Best Children's Books About Helping others

82+ Children's Books About Helping others

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
How to Cheer Up Dad book
#1
How to Cheer Up Dad
Written and illustrated by Fred Koehler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A hilarious book about parent and child relationships for fans of Ian Falconer and Jon Agee–a perfect gift idea for Father’s Day and beyond! Little Jumbo just can’t understand why his dad is having such a bad day. It couldn’t be the raisins Little Jumbo spit out at the ceiling or the bath he refused to take–after all, Little Jumbo’s dad knew he hated raisins and had already taken a bath that week! Luckily, Little Jumbo is such a thoughtful elephant that he decides to turn his dad’s bad day around with some of his–ahem, his dad’s–favorite things. How to Cheer up Dad is a standout debut featuring a charmingly oblivious little elephant with serious pluck and staying power. It turns the parent-child roles upside down is a great book for dads and the kids who make them laugh.

Bernice Gets Carried Away book
#2
Bernice Gets Carried Away
Written and illustrated by Hannah Harrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Having missed out on the other treats at a friend's birthday party, a grumpy cat grabs all of the balloons and floats into the sky, where she sees that her problems are not so big, after all.

Grandma book
#3
Grandma
Written and illustrated by Jessica Shepherd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Told in diary form, Oscar relates how his grandmother becomes less able to look after herself and enters a nursing home, with information about dementia to help children discuss their feelings and adjust to the changing relationship.

Malala's Magic Pencil book
#4
Malala's Magic Pencil
Written by Malala Yousafzai and illustrated by Kerascoet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Malala's first picture book will inspire young readers everywhere to find the magic all around them. As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil. She would use it to make everyone happy, to erase the smell of garbage from her city, to sleep an extra hour in the morning. But as she grew older, Malala saw that there were more important things to wish for. She saw a world that needed fixing. And even if she never found a magic pencil, Malala realized that she could still work hard every day to make her wishes come true. This beautifully illustrated volume tells Malala's story for a younger audience and shows them the worldview that allowed Malala to hold on to hope even in the most difficult of times.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee book
#5
A Sick Day for Amos McGee
Written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

THE BEST SICK DAY EVER and the animals in the zoo feature in this striking picture book debut. Friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In Amos McGee's case, all sorts of species, too! Every day he spends a little bit of time with each of his friends at the zoo, running races with the tortoise, keeping the shy penguin company, and even reading bedtime stories to the owl. But when Amos is too sick to make it to the zoo, his animal friends decide it's time they returned the favor. A Sick Day for Amos McGee is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year and the winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal. This title has Common Core connections.

The Night Before Hanukkah book
#6
The Night Before Hanukkah
Written by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Amy Wummer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

The newest title in the bestselling Night Before series is the perfect gift for every girl and boy who celebrates Hanukkah! It’s the night before the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah begins, and everyone is excited! Each evening, the family gathers to light the candles and share holiday traditions such as playing dreidel, eating latkes, and exchanging gifts. The seventeenth title in Natasha Wing’s bestselling series, The Night Before Hanukkah captures all the joy and love in one of the most wonderful times of the year!

Rocket Shoes book
#7
Rocket Shoes
Written by Sharon Skinner and illustrated by Ward Jenkins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Jose dreams of flying. So he buys some rocket shoes and jets into the atmosphere. But all those spins, kicks, and airborne tricks cause such a ruckus that the mayor bans the shoes. Then, during a terrible snowstorm, Jose hears a cry: his neighbor's in danger--and he can only help her if he flies. Will Jose dare to break the rules and save the day?

Here Come the Helpers book
#8
Here Come the Helpers
Written by Leslie Kimmelman and illustrated by Barbara Bakos, Leslie Kimmelman
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Look for the Helpers is a shaped board book that highlights the emergency vehicles that help make our world a better place. It’s a big, beautiful world, filled with awesome adventures. But sometimes emergencies happen. When they do, look for the helpers! Helpers are all around you. Fire trucks, ambulances, police cars, and more crowd the pages of this shaped board book that teaches children to look for helpers wherever they go. With a search-and-find twist, each scene highlights different types of emergency vehicles in action. Look for the Helpers is an adventurous book that introduces little ones to the caring helpers who make the world safer.

Daddy Honk Honk! book
#9
Daddy Honk Honk!
Written and illustrated by Rosalinde Bonnet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

An arctic fox adopts a baby goose in this heartwarming read-aloud perfect for dads and their little ones When Aput the fox finds an abandoned goose egg, he has no idea what’s in store for him. He doesn’t know anything about babies and he certainly doesn’t know what to do when the gosling hatches and mistakes him for its daddy. So he decides to find the gosling a home. But with each page turn, Aput learns more about caring for a baby and, with a little help from his friends, he discovers what a baby needs most is love.

Sam and the Lucky Money book
#10
Sam and the Lucky Money
Written by Karen Chin and illustrated by Ying-hwa Hu, Cornelius Van Wright
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Sam must decide how to spend the lucky money he's received for Chinese New Year.

The Little Engine That Could book
#11
The Little Engine That Could
Written by Watty Piper and illustrated by Doris Hauman, George Hauman
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

A classic story now in a lap-book format has been slightly abridged and features the famous illustrations from the original edition that will keep toddlers cheering on the little blue engine as she continues chugging along.

Have You Filled a Bucket Today? book
#12
Have You Filled a Bucket Today?
Written by Carol McCloud and illustrated by David Messing
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-9

"Children are not the only ones that need to learn how to be truly happy. It's all in the bucket, that invisible bucket that follows you everywhere... teaches young readers valuable lessons about giving, sharing, and caring. This guide to daily happiness, though, is not just for kids. We all need reminders of the benefits of positive thinking and positive behavior. It's an important lesson to teach and remind us all . . . that showing kindness and appreciation of others goes a long way to making this world a happier place for everyone, including ourselves. A classic tale, beautifully told and beautifully shared." —Emily-Jane Hills Orford, Readers' Favorite Book Reviews While using a simple metaphor of a bucket and a dipper, author Carol McCloud illustrates that when we choose to be kind, we not only fill the buckets of those around us, but also fill our OWN bucket! Conversely, when we choose to say or do mean things, we are dipping into buckets. All day long, we are either filling up or dipping into each other's buckets by what we say and what we do. When you're a bucket filler, you make the world a better place to be! This 32-page picture book is perfect for children, parents, grandparents, teachers and people that want to teach empathy, nurture kindness and create a positive environment in their home, classroom, workplace and community.

Bear Stays Up for Christmas book
#13
Bear Stays Up for Christmas
Written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Bear's friends are determined to keep Bear awake for Christmas! So they wake Bear up and have him help them find a Christmas tree, bake cakes, hang up stockings, and sing Christmas songs. Bear stays up--by discovering that giving is one of the best Christmas presents!

Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree book
#14
Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree
Written and illustrated by Naoko Stoop
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This new adventure with Red Knit Cap Girl and her friends uses simple prose and radiant illustrations to shine a light on the joy of reading and the importance of working together. One day Red Knit Cap Girl and her friends discover a hollow tree in the middle of the forest. What can be done with one ordinary tree? "I will keep my book in this nook so everyone can read it," Red Knit Cap Girl says. But the tree isn't only for books. Little by little, one by one, the animals share their unique gifts and turn the ordinary tree into a special spot for everyone to enjoy!

The Sheep Who Hatched an Egg book
#15
The Sheep Who Hatched an Egg
Written and illustrated by Gemma Merino
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Lola is proud of her amazing wool. After all, everyone on the farm tells her how beautiful she looks. She spends hours brushing her wool to keep it shiny and silky. Until one day when the weather gets hot, and all the sheep have to get haircuts—including Lola! She’s so upset without her wool that she runs away and hides by herself. And when her wool finally grows back, it’s tangled, messy…HORRIBLE! But hiding in Lola’s wool is a wonderful surprise, one that will help her realize that she doesn't have to be pretty or perfect in order to be a friend…or to be extraordinary!

Bear Has a Story to Tell book
#16
Bear Has a Story to Tell
Written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

It was almost winter and Bear was getting sleepy. But first, Bear had a story to tell... Bear found his friend Mouse, but Mouse was busy gathering seeds and didn't have time to listen to a story. Then Bear saw his friend Duck, but Duck was getting ready to fly south. What about his friend Toad? He was busy looking for a warm place to sleep. By the time Bear was through helping his friends get ready for winter, would anyone still be awake to hear his story?

The Very Very Very Long Dog book
#17
The Very Very Very Long Dog
Written and illustrated by Julia Patton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

"Oh, Bartelby!" Bartelby is a very long and lovable dachshund who lives in a bookstore. He has a lovely set of friends who take him for walks through the city, but he has no idea that his bumbling backside leaves a trail of destruction and accidents behind him. Embarrassed that he has no control over his back end, Bartelby vows to never leave the cozy bookstore again. Can his friends help him find a way to help himself? This beautifully illustrated picture book features silly fun along with an important message: that we love our friends not in spite of their flaws, but because of them.

I Walk with Vanessa book
#18
I Walk with Vanessa
Written and illustrated by Kerascoet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Inspired by real events and told only in pictures, this is an empowering picture book from a New York Timesbestselling husband-and-wife team about one girl who inspires a community to stand up to bullying. This simple yet powerful picture book tells the story of an elementary school girl named Vanessa who is bullied and a fellow student who witnesses the act and is at first unsure of how to help. I Walk with Vanessa explores the feelings of helplessness and anger that arise in the wake of seeing a classmate treated badly, and shows how a single act of kindness can lead to an entire community joining in to help. With themes of acceptance, kindness, and strength in numbers, this timeless and profound feel-good story will resonate with readers young and old.

Sisters Are for Making Sand Castles book
#19
Sisters Are for Making Sand Castles
Written by Harriet Ziefert and illustrated by Chris Demarest
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

You can climb a tree with a sister, or have a pillow fight, or ride the see-saw. A sister can keep you company in the back of the car, play dress-up with you, and help you when it’s time to clean up. A sister is a special someone to love. This sweet, lively lift-the-flap book is perfect for sisters and brothers to share. Children will delight in seeing all the fun things there are to do with a sister.

Pass It on book
#20
Pass It on
Written and illustrated by Sophy Henn
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Here’s a fun idea: When you laugh or smile–pass it on! A story about giving, sharing, and joy. When you see something terrific, smile a smile and pass it on! If you chance upon a chuckle, hee hee hee and pass it on. Should you spot a thing of wonder, jump for joy and pass it on! So begins Sophy Henn’s ode to the excitement of sharing happiness with others. With a refrain that begs to be uttered before every turn of the page, children will eagerly read alongside their parents as they discover how wonderful–and fun!–it is to share the good things in life. After all, if you spread happiness to others, even on a gray, rainy day, when you least expect it, like a bolt out of the blue, a smile or a chuckle might be passed right back to you! This heartwarming, upbeat book is the perfect way to bring a warm ray of sunshine into every reader’s life.

Little Tug book
#21
Little Tug
Written and illustrated by Stephen Savage
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Little Tug knows what to do when the tall ship, the speedboat, and the ocean liner need him, and at such times, he is indispensible.

The Patchwork Bike book
#22
The Patchwork Bike
Written by Maxine Beneba Clarke and illustrated by Van Thanh Rudd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

When you live in a village at the edge of the no-go desert, you need to make your own fun. That’s when you and your brothers get inventive and build a bike from scratch, using everyday items like an old milk pot (maybe Mum is still using it, maybe not) and a used flour sack. You can even make a license plate from bark if you want. The end result is a spectacular bike, perfect for whooping and laughing as you bumpetty bump over sand hills, past your fed-up mum and right through your mud-for-walls home.

Baking with Dad book
#23
Baking with Dad
Written and illustrated by Aurora Cacciapuoti
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Today we're baking with Dad! We have everything we need, including the most important ingredient - Dad himself! But who are we baking for? And who's going to do the clearing up?

The Giant Jumperee book
#24
The Giant Jumperee
Written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Two of the world’s most celebrated picture book creators, Julia Donaldson and Helen Oxenbury, team up for the first time in this jaunty animal fable for fans of Room on the Broom and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Rabbit arrives home one day to hear a loud voice coming from inside his burrow: “I’m the Giant Jumperee and I’m scary as can be!” shouts the stranger. Rabbit’s friends Cat, Bear, and Elephant come to help, but they’re no match for the mysterious, booming voice. But who is the Giant Jumperee? Find out in this new read-aloud classic from internationally bestselling author Julia Donaldson, beautifully brought to life by award-winning illustrator Helen Oxenbury.

Party! book
#25
Party!
Written and illustrated by Jess Stockham
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

A child helps to choose a theme for his party and prepare for the big event.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.