Monday, February 19, 2018

Best Children's Books about Kindness

Books are always a great conversation starter with kids and one of the values that I think are essential to encouraging a good citizen is teaching children about the importance of kindness. The world does not need more successful people - the world needs more kind people. We should not praise children for their accomplishments - we should instead praise them for being kind to others because it really makes a difference it others' lives. Kindness goes hand in hand with empathy, compassion, and also inclusion.

Here are some of our favorite children's books about kindness:

You Hold Me Up
(ages 0-6)
Monique Gray Smith is a new favorite author of mine - I love her beautiful prose and the simple, colorful illustrations in this book which depicted many persons of color. This book teaches children to support and encourage each other, and also empathy and compassion. 

(ages 4-8)
This book is a good metaphor for showing children how our behaviour effects other people and it touches on accountability for one's actions and also empathy. "Bucket filling" is when you do something kind for someone else and it makes you feel good. "Bucket dipping" is when you do something unkind to others and subsequently feel worse. It was a perfect read for my 5 year old, who understood the analogy immediately.

(ages 4-8)
This book has lots of great ideas for kids on how to show kindness in their daily life. It gives useful ideas that are both big and small - and the lesson is that every act of kindness makes a difference. It touches on kindness to people, animals, and the earth.

(ages 2-6)
This is a really cute book that is lovely for younger children. If you don't know what words to say, or what to do, giving someone a hug can always help lift someone up. It is a charming and playful story that has warm illustrations.

(ages 3-8)
This one is one of our favorites. A little boy is walking and he almost steps on an ant. The ant starts talking to him and the boy starts seeing things from his perspective. A good lesson for kids to embrace to concepts of non-violence to other living creatures like animals/insects/plants; and also for kids to think about walking in others' shoes.

(ages 3-6)
This book depicts three polar bears who are geographically displaced and searching for a new home. They sail around to different lands and are turned away by other groups of animals who are more fortunate than they are. They finally find an uninhabited island and welcome other animals who are displaced. This book was inspired by the Syrian refugee crisis, and it is a good starter conversation to have about welcoming people who are in need.

(ages 0-6)
One of our favorites from the Elephant & Piggie series, this one depicts sharing treats with friends. Kids have a hard time sharing their treats, so it's an excellent way to show them how to be kind and generous to others.

(ages 4-8)
Brunhilda is a funny old witch who enjoys making trouble. One day, she wakes up on the wrong side of the bed and starts doing good deeds and starts to realize that it makes you feel better if you're kind to others. This book would be good for kids who are acting out towards other kids at school.

(ages 3-8)
This book is my favorite from the Knuffle Bunny series, by Mo Willems. Trixie is a bit older now and she is going on a big trip to Holland to visit her grandparents. She forgets her beloved Knuffle Bunny on the airplane, but continues on with her travels determined to have a good time. She finds the stuffed animal again on the flight back and decides to give it to a fussy baby, showing kindness, generosity and maturity.

(ages 2-6)
A friend of ours recommended this book and we loved it, especially the fun illustrations. This book is all about showing kindness through cooking for others and being creative making them something. This book is quite humorous and it takes lots of funny twists and turns.



1 comment

  1. I love this I cant wait to read some of these to my daughter. The hug one and the cooking one stood out:)


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