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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

To the Sea book
#1
To the Sea
Written and 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.

The Snatchabook book
#2
The Snatchabook
Written by Helen Docherty and illustrated by Thomas Docherty
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from 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!

Where have all the bedtime stories gone? A delightful addition to the picture book canon about the love of reading One dark, dark night in Burrow Down, a rabbit named Eliza Brown found a book and settled down...when a Snatchabook flew into town. It's bedtime in the woods of Burrow Down, and all the animals are ready for their bedtime story. But books are mysteriously disappearing. Eliza Brown decides to to stay awake and catch the book thief. It turns out to be a little creature called the Snatchabook who has no one to read him a bedtime story. All turns out well when the books are returned and the animals take turns reading bedtime stories to the Snatchabook.

Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse book
#3
Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse
Written by Marcy Campbell and illustrated by Corinna Luyken
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
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.

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.

The Nice Book book
#4
The Nice Book
Written and illustrated by David Stein
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
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.

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.

What Is Given from the Heart book
#5
What Is Given from the Heart
Written by Patricia C McKissack and illustrated by April Harrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This final, magnificent picture book from three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner and Newbery Honor author Patricia McKissack is a poignant and uplifting celebration of the joy of giving. "Misery loves company," Mama says to James Otis. It's been a rough couple of months for them, but Mama says as long as they have their health and strength, they're blessed. One Sunday before Valentine's Day, Reverend Dennis makes an announcement during the service— the Temples have lost everything in a fire, and the church is collecting anything that might be useful to them. James thinks hard about what he can add to the Temple's "love box," but what does he have worth giving? With her extraordinary gift for storytelling, McKissack—with stunning illustrations by Harrison—delivers a touching, powerful tale of compassion and reminds us all that what is given from the heart, reaches the heart.

Bernice Gets Carried Away book
#6
Bernice Gets Carried Away
Written and illustrated by Hannah Harrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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

Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch book
#7
Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch
Written by Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Paul Yalowitz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
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!

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!

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon book
#8
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon
Written by Patty Lovell and illustrated by David Catrow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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.

Even when the class bully at her new school makes fun of her, Molly remembers what her grandmother told her and she feels good about herself.

We're All Wonders book
#9
We're All Wonders
Written and illustrated by R. J. Palacio
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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.

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

Enemy Pie book
#10
Enemy Pie
Written by Derek Munson and 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.

Books About Kindness and Bullying

Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse book
#1
Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse
Written by Marcy Campbell and illustrated by Corinna Luyken
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
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.

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.

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon book
#2
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon
Written by Patty Lovell and illustrated by David Catrow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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.

Even when the class bully at her new school makes fun of her, Molly remembers what her grandmother told her and she feels good about herself.

The Hundred Dresses book
#3
The Hundred Dresses
Written by Eleanor Estes and 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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Invisible Boy - 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.

  2. Each Kindness - 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.

  3. Strictly No Elephants - When the local Pet Club won’t admit a boy’s tiny pet elephant, he finds a solution—one that involves all kinds of unusual animals in this sweet and adorable picture book. Today is Pet Club day. There will be cats and dogs and fish, but strictly no elephants are allowed. The Pet Club doesn’t understand that pets come in all shapes and sizes, just like friends. Now it is time for a boy and his tiny pet elephant to show them what it means to be a true friend. Imaginative and lyrical, this sweet story captures the magic of friendship and the joy of having a pet.

  4. Llama Llama and the Bully Goat - 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?

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Books About Kindness and Sharing

The Snatchabook book
#1
The Snatchabook
Written by Helen Docherty and illustrated by Thomas Docherty
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from 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!

Where have all the bedtime stories gone? A delightful addition to the picture book canon about the love of reading One dark, dark night in Burrow Down, a rabbit named Eliza Brown found a book and settled down...when a Snatchabook flew into town. It's bedtime in the woods of Burrow Down, and all the animals are ready for their bedtime story. But books are mysteriously disappearing. Eliza Brown decides to to stay awake and catch the book thief. It turns out to be a little creature called the Snatchabook who has no one to read him a bedtime story. All turns out well when the books are returned and the animals take turns reading bedtime stories to the Snatchabook.

What Is Given from the Heart book
#2
What Is Given from the Heart
Written by Patricia C McKissack and illustrated by April Harrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This final, magnificent picture book from three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner and Newbery Honor author Patricia McKissack is a poignant and uplifting celebration of the joy of giving. "Misery loves company," Mama says to James Otis. It's been a rough couple of months for them, but Mama says as long as they have their health and strength, they're blessed. One Sunday before Valentine's Day, Reverend Dennis makes an announcement during the service— the Temples have lost everything in a fire, and the church is collecting anything that might be useful to them. James thinks hard about what he can add to the Temple's "love box," but what does he have worth giving? With her extraordinary gift for storytelling, McKissack—with stunning illustrations by Harrison—delivers a touching, powerful tale of compassion and reminds us all that what is given from the heart, reaches the heart.

The Best Birthday Present Ever book
#3
The Best Birthday Present Ever
Written and illustrated by Ben Mantle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from 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!

Squirrel is super excited: he’s been invited to Big Bear’s birthday party! Now he just has to find the perfect present for his friend—but what can you give a bear who already has EVERYTHING? Squirrel searches and searches and chooses . . . a stick! As Bear unwraps his stack of gifts Squirrel begins to worry: is it enough? But with a little imagination, and a good friend, even the simplest stick can become magical. This funny, heartwarming story of friendship is a great gift—and not just for bears!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Too Many Carrots - B is for Bookworm - Great book about sharing, and Rabbit learns that friends are more important than things--his carrots. I love the illustrations in this book and love that they show the story every step of the way!

  2. The Bear who Shared - Norris the bear has been waiting patiently for the last ripe fruit to fall from the tree, and when it does he decides to share it with his two new friends.

  3. Gossie - Gossie is a gosling who likes to wear bright red boots every day, no matter what she is doing, and so she is heartbroken the day the boots are missing and she can't find them anywhere.

  4. I Am the Boss of This Chair - The Book Snob Mom - Friendship and sharing seem just as linked in books as they are in real life! The illustrations in this book are absolutely gorgeous, and the color combinations are especially lovely and unique. While initially "being the boss" of all the things seems most important, it turns out having a co-boss is actually a lot more fun, and the lesson is just as applicable to siblings and friends as it is cohabitating cats!

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Books About Kindness and Empathy

A Sick Day for Amos McGee book
#1
A Sick Day for Amos McGee
Written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

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

The Rabbit Listened book
#2
The Rabbit Listened
Written and 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

Baby Be Kind book
#3
Baby Be Kind
Written and illustrated by Jane Cowen-Fletcher
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Thoughts from 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.

Easy-to-read, rhyming text provides examples of how to show kindness that even a baby will want to try.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade - 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.

  2. Fish in a Tree - “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

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

  4. Stand in My Shoes: Kids Learning About Empathy - When Emily asks her big sister what the word empathy means, Emily has no idea that knowing the answer will change how she looks at people. But does it really matter to others if Emily notices how they're feeling? Stand in My Shoes shows kids how easy it is to develop empathy toward those around them. Empathy is the ability to notice what other people feel. Empathy leads to the social skills and personal relationships which make our lives rich and beautiful, and it is something we can help our children learn. This book teaches young children the value of noticing how other people feel. We're hoping that many parents read it along with their children.

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Books About Kindness and Being Nice

The Storybook Knight book
#1
The Storybook Knight
Written by Helen Docherty and illustrated by Thomas Docherty
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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.

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?

The Monster Who Lost His Mean book
#2
The Monster Who Lost His Mean
Written by Tiffany Strelitz Haber and illustrated by Kirstie Edmunds
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from 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.

Teased by the other monsters for being nice instead of mean, Onster prefers playing with children and helping them with their chores to frightening them.

Nerdy Birdy book
#3
Nerdy Birdy
Written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Matt Davies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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.

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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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.

  2. Lily and Bear - Lily loves to draw, but when she draws Bear they quickly become friends, first doing all of the things that Lily enjoys, and then doing Bear's favorite things.

  3. 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?

  4. Sidewalk Flowers - A little girl collects wildflowers while walking through town with her father.

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Books About Kindness and Being Yourself

Be Happy! book
#1
Be Happy!
Written and illustrated by Monica Sheehan
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
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.

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.

We're All Wonders book
#2
We're All Wonders
Written and illustrated by R. J. Palacio
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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.

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

You're Here for a Reason book
#3
You're Here for a Reason
Written and 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. Not only are we loved, but we also matter. Once again, NancyTillman takes a universal truth and makes it accessible forreaders young and old, as children and animals interact withacts of kindness.

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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.

  2. The Things I Love About Me - 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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Books About Kindness and Animals

The Nice Book book
#1
The Nice Book
Written and illustrated by David Stein
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
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.

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.

Oliver's Tree book
#2
Oliver's Tree
Written and illustrated by Kit Chase
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
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.

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!

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

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

Honorable Mentions
  1. Friends Stick Together - 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.

  2. Summer - 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.

  3. Dinner at the Panda Palace - Celebrate the 25th anniversary of Dinner at the Panda Palace! In this charming counting book, perfect for back to school, children will learn the importance of inclusion. Join one hungry elephant, two carsick lions, three pigs running from a wolf, and dozens of other playful yet famished animals as they swing, bound, and bounce into the Panda Palace for a hearty meal. But when the restaurant is totally full, will Panda make room for one more guest?

  4. Meditation Is an Open Sky - Feeling mindful is feeling good! You know when you’re having a bad day, you have that wobbly feeling inside and nothing seems to go right? Find a quiet place, sit down, and meditate! In this daily companion, kids of any age will learn simple exercises to help manage stress and emotions, find focus, and face challenges. They’ll discover how to feel safe when scared, relax when anxious, spread kindness, and calm anger when frustrated. Simple, secular, and mainstream, this mindfulness book is an excellent tool for helping kids deal with the stresses of everyday life.

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Books About Kindness and Making Friends

To the Sea book
#1
To the Sea
Written and 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.

Enemy Pie book
#2
Enemy Pie
Written by Derek Munson and 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.

The Boy and the Giant book
#3
The Boy and the Giant
Written and illustrated by David Litchfield
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

There is a Secret Giant in Gableview who has hands the size of tabletops, legs as long as drainpipes, and feet as big as rowing boats. But little Billy thinks the Giant is just a tall tale that his grandad likes to tell. According to Grandad, the Giant keeps the bears away when they go camping and rescues Billy's favorite kite when it gets tangled up in the tallest tree. Grandad swears the Giant is real, but Billy's not buying it. Why has he never seen the giant before? Why does the Giant stay hidden? Grandad knows why: People are afraid of things that look different. When Billy suddenly finds himself face-to-face with the Giant, he runs away in fear--and hurts the Giant's feelings. But now he's got an opportunity to make it up to him, and, just maybe, to be friends with the nicest guy in town.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Nobody Knew What to Do - Straightforward and simple, this story tells how one child found the courage to tell a teacher about Ray, who was being picked on and bullied by other kids in school. Faced with the fact that "nobody knows what to do" while Ray is bullied, the children sympathetic to him feel fear and confusion and can only hope that Ray will "fit in some day." Finally, after Ray misses a day of school and the bullies plot mean acts for his return, our narrator goes to a teacher. The children then invite Ray to play with them, and, with adult help, together they stand up to the bullies.

  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. Henry and Boo - A charming story about friendship, tolerance, and unexpected consequences, with a compelling refrain that all readers will want to join.

  4. 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.

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Books About Kindness and Love

Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch book
#1
Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch
Written by Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Paul Yalowitz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
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!

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!

Plant a Kiss book
#2
Plant a Kiss
Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and 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!

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman book
#3
A Hat for Mrs. Goldman
Written by Michelle Edwards and 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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Hug Machine - 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. ;)

  2. My Heart - 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Want to see more children's books about love?

Books About Kindness and Helping Others

The Scarecrow book
#1
The Scarecrow
Written by Beth Ferry and illustrated by The Fan Brothers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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

Manjhi Moves a Mountain book
#2
Manjhi Moves a Mountain
Written by Nancy Churnin and illustrated by Danny Popovici
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Little Blue Truck book
#3
Little Blue Truck
Written by Alice Schertle and illustrated by Jill McElmurry
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. Allie All Along - Poor Allie! She's in a rage, stomping and smashing, throwing a tantrum, and having a fit. Is there a sweet little girl hiding somewhere under all the angry layers? With the help of her understanding big brother, she's able to calm down, bit by bit, and become herself again. The illustrations' varying hues and vibrant colors capture the powerful feelings that young children can't always express in words.

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Books About Kindness and Friendship

Those Shoes book
#1
Those Shoes
Written by Maribeth Boelts and illustrated by Noah Z. Jones
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
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.

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.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book
#2
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
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.

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!

Lubna and Pebble book
#3
Lubna and Pebble
Written by Wendy Meddour and 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
  1. Come with Me - 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.

  2. But the Bear Came Back - A bear knocks on a door, and a boy tells the bear to go home, but the bear keeps coming back. When the bear finally stops coming back, the boy misses him.

  3. 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.

  4. The Blue Pebble - 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.

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Books About Kindness and Birthdays

Bernice Gets Carried Away book
#1
Bernice Gets Carried Away
Written and illustrated by Hannah Harrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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

Cavekid Birthday book
#2
Cavekid Birthday
Written by Cathy Breisacher and 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.

Katie's Lucky Birthday book
#3
Katie's Lucky Birthday
Written by Fran Manushkin and 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
  1. 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!

  2. The Kindness Club: Designed by Lucy - 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!

  3. 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.

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Books About Kindness and Community

Miss Rumphius book
#1
Miss Rumphius
Written and 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.

What Can a Citizen Do? book
#2
What Can a Citizen Do?
Written by Dave Eggers and illustrated by Shawn Harris
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

Have You Filled a Bucket Today? book
#3
Have You Filled a Bucket Today?
Written by Carol McCloud and illustrated by David Messing
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-9

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

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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.

  2. Miles of Smiles - When someone smiles, who knows where it goes? Baby smiles at Mommy, Mom keeps it for a while . . . and then passes it on. As the smile begins its joyful journey--moving from a first-grade class to a soccer team, from Gran to a garbage man, even to a puppy--it spreads happiness throughout the community, bringing everyone together. A sunny picture book guaranteed to make kids SMILE!

Want to see more children's books about community?

Books About Kindness and Diversity

That's Not How You Do It! book
#1
That's Not How You Do It!
Written and 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.

Mira and the Big Story book
#2
Mira and the Big Story
Written by Laura Alary and 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.

It Takes a Village book
#3
It Takes a Village
Written by Hillary Rodham Clinton and illustrated by Marla Frazee
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

"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.

Honorable Mentions
  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 more children's books about diversity?

Books About Kindness and Family

The Giant Hug book
#1
The Giant Hug
Written by Sandra Horning and illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

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.

Samurai Scarecrow book
#2
Samurai Scarecrow
Written and 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.

The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee book
#3
The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee
Written by Deborah Abela
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

India Wimple can spell. Brilliantly. Every Friday night, she and her family watch the Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee on TV. When the Wimples suggest she enter the next bee, India finds the idea disconcerting. She's sure she's not good enough—but her family won't accept that and encourages her to sign up. There are plenty of obstacles to reaching the finals, and the whole thing seems rather calamitous to India. But with hope, hard work, and a little bit of heart, something splendiferous might be on the horizon…

Honorable Mentions
  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. George's Marvelous Medicine - A taste of her own medicine. George is alone in the house with Grandma. The most horrid, grizzly old grunion of a grandma ever. She needs something stronger than her usual medicine to cure her grouchiness. A special grandma medicine, a remedy for everything. And George knows just what to put into it. Grandma’s in for the surprise of her life—and so is George, when he sees the results of his mixture!

  3. James and the Giant Peach - From the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG! After James Henry Trotter’s parents are tragically eaten by a rhinoceros, he goes to live with his two horrible aunts, Spiker and Sponge. Life there is no fun, until James accidentally drops some magic crystals by the old peach tree and strange things start to happen. The peach at the top of the tree begins to grow, and before long it’s as big as a house. Inside, James meets a bunch of oversized friends—Grasshopper, Centipede, Ladybug, and more. With a snip of the stem, the peach starts rolling away, and the great adventure begins!

  4. 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.

Want to see more children's books about family?

Epilogue

25 books that are just too good to leave off of our kindness list.

  1. A New Chick for Chickies - For Chickies life was good. Life was perfect until . . . CRAAACK . . . the Chickies have a new brother! With engaging rhymes, endearing illustrations, and a soft padded cover, Janee Trasler's books are perfect for babies and toddlers to enjoy. Big sisters- and brothers-to-be will be excited to take a cue from the lovable Chickies and cheep for joy when a new baby arrives!

  2. The Squirrels Who Squabbled - The Book Snob Mom - Two squirrels (one more prepared for winter than the other!) both race to capture the last pinecone (and seeds!) of the season, but it turns out that in their haste to out-do each other, they both lose the pinecone and both almost lose some limbs to boot. The illustrations are bright and convey a lot of motion and emotion, and when the squirrels discover that it might be better to share (both their food and some laughs with a friend) than have what they want to themselves you'll be smiling as big as the squirrels.

  3. Llama Llama Time to Share - Mom of Boys - Sharing is a hard thing for children. This book is very cute and shows that sharing can actually be fun. It helps us make friends and have a good time with other people. Llama wasn't sure about it at first when a new neighbor moved in, and especially when this new friend wanted Llama's most favorite dolly. This book helps to even address the hardest part of sharing favorite toys.

  4. How Do Dinosaurs Play with Their Friends? - Rhyming text and illustrations present some of the ways dinosaurs can play with their friends, from hogging the swings to sharing toys.

  1. Martha Doesn't Share - The Book Snob Mom - Sharing is hard, but it turns out that it can be a lot more fun than having all of your own toys but nobody to play with and no audience, and Martha discovers. The facial expressions in the illustrations beautifully capture how much effort it can take for littles to share, which I love, along with the realism in that even once you've decided you want to share... it's still a learning curve :)

  2. Will Bear Share? - An exciting and hilarious new series all about early childhood milestones from debut US talent Hilary Leung!

  3. The Boy Who Wouldn't Share - The Book Snob Mom - This story has great cadence (which I'm a huge fan of) and the busy, quirky, somewhat wild illustrations give plenty of opportunities for finding hidden treasures that you might not initially notice on a quick read. Sibling rivalry, sharing and forgiveness blend beautifully into a funny story that seems just as common as the ordinary afternoon at home, and equally beautiful.

  4. Strega Nona's Harvest - A charming celebration of autumn's bounty by perennial favorite Tomie dePaola Tomie dePaola's beloved Strega Nona is back in a colorful picture book, perfect for fall and the changing seasons. With beautiful illustrations reminiscent of the artwork that won Tomie dePaola the Caldecott Honor for the original Strega Nona, this celebration of harvest and gardening will make the perfect addition to any Strega Nona collection.

  1. Limelight Larry - Mr. Staccato - When you're a peacock, you love the limelight. It's what you do. Especially when you're as handsome as Larry. Unfortunately, Larry's book has made his friends intrigued and they decide to join in. Larry finds himself getting a little too cramped and decides that sharing the page with his friends is not what he had in mind for this book so he forces his way front and center only to find his actions have left him feeling alone and scared. This book is silly and light-hearted. Regrettably, Larry isn't the greatest of role models as he doesn't quite learn his lesson in the end.

  2. Groovy Joe: Ice Cream & Dinosaurs - Groovy Joe is a fun-loving dog with a tub full of ice cream--which he shares with his unexpected dinosaur guests.

  3. Wishtree - "A red oak tree and a crow help their human neighbors work out their differences"--

  4. Rabbit's Gift - Snow is coming, coming soon, so Rabbit needs to find food fast. Just in time, a turnip turns up, and a second one, too. Who in the woods wouldn't want to tuck away an extra turnip for the long winter? Not Rabbit. He chooses a different path—and starts a wave of generosity that spreads among all his forest friends.

  1. Kindness Rules! (a Hello!Lucky Book) - 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.

  2. Words and Your Heart - 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.

  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. Great Joy - 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.

  1. Sandcastle That Lola Built - 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?

  2. 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!

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  3. 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!

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

  1. 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?

Did you enjoy our kindness book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

Additional book lists you might enjoy: