Imaginary friends… who’s had them? What books have them?

I’ve been working on various story ideas of my own recently and am mulling something over in my mind about imaginary children. I found a couple of excellent articles in the Guardian about them, including this one about imaginary friends in Children’s Literature:

I can’t think of many books that have them in, except for:

  • Philippa Pearce’s little dog in A Dog So Small
  • Lauren Child’s Soren Lorensen in the Charlie and Lola series
  • Nikki Sheehan’s young adult novel Who Framed Klaris Cliff (which I am looking forward to reading)

Er… that’s it!

Can you suggest any other children’s books that feature imaginary friends that you could recommend?

Did you have an imaginary friend as a child? How long did you have one for, and what sort of things did you do? I read an article that said girls and boys treat imaginary friends differently, with girls adopting a more caring and nurturing role towards friends that fulfil an emotional need, and boys acting out the personality and antics of their friend, often giving them skills and abilities they aspire to possess.

Any thoughts gratefully received as I am fascinated in this area and am researching it fairly extensively!

Thank you in advance!






  1. It’s an early sort of story telling isn’t it? A child creating friends, giving them characters, creating things for them to do, names and all that? I had a horde of imaginary animal friends when I was very little. These morphed into imaginary horses that I rode with and without real friends. We had stablesful, with names chosen from the racing pages of Dad’s paper. As well as the usual sugary ‘whitefire’, ‘starbright’ and all that. They were all highly spirited, but some were harder to handle than others, and their colours and markings varied widely. Later still they briefly became real as a) stuffed and embroidered (eyes, nostrils, ears, mane etc) sox tied to the ends of broom handles and b) I learned to ride actual horses. Then I discovered boys. Quite early on in that phase I started to weave ‘in my head’ stories about famous heartthrobs – and even about some I dated. Not sex: adventures. But always ending in a clinch.


  2. No more than an hour ago I finally bought a copy of ‘Squishy McFluff, which is about a girl and her imaginary cat friend. I haven’t read it yet but every review I’ve read has raved about it 🙂


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