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.








9781338042702 Skeleton Tree
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.
9780316199988 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.
1551927675 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.
0970380917 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.
9781481486309 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.
9781606411094 Pingo
By: Brandon Mull

Teased by his friends for having an imaginary playmate, Chad tries to bid Pingo farewell but Pingo refuses to leave.
9781596432055 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.

9780061802263 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.
9781616203306 Brightwood
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.
1619636700 The Imaginary
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.
9780375855986 Scurvy Goonda
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.
0525427554 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.
1481456563 The Snurtch
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.
9781442480902 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.
1550376039 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.
0803728468 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.
0375940162 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.
0399564640 Crenshaw
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.
9781933979144 Window Boy
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.
1596430311 Clara and Asha
By: Eric Rohmann

Young Clara would rather play with her imaginary giant fish, Asha, than settle down to sleep.


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