Friends by Eric Carle is definitely a favorite, how can Eric Carle not be a favorite? In this latest title, a young boy has a friend move away and he uses his imagination to find her.
I love how the backgrounds for the river, mountains, the night sky, the meadow, forest, and others show such beautiful backdrops. You could almost take these pages and use them to put on a finger play with the book as the background. My favorites are the deep forest and the meadow, but that could just be that I'm captured by the greens because it's a dreary December in Indiana.
The art was created with painted tissue-paper collage. The lively artwork with the imagination make a tender story of a journey to find a friend. You could use this with a travel theme, since the boy goes everywhere.
There is an author's note with a photograph from his childhood. With this kind of story, teachers and parents can use this to tie-in to a child's background knowledge and talk about people in the family or friends that have moved away or passed. It could be part of a great inter-generational Storytime.