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Generosity And Giving: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about generosity and giving?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to generosity and giving. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about generosity and giving.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about generosity and giving, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish to popular sellers like The Giving Tree to some of our favorite hidden gems like Extra Yarn.

We hope this list of kids books about generosity and giving can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Top 10 Books About Generosity And Giving

#1
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What Is Given from the Heart
Written by Patricia C. McKissack & illustrated by April Harrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This final, magnificent picture book from three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner and Newbery Honor author Patricia McKissack is a poignant and uplifting celebration of the joy of giving.

“Misery loves company,” Mama says to James Otis. It’s been a rough couple of months for them, but Mama says as long as they have their health and strength, they’re blessed. One Sunday before Valentine’s Day, Reverend Dennis makes an announcement during the service— the Temples have lost everything in a fire, and the church is collecting anything that might be useful to them. James thinks hard about what he can add to the Temple’s “love box,” but what does he have worth giving? With her extraordinary gift for storytelling, McKissack—with stunning illustrations by Harrison—delivers a touching, powerful tale of compassion and reminds us all that what is given from the heart, reaches the heart.

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#2
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Goat's Coat
Written by Tom Percival & illustrated by Christine Pym
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

This charmingly illustrated rhyming picture book about Alfonzo, a goat with a very special coat, celebrates the power of kindness and friendship. Let me tell you the tale of Alfonzo the goat, who was terribly proud of his lovely new coat. Alfonzo was happy; he pranced and he skipped. Then he heard a sad noise, croaking out of a ditch. Alfonzo couldn’t be happier. He just got an amazing new coat, and he feels like a million dollars. But when he discovers some creatures in need of help, will Alfonzo be able to give up his treasured possession to save the day? This great big hug of a book shows that kindness is definitely the best recipe. Awards for Tom Percival Herman’s Letter–A Kids’ Indie Next List Pick

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#3
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Extra Yarn
Written by Mac Barnett & illustrated by Jon Klassen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From bestselling and award-winning author Mac Barnett and illustrator Jon Klassen comes Extra Yarn, a Caldecott Honor Book, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner, and a New York Times bestseller.

A young girl and her box of magical yarn transform a community in this stunning picture book. With spare, gently humorous illustrations and a palette that moves from black-and-white to a range of color, this modern fairy tale has the feel of a new classic.

Fans of Oliver Jeffers and Peter Brown will love this book.

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#4
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The Perfectly Perfect Wish
Written by Lisa Mantchev & illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the author of Strictly No Elephants comes a sweet picture book that explores themes of selflessness and empathy when a girl has the chance to make just one wish.

In the grass, a girl finds an extraordinary thing that gives her…just…one…wish.

She asks her those around her what they would wish for in her shoes, but nothing seems quite right. What will her perfect wish be?

In this pitch-perfect picture book, Lisa Mantchev takes the concept of a magic wish and uses it to explore real world empathy, kindness, and good will.

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#5
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Tiny Blessings: For Giving Thanks
Written by Amy Parker & illustrated by Sarah Walsh
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Sweet, simple blessings that encourage thoughtful gratitude for life’s daily gifts and wonders. This accessible, wholesome board book is perfect for teaching babies and toddlers how to count their blessings every day. With simple, graspable text that inspires mindful thinking, and warm, vibrant illustrations, For Giving Thanks will fill children’s minds with positive thoughts and help them appreciate life’s special gifts.

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#6
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Love Monster and the Perfect Present
Written & illustrated by Rachel Bright
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Everyone in Cutesville is excited for the most special day of the year: Present Day! Love Monster goes on a hunt for the perfect gift for his special someone, but as it turns out, finding the perfect gift is not easy. And the only thing worse than a not-perfect present is no present at all. But Love Monster soon comes up with the idea for the best gift ever—one that comes straight from his furry heart.

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#7
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The Stick
Written & illustrated by Clay Rice
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

When a young boy finds a stick on the ground and reads the inspiring words carved into it, his life begins to change until he fulfills lifelong dreams and discovers the truth about giving.

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#8
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Bunny Built
Written & illustrated by Michael Slack
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

A construction bunny learns a creative lesson in sharing and friendship when he meets the biggest carrot of his life. LaRue was very handy. His toolbox had everything and industrious bunny could ever need. Everything, that is, except carrots. But then LaRue stumbles onto a special seed. With proper tending, this seed quickly grows into an ENORMOUS CARROT! What’s a bunny to do with so much carrot? In a stroke of construction genius (and generosity), LaRue has the answer. This clever story celebrates just what it means to be a friend. A Christy Ottaviano Book

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#9
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Mama Panya's Pancakes
Written by Mary Chamberlin and Rich Chamberlin & illustrated by Julia Cairns
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

How many people did we invite for pancakes tonight? Adika, skipping two steps ahead, sang his reply, All of our friends, Mama.

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#10
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Dozens of Doughnuts
Written by Carrie Finison & illustrated by Brianne Farley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A generous but increasingly put-upon bear makes batch after batch of doughnuts for her woodland friends without saving any for herself in this delightful debut picture book about counting, sharing, and being a good friend.

LouAnn (a bear) is making a doughnut feast in preparation for her long winter’s nap. But just before she takes the first bite, DING DONG! Her friend Woodrow (a woodchuck) drops by. LouAnn is happy to share her doughnuts, but as soon as she and Woodrow sit down to eat, DING DING! Clyde (a raccoon) is at the door. One by one, LouAnn’s friends come over–Topsy (an opossum) and then Moufette (a skunk) and then Chip and Chomp (chipmunks)–until it’s one big party. Louann welcomes her surprise guests and makes batch after batch of doughnuts, always dividing them equally among her friends. But she makes one BIG miscalculation. Soon LouAnn’s kitchen is bare, winter is near, and she’s had nothing to eat at all!

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Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Generosity And Giving and...

Books About Generosity And Giving and Sharing

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What Is Given from the Heart
Written by Patricia C. McKissack & illustrated by April Harrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This final, magnificent picture book from three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner and Newbery Honor author Patricia McKissack is a poignant and uplifting celebration of the joy of giving.

“Misery loves company,” Mama says to James Otis. It’s been a rough couple of months for them, but Mama says as long as they have their health and strength, they’re blessed. One Sunday before Valentine’s Day, Reverend Dennis makes an announcement during the service— the Temples have lost everything in a fire, and the church is collecting anything that might be useful to them. James thinks hard about what he can add to the Temple’s “love box,” but what does he have worth giving? With her extraordinary gift for storytelling, McKissack—with stunning illustrations by Harrison—delivers a touching, powerful tale of compassion and reminds us all that what is given from the heart, reaches the heart.

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The Stick
Written & illustrated by Clay Rice
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

When a young boy finds a stick on the ground and reads the inspiring words carved into it, his life begins to change until he fulfills lifelong dreams and discovers the truth about giving.

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Add to list
Bunny Built
Written & illustrated by Michael Slack
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

A construction bunny learns a creative lesson in sharing and friendship when he meets the biggest carrot of his life. LaRue was very handy. His toolbox had everything and industrious bunny could ever need. Everything, that is, except carrots. But then LaRue stumbles onto a special seed. With proper tending, this seed quickly grows into an ENORMOUS CARROT! What’s a bunny to do with so much carrot? In a stroke of construction genius (and generosity), LaRue has the answer. This clever story celebrates just what it means to be a friend. A Christy Ottaviano Book

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  1. Dozens of Doughnuts - A generous but increasingly put-upon bear makes batch after batch of doughnuts for her woodland friends without saving any for herself in this delightful debut picture book about counting, sharing, and being a good friend. LouAnn (a bear) is making a doughnut feast in preparation for her long winter’s nap. But just before she takes the first bite, DING DONG! Her friend Woodrow (a woodchuck) drops by. LouAnn is happy to share her doughnuts, but as soon as she and Woodrow sit down to eat, DING DING! Clyde (a raccoon) is at the door. One by one, LouAnn’s friends come over–Topsy (an opossum) and then Moufette (a skunk) and then Chip and Chomp (chipmunks)–until it’s one big party. Louann welcomes her surprise guests and makes batch after batch of doughnuts, always dividing them equally among her friends. But she makes one BIG miscalculation. Soon LouAnn’s kitchen is bare, winter is near, and she’s had nothing to eat at all!

  2. Always Room for One More - Winner of the Caldecott Medal. Lachie MacLachlan, the generous hero of this enchanting tale, is the exception to the rule that the Scots are a thrifty lot. In his “wee house in the heather,” where he lives with his family of twelve, he welcomes to his hearth every weary traveler who passes by on a stormy night. “There’s always room for one more,” says Lachie, and how his grateful guests say a wonderful “Thank you” provides a delightfully warm and tender ending to this hilarious tale of kindness. Always Room for One More is the winner of the 1966 Caldecott Medal.

  3. Thank You, Omu! - A 2019 Caldecott Honor Book Winner of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award In this remarkable author-illustrator debut that’s perfect for fans of Last Stop on Market Street and Extra Yarn, a generous woman is rewarded by her community. Everyone in the neighborhood dreams of a taste of Omu’s delicious stew! One by one, they follow their noses toward the scrumptious scent. And one by one, Omu offers a portion of her meal. Soon the pot is empty. Has she been so generous that she has nothing left for herself? Debut author-illustrator Oge Mora brings to life a heartwarming story of sharing and community in colorful cut-paper designs as luscious as Omu’s stew, with an extra serving of love. An author’s note explains that “Omu” (pronounced AH-moo) means “queen” in the Igbo language of her parents, but growing up, she used it to mean “Grandma.” This book was inspired by the strong female role models in Oge Mora’s life.

  4. Porcupine's Pie - WINNER OF THE BEAMING BOOKS PICTURE BOOK WRITING CONTEST! <p> Porcupine can’t wait to share Fall Feast with her woodland friends, so when everyone she greets is unable to bake their specialty due to a missing ingredient, Porcupine generously offers staples from her pantry. When Porcupine discovers that she, too, is missing a key ingredient, the friends all work together to create a new Fall Feast tradition. Porcupine’s Pie will inspire children ages 4-8 to act generously. A recipe for “friendship pie” can be found at the end of the book.

Want to see books about sharing?

Books About Generosity And Giving and Character Traits

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Extra Yarn
Written by Mac Barnett & illustrated by Jon Klassen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From bestselling and award-winning author Mac Barnett and illustrator Jon Klassen comes Extra Yarn, a Caldecott Honor Book, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner, and a New York Times bestseller.

A young girl and her box of magical yarn transform a community in this stunning picture book. With spare, gently humorous illustrations and a palette that moves from black-and-white to a range of color, this modern fairy tale has the feel of a new classic.

Fans of Oliver Jeffers and Peter Brown will love this book.

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When a Tree Grows
Written by Cathy Ballou Mealey & illustrated by Kasia Nowowiejksa
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

When Moose rubs his antlers against the tree where Squirrel built his nest, he sets off a chain of comic catastrophes. The tree falls and wakes Bear, who stumbles into Moose, who causes a truck to swerve. But then Squirrel jumps onto that truck and ends up in the city, all alone. Who will help him get home? A sweet story of friendship, generosity, and how one fun thing leads to another.

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Curveball
Written by Derek Jeter and Paul Mantell
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In the fifth book in the New York Times bestselling middle grade series inspired by the life of iconic New York Yankee Derek Jeter, Derek spends the summer with his grandparents in Pequannock Township, New Jersey.

Sometimes, you were looking for role models. And sometimes, you were being one yourself.

Derek is having the best summer yet! Fun on the lake with his cousins, baseball, and a visit from his best friend, Dave: what more could he ask for? It gets even better when Derek gets to go to a Yankees game and meets a bunch of kids who play ball near the stadium, and they’re good. Awesome, actually, especially Jumbo and Tiny. Derek can’t wait to introduce them to Dave, but Grandma says if he wants to go to another Yankees game, he’ll have to earn some of the money for tickets himself. This means spending quality time with Grandpa mowing lawns and learning the meaning of hard work.

Derek brings Dave to meet Tiny and Jumbo, whom Derek admires. But when Jumbo tries to convince Derek to do something he’s sure will get him in trouble, Derek has to rethink who his role models are.

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  1. Paws for a Cause - The third book in a sweet and funny Branches series about a pug and his human, told from the pug's POV!

  2. Pinkalicious and the Perfect Present - Readers can watch Pinkalicious and Peterrific on the funtastic PBS Kids TV series Pinkalicious & Peterrific!

  3. The Things - Thing leads a simple life with its friends, Cactus and Moose the Shadow Puppet… until the day Thing sees Other Thing through the telescope! How will Thing react, and what will happen when Moose the Shadow Puppet suddenly disappears? A quirky story about how generosity, understanding and tolerance can lead to true friendship.

  4. Thank You, Mr. Panda - Generous Mr. Panda is giving away presents to all his animal friends, including a mouse, an octopus, an elephant, and a lemur, but they aren’t being very grateful about the gifts they receive. It may be because the presents aren’t quite right. Mouse receives a sweater that’s too big, and Octopus gets six colorful socks even though he has eight legs. Fortunately, thoughtful little Lemur knows that even if the present isn’t perfect, it’s the thought that counts most of all. Just as Mr. Panda introduced good manners in Please, Mr. Panda and the importance of being patient in I’ll Wait, Mr. Panda, Thank You, Mr. Panda is a graphic, kid-friendly way of teaching little ones the importance of saying “thank you” and recognizing that it’s the thought that counts most of all behind every gift.

Books About Generosity And Giving and Culture

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Mama Panya's Pancakes
Written by Mary Chamberlin and Rich Chamberlin & illustrated by Julia Cairns
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

How many people did we invite for pancakes tonight? Adika, skipping two steps ahead, sang his reply, All of our friends, Mama.

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Feast of Peas
Written by Kashmira Sheth & illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Hard-working Jiva might not be the only one anticipating a delicious feast of peas from his garden. Every morning, Jiva works in his garden until the sun turns as red as a bride’s sari. He plants peas and beans, potatoes and tomatoes, eggplants and okra in his vegetable patch. When his friend Ruvji admires his plants Jiva sings, Plump peas, sweet peas, Lined- up-in-the-shell peas. Peas to munch, peas to crunch A feast of peas for lunch. But each time Jiva is ready to pick the peas for his feast, they’re already gone. What has happened? From the award-winning author and illustrator team who created Tiger in My Soup, this original story set in India features a deliciously amusing mystery about gardening, anticipation, hard work, and generosity.

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The Runaway Rice Cake
Written by Ying Chang Compestine & illustrated by Tungwai Chau
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

It’s the Chinese New Year, and the Chang Family has only enough rice flour to make one nián-gão, a special New Year’s rice cake, for the entire family to eat. But this delicious little nián-gão has other ideas. “Ai yo! I don’t think so!” it cries, coming to life and escaping. Ming, Cong, little Da and their parents chase the nián-gão all over the village until it runs into a hungry, old woman and sends her tumbling to the ground. Though Da is a small boy, his heart is big enough to share the treat with her, even though that leaves Da’s family with nothing to eat for their own celebration. But the Changs’ generosity doesn’t go unnoticed. When they return home, they find the Kitchen God has left a wonderful surprise for them. Ying Chang Compestine’s heartwarming story conveys an important and poignant message about sharing and compassion. Tungwai Chau’s soft and evocative illustrations complete this tender holiday story.

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  1. Boxes for Katje - Simple seeds of friendship grow into something extraordinary After World War II there is little left in Katje's town of Olst in Holland. Her family, like most Dutch families, must patch their old worn clothing and go without everyday things like soap and milk. Then one spring morning when the tulips bloom thick and bright, Postman Kleinhoonte pedals his bicycle down Katje's street to deliver a mysterious box - a box from America! Full of soap, socks, and chocolate, the box has been sent by Rosie, an American girl from Mayfield, Indiana. Her package is part of a goodwill effort to help the people of Europe. What's inside so delights Katje that she sends off a letter of thanks - beginning an exchange that swells with so many surprises that the girls, as well as their townspeople, will never be the same. This inspiring story, with strikingly original art, is based on the author's mother's childhood and will show young readers that they, too, can make a difference. Boxes for Katje is a 2004 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year and a 2006 California Young Readers Medal for Picture Books for Older Readers winner

  2. My Rows and Piles of Coins - “I emptied my secret money box, arranged the coins in piles and the piles in rows . . .” The market is full of wonderful things, but Saruni is saving his precious coins for a red and blue bicycle. How happy he will be when he can help his mother carry heavy loads to market on his very own bicycle—and how disappointed he is to discover that he hasn’t saved nearly enough! Determination and generosity are at the heart of this satisfying tale set in Tanzania and illustrated with glowing watercolors that capture the warmth of Saruni’s family and the excitement of market day.

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Books About Generosity And Giving and Presents And Gifts

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Love Monster and the Perfect Present
Written & illustrated by Rachel Bright
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Everyone in Cutesville is excited for the most special day of the year: Present Day! Love Monster goes on a hunt for the perfect gift for his special someone, but as it turns out, finding the perfect gift is not easy. And the only thing worse than a not-perfect present is no present at all. But Love Monster soon comes up with the idea for the best gift ever—one that comes straight from his furry heart.

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14 Cows for America
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

A New York Times Best Seller

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Santa Mouse
Written by Michael Brown & illustrated by Elfrieda De Witt
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Sometimes giving is the best gift of all. In this charming holiday story, meet a tiny mouse with no name who is blessed with a large imagination and a generous spirit. He lives a very lonely life in a very big house. Yet he dearly loves Christmas and one Christmas Eve he surprises Santa Claus with a most unusual present. How does this small mouse with a big heart become Santa’s special helper? Written by Michael Brown and illustrated in a timeless style by Elfrieda De Witt, Santa Mouse is a Christmas family favorite that parents and grandparents are sure to share with their little ones.

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  1. A Birthday for Frances - As her little sister Gloria’s birthday approaches, Frances wavers between being generous and being jealous. Frances wrestles with temptation when she buys her sister candy for her birthday and then thinks about keeping it for herself. Frances becomes mean and selfish, until rare generosity and birthday spirit move her to reluctantly give her coveted gift. Frances is every youngster who chafes at being the un-birthday child.

  2. The Christmas Stick - One Christmas Eve in a far kingdom, the royal family gathered to open presents―which mainly meant watching the prince open his… So begins a children’s story about taking, but also giving―about stubbornness, but also a change of heart. The spoiled prince doesn’t realize that he’s actually bored with all the magnificent gifts he’s given. And he carries a deeper sadness, one that would stay locked away, a secret even from him, if his wise grandmother hadn’t understood that what he really needed was…a stick. It was sturdy, and as long as he was tall. But it was just a stick. And yet this simple gift opens the prince to precious things. This children’s picture book explores the power of imagination, the pleasure of doing, and eventually, the heart-soothing, joy-inducing warmth of not only being loved―but loving.

  3. Finding Christmas - Squirrel, Mouse, and Hare are getting ready for Christmas. While Mouse is out looking for the perfect gift for Hare, she finds Swallow sick in the snow. The three friends bring Swallow home and try to nurse the bird back to health. Squirrel and Mouse realize their Christmas gifts will help Swallow get well. As they give up their presents to help Swallow, they find the Christmas spirit.

  4. My Little Gifts - There are many types of gifts. You can give a big, shiny, wrapped gift on Christmas morning, but you can also give the gifts of your help or your time. You can bake a cake for your parents or share what you learned in school with your little sister. You can help a friend unravel a knotty bracelet or smile at a stranger who looks sad. With a spirit of generosity, you’ll find you have many gifts to give to the world–and that giving can be even more fulfilling than receiving. Featuring a die-cut cover and interior flaps throughout, My Little Gifts celebrates the gift of giving. The Growing Hearts series celebrates the milestones of a toddler’s emotional development, from conquering fears and expressing feelings to welcoming a new sibling.

Books About Generosity And Giving and Feelings And Emotions

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The Giving Tree
Written & illustrated by Shel Silverstein
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

‘Once there was a tree…and she loved a little boy.’ So begins a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein. Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk…and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave. This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation. Shel Silverstein has created a moving parable for readers of all ages that offers an affecting interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another’s capacity to love in return. Ages 10+

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Those Shoes
Written by Maribeth Boelts & illustrated by Noah Z. Jones
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Jeremy, who longs to have the black high tops that everyone at school seems to have but his grandmother cannot afford, is excited when he sees them for sale in a thrift shop and decides to buy them even though they are the wrong size.

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Finding Kindness
Written by Deborah Underwood & illustrated by Irene Chan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From New York Times-bestselling author Deborah Underwood comes Finding Kindness, a heartfelt picture book illustrated by Irene Chan.

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  1. The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish - A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! “A gift should be big, And a gift should be bright. And a gift should be perfect- Guaranteed to bring delight. And a gift should have meaning Plus a bit of bling-zing, So I’ll shop till I drop For each just-right thing!” Will Mr. Fish find perfect gifts for everyone on his list? Will he finish his shopping in time? Swim along with The Pout-Pout Fish on his holiday shopping quest. He might just discover that the best gifts of all come straight from the heart.

  2. Kindness Counts 123 - Young readers can count down from 10 while discovering the many ways to make the world a kinder place.

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