam, and she turns to her imaginary friend, Harry the daddy long-legs spider, for comfort, companionship, help, and advice as she is getting used to the addition to the family.
By: Katherine Applegate
A story about a homeless boy and his imaginary friend that proves in unexpected ways that friends matter, whether real or imaginary.
By: Andrea White
After his mother finally convinces the principal of Greenfield Junior High to admit him, twelve-year-old Sam arrives for his first day of school, along with his imaginary friend Winston Churchill, who encourages him to persevere with his cerebral palsy.
|Clara and Asha
By: Eric Rohmann
Young Clara would rather play with her imaginary giant fish, Asha, than settle down to sleep.