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80+ Kids' Books About Kindness

Looking for children's books that teach kindness and compassion?

You’ve probably heard the saying that we must be kind because everyone is fighting a harder battle than we realize. While traditionally the quote is attributed to Plato, we think nothing has taught the virtue of kindness more powerfully than good children’s books. That’s why we created this extensive list of the top children’s books about kindness.

Kindness is contagious and beautiful. It can make the most gloomy day sunny, dry tears and change the world. It’s a powerful force that we learn how to use, though it’s also innate. Kindness might be hard to describe to a young reader, but it’s very easy to show. This list features story books that offer concrete examples you can share and discuss with your kids about what it means to be kind, like the importance of helping others and using kind words. Some titles also cover specific aspects of kindness, like being kind to animals. In these books, you’re sure to discover favorite new characters and book quotes that will help your child understand what it means to be kind.

Our list can also help you find the best books for discussing certain aspects of kindness, like how kindness incorporates showing compassion, or how developing empathy helps us be more kind, or how kindness and friendship build on one another. Browse our entire list, or use our table of contents to jump to specific subtopics that would be helpful to you.

You can also filter the list to show books by age group: board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books and picture books are great for reading aloud with your young reader. Our list of chapter books, on the other hand, is a good place to find books ideal for readers through early middle school age or longer reads to enjoy as a family.

From titles you might already about to new titles you’re sure to love discovering with your child, our list has the best of children’s books about kindness. Let us know what titles you would add to the list!

Top 10 Books About Kindness

#1
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To the Sea
Written & illustrated by Cale Atkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Sometimes Tim feels invisible at school-until one day, when Tim meets Sam. But Sam isn't just any new friend: he's a blue whale, and he can't find his way home! Returning Sam to the sea is hard work, but Tim is determined to help. After all, it's not every day you meet a new friend! This picture book about the power of friendship by new talent Cale Atkinson is brought to life by charming, dynamic illustrations.
#2
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Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse
Written by Marcy Campbell & illustrated by Corinna Luyken
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
This book is just beautiful: the story itself, the message, and of course the illustrations! The way that Adrian Simcox's white horse with the golden mane emerges from the white space, again and again, is amazing and truly captures the power and reality of imagination. Reminiscent of the oft-posed question of which is better—a lie that brings a smile or a truth that brings a tear—this story lands soundly on the side of the beauty of imagination and kindness, and the power they give us to create our own world.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
A classic in the making, this heartwarming story about empathy and imagination is one that families will treasure for years to come. Adrian Simcox tells anyone who will listen that he has a horse--the best and most beautiful horse anywhere. But Chloe does NOT believe him. Adrian Simcox lives in a tiny house. Where would he keep a horse? He has holes in his shoes. How would he pay for a horse? The more Adrian talks about his horse, the angrier Chloe gets. But when she calls him out at school and even complains about him to her mom, Chloe doesn't get the vindication she craves. She gets something far more important. Written with tenderness and poignancy and gorgeously illustrated, this book will show readers that kindness is always rewarding, understanding is sweeter than judgment, and friendship is the best gift one can give.
#3
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The Nice Book
Written & illustrated by David Stein
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
This book is one of my very favorite board books or all time, almost despite the illustrations which are finger-painty, child-like, edgy and not quite my style. It's a delightfully fun read aloud with the perfect blend of quirkiness and charm as it goes through various scenarios and instructions for how to be nice—"Giggle, pat, scratch, but don't stomp flat!...When you get in a snit, don't hit." The illustrations add another level of story and context to each scenario and instruction, which makes it humorous as well as very real.
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
A perfect introduction to manners and playing nice, by David Ezra Stein—author of Caldecott Honor winner Interrupting Chicken, Pouch! (a Charlotte Zolotow Honor book) and Leaves (recipient of the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award). From cuddling koalas to friendly penguins, an array of animals illustrates fun, sweet, and silly examples of “how to be nice,” showing simple ways young children can show they care for those around them. The lyrical text, funny illustrations and upbeat friendship message make this a great gift and a wonderful introduction to manners.
#4
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Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon
Written by Patty Lovell & illustrated by David Catrow
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
The vibrant, whimsical illustrations make this surprisingly light-hearted book about bullying and being proud to be yourself extra enjoyable. The positive influence of Molly Lou Melon's grandma and how it helps her overcome with the teasing of one Ronald Durkin with kindness and genuine sense of self is fantastic and makes both Molly Lou Melon and her grandma worth emulating.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Be yourself like Molly Lou Melon no matter what a bully may do. Molly Lou Melon is short and clumsy, has buck teeth, and has a voice that sounds like a bullfrog being squeezed by a boa constrictor. She doesn't mind. Her grandmother has always told her to walk proud, smile big, and sing loud, and she takes that advice to heart. But then Molly Lou has to start in a new school. A horrible bully picks on her on the very first day, but Molly Lou Melon knows just what to do about that.
#5
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Bernice Gets Carried Away
Written & illustrated by Hannah Harrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Perfect for a new generation of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day readers, this charming story about a grumpy cat gently shows how far a little sharing can go. Bernice is having a truly rotten time at her friend's birthday party. First, everyone else gets a piece of cake with a frosting rose. But not Bernice. Then, everyone else gets strawberry-melon soda. Bernice gets the prune-grapefruit juice. And it's warm. The last straw is the one lousy (squished) candy she gets from the piñata. So when the balloons arrive, Bernice knows just what she has to do: grab them all. And then, poor cross Bernice gets carried up, up, and away. Luckily, she figures out just how to make her way back down to the party...and she brightens lots of other animals' days on her way. Hannah Harrison’s gorgeous animal paintings come alive in her second picture book. Her “exceptionally polished” debut, Extraordinary Jane, received starred reviews from Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, and School Library Journal.
#6
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Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch
Written by Eileen Spinelli & illustrated by Paul Yalowitz
Thoughts from Grammy
This book has such a powerful message about the difference a simple act of kindness can make. There are so many of these small, simple acts in the story and they each affect the receiver in profound ways, but none more profoundly than Mr. Hatch, a lonely old man at the beginning of the story, and someone entirely different at the end. Mr. Hatch's loneliness is relatable to people of all ages; we see ourselves in his shyness and the difficulty he has in reaching out to others. When he receives a gift and a cryptic love note, it gives him confidence and motivates him to connect with the people around him. Empathy is another strong theme in the book. Not only do we feel for Mr. Hatch in his loneliness, but, along with Mr. Hatch, we feel for the newsstand man and the butcher in their difficulties. Reading this story together can facilitate conversations about who we might know that could use a little lift, or maybe some brownies!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
One wintry day, a postman delivers a mysterious package with a big pink bow to a lonely man named Mr. Hatch. "Somebody loves you," the note says. "Somebody loves me!" Mr. Hatch sings as he dusts his living room. "Somebody loves me!" Mr. Hatch whistles as he does his errands in town. "But who," Mr. Hatch wonders, "could that somebody be?" After some time, Mr. Hatch discovers just who his secret admirer is and, in doing so, enjoys the biggest surprise of his life!
#7
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We're All Wonders
Written & illustrated by R. J. Palacio
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This book is a picture book based off of the chapter book, "Wonder." I love the message of this book, that when we look with kindness, we will notice we are all wonders. I think this is a fantastic book to use to talk about people that are different than us, whether that be because of a disability, race, color, religion, or personality, and how everyone is unique and special. This book also talks about bullying, and how it can be hurtful.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
The unforgettable bestseller Wonder, now a major motion picture, has inspired a nationwide movement to Choose Kind. Now parents and educators can introduce the importance of choosing kind to younger readers with this gorgeous picture book, featuring Auggie and Daisy on an original adventure, written and illustrated by R. J. Palacio. Over 6 million people have fallen in love with Wonder and have joined the movement to Choose Kind. Now younger readers can meet Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face, and his beloved dog, Daisy. Countless fans have asked R. J. Palacio to write a book for younger readers. With We’re All Wonders, she makes her picture-book debut as both author and artist, with a spare, powerful text and striking, richly imagined illustrations. Palacio shows readers what it’s like to live in Auggie’s world—a world in which he feels like any other kid, but he’s not always seen that way. We’re All Wonders may be Auggie’s story, but it taps into every child’s longing to belong, and to be seen for who they truly are. It’s the perfect way for families and educators to talk about empathy and kindness with young children. Praise for Wonder: A #1 New York Times Bestseller A USA Today Top 100 Bestseller An Indie Bestseller A Time Magazine 100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time Selection A Washington Post Best Kids’ Book A New York Times Book Review Notable Book An NPR Outstanding Backseat Book Club Pick An Entertainment Weekly 10 Great Kids’ Books Selection “A beautiful, funny and sometimes sob-making story of quiet transformation.” —The Wall Street Journal “A crackling page-turner filled with characters you can’t help but root for.” —Entertainment Weekly “Rich and memorable.” —The New York Times Book Review
#8
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The Storybook Knight
Written by Helen Docherty & illustrated by Thomas Docherty
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
Told in perfect rhyme and gorgeously illustrated, this is a fantastic book about a young knight who draws on street smarts, common courtesy, books and a little kindness to brave the monsters he encounters, rather than fighting. I really like that he goes about what his parents ask him to do (even though it's not to his taste!) with his own unique style and that his parents, in turn, are able to embrace his preferences as he demonstrates their true value.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Even dragons love a good story... Leo was a gentle knight in thought and word and deed. While other knights liked fighting, Leo liked to sit and read... When Leo's mom and dad pack him off to fight a dragon, he takes a shield, a sword―and a pile of his favorite books. But can a story be as mighty as a sword?
#9
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Enemy Pie
Written by Derek Munson & illustrated by Tara Calahan King
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
It was the perfect summer. That is, until Jeremy Ross moved into the house down the street and became neighborhood enemy number one. Luckily Dad had a surefire way to get rid of enemies: Enemy Pie. But part of the secret recipe is spending an entire day playing with the enemy! In this funny yet endearing story, one little boy learns an effective recipe for turning your best enemy into your best friend. Accompanied by charming illustrations, Enemy Pie serves up a sweet lesson in the difficulties and ultimate rewards of making new friends.
#10
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The Hundred Dresses
Written by Eleanor Estes & illustrated by Louis Slobodkin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
Eleanor Estes’s The Hundred Dresses won a Newbery Honor in 1945 and has never been out of print since. At the heart of the story is Wanda Petronski, a Polish girl in a Connecticut school who is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing the same faded blue dress every day. Wanda claims she has one hundred dresses at home, but everyone knows she doesn’t and bullies her mercilessly. The class feels terrible when Wanda is pulled out of the school, but by that time it’s too late for apologies. Maddie, one of Wanda’s classmates, ultimately decides that she is "never going to stand by and say nothing again." This powerful, timeless story has been reissued with a new letter from the author’s daughter Helena Estes, and with the Caldecott artist Louis Slobodkin’s original artwork in beautifully restored color.
Table of Contents
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Books About Kindness and Science And Nature

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Oliver's Tree
Written & illustrated by Kit Chase
Thoughts from Lemony Snickers
The illustrations for Oliver's Tree are warm and homey with an older, Winnie the Pooh feel to them. The book teaches a valuable lesson about helping friends. Oliver is sad that he can't play in the trees like his friends. While he walks away pouting and disappointed, his friends rally to build a tree house where they can all play together. The book really is quite reminiscent of a Winnie the Pooh story. It's simple and sweet. Oliver's emotions get the best of him, but that happens to most of us at some time or another, and it sure makes a difference when we have good friends to help us through.
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
A board book about three adorable best friends! Oliver, Charlie, and Lulu love to play outside together. Their favorite game is hide-and-seek, but it’s not fun for Oliver when his friends hide in the trees—he can’t reach them! So the friends set off to find a tree that Oliver can play in. But there’s a reason we don’t see elephants in trees, and just when Oliver is ready to give up the search, Charlie and Lulu surprise him with the perfect tree for them all to play in together!
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Sidewalk Flowers
Written by JonArno Lawson & illustrated by Sydney Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
A little girl collects wildflowers while walking through town with her father.
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Wishtree
Written by Katherine Applegate & illustrated by Charles Santoso
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14
The New York Times-bestselling story of kindness, friendship, and hope. Trees can't tell jokes, but they can certainly tell stories. . . . Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood "wishtree"—people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red's branches. Along with a crow named Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red's hollows, this wishtree watches over the neighborhood. You might say Red has seen it all. Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red's experience as a wishtree is more important than ever. Funny, deep, warm, and nuanced, this is Katherine Applegate at her very best—writing from the heart, and from a completely unexpected point of view. This book has Common Core connections.
Honorable Mentions
Why Evergreens Keep Their Leaves book
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Mountain Chef book
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If You Plant a Seed book
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I Am a Warrior Goddess book
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  1. Why Evergreens Keep Their Leaves - One autumn evening, Little Redbird settled down for one last sleep before flying south for winter. As she slept, a strong gust of wind shook her from her cozy nest . . . . . . Little Redbird hurts her wing and misses her chance to fly south for the winter. As she searches for a new home amongst the trees, she begins to realize that not all trees are fit for the winter cold. As more and more trees refuse her shelter, too preoccupied with their preparations for the frost, Little Redbird fears the worst. That is, until she comes across a friendly bunch of evergreens. In the spirit of Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince, Why Evergreens Keep Their Leavesis a timeless story of kindness and why the fir, spruce, and juniper trees are evergreen all winter long.

  2. Mountain Chef - The true story of a Chinese American mountain man who fed thirty people for ten days in the wilderness—and helped inspire the creation of the National Park Service. Tie Sing was born in the mountains. The mountains were in his blood. But because he was of Chinese descent at a time in America when to be Chinese meant working in restaurants or laundries, Tie Sing’s prospects were limited. But he had bigger plans. He began cooking for mapmakers and soon built a reputation as the best trail cook in California. When millionaire Stephen Mather began his quest to create a national park service in 1915, he invited a group of influential men—writers, tycoons, members of Congress, and even a movie star—to go camping in the Sierras. Tie Sing was hired to cook. Tie Sing planned diligently. He understood the importance of this trip. But when disaster struck—twice!—and Tie Sing’s supplies were lost, it was his creative spirit and quick mind that saved the day. His sumptuous menus had to be struck and Tie Sing had to start over in order to feed the thirty people in the group for ten whole days. His skills were tested and Tie Sing rose to the challenge. On the last night, he fed not just the campers’ bodies, but also their minds, reminding them to remember and protect the mountains. 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, created by Congress on August 25, 1916. Today, you can hike to Sing Peak, named for Tie Sing, in Yosemite National Park.

  3. If You Plant a Seed - Kadir Nelson, acclaimed author of Baby Bear and winner of the Caldecott Honor and the Coretta Scott King Author and Illustrator Awards, presents a resonant, gently humorous story about the power of even the smallest acts and the rewards of compassion and generosity. With spare text and breathtaking oil paintings, If You Plant a Seed demonstrates not only the process of planting and growing for young children but also how a seed of kindness can bear sweet fruit.

  4. I Am a Warrior Goddess - A young girl finds strength and courage through her connection to nature, taking care of her mind and body, and treating others with kindness A warrior goddess is strong, powerful, and kind. She’s friends with the sun and the wind. She takes care of her body and mind. She helps others and makes the world a better place. In this empowering tale of a little girl with big dreams, young readers learn how each day is full of opportunities to make a positive impact with ordinary actions. Our heroine is generous, grateful, and fierce. As she connects with the Earth, takes care of her body, and finds strength in kindness, she discovers her inner warrior goddess and inspires young girls everywhere to do the same.

Books About Kindness and Confidence

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Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon
Written by Patty Lovell & illustrated by David Catrow
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
The vibrant, whimsical illustrations make this surprisingly light-hearted book about bullying and being proud to be yourself extra enjoyable. The positive influence of Molly Lou Melon's grandma and how it helps her overcome with the teasing of one Ronald Durkin with kindness and genuine sense of self is fantastic and makes both Molly Lou Melon and her grandma worth emulating.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Be yourself like Molly Lou Melon no matter what a bully may do. Molly Lou Melon is short and clumsy, has buck teeth, and has a voice that sounds like a bullfrog being squeezed by a boa constrictor. She doesn't mind. Her grandmother has always told her to walk proud, smile big, and sing loud, and she takes that advice to heart. But then Molly Lou has to start in a new school. A horrible bully picks on her on the very first day, but Molly Lou Melon knows just what to do about that.
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You're Here for a Reason
Written & illustrated by Nancy Tillman
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Now available in board book, You're Here for a Reason, from national-bestselling and beloved author Nancy Tillman, takes a universal truth and makes it accessible for readers young and old. Not only are we loved, but we also matter. In this tender and timeless read-along book, Tillman reminds us of this message in beautiful illustrations as children and animals interact with acts of kindness. "You're here for a reason. If you think you're not, I would just say that perhaps you forgot . . . a piece of the world that is precious and dear would surely be missing if you weren't here. If not for your smile and your laugh and your heart this place we call home would be minus a part. Thank goodness you're here! Thank goodness times two! I just can't imagine a world without you."
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The Things I Love About Me
Written & illustrated by Trace Moroney
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Your great big smile, your kindness toward others—there are so many things to love about being you. This special junior edition of The Things I Love About Me—with its simple, meaningful words and beautiful illustrations—is part of a series that is perfect for introducing little ones to positive thinking about everyday situations.
Honorable Mentions
About Average book
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My Panda Sweater book
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The Cool Bean book
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Dazzling Travis book
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  1. About Average - As the end of sixth grade nears, Jordan Johnson, unhappy that she is only average in appearance, intelligence, and athletic ability, reveals her special skills when disaster strikes her central Illinois elementary school.

  2. My Panda Sweater -

  3. The Cool Bean - AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! AN AMAZON BEST BOOKS OF THE MONTH (DECEMBER 2019) SELECTION! The “too-cool-for-school” third picture book from the #1 New York Times bestselling creators of The Bad Seed and The Good Egg, Jory John and Pete Oswald Everyone knows the cool beans. They’re sooooo cool. And then there’s the uncool has-bean . . . Always on the sidelines, one bean unsuccessfully tries everything he can to fit in with the crowd—until one day the cool beans show him how it’s done. With equal measures of humor, wit, and charm, the #1 New York Times bestselling duo Jory John and Pete Oswald craft another incredible picture book, reminding us that it’s cooler to be kind. Check out John and Oswald’s other books for children: The Bad Seed The Good Egg That’s What Dinosaurs Do

  4. Dazzling Travis - Travis sets no limits to what he enjoys doing. Shopping and football, ballet and dress-up make Travis a one of a kind boy! But when some of the kids on the playground begin to pick on him, Travis truly dazzles. This empowering story encourages both boys and girls to challenge the social norm, revealing their true selves.

Want to see books about confidence?

Books About Kindness and Habits And Behavior

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The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade
Written by Justin Roberts & illustrated by Christian Robinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Sally McCabe is a very little girl, and nobody notices her, although she notices everything that goes on around her--but when she speaks out about the unkindness she sees, people start to pay attention.
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Fish in a Tree
Written by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-16
“Fans of R.J. Palacio’s Wonder will appreciate this feel-good story of friendship and unconventional smarts.” —Kirkus Reviews Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike. The author of the beloved One for the Murphys gives readers an emotionally-charged, uplifting novel that will speak to anyone who’s ever thought there was something wrong with them because they didn’t fit in. This paperback edition includes The Sketchbook of Impossible Things and discussion questions. A New York Times Bestseller! * “Unforgettable and uplifting.”—School Library Connection, starred review * “Offering hope to those who struggle academically and demonstrating that a disability does not equal stupidity, this is as unique as its heroine.”—Booklist, starred review * “Mullaly Hunt again paints a nuanced portrayal of a sensitive, smart girl struggling with circumstances beyond her control.” —School Library Journal, starred review
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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Written by Roald Dahl & illustrated by Quentin Blake
Thoughts from Mom of Boys
We had so much fun with this book. It is a book beyond all imagination. It gets all the wheels spinning in our little boys' minds. They love hearing all the descriptions of the chocolates and candies. And it is especially encouraging that little Charlie Bucket is such a good and caring boy that has good returned to him in every sense of the word.
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
From the author of The BFG and Matilda! Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last! But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!
Honorable Mentions
Be Kind book
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Prince Bertram the Bad book
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Little Royal book
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The Dreidle That Wouldn’t Spin book
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  1. Be Kind - In a world where people spend more time engaging through screens than in real-life interaction, showing basic human kindness can feel like a lost art. Be Kind offers children aged 5 and up simple, actionable things they can do in their daily lives that help them cultivate kindness toward others and grow into people with the capacity to make the world a kinder place. In Be Kind, kids learn that kindness is a quality that can be expressed in ways other than merely being “nice,” including standing up for someone or something, engaging in a community, showing compassion toward other beings, and expressing gratitude. With joyful illustrations and kid-friendly writing, this idea book serves as a delightful, easy-to-read collection of 125 concrete activities kids and their families can pick and choose from and act out in their daily lives, whether it’s being the first person to say good morning, offering compliments, shoveling an elderly neighbor’s driveway, learning to say hello in different languages, or sending a card to someone — no special occasion required. On every page, Be Kind empowers kids to make the world a better, kinder place, one action at a time.

  2. Prince Bertram the Bad - Once upon a time a prince was born. The kingdom was excited and proud. But Prince Betram was not a good boy. He put spiders in the soup, pulled up the roses in the royal garden, and broke all of his toys. As each year passed, he grew meaner and naughtier . . . until one day, a witch cast a spell on Bertram to punish his bad behavior. Can Bertram learn to be kind and break the curse? This timeless fable perfectly embodies the golden rule: always treat others the way you would like to be treated. The child-friendly illustrations, complete with the detailed, cross-hatching lines, reveal Lobel’s great talent as an artist and a master storyteller. Arnold’s daughter and renowned theater designer, Adriane Lobel, wrote an introductory note to celebrate the return of this charming tale.

  3. Little Royal - Little Royal is a big fish in a small pond and all the other fish do his bidding. But when he takes his big attitude to other ponds, he learns a valuable lesson about humility and compassion, in this wise and witty picture book for kids ages 4-8. “I am the very big fish of my very little pond and when I demand: ‘Me! Now!’ all of my very little fish bow down to me. They scrub my tail and blow bubbles on my scales. So, I chant, ‘Long live myself!’ Because I am the biggest and brightest most beautiful fish in the kingdom of Me.” Little Royal lords over his domain–until he learns from a wandering frog that there are bigger ponds and more exotic creatures elsewhere. His heart propels him to leave his pond to explore them, fully expecting that he will be eminent ruler–but what he encounters turns out to be humbling and uncomfortable, but ultimately very freeing. As Little Royal’s journey unfolds and his world expands, Manchego’s skillful, nuanced watercolor illustrations change from pale and delicate to lush and luminous, speaking to the increasing complexity both of what Little Royal encounters and his conflicting emotions. The effect is profound and poignant.

  4. The Dreidle That Wouldn’t Spin - “This dreidel doesn’t work!” the father had cried. “What do you mean? How can a dreidel not work?” the shopkeeper asked. It was certainly the most beautiful spinning top the shopkeeper had ever seen, with magical golden letters on its sides. But it just would not spin for two spoiled children who insisted on owning it! Later, the shopkeeper decides to try it one last time: would it spin for another child, one who carried the true spirit of Hanukkah in his heart? In this beautiful holiday story by award-winning author Martha Simpson, and brought to life by the imaginative illustrations of award-winning illustrator D. Yael Bernhard, the happiness and joy of the Hanukkah miracle will warm the heart of young and old alike with its simple message: wonders still occur for those who are ready for them. Included is a useful appendix that explains Hanukkah, and an explanation on how to play the dreidel game.

Books About Kindness and School

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The Invisible Boy
Written by Trudy Ludwig & illustrated by Patrice Barton
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
The book is gorgeously and emotionally illustrated, letting the colors speak to the emotions of Brian —the invisible boy— in this story. A powerful reminder that bullying takes many forms and that one person and one act of kindness can truly make a difference, even if they're the only one.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
A simple act of kindness can transform an invisible boy into a friend... Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party . . . until, that is, a new kid comes to class. When Justin, the new boy, arrives, Brian is the first to make him feel welcome. And when Brian and Justin team up to work on a class project together, Brian finds a way to shine. From esteemed author and speaker Trudy Ludwig and acclaimed illustrator Patrice Barton, this gentle story shows how small acts of kindness can help children feel included and allow them to flourish. Any parent, teacher, or counselor looking for material that sensitively addresses the needs of quieter children will find The Invisible Boy a valuable and important resource.
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Each Kindness
Written by Jacqueline Woodson & illustrated by E.B. Lewis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
WINNER OF A CORETTA SCOTT KING HONOR AND THE JANE ADDAMS PEACE AWARD! Each kindness makes the world a little better This unforgettable book is written and illustrated by the award-winning team that created The Other Side and the Caldecott Honor winner Coming On Home Soon. With its powerful anti-bullying message and striking art, it will resonate with readers long after they've put it down. Chloe and her friends won't play with the new girl, Maya. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her friends, they reject her. Eventually Maya stops coming to school. When Chloe's teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship, and thinks about how much better it could have been if she'd shown a little kindness toward Maya.
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Llama Llama and the Bully Goat
Written & illustrated by Anna Dewdney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Llama Llama likes to sing. Gilroy laughs at everything. Llama sings out just the same. Gilroy says a not-nice name. Teacher has some things to say: calling names is not OK. Llama Llama is learning lots of new things at school and making many friends. But when Gilroy Goat starts teasing him and some of their classmates, Llama Llama isn’t sure what to do. And then he remembers what his teacher told him—walk away and tell someone. It works! But then Llama Llama feels badly. Can he and Gilroy try to be friends again?
Honorable Mentions
The Recess Queen book
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The Kindness Quilt book
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Liz and the Nosy Neighbor book
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The Secrets of Ninja School book
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  1. The Recess Queen - A fresh & original twist on the common issue of bullying. Kids will relate, & parents & teachers will appreciate the story’s deft handling of conflict resolution (which happens w/o adult intervention) Mean Jean was Recess Queen and nobody said any different. Nobody swung until Mean Jean swung. Nobody kicked until Mean Jean kicked. Nobody bounced until Mean Jean bounced. If kids ever crossed her, she’d push ‘em and smoosh ‘em lollapaloosh ‘em, hammer ‘em, slammer ‘em kitz and kajammer ‘em. Until a new kid came to school! With her irrepressible spirit, the new girl dethrones the reigning recess bully by becoming her friend in this infectious playground romp.

  2. The Kindness Quilt - Minna puts a lot of thought into her Kindness Project for school, and, when she starts writing, drawing, and cutting, a brilliant idea takes shape and spreads throughout the whole school!

  3. Liz and the Nosy Neighbor - Liz has a big class project to complete but how can she focus on it when her nosy new neighbor seems to be popping up everywhere? Liz must solve both problems in the nineteenth book of the Critter Club series. When a boy Liz’s age moves in next door, Liz hopes they might become friends. But right away Liz can tell the boy has no interest in being friendly. So why does he keep showing up everywhere she is? Plus, Liz has a big class project to complete—an animal habitat diorama—but she can’t think of anything to create and her nosy new neighbor isn’t helping! With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Critter Club chapter books are perfect for beginning readers!

  4. The Secrets of Ninja School - When Ruby’s homesickness spreads to other students at Master Willow’s School for Ninjas, she uses all of the skills she has learned to help them feel better. Includes instructions for making a dragon toy two different ways.

Books About Kindness and Manners And Etiquette

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The Nice Book
Written & illustrated by David Stein
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
This book is one of my very favorite board books or all time, almost despite the illustrations which are finger-painty, child-like, edgy and not quite my style. It's a delightfully fun read aloud with the perfect blend of quirkiness and charm as it goes through various scenarios and instructions for how to be nice—"Giggle, pat, scratch, but don't stomp flat!...When you get in a snit, don't hit." The illustrations add another level of story and context to each scenario and instruction, which makes it humorous as well as very real.
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
A perfect introduction to manners and playing nice, by David Ezra Stein—author of Caldecott Honor winner Interrupting Chicken, Pouch! (a Charlotte Zolotow Honor book) and Leaves (recipient of the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award). From cuddling koalas to friendly penguins, an array of animals illustrates fun, sweet, and silly examples of “how to be nice,” showing simple ways young children can show they care for those around them. The lyrical text, funny illustrations and upbeat friendship message make this a great gift and a wonderful introduction to manners.
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Kindness Rules!
Written & illustrated by Eunice Moyle and Sabrina Moyle
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Manners don't come naturally to everyone! But did you know that elephants are known for their impeccable etiquette? It's true! This hilarious guide to good manners offers many fun teaching moments for kids and their parents--it covers all the basics for the preschool set, from saying "please" and "thank you" to sharing and being kind to others. Filled with bright, adorable illustrations in Hello!Lucky's inimitable style, young children will love learning about manners with this delightful, sturdy board book.
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Ways to Welcome
Written by Linda Ashman & illustrated by Joey Chou
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
**_Ways to Welcomes_ is a sweet, timely picture book from writer Linda Ashman and illustrator Joey Chou about kindness and connection, ideal for schools and classrooms.** _A welcome can be warm_ _Or cold,_ _Shy and quiet,_ _Big and bold._ _An offering,_ _A smiling face,_ _That lights an unfamiliar place._ _There’s lots of ways to show we care_ _and welcome friends from everywhere!_ When everyone knows they’re welcome, the world is a better place―and you might just make a new friend. This sweet, timeless picture book about small acts of kindness in a big world is one that kids and parents are sure to reach for again and again.
Honorable Mentions
Peace Week in Miss Fox's Class book
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Lucia Lacorte, Poor Sport book
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Kindness Makes the World Go Round book
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Do Unto Otters book
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  1. Peace Week in Miss Fox's Class - No more squabbling! It’s Peace Week, and the rules are simple: don’t say mean things, and help others! But maybe that’s not so simple after all. Can Miss Fox’s Class keep the peace? Through this picture book, kids learn the importance of kindness and peace.

  2. Lucia Lacorte, Poor Sport - Lucia Lacorte’s gaming club meets on Fridays, but the truth is the other members are not having fun because, win or lose, Lucia is a very poor sport; a fact that is finally made clear to her when the others stop showing up, and her grandfather mimics her behavior when he wins—and loses.

  3. Kindness Makes the World Go Round - Elmo’s mom has gifted him a camera! What a wonderful surprise and generous act of kindness! “Elmo snapped a few photos, then a thought came to mind “Does Elmo know what it means to be kind? To be humble and selfless and honest and true” Elmo set off to find out just what he knew!” Journey with Elmo to find the true meaning of kindness, exploring all of the kind characters and gestures that Sesame Street has to offer and creating a beautiful scrapbook along the way!

  4. Do Unto Otters - Mr. Rabbit wonders if he will be able to get along with his new neighbors, who are otters, until he is reminded of the golden rule.

Books About Kindness and Caring

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A Sick Day for Amos McGee
Written by Philip C. Stead & 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.
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Words and Your Heart
Written & illustrated by Kate Jane Neal
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Simple, direct, and emotive, Kate Jane Neal's Words and Your Heart’s message is that words have extraordinary power–to harm and to heal; to create and to destroy; and to spread love. This book is about your heart. (the little bit inside of you that makes you, you!) The words we listen to can affect how we feel. Some words can do amazing things and make us happy. And some words can really hurt us (we all know what sort of words those are). Our words have power, and we can choose to use them to make the world a better place.
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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.
Honorable Mentions
Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug book
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Izzy Gizmo book
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Bringing Me Back book
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We Really Do Care book
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  1. Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug - Tiny T. Rex has a HUGE problem. His friend Pointy needs cheering up and only a hug will do. But with his short stature and teeny T. Rex arms, is a hug impossible? Not if Tiny has anything to say about it! Join this plucky little dinosaur in his very first adventure—a warm and funny tale that proves the best hugs come from the biggest hearts. Introducing an unforgettable character on the picture book scene, Tiny T. Rex will stomp into the hearts of readers in this winning new series.

  2. Izzy Gizmo - Izzy Gizmo loves to invent but gets frustrated when her inventions fail to work properly, so when she finds a crow with a broken wing her grandfather urges her to persist until she finds a way to help.

  3. Bringing Me Back - Noah is not having a good year. His mom is in prison, he’s living with his mom’s boyfriend—who he’s sure is just waiting until his mother’s six month sentence is up to kick him out—and he’s officially hated by everyone at his middle school, including his former best friend. It’s Noah’s fault that the entire football program got shut down after last year. One day, Noah notices a young bear at the edge of the woods with her head stuck in a bucket. A bucket that was almost certainly left outside as part of a school fundraiser to bring back the football team. As days go by, the bear is still stuck—she’s wasting away and clearly getting weaker, even as she runs from anyone who tries to help. And she’s always alone. Though Noah ignores the taunts at school and ignores his mother’s phone calls from jail, he can’t ignore the bear. Everyone else has written the bear off as a lost cause—just like they have with Noah. He makes it his mission to help her. But rescuing the bear means tackling his past—and present—head-on. Could saving the bear ultimately save Noah, too?

  4. We Really Do Care - Inspired by current events, this picture book shows the importance of compassion, empathy, and demonstrates how even the smallest act of kindness can make a difference. A little boy has a ball. It’s his, and he really doesn’t care if nobody else has a ball. He’s not sharing. He’s not sharing his pets either. Or his family. Especially not his brother. But then he realizes that both he and the new little girl he meets—the one who’s all alone without a ball or a pet or a family of her own—are actually quite similiar. And when he sees their similarities instead of their differences, he’s happy to share. Even his little brother. With gentle text from Tami Lewis Brown and sweet illustrations from Tania de Regil, this poignant and touching picture book challenges each and every one of us to to lend a helping hand. Because we really should care. Perfect for fans of Be Kind and All Are Welcome.

Books About Kindness and Immigration And Emigration

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The Hundred Dresses
Written by Eleanor Estes & illustrated by Louis Slobodkin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
Eleanor Estes’s The Hundred Dresses won a Newbery Honor in 1945 and has never been out of print since. At the heart of the story is Wanda Petronski, a Polish girl in a Connecticut school who is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing the same faded blue dress every day. Wanda claims she has one hundred dresses at home, but everyone knows she doesn’t and bullies her mercilessly. The class feels terrible when Wanda is pulled out of the school, but by that time it’s too late for apologies. Maddie, one of Wanda’s classmates, ultimately decides that she is "never going to stand by and say nothing again." This powerful, timeless story has been reissued with a new letter from the author’s daughter Helena Estes, and with the Caldecott artist Louis Slobodkin’s original artwork in beautifully restored color.
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The Homesick Club
Written by Libby Martinez & illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Mónica and Hannah are school kids in the big city. Together, they have formed the Homesick Club, since they are both from far away. Mónica misses the family of hummingbirds that she and her grandmother would feed in her backyard in Bolivia every day. Hannah misses the sunshine and the tiny tortoise that lived near her house in Israel. When a new teacher, Miss Shelby, arrives from Texas, the girls discover that she misses her home, too, especially the huge sky full of stars and a Southern treat known as Hummingbird Cake. The girls ask Miss Shelby to join their club, then Mónica decides she will bring a surprise for show and tell -- a surprise that brings Miss Shelby close to tears. Author Libby Martinez addresses a theme that many children can relate to -- feeling homesick -- especially when home is far away. Rebecca Gibbon's charming illustrations bring an imaginative, light touch to the story.
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Lubna and Pebble
Written by Wendy Meddour & illustrated by Daniel Egneus
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
In an unforgettable story that subtly addresses the refugee crisis, a young girl must decide if friendship means giving up the one item that gives her comfort during a time of utter uncertainty. Lubna's best friend is a pebble. Pebble always listens to her stories. Pebble always smiles when she feels scared. But when a lost little boy arrives in the World of Tents, Lubna realizes that he needs Pebble even more than she does. This emotionally stirring and stunningly illustrated picture book explores one girl's powerful act of friendship in the midst of an unknown situation.
Honorable Mentions
The Big Umbrella book
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The Someone New book
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  1. The Big Umbrella - A spacious umbrella welcomes anyone and everyone who needs shelter from the rain.

  2. The Someone New - From Jill Twiss and EG Keller, the author and illustrator team behind the #1 New York Times bestselling picture book John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, comes The Someone New, a fresh and timely story about how it feels when someone new comes knocking at your door. Jitterbug the chipmunk likes it when things stay the same. So when one day Pudding the snail comes into her woods, Jitterbug worries that everything will be different. What if Pudding spoils everything? What if there’s no more room for Jitterbug? With the help of her friends, can Jitterbug welcome the newcomer and learn that kindness is stronger than fear?

Books About Kindness and Valentines

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Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch
Written by Eileen Spinelli & illustrated by Paul Yalowitz
Thoughts from Grammy
This book has such a powerful message about the difference a simple act of kindness can make. There are so many of these small, simple acts in the story and they each affect the receiver in profound ways, but none more profoundly than Mr. Hatch, a lonely old man at the beginning of the story, and someone entirely different at the end. Mr. Hatch's loneliness is relatable to people of all ages; we see ourselves in his shyness and the difficulty he has in reaching out to others. When he receives a gift and a cryptic love note, it gives him confidence and motivates him to connect with the people around him. Empathy is another strong theme in the book. Not only do we feel for Mr. Hatch in his loneliness, but, along with Mr. Hatch, we feel for the newsstand man and the butcher in their difficulties. Reading this story together can facilitate conversations about who we might know that could use a little lift, or maybe some brownies!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
One wintry day, a postman delivers a mysterious package with a big pink bow to a lonely man named Mr. Hatch. "Somebody loves you," the note says. "Somebody loves me!" Mr. Hatch sings as he dusts his living room. "Somebody loves me!" Mr. Hatch whistles as he does his errands in town. "But who," Mr. Hatch wonders, "could that somebody be?" After some time, Mr. Hatch discovers just who his secret admirer is and, in doing so, enjoys the biggest surprise of his life!
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Hug Machine
Written & illustrated by Scott Campbell
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
I love this cute book about hugging! So sweet and a great book to get your little one to give your more hugs. ;)
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
The hug machine is available to hug anyone, any time, whether they are square or long, spikey or soft.
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Plant a Kiss
Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Little Miss planted a kiss. . . . One small act of love blooms into something bigger and more dazzling than Little Miss could have ever imagined in this epic journey about life, kindness, and giving from New York Times bestselling team Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Peter H. Reynolds. Now a board book!
Honorable Mentions
Here Comes Valentine Cat book
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I Love You, Elephant! book
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ABCs of Kindness book
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Daniel Loves You book
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  1. Here Comes Valentine Cat - “Cat does not want to send a valentine to anyone until some unexpected gifts from the dog next door make him change his mind”

  2. I Love You, Elephant! - With the turn of each page, young readers share the love Monkey feels for his friends! “I love you!” is the refrain on each spread of this joyful story. Readers will delight in seeing new faces appear and then change when the page is turned, thanks to the magical Venetian blind element built into the book. This sweet novelty board book is great fun to read aloud, and the perfect addition to our Changing Faces series.

  3. ABCs of Kindness - Learning the importance of kindness is as easy as A-B-C with this sweet board book. A is for all of us be everyone’s friend.
    B is for believing things will turn out well in the end.
    C is for being caring in everything you do.
    D is for dear ones who mean the world to you.
    Learn your ABCs while learning to be kind to everyone you meet with this irresistibly illustrated board book that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day.

  4. Daniel Loves You - A new generation of children love Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, inspired by the classic series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood! Daniel says “I love you” in this shaped board book based on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood! Join Daniel Tiger for a ride around the neighborhood as he says “I love you” to his family, friends, neighbors…and to you! This sweet, simple board book is filled with hearts, hugs, and “Ugga Muggas!” © 2018 The Fred Rogers Company

Want to see books about valentines?

Books About Kindness and Diversity

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Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse
Written by Marcy Campbell & illustrated by Corinna Luyken
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
This book is just beautiful: the story itself, the message, and of course the illustrations! The way that Adrian Simcox's white horse with the golden mane emerges from the white space, again and again, is amazing and truly captures the power and reality of imagination. Reminiscent of the oft-posed question of which is better—a lie that brings a smile or a truth that brings a tear—this story lands soundly on the side of the beauty of imagination and kindness, and the power they give us to create our own world.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
A classic in the making, this heartwarming story about empathy and imagination is one that families will treasure for years to come. Adrian Simcox tells anyone who will listen that he has a horse--the best and most beautiful horse anywhere. But Chloe does NOT believe him. Adrian Simcox lives in a tiny house. Where would he keep a horse? He has holes in his shoes. How would he pay for a horse? The more Adrian talks about his horse, the angrier Chloe gets. But when she calls him out at school and even complains about him to her mom, Chloe doesn't get the vindication she craves. She gets something far more important. Written with tenderness and poignancy and gorgeously illustrated, this book will show readers that kindness is always rewarding, understanding is sweeter than judgment, and friendship is the best gift one can give.
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That's Not How You Do It!
Written & illustrated by Ariane Hofmann-Maniyar
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Lucy knows how to do everything. All her friends ask her for help if they need to know the right way to do something. When Toshi arrives, Lucy thinks he can't do anything properly at all. She can barely hide her frustration. When she finally tries to teach Toshi the right way to do things, she learns a very important lesson herself.
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Mira and the Big Story
Written by Laura Alary & illustrated by Sue Todd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Mira is a girl with big questions. She knows two different stories about the way the world came to be. Which story is right? Can they both be right? Is there room for more than one way to think about the world and our place in it? Follow her on an inspiring journey as she discovers a story big enough to include everyone. Along the way, Mira learns to respect and revere the traditions and beliefs of others. Teach children kindness and acceptance with this beautifully illustrated and compelling tale. It is sure to keep young ones enthralled.
Honorable Mentions
Some People Do book
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Rude Dude's Book of Food book
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My Year in the Middle book
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A Church for All book
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  1. Some People Do - As a parent, discussing diversity with your child can be difficult, especially if you have your own questions. Some People Do boils this topic down to provide the simplest of answers. By the time your child finishes reading this book, they will have been introduced to all facets of people, without any one being more revered than the other.

  2. Rude Dude's Book of Food - It’s actually true that Mongol warriors rode with slabs of raw meat under their saddles then ate them that night in camp! It’s actually true that Chinese archaeologists found 4,000-year-old noodles in an overturned cup. It’s actually true that Americans buy $1 billion worth of chocolate each Valentine’s Day. You think food is just stuff we eat!? Come on! There’s a world full of great food stories out there—and Rude Dude’s going to tell them!

  3. My Year in the Middle - Miss Garrett’s classroom is like every other at our school. White kids sit on one side and black kids on the other. I’m one of the few middle-rowers who split the difference. In a racially polarized classroom in 1970 Alabama, Lu’s talent for running track makes her a new best friend—and tests her mettle as she navigates the school’s social cliques. Sixth-grader Lu Olivera just wants to keep her head down and get along with everyone in her class. Trouble is, Lu’s old friends have been changing lately—acting boy crazy and making snide remarks about Lu’s newfound talent for running track. Lu’s secret hope for a new friend is fellow runner Belinda Gresham, but in 1970 Red Grove, Alabama, blacks and whites don’t mix. As segregationist ex-governor George Wallace ramps up his campaign against the current governor, Albert Brewer, growing tensions in the state—and in the classroom—mean that Lu can’t stay neutral about the racial divide at school. Will she find the gumption to stand up for what’s right and to choose friends who do the same?

  4. A Church for All - This simple, lyrical story celebrates a diverse community on a Sunday morning at an inclusive church that welcomes all people regardless of age, class, race, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Come to the church for all!

Want to see books about diversity?

Books About Kindness and Being Yourself

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Be Happy!
Written & illustrated by Monica Sheehan
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
A great introduction to the idea that happiness isn't something that happens to you, it's something you make for yourself with your actions and your attitude... for example by being kind! It's geared towards a little older crowd than my 18 month old son, but by adding a little discussion about what's happening with the dog and mouse on each page we both enjoy it, and it's honestly a great reminder for me as a mom to be mindful about CHOOSING to be happy.
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Monica Sheehan has taken her bestselling book be happy. and created an irresistible little gem for people BIG & small. So open it up and get inspired to . . . Sing and dance a little! Have fun! Be kind--be brave! And be the best YOU.
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We're All Wonders
Written & illustrated by R. J. Palacio
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This book is a picture book based off of the chapter book, "Wonder." I love the message of this book, that when we look with kindness, we will notice we are all wonders. I think this is a fantastic book to use to talk about people that are different than us, whether that be because of a disability, race, color, religion, or personality, and how everyone is unique and special. This book also talks about bullying, and how it can be hurtful.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
The unforgettable bestseller Wonder, now a major motion picture, has inspired a nationwide movement to Choose Kind. Now parents and educators can introduce the importance of choosing kind to younger readers with this gorgeous picture book, featuring Auggie and Daisy on an original adventure, written and illustrated by R. J. Palacio. Over 6 million people have fallen in love with Wonder and have joined the movement to Choose Kind. Now younger readers can meet Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face, and his beloved dog, Daisy. Countless fans have asked R. J. Palacio to write a book for younger readers. With We’re All Wonders, she makes her picture-book debut as both author and artist, with a spare, powerful text and striking, richly imagined illustrations. Palacio shows readers what it’s like to live in Auggie’s world—a world in which he feels like any other kid, but he’s not always seen that way. We’re All Wonders may be Auggie’s story, but it taps into every child’s longing to belong, and to be seen for who they truly are. It’s the perfect way for families and educators to talk about empathy and kindness with young children. Praise for Wonder: A #1 New York Times Bestseller A USA Today Top 100 Bestseller An Indie Bestseller A Time Magazine 100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time Selection A Washington Post Best Kids’ Book A New York Times Book Review Notable Book An NPR Outstanding Backseat Book Club Pick An Entertainment Weekly 10 Great Kids’ Books Selection “A beautiful, funny and sometimes sob-making story of quiet transformation.” —The Wall Street Journal “A crackling page-turner filled with characters you can’t help but root for.” —Entertainment Weekly “Rich and memorable.” —The New York Times Book Review
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The Boy Who Grew Flowers
Written by Jennifer Wojtowicz & illustrated by Steve Adams
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Rink is a very unusual boy who grows beautiful flowers all over his body whenever the moon is full. In town and at school, Rink and his family are treated as outcasts although no-one knows his strange botanical secret. But one day a new girl arrives at sc
Honorable Mentions
Rosa Plays Cars book
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It's Okay to Be a Unicorn! book
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  1. Rosa Plays Cars - Let’s find out which toys Rosa and her friends are playing with today! An important series that celebrates inclusivity, promotes gender equality and embraces the uniqueness of every child.

  2. It's Okay to Be a Unicorn! - An inspiring picture book, Jason Tharp’s It’s Okay To Be A Unicorn features a unicorn pretending to be a horse―until he learns to embrace his true self. Cornelius J. Sparklesteed is known among all the other horses in Hoofington for his beautiful and creative handmade hats. But Cornelius is hiding a secret under his own tall, pointy hat: He’s really a unicorn. Hoofington is a friendly place, but its horses pass on lots of mean rumors about unicorns. When Cornelius is chosen to perform for this year’s Hoofapalooza, will he find the courage to show everyone his unicorniness? It’s Okay To Be A Unicorn is an inspiring story about the rainbow magic of kindness.

Books About Kindness and Bunnies And Rabbits

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The Rabbit Listened
Written & illustrated by Cori Doerffeld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
When Taylor's block castle is destroyed, all the animals think they know just what to do, but only the rabbit quietly listens to how Taylor is feeling
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Pip and Posy: The New Friend
Written by Nosy Crow & illustrated by Axel Scheffler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Pip and Posy are having a lovely day at the beach, collecting shells and digging in the sand. But when Posy takes a nap, Pip makes a new friend named Zac. Zac is very cool: he has lots of fun toys and he’s really good at handstands. When Posy wakes up, she finds that Pip is more interested in playing with Zac than with her. A funny and dramatic story about discovering that two’s company and three’s a . . . PARTY!
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The Easter Egg
Written & illustrated by Jan Brett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Jan Brett’s lovable bunny hero, Hoppi, and her remarkable Easter Rabbit will enchant readers as they pore over illustrations filled with dazzling eggs made by Flora Bunny, Aunt Sassyfrass and others. If Hoppi can make the best Easter egg, he will get to help the Easter Rabbit with his deliveries on Easter morning. But it is not so easy. Discouraged, he goes into the woods to think when a blue robin’s egg tumbles out of its nest. Hoppi keeps it safe and warm until the baby bird hatches, and when the Easter Rabbit arrives, he declares the empty blue eggshell the very best one to reward Hoppi for his kindness. Spring is everywhere in gorgeous illustrations framed with pussy willows, flowering vines and flowers. Side borders feature busy rabbits making their unusual eggs and, in a border above, the Robin’s family drama unfolds. A gatefold surprise reveals the Easter Rabbit.
Honorable Mentions
Harry's Christmas Carol book
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Bear in Love book
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Superbuns! book
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Maximillian Villainous book
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  1. Harry's Christmas Carol - While everyone is singing cheerful Christmas carols, Harry Moon and the Good Mischief Team march to a different song—Don’t be Afraid of the Dark. With their swords of light, the team battles against the Fouling Curse threatening Harry’s magic teacher, Samson Dupree, and the Sleepy Hollow Magic Shoppe. As evil armies of toys rise up, Harry must leave the sword behind to find a more powerful means to take down the darkness threatening Sleepy Hollow’s entire world.

  2. Bear in Love - Could the bear have a secret friend? Who is leaving him surprises? The ever-lovable Daniel Pinkwater spins a funny and sweetly offbeat story. One morning, the bear finds something just outside his cave. It is orange and long and pointy and has bushy green leaves at one end. And it’s sweet and crunchy! Where did it come from? Did someone leave it for him? Then there are two more of the sweet crunchy things the next morning! The bear knows that someone nice is leaving him these treats. If only he could discover who it is! Should he leave something tasty in return? With the help of Will Hillenbrand’s endearing illustrations, the inimitable Daniel Pinkwater spins a charming little mystery about unexpected kindnesses and finding that extra-special someone.

  3. Superbuns! - For fans of Fred Rogers in Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and Be Kind, a little bunny, who dreams of being a superhero, proves to her know-it-all older sister that kindness really is a superpower. Some superheroes can leap tall buildings in a single bound, some can crawl up a wall, some grow wolfsharp claws, and some have superhuman speed. And Superbuns? Her superpower is being kind. Super kind. She can’t help but be kind: watering a neighbor’s daisies; helping a friend cross the street; feeding a hungry goldfish. Superbuns’s older sister Blossom is a super know-it-all who doesn’t believe kindness is a superpower. Not one bit. And all this kindness is slowing them down on their way to Grammy’s house, where a yummy carrot cobbler awaits. But the sisters are being followed by a little fox, and when Blossom learns the fox is not after their cobbler but is lost, she discovers kindness really is a superpower after all.

  4. Maximillian Villainous - For anyone who loved Leonardo, the Terrible Monster, this is a humorous and important book about learning to follow your heart and proving that kindness can outweigh villainy any day. Maximillian Villainous is a monster who doesn’t have the heart to be a villain. His famous family pulls pranks on the likes of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, and Max spends his time undoing them. So when he brings home a bunny to be his sidekick, Max’s disapproving mother hatches a plan. She challenges Max and the bunny to become a devious duo; otherwise . . . the bunny hops. If they want to stay together, Max and the bunny have no choice but to go against their nature. They blunder into villainy with comical effect until Max discovers that embracing his good heart may just be the key to pulling off the most devious deed of all and winning his family’s acceptance. Delightfully fun and irreverent, Maximillian Villainous is an empowering story about embracing one’s true self and finding acceptance. Up and coming illustrator Lesley Breen Withrow brings the characters to life with bold and colorful illustrations in a style reminiscent of Richard Scarry.

Books About Kindness and Imagination And Play

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Lily and Bear
Written & illustrated by Lisa Stubbs
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
A little girl imagines her best friend who comes to life one magical afternoon in this heartwarming, debut picture book from popular Etsy artist Lisa Stubbs. Lily likes nothing better than to imagine and draw the things she loves. She draws cats and birds and boats and houses, and one day she makes a very special drawing of a bear who comes to life. Lily shows Bear her favorite things, and Bear shows Lily his—because everyone knows that friends help friends see the world in a new way. That’s why Lily and Bear are forever friends!
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Sandcastle That Lola Built
Written by Megan Maynor & illustrated by Kate Berube
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Lola is building her dream sandcastle—one with a tall, tall tower and sea glass that sends signals to mermaids. But the beach is crowded, and soon enough, a boy steps on her castle. Not to worry! Lola recruits him to build a wall. When a toddler with a bulldozer starts digging too close the walls, Lola decides he can be in charge of digging the moat. As the sandcastle grows, so does Lola’s friendly group of helpers. There’s only one thing that Lola doesn’t want near the sandcastle: a wave! Will the new friends be able to salvage the mermaids’ castle when their hard work is washed away?
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One Golden Rule at School
Written & illustrated by Selina Alko
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
**Award-winning creator Selina Alko's _One Golden Rule at School_ is a charming story that's two books in one―a counting book _and_ a school primer for little ones**. Young children experience a day of preschool, beginning with morning meeting, story time, and art projects, then on to outside play, puzzles, and snack and nap time, ending with a heartwarming golden rule. Set against the familiar and dynamic backdrop of a daily school adventure, this vibrant counting book showcases a diverse and inclusive classroom of learners. The text counters from one to ten and back again while the back matter counts higher to twenty. **Christy Ottaviano Books**
Honorable Mentions
Out There book
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Mustache Baby Meets His Match book
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Ladybug Girl and the Best Ever Playdate book
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  1. Out There - This stunning picture book will have young readers wondering about outer space and life on other planets while imparting a surprising and profound message of empathy. From the author/illustrator of Blue vs. Yellow and I Used to Be a Fish. Do you ever look up at the night sky and wonder if there is anybody else out there? Are there evil robots or cool aliens? Do they fly in UFOs or live in futuristic cities? Or maybe . . . they are just like us. Out There is a wonder-filled, surprising journey of imagination and empathy, a book that will inspire readers of all ages to reflect on how much we all have in common, despite our differences.

  2. Mustache Baby Meets His Match - When Baby Javier comes for a playdate, Baby Billy, a.k.a. Mustache Baby, feels the need to show him a thing or two, seeing how Javier’s new to town—and also sports an impressive beard. What ensues is a hilarious test of wills and facial hair, as each baby sets out to prove his manliness. It seems Mustache Baby may have truly met his match . . . but one-upmanship isn’t the point of a playdate, is it?

  3. Ladybug Girl and the Best Ever Playdate - This latest hardcover picture book from the New York Times bestselling Ladybug Girl series proves that true friendship is better than any toy Lulu is excited about her playdate with Finny—and especially excited about Finny’s Rolly-Roo. In fact, Lulu loves the toy so much that she . . . kind of forgets to play with Finny. So when the girls accidentally break the Rolly-Roo, will Lulu realize her mistake? In this compassionate and charming story about the value of a great friend, Lulu and Finny repair the broken toy, and soon forget all about it, blasting off on new imaginative adventures together as Ladybug Girl and Grasshopper Girl. Great for fans of Fancy Nancy, Olivia, and Knuffle Bunny, this beloved series is celebrated for its gentle and authentic look at kid-truths.

Books About Kindness and Birds

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Nerdy Birdy
Written by Aaron Reynolds & illustrated by Matt Davies
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
This book reminds me of one of my favorite Dumbledore quotes: "It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends." While initially Nerdy Birdy feels put down and isolated by the "cool" birds who think he's too nerdy to be around them, he's overjoyed when a whole group of "Nerdy Birdies" open their wings to him in friendship and bring him into the fold. After all, there's always room for another Nerdy Birdy! While in my book, the story could have ended there with the lesson that you can always find friends and people like you who will treat you well, this book reaches an entirely different level when Nerdy Birdy learns that his new friends aren't as inclusive as he thought... in fact... they're the same as the "cool" birds in that they'll only be kind to people like them. Nerdy Birdies. Nerdy Birdy knows what it's like to feel isolated, and so he bravely proffers the wing of friendship to the new vulture who isn't just like him and that's ok.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Nerdy Birdy likes reading, video games, and reading about video games, which immediately disqualifies him for membership in the cool crowd. One thing is clear: being a nerdy birdy is a lonely lifestyle. When he's at his lowest point, Nerdy Birdy meets a flock just like him. He has friends and discovers that there are far more nerdy birdies than cool birdies in the sky.
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Fly Flies
Written by Ziggy Hanaor & illustrated by Alice Bowsher
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8
Fly just wants to have fun flying, but everyone she meets thinks she’s doing it all WRONG! Fly is happily practicing her flying in the park, doing some wibbles and some wobbles and some waveys. Blackbird, Seagull, Starling and Hawk take turns giving Fly advice about the best way to fly; fly in a straight line, glide on the wind, fly in a flock, dive onto your food…. Fly tries to take their advice on board, but each time finds that this is not HER way to fly. With a sweet, witty twist at the end, this is a delightful book about staying true to yourself in the face of people who insist they know better.
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Friends Stick Together
Written & illustrated by Hannah Harrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Rupert is a rhinoceros of refined sensibilities. Levi, the new tickbird in class, is not. He burps the alphabet, tells corny jokes, and does really embarrassing air guitar solos. Worse, he lands right on Rupert and is determined to be Rupert’s symbiotic best pal! Rupert wants him gone. But when Levi finally does bug off, Rupert finds the peace and quiet a little boring. It turns out, Rupert could really use a friend like Levi.
Honorable Mentions
Samson in the Snow book
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Captain Barbosa and the Pirate Hat Chase book
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Terrific book
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  1. Samson in the Snow - One sunny day Samson, a large and friendly woolly mammoth, encounters a little red bird who is looking for yellow flowers for her mouse friend (whose favorite color is yellow). As she flies off with the flowers, Samson wonders what it must be like to have a friend. He wonders this for so long, in fact, that he falls asleep and wakes up to a world covered in snow. In the midst of a blizzard, Samson finds and shelters the little red bird and flower-loving mouse in a tender tale of kindness and unexpected friendship.

  2. Captain Barbosa and the Pirate Hat Chase - In this wordless graphic novel, Captain Barbosa sails the seven seas with his trusty shipmates: a fly, an alligator, and an elephant. A seagull steals his treasured hat, and Barbosa and his crew give chase through a nasty storm. When Barbosa reaches the seagull’s island, he finds the hat―along with a nest of baby seagulls―and decides even pirates can forgive and forget.

  3. Terrific - When grumpy Eugene wins a free cruise to Bermuda, he thinks he knows just what to expect: a really nasty sunburn. But instead, after a shipwreck, he finds himself stranded on a tiny island with no one—except for a parrot with a busted wing. “Terrific,” says Eugene. “What good is a parrot?” It turns out a parrot is good for a lot, including planning a very elaborate escape. And when the castaways are rescued by a team of fishermen, it’s Eugene’s turn to be kind to his new friend.

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Books About Kindness and Love

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A Hat for Mrs. Goldman
Written by Michelle Edwards & illustrated by G Brian Karas
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
“[A] celebration of winter mitzvahs, or kind deeds. Karas’s adorable, radiant art adds to the heartwarming mood.” -The New York Times Here’s a heartwarming winter picture book that’s sure to appeal to families who love knitting. Mrs. Goldman always knits hats for everyone in the neighborhood, and Sophia, who thinks knitting is too hard, helps by making the pom-poms. But now winter is here, and Mrs. Goldman herself doesn’t have a hat—she’s too busy making hats for everyone else! It’s up to Sophia to buckle down and knit a hat for Mrs. Goldman. But try as Sophia might, the hat turns out lumpy, the stitches aren’t even, and there are holes where there shouldn’t be holes. Sophia is devastated until she gets an idea that will make Mrs. Goldman’s hat the most wonderful of all. Readers both young and old will relate to Sophia’s frustrations, as well as her delight in making something special for someone she loves. A knitting pattern is included in the back of the book.
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My Heart
Written & illustrated by Corinna Luyken
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
From the author-illustrator of The Book of Mistakes comes a gorgeous picture book about caring for your own heart and living with kindness and empathy. My heart is a window. My heart is a slide. My heart can be closed…or opened up wide. Some days your heart is a puddle or a fence to keep the world out. But some days it is wide open to the love that surrounds you. With lyrical text and breathtaking art, My Heart, My Heart empowers all readers to listen to the guide within in this ode to love and self-acceptance.
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Summer
Written by Cao Wenxuan & illustrated by Yu Rong
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
During a hot summer day in the grasslands, the animals race to claim the single spot of shade on the safari. The selfish elephant triumphs over the rest. The animals fight until they are inspired by a selfless act of love to offer shade to one another. With lyrical text, bright and delicate art, and a die-cut surprise, Summer is an introduction to animals and a testament to the power of kindness.
Honorable Mentions
Love Is Walking Hand in Hand book
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ABC Love book
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Plum book
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  1. Love Is Walking Hand in Hand - A reissue of the classic gift book that defines love through the simple acts and moments of everyday life with Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang. This classic gift book was originally published in 1965 and is being reissued in its original format. Its timeless description of love and friendship is as important now as it was when the book was first published. It is the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day or any day that you want to remind someone how much they mean to you.

  2. ABC Love - An endearing twist on learning your ABCs! ABC Love pairs each letter of the alphabet with a word that teaches young children about important concepts like love, acceptance, affection, values, and warmth. A fun family read with playful, rhyming text, ABC Love makes learning the alphabet interactive and fun for preschool children and older. Its engaging illustrations and text promote togetherness between kids and their family and encourages them to act out each “love list” item, including everything from “embrace” for the letter “E” and “laugh” for “L,” to “trust” for “T.”

  3. Plum - From Will & Grace star Sean Hayes and composer Scott Icenogle comes a modern classic inspired by The Nutcracker about how the Sugar Plum Fairy got her wings. Plum will not stay glum. For as long as she can remember, Plum has lived at the Mary Fitzgerald Orphanage, wishing and hoping for a family. When a sudden snowfall threatens a delivery of presents on Christmas Eve, Plum is determined to save Christmas—even for the kids who laugh at her. Plum’s pure heart grants her an unexpected reward. When she eats a cake left behind by a mysterious magician, she is transported into the Land of Sweets. But Christmas here is threatened, too—by a sourness that is spreading from the center of the land. Plum’s determined to help, and in doing so, she might just find the family she’s always dreamed of, thanks to a good heart—and Christmas magic!

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Books About Kindness and Birthdays

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Bernice Gets Carried Away
Written & illustrated by Hannah Harrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Perfect for a new generation of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day readers, this charming story about a grumpy cat gently shows how far a little sharing can go. Bernice is having a truly rotten time at her friend's birthday party. First, everyone else gets a piece of cake with a frosting rose. But not Bernice. Then, everyone else gets strawberry-melon soda. Bernice gets the prune-grapefruit juice. And it's warm. The last straw is the one lousy (squished) candy she gets from the piñata. So when the balloons arrive, Bernice knows just what she has to do: grab them all. And then, poor cross Bernice gets carried up, up, and away. Luckily, she figures out just how to make her way back down to the party...and she brightens lots of other animals' days on her way. Hannah Harrison’s gorgeous animal paintings come alive in her second picture book. Her “exceptionally polished” debut, Extraordinary Jane, received starred reviews from Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, and School Library Journal.
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Cavekid Birthday
Written by Cathy Breisacher & illustrated by Roland Garrigue
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Caveboy and Cavegirl are best friends. They even share a birthday. Each wants to get the other something special for the big day so they go shopping at Caveman Collectibles for just the right thing. But neither has money enough to buy a present for the other. So Cavegirl trades her beloved tool collecti on for a box to give to Caveboy to store his rock collection. Likewise, Caveboy trades in his cherished rocks for a box to give to Cavegirl for her tools.
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Katie's Lucky Birthday
Written by Fran Manushkin & illustrated by Tammy Lyon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-7
Katie looks forward to celebrating her birthday at school, and then finds a way to make it even more special when her friend Pedro mentions that he has a summer birthday.
Honorable Mentions
When Grandpa Gives You a Toolbox book
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Two Speckled Eggs book
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The Giant Hug book
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Warren & Dragon Volcano Deluxe book
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  1. When Grandpa Gives You a Toolbox - In this delightful story, by the same author who wrote When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree, a boy is disappointed with his grandfather’s gift—until he learns he can use it to build exactly what he wanted with his own two hands, and a little help from grandpa, of course! You asked for a special house for your dolls; but instead Grandpa gives you a toolbox! What do you do? Launching it into outer space is a bad idea. So is feeding it to a T. rex! Instead, be patient, pay attention, and you might find that you’re pretty handy. And just maybe, with grandpa’s help, you’ll get that dollhouse after all. This clever story celebrates kindness, hard work, and community, as well as variety in gender expression: the male main character proudly engages in activities that might be considered typically girl (playing with dolls) and typically boy (building with tools).

  2. Two Speckled Eggs - Reluctantly inviting the class misfit to her birthday party, Ginger bonds with Lyla when the latter arrives early, supports her party choices and gives her a unique gift, an encounter that compels Ginger to reconsider earlier notions.

  3. The Giant Hug - How do you give your granny a hug when she lives far away? Send it through the mail, of course! Owen’s hug travels across the country in a series of hilarious, sometimes awkward, always heartfelt embraces between animals of different shapes and sizes. Valeri Gorbachev’s adorable artwork pairs beautifully with Sandra Horning’s charming text, and makes for a fun, funny, and educational read-aloud. An unexpected twist at the end will delight readers and have kids asking for this book again and again.

  4. Warren & Dragon Volcano Deluxe - In this third chapter book about Warren and his alter-ego Dragon, an important lesson is learned in generosity . . . and exploding volcanoes! Warren has been invited to a birthday party by one of his new classmates, so it’s birthday present shopping time! And the first toy he spots, a Deluxe Volcano Building Set Supreme is perfect . . . for himself. It’s too much money, his mother tells him, choosing another gift for his classmate. But Warren can’t stop thinking about exploding volcanoes, and soon he and Dragon are thinking up ways to make money and buy the volcano set for themselves. A bake sale? A magic show? A car wash? All great ideas…that is until Warren’s sister misinterprets their personal fundraising for charity fundraising and decides that everything they earn should go to the local children’s hospital. Does this mean that Warren and Dragon will have to give away all the money they make? Goodbye Deluxe Volcano Building Set Supreme!

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Books About Kindness and Knights

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The Storybook Knight
Written by Helen Docherty & illustrated by Thomas Docherty
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
Told in perfect rhyme and gorgeously illustrated, this is a fantastic book about a young knight who draws on street smarts, common courtesy, books and a little kindness to brave the monsters he encounters, rather than fighting. I really like that he goes about what his parents ask him to do (even though it's not to his taste!) with his own unique style and that his parents, in turn, are able to embrace his preferences as he demonstrates their true value.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Even dragons love a good story... Leo was a gentle knight in thought and word and deed. While other knights liked fighting, Leo liked to sit and read... When Leo's mom and dad pack him off to fight a dragon, he takes a shield, a sword―and a pile of his favorite books. But can a story be as mighty as a sword?
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Watch That Witch! #5 (Princess Pulverizer)
Written by Nancy Krulik & illustrated by Ben Balistreri
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8
Princess Pulverizer may not be a knight yet, but she won't let that stop her from saving the day! When Princess Pulverizer comes across two identical witches--one good and one bad--it's the evil one she finds most enchanting. That's because the impatient princess is ready to end her Quest of Kindness and finally become a knight, which is just what the bad witch offers. Can Princess Pulverizer's friends break the spell that seems to have taken hold of her?
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Quit Buggin' Me!
Written by Nancy Krulik & illustrated by Ben Balistreri
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8
Princess Pulverizer may not be a knight yet, but she won't let that stop her from saving the day! Princess Pulverizer and her friends, Lucas and Dribble the dragon, are on the hunt for another good deed to complete on her Quest of Kindness. So when they hear about a mysterious evil beast who's been capturing townspeople, the trio sets out to find it and rescue the prisoners. But when Lucas and Dribble get caught themselves, it's up to Princess Pulverizer to free her friends!
Honorable Mentions
The Evil Princess Vs. the Brave Knight book
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 Grilled Cheese and Dragons book
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The Legend of King Arthur-a-tops book
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Bad Moooove! book
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  1. The Evil Princess Vs. the Brave Knight - For every parent tired of telling their kids to PLEASE JUST GET ALONG, this hilarious and imaginative new picture book—from the beloved creators of Babymouse—is here to help. Sort of. Meet the Evil Princess and the Brave Knight. She casts terrible spells, while he fights dragons. He rescues cats in distress, while she makes mischief. No wonder there isn’t much peace in this kingdom! But is the Evil Princess really so evil? And is the Brave Knight truly as chivalrous as he seems? Children and parents will laugh at seeing familiar family dynamics play out in this charming and imaginative new story.

  2. Grilled Cheese and Dragons - Meet the princess who’d rather wear a suit of armor than a crown! Princess Serena (or as she prefers, Princess Pulverizer) doesn’t want to be a princess–she wants to be knight! But her father, King Alexander of Empiria, thinks she still has a lot to learn when it comes to exhibiting valiant behavior. So he presents a challenge: the princess must first go on a Quest of Kindness and perform good deeds to prove that she truly deserves to go to knight school. With help from a friendly dragon named Dribble and a perpetually terrified knight-in-training named Lucas, can she complete her quest and discover what it really takes to be a hero?

  3. The Legend of King Arthur-a-tops - “Truly this contains some knights to remember.” ―Kirkus Reviews A bumbling triceratops must prove himself worthy in New York Times bestselling author Mo O’Hara’s second hilarious picture book offering a prehistoric spin on the legend of King Arthur. It’s the Festival of the Stone, and dinosaurs from across the land will try to pull the great horn Rex-calibur from the magical stone. The one who succeeds shall be crowned king or queen. Arthur-a-tops is probably the least likely to accomplish the task. And yet…could he be the one true king? In this completely reimagined Camelot featuring dino-squires, the trusty Merlin-a-dactyl, and easy-to-trip-over dinosaur tails, O’Hara transforms this classic tale into an enjoyable, accessible, and truly funny treat for young readers. Coupled perfectly with Andrew Joyner’s expressive and classic illustrations, this story will induce fits of giggles and lots of knowing nods from parents who want their little geniuses to have the classics down by first grade.

  4. Bad Moooove! - Princess Pulverizer may not be a knight yet, but she won’t let that stop her from saving the day! The village of Ire-Mire-Briar-Shire has a problem: every single cow, goat, and sheep has vanished! That means no milk, no butter, no cheese. As an aspiring chef and grilled cheese lover, Dribble the dragon is outraged. Princess Pulverizer is less concerned, but she knows an opportunity when she sees it—they’ll simply find the missing herds, save the day, and get even closer to completing her Quest of Kindness! But when an angry pink-haired troll captures Princess Pulverizer and her timid friend Lucas, doing her good deed might not be quite so easy!

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Books About Kindness and Community

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What Grew in Larry's Garden
Written by Laura Alary & illustrated by Kass Reich
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Grace thinks Larry's garden is one of the wonders of the world. In his tiny backyard next door to hers, Larry grows the most extraordinary vegetables. Grace loves helping him - watering and weeding, planting and pruning, hoeing and harvesting. And whenever there's a problem - like bugs burrowing into the carrots or slugs chewing the lettuce - Grace and Larry solve it together. Grace soon learns that Larry has big plans for the vegetables in his special garden. And when that garden faces its biggest problem yet, Grace follows Larry's example to find the perfect solution. Inspired by a real person, author Laura Alary has written a heartwarming story about how amazing things can grow when you tend your garden with kindness. In this case, Larry, a teacher, is helping to grow community. He has his students grow tomato plants that they then give away to their neighbors with personal notes. It offers a powerful lesson on the influence of generosity, while encouraging young children to become community activists in their own neighborhoods. This uplifting story fosters an appreciation for neighborhood and community at a time when that sentiment seems to be eroding. The book also contains an environmental message about harvesting your own vegetables and, with Kass Reich's colorful illustrations, works beautifully for a life science exploration of growth and changes in plants. There are character education connections to caring, cooperation, empathy, kindness, perseverance and teamwork.
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Miss Rumphius
Written & illustrated by Barbara Cooney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
A beloved classic is lovelier than ever! Barbara Cooney’s story of Alice Rumphius, who longed to travel the world, live in a house by the sea, and do something to make the world more beautiful, has a timeless quality that resonates with each new generation. The countless lupines that bloom along the coast of Maine are the legacy of the real Miss Rumphius, the Lupine Lady, who scattered lupine seeds everywhere she went. Miss Rumphius received the American Book Award in the year of publication. To celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of two-time Caldecott winner Barbara Cooney’s best-loved book, Viking has reoriginated the illustrations, going back to the original art to ensure state-of-the-art reproduction of Cooney’s exquisite artwork. The art for Miss Rumphius has a permanent home in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.
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Hosea Plays On
Written by Kathleen M. Blasi & illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-9
This heartwarming picture book (based on a true story) depicts a day in the life of Hosea Taylor, a musician who—with his charm, talent, and generosity—brought joy to everyone he met. Every day, Hosea takes the Number 42 bus into the city to play his shiny brass saxophone—and to hopefully earn enough money. Setting up in his favorite place, Hosea makes sweet music as people greet him with a smile, a little girl dances, and crowds surround him. A surprise ending reveals what the money is really for. Kathleen Blasi’s delightful text and Shane Evan’s colorful images capture the real-life closeness between the much-loved Hosea—who shared his passion for music and life with everyone—and his community. An Author's Note explains how Blasi learned about Hosea Taylor (1948-2016), and what compelled her to write his story.
Honorable Mentions
What Can a Citizen Do? book
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Have You Filled a Bucket Today? book
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It Takes a Village book
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I Walk with Vanessa book
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  1. What Can a Citizen Do? - A citizen can pick up litter A citizen can pull a weed A citizen can help that critter A citizen can plant a seed A citizen can aid a neighbor A citizen can join a cause A citizen can write a letter A citizen can help change laws . . . Empowering and timeless, What Can a Citizen Do? is the latest collaboration from the acclaimed duo behind the bestselling Her Right Foot: Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris. This is a book for today’s youth about what it means to be a citizen. Across the course of several seemingly unrelated but ultimately connected actions by different children, we watch how kids turn a lonely island into a community—and watch a journey from what the world should be to what the world could be. This is a book about what citizenship—good citizenship—means to you, and to us all.

  2. Have You Filled a Bucket Today? - “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.

  3. It Takes a Village - “It Takes a Village offers a universal, unifying message. It captures perfectly Clinton’s vision of a multicultural America working toward a constructive goal. So hopeful and forward-looking.” —The Washington Post “Inspired by her 2006 book of the same name, Clinton’s unadorned text celebrates how civic spirit emerges…Most of the storytelling is found in Frazee’s delicately textured images, which exude energy, hope, and emotional authenticity.” —Publishers Weekly “This work is a welcome reminder that all people ‘are born believers. And citizens, too.’” —Shelf Awareness “What does it take to change the world?” Former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton’s first book for young readers, inspired by the themes of her classic New York Times bestselling book It Takes a Village, and illustrated by two-time Caldecott Honor recipient Marla Frazee, asks readers what can they do to make the world a better place? It Takes a Village tells the heartwarming and universal story of a diverse community coming together to make a difference. All kinds of people working together, playing together, and living together in harmony makes a better village and many villages coming together can make a better world. Together we can build a better life for one another. Together we can change our world. The book will resonate with children and families and through the generations as it encourages readers to look for a way they can make a difference. It is a book that you will surely want to read again and again, a book you will want to share and a book that will inspire.

  4. I Walk with Vanessa - 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.

Want to see books about community?

Books About Kindness and Multicultural

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Those Shoes
Written by Maribeth Boelts & illustrated by Noah Z. Jones
Thoughts from Lemony Snickers
Those Shoes has a great lesson about sharing, even when we have very little ourselves. Jeremy lives with his grandma and they don't have a lot of money for extra things, even though Jeremy really wants a special pair of shoes. Eventually, Jeremy finds the shoes he wants at a thrift shop and purchases them even though they are a bit too small. Later, he notices that Antonio, another boy at school, has shoes that are held together with tape. What Jeremy decides to do next is a great example of kindness and empathy. The message isn't at all subtle, but it's valuable and a great opportunity to talk with young readers about having an outward-looking perspective.
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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Indestructibles: Let's Be Kind
Written by & illustrated by Amy Pixton and Ekaterina Trukhan
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2
Now selling a million copies a year, **INDESTRUCTIBLES** is the runaway little series that could! Printed on a special nontoxic, 100% washable, paperlike, recyclable material that is rip proof, chew proof, and drool proof, they are books designed for the way babies read—with their mouths! _**Let’s Be Kind**_ encourages kindness by introducing words and phrases like please, thank you, and I’m sorry in a warm, familial setting. **INDESTRUCTIBLES**’ text is simple and engaging, and the bold, bright illustrations hold baby’s attention. Priced at just $5.95, these books are such a great value, parents will want to collect them all.
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The Kindness Club: Designed by Lucy
Written & illustrated by Courtney Scheinmel
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Perfect for fans of Meg Cabot or Sarah Mlynowski, this second book in a fun series shows that kindness never goes out of style! "Imagine what a better world we'd live in if Kindness Clubs spring up at every school. This series is inspiring!" --Wendy Mass, New York Times bestselling author of The Candymakers Creative and fashion-forward Lucy Tanaka was thrilled when Chloe Silver moved to town. Together with Theo Barnes, they formed The Kindness Club, testing different acts of kindness on their friends, neighbors, and siblings. One day, Lucy learns that their classmate, Serena, recently lost her mother. On top of that, it's Serena's birthday next weekend. Lucy is determined to lift Serena's spirits, and she knows the perfect way to do it--rallying the Kindness Club to throw Serena the best birthday party ever at her family's bowling alley. But as unexpected complications arise that threaten to ruin the party, can Lucy find another way to help her new friend during this hard time? Inspired by kindness projects and anti-bullying campaigns across the country, award-winning author Courtney Sheinmel's delightful series will have all readers thinking kind!
Honorable Mentions
Because Amelia Smiled book
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Most People book
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How I Learned to Fall Out of Trees book
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  1. Because Amelia Smiled - A little girl’s smile as she skips down the street inspires a neighbor to send cookies to her grandson in Mexico, and the good will she shares soon spreads around the world. From the creator of the Caldecott Honor-winning Interrupting Chicken.

  2. Most People - Michael Leannah wrote Most People as an antidote to the scary words and images kids hear and see every day. Jennifer Morris’s illustrations provide the perfect complement to Leannah’s words, leading us through the crowded streets of an urban day in the company of two young children. We see what they see: the hulking dude with tattoos and chains assisting an elderly lady onto the bus; the business man helping the girl who has fallen from her bike; the family showing concern for the homeless woman; all the myriad interactions of daily life. Most People is a comforting response to the dreadful news reports that surface far too often in our world today.

  3. How I Learned to Fall Out of Trees - Roger and Adelia are the very best of friends. They’ve spent many springtimes collecting birds’ nests, autumns jumping into piles of colorful leaves, and winters building snowmen. When the time comes for Adelia to move away, the two friends must say good-bye. But Adelia has one parting gift for Roger: She will teach him, once and for all, how to climb a tree. Lyrical and colorful, the narrative flips between Adelia’s instructions (“hold on tight,” “move up when you’re ready”) and her packing list (things they loved to play with, things they were supposed to throw away). By the time the moving van pulls up, Roger is ready to start his climb. But now, he’s afraid of “letting go.” In a sweet reveal, we learn that Adelia has left behind a soft landing, making sure that—for Roger—falling is the easiest part.

Books About Kindness and Holidays

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Great Joy
Written by Kate DiCamillo & illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
It is just before Christmas when an organ grinder and monkey appear on the street outside Frances’s apartment. When it’s quiet she can hear their music, and when she looks out her window at midnight, she sees them sleeping outside. Finally the day of the Christmas pageant arrives, but when it’s Frances’s turn to speak, all she can think about is the organ grinder’s sad eyes—until a door opens just in time, and she finds the perfect words to share. With this luminous tale, Kate DiCamillo pairs with Bagram Ibatoulline to offer a timeless holiday gift.
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Penguin and Pumpkin
Written & illustrated by Salina Yoon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
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The Joy of Easter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Celebrate the joy of Easter with Precious Moments! This delightful picture book captures all the fun and excitement of Easter, from finding Easter eggs and the basket, to eating yummy treats and celebrating with the family! With its touching message, [this book] will help young readers discover the magic and blessings of the Easter season.
Honorable Mentions
Love the World book
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Christmas Is Awesome! (a Hello!lucky Book) book
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Finding Christmas book
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This Is NOT a Dragon Party book
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  1. Love the World - A celebration of love, respect, peace, and unity by bestselling author and illustrator Todd Parr. Love your grin. Love your skin. Love the bees. Love the trees. Love giving a hand. Love taking a stand. LOVE YOURSELF. LOVE THE WORLD! What the world needs now is love—and who better than Todd Parr to share a message of kindness, charity, and acceptance. Touching upon themes including self-esteem, environmentalism, and respect for others, Todd uses his signature silly and accessible style to encourage readers to show love for themselves and all the people, places, and things they encounter.

  2. Christmas Is Awesome! (a Hello!lucky Book) - Christmas is for everyone—even grumpy Lump of Coal—in this whimsical story from Hello!Lucky In this whimsical holiday romp, everyone’s getting in on the festive fun, including a grumpy but adorable lump of coal. Celebrate all of the things that make Christmas special as the trees are trimmed, the stockings are hung, and the ugly sweater contest gives out the grand prize. Hello!Lucky lends their winning illustrations and pun-derful voice to this charming holiday read.

  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. This Is NOT a Dragon Party - You’re invited to the most amazing birthday bash, complete with dragons, knights, and ogres! Think it sounds awesome? It IS! What happens when your birthday celebration includes a crazy dragon pool party, an all-knight karaoke festival, AND a tea and crumpets rumpus with ogres? You may think that sounds awesome, but the birthday girl does NOT—until she chases away her unruly guests and realizes everything is . . . boring. Can she manage to get her party started again? This antic picture book is pure, unbridled joy.

Want to see books about holidays?

Books About Kindness and Courage

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It Rained Warm Bread
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-14
Moishe was thirteen when the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939 and he was sent to Auschwitz. His home was ravaged, his family torn apart by illness and abduction. Years of brutality drew on as Moishe moved from one labor camp to the next. Finally, towards the end of the war and at the peak of Moishe’s deepest despair, a simple act of kindness by a group of courageous Czech women redeemed his faith that goodness could survive the trials of war: That was the day it rained warm bread. Deftly articulated and beautifully illustrated, this is a strong addition to the ever-important genre of Holocaust testimonies.
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The Pout-Pout Fish and the Bully-Bully Shark
Written by Deborah Diesen & illustrated by Dan Hanna
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Mr. Fish finds the courage to speak up for his friends when a shark comes to the park and bullies them.
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Come with Me
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
When the news reports are flooded with tales of hatred and fear, a girl asks her papa what she can do to make the world a better place. “Come with me,” he says. Hand-in-hand, they walk to the subway, tipping their hats to those they meet. The next day, the girl asks her mama what she can do—her mama says, “Come with me,” and together they set out for the grocery, because one person doesn’t represent an entire race or the people of a land. After dinner that night, the little girl asks if she can do something of her own—walk the dog . . . and her parents let her go. “Come with me,” the girl tells the boy across the hall. Walking together, one step at a time, the girl and the boy begin to see that as small and insignificant as their part may seem, it matters to the world. In this lyrical and timely story, author Holly M. McGhee and illustrator Pascal Lemaître champion the power of kindness, bravery, and friendship in the face of uncertainty.
Honorable Mentions
The Most Marvelous International Spelling Bee book
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The Lion and the Mouse, Narrated by the Timid But Truthful Mouse book
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  1. The Most Marvelous International Spelling Bee - “India Wimple can spell with the best of them. How else would she have won the Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee and garnered an invitation to the Most Marvelous International Spelling Bee? India couldn’t be more thrilled to travel to London along with the rest of the Wimples. And at first, it seems like a dream come true; she reunites with her spelling bee friends, and they even get to meet the Queen! But there is skulduggery afoot, with some rather mysterious goings-on going on and a series of accidents that seem to be not-so-accidental after all. India has her suspicions about who is behind the duplicitous demonstrations. But can she solve the mystery in time to save the competition?”

  2. The Lion and the Mouse, Narrated by the Timid But Truthful Mouse - She’s always been the “invisible” twin, but when her sister reneges on a promise to the king of beasts, a timid mouse chews her way into the spotlight. This sweet, fractured twist on a classic Aesop’s fable, told from the mouse’s point of view, celebrates kindness and bravery of all sizes. Includes a condensed version of the original tale.

Want to see books about courage?

Books About Kindness and Nature

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The Lost Star
Written by Przemysław Wechterowicz & illustrated by Marcin Minor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9
What happens when a star falls to earth . . . and doesn't know how to get back home? A magical, mysterious story that's perfect for bedtime. One night, when the moon is shining and a dormouse is having fun with the fireflies, she spots a gentle glow in the woods. The light comes from a golden star that has fallen to Earth and needs to get back home. Dormouse and her woodland friends do their best to help the star return to the sky, but one by one they fail . . . and the star grows paler and paler. Will the mysterious Frog finally succeed? Filled with atmospheric illustrations and soothing, dreamlike text, this heartwarming picture book will enchant children.
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Evie and the Strawberry Balloon Ride
Written & illustrated by Stefanie Dahle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Evie is a determined, ingenious and bright little Strawberry Fairy who lives in an old teapot. Join Evie and her friends, the flower fairies and creatures of Wildberry Acres, on their magical adventures in this second book in the _Evie the Strawberry Fairy_ series. Evie is determined to win first prize at the Strawberry Fair with her amazing hot-air balloon! But on the way to the competition the creatures of Wildberry Acres need her help. What is most important to Evie: winning or helping others? Through Evie's adventures young readers will learn about the natural world - how plants grow and how all living things are connected. This is a story about creativity, putting others first and helping out. Stefanie Dahle's illustrations are charming, detailed and full of character and fun.
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The Blue Pebble
Written by Anne-Gaelle Balpe & illustrated by Eve Tharlet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7
Under a daisy Oli finds a pebble. Everyone he shows it to tells him to throw it away. But Oli just knows he'll find a use for it one day. At last he meets a very sad girl and finds he was right all along. His pebble is special after all.
Honorable Mentions
The Feather book
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Lily's Water Woes book
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  1. The Feather - This is a story about hope, kindness and redemption set in a grey dystopian world. When a great feather drifts from the leaden sky, two children recognize its extraordinariness and take it to the village for its protection. The villagers, however, want to encase it, upon which the feather loses its radiance. The children take it home and care for it through the night. In the morning it is again radiant, and when they set it free it leaves behind the first signs of blue sky and color. The ambiguous ending invites multiple interpretations about the effects of selflessness and kindness.

  2. Lily's Water Woes - The second installment of the Wild Fairies series, Lily’s Water Woes, follows wild fairy (and mermaid) Lily, who is feeling left out. While her fairy friends get to travel to beautiful beaches and lush forests, Lily is always stuck at home, unable to be away from the water for very long. Her froggy pal, Splash, tries his best to cheer her up, but Lily still wishes she could stay out late and play like the other fairies. Wanting to help their friend, the fairies come together to build an awesome surprise for Lily that just might make it easier for her to travel beyond her small pond. The Wild Fairies series features a group of magical fairy friends who love playing and learning in the beautiful and bountiful forest they call home. With their reliable sidekick critters alongside, Daisy, Thistle, Heather, Celosia, Poppy, Dahlia, Indigo, and Lily care for the natural world around them using their unique and diverse set of special skills. Infused with ecology, botany, and magic, the wild fairies’ whimsical adventures will inspire in kids a sense of wonder and curiosity for nature, as well as inform them about the wildflowers and critters behind the fairies through young-reader friendly nonfiction pages in the back of each book.

Want to see books about nature?

Books About Kindness and Places And Regions

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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 Seed of Compassion: Lessons from the Life and Teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Written by His Holiness The Dalai Lama & illustrated by Bao Luu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
For the first time ever, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate His Holiness the Dalai Lama addresses children directly, sharing lessons of peace and compassion, told through stories of his own childhood. One of today's most inspiring world leaders was once an ordinary child named Lhamo Thondup. In a small village in Tibet, his mother was his first great teacher of compassion. In everyday moments from his childhood, young readers begin to see that important lessons are all around us, and that they, too, can grow to truly understand them. With simple, powerful text, the Dalai Lama shares the universalist teachings of treating one another with compassion, which Bao Luu illustrates beautifully in vibrant color. In an increasingly confusing world, The Seed of Compassion offers guidance and encouragement on how we all might bring more kindness to it.
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Samurai Scarecrow
Written & illustrated by Rubin Pingk
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
It is Halloween, and Yukio is excited to celebrate! But whatever Yukio does, his younger sister Kashi follows. When Yukio carves a pumpkin, Kashi carves a similar one. When Yukio maps out his trick-or-treat route, Kashi maps the same one. But when Kashi goes too far, Yukio says some things he doesn’t really mean.
Honorable Mentions
Rice from Heaven book
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Grandfather Gandhi book
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Farmer Falgu Goes to the Kumbh Mela book
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  1. Rice from Heaven - Rice from Heaven is a true story about compassion and bravery as a young girl and her community in South Korea help deliver rice via balloons to the starving and oppressed people in North Korea. “We reach a place where mountains become a wall. A wall so high, no one dares to climb. Beyond that wall and across the sea live children just like me, except they do not have food to eat.” Yoori lives in South Korea and doesn’t know what North Korea is like, but her father (Appa) does. Appa grew up in North Korea, where he did not have enough food to eat. Starving, he fled to South Korea in search of a better life. Yoori doesn’t know how she can help as she’s only a little “grain of rice” herself, but Appa tells her that they can secretly help the starving people by sending special balloons that carry rice over the border. Villagers glare and grumble, and children protest feeding the enemy, but Yoori doesn’t back down. She has to help. People right over the border don’t have food. No rice, and no green fields. With renewed spirit, volunteers gather in groups, fill the balloons with air, and tie the Styrofoam containers filled with rice to the tails of the balloons. With a little push, the balloons soar up and over the border, carrying rice in the darkness of the night over to North Korea.

  2. Grandfather Gandhi - Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson tells the story of how his grandfather taught him to turn darkness into light in this uniquely personal and vibrantly illustrated tale that carries a message of peace. How could he—a Gandhi—be so easy to anger? One thick, hot day, Arun Gandhi travels with his family to Grandfather Gandhi’s village. Silence fills the air—but peace feels far away for young Arun. When an older boy pushes him on the soccer field, his anger fills him in a way that surely a true Gandhi could never imagine. Can Arun ever live up to the Mahatma? Will he ever make his grandfather proud? In this remarkable personal story, Arun Gandhi, with Bethany Hegedus, weaves a stunning portrait of the extraordinary man who taught him to live his life as light. Evan Turk brings the text to breathtaking life with his unique three-dimensional collage paintings.

  3. Farmer Falgu Goes to the Kumbh Mela - In this third book from the wildly popular series, Farmer Falgu heads to the Kumbh Mela festival in Allahabad. There are plenty of sights to see and events to experience, but his plans go awry when he stops to lend a helping hand to anyone who asks. This charming tale by Chitra Soundar is about being kind even when it’s not the easy choice. Kanika Nair’s striking illustrations capture the colorful chaos and celebration that the Kumbh Mela really is, and as always, the reader is rooting for the lovable farmer who always sees the glass half full.

Epilogue

32 books that are just too good to leave off of our kindness list.
Baby Be Kind book
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Be Kind book
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The Monster Who Lost His Mean book
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Horton Hears a Who! book
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  1. Baby Be Kind - The Book Snob Mom -

    I love the gentle rhyme scheme of this book and the beautiful lesson it teaches of what kindness really is. While the message of the words is broadly applicable across ages and situations, the illustrations help bring this book to board book level in a way that is understandable for little reader's everyday situations.

  2. Be Kind - A thoughtful picture book illustrating the power of small acts of kindness, from the award-winning author of Sophie’s Squash.

  3. The Monster Who Lost His Mean - The Book Snob Mom -

    While initially, the Monster turned "Onster" is quite distraught that he lost his "M"ean (especially because now the other monsters are nothing but mean to him!) he soon discovers other friends who love him for his kindness and his new true self. The illustrations are funny and bright and it's a delightful twist on the concept of having kindness thrust upon you... and what you should do with it.

  4. Horton Hears a Who! - A city of Whos on a speck of dust are threatened with destruction until the smallest Who of all helps convince Horton’s friends that Whos really exist. Reissue.

How Kind! book
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What Is Given from the Heart book
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Here We Are book
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Little Blue Truck book
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  1. How Kind! - Hen gives Pig an unexpected present. “How kind!” says Pig. Pig is so touched, in fact, that he decides to do something kind too. So Pig gives Rabbit a gift. “How kind!” says Rabbit, who does something kind for Cow, who is kind to Cat, who wants to be kind in turn. Where will all of this kindness lead?

  2. What Is Given from the Heart - 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.

  3. Here We Are - Oliver Jeffers, arguably the most influential creator of picture books today, offers a rare personal look inside his own hopes and wishes for his child—and in doing so gifts children and parents everywhere with a gently sweet and humorous missive about our world and those who call it home. Insightfully sweet, with a gentle humor and poignancy, here is Oliver Jeffers’ user’s guide to life on Earth. He created it specially for his son, yet with a universality that embraces all children and their parents. Be it a complex view of our planet’s terrain (bumpy, sharp, wet), a deep look at our place in space (it’s big), or a guide to all of humanity (don’t be fooled, we are all people), Oliver’s signature wit and humor combine with a value system of kindness and tolerance to create a must-have book for parents.

  4. Little Blue Truck - Beep! Beep! Beep! Meet Blue. A muddy country road is no match for this little pick up—that is, until he gets stuck while pushing a dump truck out of the muck. Luckily, Blue has made a pack of farm animal friends along his route. And they’re willing to do whatever it takes to get their pal back on the road. With a text full of truck sounds and animal noises to read aloud, here is a rollicking homage to the power of friendship and the rewards of helping others.

The Tiny Baker book
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The Snatchabook book
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The Princess Who Had No Kingdom book
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Petra book
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  1. The Tiny Baker -

  2. The Snatchabook - The Book Snob Mom -

    The charming rhyming text and sweet yet spunky illustrations of The Snatchabook were created by a husband and wife team—how cool! Together they weave a FANTASTIC story about a love of reading and friendship that teaches kindness, understanding, empathy, and forgiveness… all while being absolutely enjoyable! This is sure to become an all-time favorite—it is one of ours! While the Snatchabook initially thinks that he needs to steal all of the books to enjoy them, little Eliza Brown shows him that the other animals are willing to share their storytimes... and really that's much better!

  3. The Princess Who Had No Kingdom - There once was a princess without a kingdom. All she had was a pony and cart and a red umbrella to keep her dry from the rain. Though she lacked worldly possessions, she made up for it in kindness, cleverness, and beauty—qualities that made all the rich princes with kingdoms want to marry her. A wise and witty modern-day fairy tale brought magically to life through Sarah Gibb’s exquisite art.

  4. Petra - The humorous adventures of an irresistible little rock who finds herself in constantly changing circumstances, Petra is a picture book that celebrates the power of perspective and believing in yourself. Petra is a little rock who believes she is a mighty mountain . . . until a dog fetches her for its owner, and she is tossed into a bird’s nest. A mountain? No, Petra is now an egg! An egg of the world in a world of possibility. Until she’s flung into a pond, and becomes an amazing island . . . and, eventually, a little girl’s pet rock. What will she be tomorrow? Who knows? But she’s a rock, and this is how she rolls!

Manjhi Moves a Mountain book
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The Little Engine That Could: 90th Anniversary Edition book
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Goat's Coat book
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The Scarecrow book
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  1. Manjhi Moves a Mountain - Dashrath Manjhi used a hammer and chisel, grit, determination, and twenty years to carve a path through the mountain separating his poor village from the nearby village with schools, markets, and a hospital. Manjhi Moves a Mountain shows how everyone can make a difference if your heart is big enough.

  2. The Little Engine That Could: 90th Anniversary Edition - Celebrate the 90th anniversary of The Little Engine That Could with this all-time classic reillustrated by Caldecott Award-winning artist Dan Santat! The kindness and determination of the Little Blue Engine have inspired millions of children around the world since the story was first published in 1930. Cherished by readers for ninety years, The Little Engine That Could is a classic tale of a little engine that, despite her size, triumphantly pulls a train full of wonderful things to the children waiting on the other side of a mountain. This anniversary edition features the original text, all-new reimagined artwork and an introduction from Caldecott Medal-winner Dan Santat, and a special letter from Dolly Parton, award-winning singer-songwriter and founder of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

  3. Goat's Coat - 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

  4. The Scarecrow - A Junior Library Guild Selection and Indie Next List Pick “An emotionally impactful exploration of love and loneliness, this is an essential addition to any picture book collection.” —School Library Journal (starred review) Bestselling author Beth Ferry (Stick and Stone) and the widely acclaimed Fan Brothers (The Night Gardener) present a gorgeous and poignant picture book about two unexpected friends and the special connection they share. This tender and affectionate story reminds us of the comforting power of friendship and the joy of helping others—a tale that will inspire and delight children for generations to come. All the animals know not to mess with old Scarecrow. But when a small, scared crow falls from midair, Scarecrow does the strangest thing.… He saves the tiny baby crow. Soon a loving bond grows between the two unlikely friends. But is it strong enough to weather the changing of the seasons? “A welcome addition to autumnal storytelling.”—Kirkus “A novel twist on the theme of love between adversaries.” —Publishers Weekly

Malala's Magic Pencil book
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Anatole book
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Crab and Whale book
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Grandma book
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  1. Malala's Magic Pencil - 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.

  2. Anatole - Anatole is a most honorable mouse. When he realizes that humans are upset by mice sampling their leftovers, he is shocked! He must provide for his beloved family—but he is determined to find a way to earn his supper. And so he heads for the tasting room at the Duvall Cheese Factory. On each cheese, he leaves a small note—“good,” “not so good,” “needs orange peel”—and signs his name. When workers at the Duvall factory find his notes in the morning, they are perplexed—but they realize that this mysterious Anatole has an exceptional palate and take his advice. Soon Duvall is making the best cheese in all of Paris! They would like to give Anatole a reward—if only they could find him…

  3. Crab and Whale - Based on over 20 years experience by mindfulness for kids expert Christiane Kerr, this is a fun and heartwarming story that subtly introduces the skills of mindfulness to children (ages 2 - 8). Children will find themselves becoming more aware of their own bodies, breath, emotions and surroundings without even realizing it. Featured on Mindful.org ‘Seven Mindful Children’s books’ August 2018. Crab and Whale is carefully designed to help even the most energetic children find a moment of calm and focus. Also includes a special mindful breathing exercise and affirmation for children. -Introduces mindfulness to kids aged 2 to 8 -Based on 20 years’ experience working with children -Perfect for home and classroom use -Introduces theme of kindness From the reviews “A ground breaking book about mindfulness for small children” “Brilliant story and techniques… Recommended by a friend for my child struggling to get to sleep as he was worrying. Its a Great book, that you can read again and again. Definitely a book I would recommend.” “A truly heartwarming story celebrating kindness and gently introducing children to the life-changing power of mindfulness.” - Sir Anthony Seldon, former Headmaster & mindfulness in schools pioneer

  4. Grandma - 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.

Extra Yarn book
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A True Home book
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How to Cheer Up Dad book
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The Breaking News book
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  1. Extra Yarn - 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.

  2. A True Home - When Mona the Mouse stumbles across the wondrous world of the Heartwood Hotel in the middle of a storm, she desperately hopes they’ll let her stay. As it turns out, Mona is precisely the maid they need at the grandest hotel in Fernwood Forest, where animals come from far and wide for safety, luxury, and comfort. But the Heartwood Hotel is not all acorn soufflé and soft moss-lined beds. Danger lurks, and as it approaches, Mona finds that this hotel is more than a warm place to spend the night. It might also be a home. This delightfully enticing start of a new chapter book series tells a tale of friendship, courage, and community, with exquisite black-and-white illustrations throughout. Praise for the Magical Animal Adoption Agency series “[This] gentle tale of magic and self-reliance will entertain confident new independent readers. Clover’s sweet story is a good next step for lovers of the Magic Tree House.” -Kirkus Reviews “Readers will be envious of the world of magic that Clover becomes ensconced in and eager to read future installments.” -Publishers Weekly “[A] charming story, delicately written, with a winning heroine. . . [and] a conclusion that will satisfy young readers.” -Booklist Online “Graduates of sparkly chapter-book series will be right at home and looking for the next installment posthaste.” -Kirkus Reviews “[T]he gentle but intrepid Clover continues to charm.” -Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

  3. How to Cheer Up Dad - 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.

  4. The Breaking News - When devastating news rattles a little girl’s community, she struggles to know how to cope. Her normally attentive parents are suddenly exhausted and distracted, and nothing she does seems to cheer them up. At school, her teacher tells her to look for the helpers-the good people working to make things better in big and small ways. She wants more than anything to help in a BIG way, but maybe she can start with one small thing instead… and then another, and another? Those small things can compound, after all, to make a world of difference.Both timely and timeless, this beautifully illustrated picture book from debut author/illustrator Sarah Lynne Reul touches on the themes of community, resilience, and optimism with an authenticity that will resonate with readers young and old.

The Wish Tree book
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Maisy Cleans Up book
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Little Chef book
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The Best Birthday Present Ever book
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  1. The Wish Tree - Charles wants to find a wish tree. His brother and sister don’t believe there is such a thing, but his trusty companion Boggan is ready to join Charles on a journey to find out. And along the way, they discover that wishes can come true in the most unexpected ways. The poetic text and heartwarming illustrations evoke the true essence of the holiday season and will inspire wishers everywhere. This gem of a book deserves center stage year round.

  2. Maisy Cleans Up - The celebrated mouse is back — and she’s cleaning house! For Maisy, even cleaning up can be fun — if you have a friend stop by to help. In Maisy Cleans Up, Charley smells something delicious in Maisy’s kitchen but has to wait until the floor is dry. Time passes more quickly when he pitches in to pick up some toys, and washing the windows is a cinch with Charley inside and Maisy out. Now the floor is finally dry, and there are the treats, all ready to eat. Good job! A story for parents to love as much as kids!

  3. Little Chef - In honor of the special day, Lizzie wakes up super early, as any good chef should, to prepare the perfect meal for her grandmother, whom Lizzie lauds as the greatest chef in the world.

  4. The Best Birthday Present Ever - B is for Bookworm -

    The sweetest book demonstrating friendship and imagination! I love how graciously Bear accepts his gift from Squirrel, and that he truly appreciates it, even though the others don't think it's that amazing. Bear and Squirrel know how to put the gift to use with their imaginations, creating way more fun than just another toy, and they do it all while sharing it together! :) Plus, the illustrations are so cute!

Tiny Blessings: For Giving Thanks book
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Love Monster and the Perfect Present book
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Rocket Shoes book
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The Night Before Hanukkah book
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  1. Tiny Blessings: For Giving Thanks - 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.

  2. Love Monster and the Perfect Present - 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.

  3. Rocket Shoes - 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?

  4. The Night Before Hanukkah - 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!

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