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Values And Virtues: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about values and virtues?

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

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

When it comes to children’s stories about values and virtues, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Squirrels Who Squabbled to popular sellers like The Giver to some of our favorite hidden gems like Miss Nelson is Missing!.

We hope this list of kids books about values and virtues can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Top 10 Books About Values And Virtues

The Perfect Sofa book
#1
The Perfect Sofa
Written & illustrated by Fifi Kuo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Penguin and Panda decide it’s time for a new sofa—but they are overwhelmed by the options. Will they find what they’re looking for? When Penguin and Panda decide their tired sofa is in need of replacement, they set out to find the perfect one. But none of the options are quite right and no sofa can seem to match the comfort of the one they already have. Is what they’re looking for closer than they think?

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

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

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

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

A classic in the making, this heartwarming story about empathy and imagination is one that families will treasure for years to come.

Adrian Simcox tells anyone who will listen that he has a horse—the best and most beautiful horse anywhere.

But Chloe does NOT believe him. Adrian Simcox lives in a tiny house. Where would he keep a horse? He has holes in his shoes. How would he pay for a horse?

The more Adrian talks about his horse, the angrier Chloe gets. But when she calls him out at school and even complains about him to her mom, Chloe doesn’t get the vindication she craves. She gets something far more important.

Written with tenderness and poignancy and gorgeously illustrated, this book will show readers that kindness is always rewarding, understanding is sweeter than judgment, and friendship is the best gift one can give.

When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree book
#4
When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree
Written by Jamie L. B. Deenihan & illustrated by Lorraine Rocha
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” In this imaginative take on that popular saying, a child is surprised to receive a lemon tree from Grandma for her birthday. After all, she DID ask for a new gadget! But when she follows the narrator’s careful—and funny—instructions, she discovers that the tree might be exactly what she wanted after all.

Manjhi Moves a Mountain book
#5
Manjhi Moves a Mountain
Written by Nancy Churnin & 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.

Tomorrow I'll Be Brave book
#6
Tomorrow I'll Be Brave
Written & illustrated by Jessica Hische
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Tomorrow I’ll be all the things I tried to be today- Adventurous, Strong, Smart, Curious, Creative, Confident, & Brave. And if I wasn’t one of them, I know that it’s OK. Adventure through a world filled with positive and beautifully hand-lettered words of widsom, inspiration, and motivation. As this book reminds readers, tomorrow is another day, full of endless opportunities—all you have to do is decide to make the day yours.

Baby Be Kind book
#7
Baby Be Kind
Written & illustrated by Jane Cowen-Fletcher
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

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

Rechenka's Eggs book
#8
Rechenka's Eggs
Written by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Old Babushka, known throughout all of Moskva for her beautifully painted eggs, is preparing her eggs for the Easter Festival when she takes in an injured goose. She names the goose Rechenka, and they live happily together until one day when Rechenka accidentally overturns a basket, breaking all of Babushka’s lovingly crafted eggs.

But the next morning Babushka has a surprise awaiting her in the basket. She cries: “A miracle!” It is one of many in this charmingly told tale of friendship and caring.

With vibrant illustrations, Patricia Polacco has joyously re-created the flavor of Old Moscow and its festivals. The eggs, stunningly colored and intricately designed, are authentic reproductions of eggs painted in the Ukrainian style. Rechenka’s Eggs is a timeless story of classic beauty.

The Widow's Broom book
#9
The Widow's Broom
Written & illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Some of Minna Shaw’s neighbors don’t trust her clever broom. “It’s dangerous,” they say. But Minna appreciates the broom’s help. She enjoys its quiet company. But one day two children get taught a well-deserved lesson by the broom. For her neighbors, this is proof of the broom’s evil spirit. Minna is obligated to give up her dear companion. Chris Van Allsburg, master of the mysterious, brings this tale to life with moody and memorable pictures that will haunt readers long after the book’s covers are closed—now in a new edition to celebrate this beloved book’s twenty-fifth anniversary.

Greta and the Giants: inspired by Greta Thunberg's stand to save the world book
#10
Greta and the Giants: inspired by Greta Thunberg's stand to save the world
Written by Zoe Tucker & illustrated by Zoe Persico
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

This inspiring picture book retells the story of Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta Thunberg—the Swedish teenager who has led a global movement to raise awareness about the world’s climate crisis—using allegory to make this important topic accessible to young children. Greta is a little girl who lives in a beautiful forest threatened by Giants. When the Giants first came to the forest, they chopped down trees to make houses. Then they chopped down more trees and made even bigger homes. The houses grew into towns and the towns grew into cities, until now there is hardly any forest left. Greta knows she has to help the animals who live in the forest, but how? Luckily, Greta has an idea… A section at the back explains that, in reality, the fight against the “giants” isn’t over and explains how you can help Greta in her fight. This book has been printed sustainably in the US on 100% recycled paper. By buying a copy of this book, you are making a donation of 3% of the cover price to 350.org.

Table of Contents
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Books About Values And Virtues and Science And Nature

When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree
Written by Jamie L. B. Deenihan & illustrated by Lorraine Rocha
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” In this imaginative take on that popular saying, a child is surprised to receive a lemon tree from Grandma for her birthday. After all, she DID ask for a new gadget! But when she follows the narrator’s careful—and funny—instructions, she discovers that the tree might be exactly what she wanted after all.

Greta and the Giants: inspired by Greta Thunberg's stand to save the world
Written by Zoe Tucker & illustrated by Zoe Persico
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

This inspiring picture book retells the story of Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta Thunberg—the Swedish teenager who has led a global movement to raise awareness about the world’s climate crisis—using allegory to make this important topic accessible to young children. Greta is a little girl who lives in a beautiful forest threatened by Giants. When the Giants first came to the forest, they chopped down trees to make houses. Then they chopped down more trees and made even bigger homes. The houses grew into towns and the towns grew into cities, until now there is hardly any forest left. Greta knows she has to help the animals who live in the forest, but how? Luckily, Greta has an idea… A section at the back explains that, in reality, the fight against the “giants” isn’t over and explains how you can help Greta in her fight. This book has been printed sustainably in the US on 100% recycled paper. By buying a copy of this book, you are making a donation of 3% of the cover price to 350.org.

From Tree To Sea
Written by Shelley Moore Thomas & illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From a child’s point of view, this lyrical picture book looks at the relationship of nature to the human world and the place we call home.

From the edge of the sea to a high mountain top, everything has its place in the world and all living things are connected. The world around us has a lot to tell us if we take the time to look and listen. This tender and comforting picture book celebrates the wisdom in many of the things great and small that make up our wonderful world.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Heal the Earth - Take a journey to help the Earth in the second book of the New York Times bestselling trilogy by Julian Lennon! Jump aboard the White Feather Flier, a magical plane that can go wherever you want. This time, Lennon’s interactive book immerses children in a fun and unique journey where they can: Bring medicine to people in need! Dive below the ocean to bleached coral reefs! Visit the city to cultivate green spaces! Help the rain forest return and give its animals a home! Explore the planet, meet new people, and help make the world a better place! The Flier’s mission is to transport readers around the world, to engage them in helping to save the environment, and to teach one and all to love our planet. Just press a button printed on the page, and point the plane up in the air to fly, or down to land it! An inspiring, lyrical story, rooted in Lennon’s life and work, Heal the Earth is filled with beautiful illustrations that bring the faraway world closer to young children. The book includes words to a new, special poem written by Julian Lennon, specifically for Heal the Earth. A portion of the proceeds from book sales will go to support the environmental and humanitarian efforts of the White Feather Foundation, the global environmental and humanitarian organization that Lennon founded to promote education, health, conservation, and the protection of indigenous culture.

  2. Cherry Blossom and Paper Planes - Adin and Dina are best friends. They live in the beautiful countryside surrounded by cherry trees. Their favorite game is to plant cherry pits around their little village - in the cracks in the sidewalk and in the flowerbeds outside the post office. Then one day Adin and his family move away to the city. Will Adin and Dina’s friendship survive the new distance between them? In this beautifully lyrical book, one story fractures into two when the friends are parted. But their lives continue to be linked as Adin finds a way to feel connected to his friend - throwing paper planes filled with cherry pits from the balcony of his apartment building. Held together by their love of cherry blossom and paper planes, Adin and Dina’s roads finally lead back to one another. Cherry Blossom and Paper Planes is a touching story of true friendship, resilience, belief - and a little bit of magic - illuminated with stunning artwork full of seasonal detail, light and hope.

  3. Patience, Miyuki - Miyuki wakes up early to say good morning to every flower in the garden, but there’s one sleepy flower that still hasn’t bloomed. Miyuki’s grandfather tells her that not every flower blooms at the same time, but she runs around, quickly, quickly, looking for water to wake the flower up. ‘Sometimes, Miyuki, sometimes it is not necessary to run, don’t you know? You must be patient, the journey is a bit long.’

  4. A Dolphin's Wish - Dive under the sea with a family of dolphins and discover the dangers of plastic pollution. Every year, huge amounts of plastic end up in our oceans. Luckily, there’s something we can do to change that! Follow along as Daddy Dolphin and his son show readers what we’re doing wrong, then be inspired to take action and make a difference! Featuring charming rhymes, bold illustrations, and educational back matter, this beautiful ocean tale offers readers a peek into life under the sea and is perfect for anyone who cares about our planet.

Books About Values And Virtues and African Americans

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

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

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

Black Is a Rainbow Color
Written by Angela Joy & illustrated by Ekua Holmes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A child reflects on the meaning of being Black in this moving and powerful anthem about a people, a culture, a history, and a legacy that lives on.

Red is a rainbow color. Green sits next to blue. Yellow, orange, violet, indigo, They are rainbow colors, too, but

My color is black . . . And there’s no BLACK in rainbows.

From the wheels of a bicycle to the robe on Thurgood Marshall’s back, Black surrounds our lives. It is a color to simply describe some of our favorite things, but it also evokes a deeper sentiment about the incredible people who helped change the world and a community that continues to grow and thrive.

Stunningly illustrated by Caldecott Honoree and Coretta Scott King Award winner Ekua Holmes, Black Is a Rainbow Color is a sweeping celebration told through debut author Angela Joy’s rhythmically captivating and unforgettable words.

Hosea Plays On
Written by Kathleen M. Blasi & illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-9

This heartwarming picture book (based on a true story) depicts a day in the life of Hosea Taylor, a musician who—with his charm, talent, and generosity—brought joy to everyone he met.

Every day, Hosea takes the Number 42 bus into the city to play his shiny brass saxophone—and to hopefully earn enough money. Setting up in his favorite place, Hosea makes sweet music as people greet him with a smile, a little girl dances, and crowds surround him. A surprise ending reveals what the money is really for. Kathleen Blasi’s delightful text and Shane Evan’s colorful images capture the real-life closeness between the much-loved Hosea—who shared his passion for music and life with everyone—and his community.

An Author’s Note explains how Blasi learned about Hosea Taylor (1948-2016), and what compelled her to write his story.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Hula Hoopin' Queen - A spunky girl has a hula-hooping competition with her friends in Harlem, and soon everyone in the neighborhood—young and old alike—joins in on the fun. Kameeka is confident that today she will finally beat her rival, Jamara, and become the Hula-Hoopin’ Queen of 139th Street. But then Mama reminds her that today is their neighbor Miz Adeline’s birthday, and Kameeka has a ton of chores to do to get ready for the party they are hosting. Kameeka’s disappointed to be stuck at home and can only think about the hoopin’ competition. Distracted, Kameeka accidentally ruins Miz Adeline’s birthday cake, and has to confess to her that there won’t be a cake for her special day. But then Miz Adeline’s confesses something too: she’s also got the itch—the hula-hoopin’ itch! Her fingers start snappin’. Her hips start swingin’. Soon everyone’s hips are swinging as the party spills out onto the street. The whole neighborhood’s got the itch—the hula-hoopin’ itch! With vibrant illustrations by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen is a charming celebration of family and community ties. Set in Harlem, this intergenerational story shows the importance of staying young at heart.

  2. Unspoken - In this wordless picture book, a young Southern farm girl discovers a runaway slave hiding behind the corn crib in the barn and decides to help him.

  3. Love Will See You Through - The niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. reveals six timeless and universal principles that encompass the civil rights leader’s greatest legacy: Love will see you through. Growing up as the niece of Martin Luther King Jr., Angela Farris Watkins witnessed firsthand the principles and values that “Uncle M.L.” practiced and lived by throughout his fight for equality. Drawing from experiences and episodes both personal and well-known, Dr. Watkins artfully details the guiding beliefs of one of the greatest men in history. Including “have courage” and “love your enemies,” these six hallmarks of virtue and nonviolence reinforce the truth that “the universe honors love” and will inspire readers of all ages.

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

Books About Values And Virtues and Empathy

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

A classic in the making, this heartwarming story about empathy and imagination is one that families will treasure for years to come.

Adrian Simcox tells anyone who will listen that he has a horse—the best and most beautiful horse anywhere.

But Chloe does NOT believe him. Adrian Simcox lives in a tiny house. Where would he keep a horse? He has holes in his shoes. How would he pay for a horse?

The more Adrian talks about his horse, the angrier Chloe gets. But when she calls him out at school and even complains about him to her mom, Chloe doesn’t get the vindication she craves. She gets something far more important.

Written with tenderness and poignancy and gorgeously illustrated, this book will show readers that kindness is always rewarding, understanding is sweeter than judgment, and friendship is the best gift one can give.

Baby Be Kind
Written & illustrated by Jane Cowen-Fletcher
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

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

Last Stop on Market Street
Written by Matt De La Pena & illustrated by Christian Robinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A young boy rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things. By the author of the celebrated picture book A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Hey Little Ant - A song in which an ant pleads with the kid who is tempted to squish it.

  2. Will Bear Share? - An exciting and hilarious new series all about early childhood milestones from debut US talent Hilary Leung! One ice cream cone. One bear. One timeless question: Will Bear Share? Meet Bear. Bear has so much to give . . . but will she share? Find out in this surprising and memorable storybook all about friendship, compromise, and of course, sharing. A fresh and funny book in a new series of animal question stories by creative talent Hilary Leung that will keep little ones laughing . . . and sharing (when it’s appropriate!).

  3. 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.

  4. Manjhi Moves a Mountain - Dashrath Manjhi used a hammer and chisel, grit, determination, and twenty years to carve a path through the mountain separating his poor village from the nearby village with schools, markets, and a hospital. Manjhi Moves a Mountain shows how everyone can make a difference if your heart is big enough.

Want to see books about empathy?

Books About Values And Virtues and Self-esteem And Self-reliance

When Jackie Saved Grand Central
Written by Natasha Wing & illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Before she was an iconic First Lady of the United States, Jackie Kennedy was a born-and-raised New Yorker. She loved everything about her city, from the natural beauty of the parks to the architectural history of the buildings. So when the owners of Grand Central wanted to build a skyscraper on top of the famous train station, Jackie knew they had to be stopped. She helped inspire thousands of people to come together and fight to protect the historic landmark. From letter-writing campaigns all the way to the Supreme Court, this little-known story celebrates winning in the face of immeasurable odds and how one person can make a big difference.

Be Kind
Written by Naomi Shulman & illustrated by Hsinping Pan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-18

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.

I Promise
Written by LeBron James & illustrated by Nina Mata
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

NBA champion and cultural icon LeBron James pens a slam-dunk picture book inspired by his foundation’s I PROMISE program that motivates children everywhere to always #StriveForGreatness.

Just a kid from Akron, Ohio, who is dedicated to uplifting youth everywhere, LeBron James knows the key to a better future is to excel in school, do your best, and keep your family close. I Promise is a lively and inspiring picture book that reminds us that tomorrow’s success starts with the promises we make to ourselves and our community today.

Featuring James’s upbeat, rhyming text and vibrant illustrations perfectly crafted for a diverse audience by New York Times bestselling artist Nina Mata, this book has the power to inspire all children and families to be their best.

Perfect for shared reading in and out of the classroom, I Promise is also a great gift for graduation, birthdays, and other occasions.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Big Book of Superpowers - This inspiring book encourages kids to find their own superpower and celebrate it. Superheroes have superpowers, abilities like strength or invisibility or flight. But did you know that ordinary kids have superpowers too? From dancing to reading to persistence and optimism, all of us have a superpower that makes us special and unique, a special ability that enables us to make a difference in the world. What’s your superpower? With eighteen stories of kids with everyday superpowers, The Big Book of Superpowers will inspire kids to look inside and find what makes them extraordinary!

  2. I Will Be Fierce - Today, I will be fierce! It’s a brand new day, and a young girl decides to take on the world like a brave explorer heading off on an epic fairytale quest. From home to school and back again, our hero conquers the Mountain of Knowledge (the library), forges new bridges (friendships), and leads the victorious charge home on her steed (the school bus). Written by Bea Birdsong and illustrated by Nidhi Chanani, I Will Be Fierce is a powerful picture book about courage, confidence, kindness, and finding the extraordinary in everyday moments.

  3. We Are Growing! - Walt and his friends are growing up fast! Everyone is the something-est. But . . . what about Walt? He is not the tallest, or the curliest, or the silliest. He is not the anything-est! As a BIG surprise inches closer, Walt discovers something special of his own!

  4. Brave - Superheroes seek adventure, never give up, and stay calm when others are afraid. Superheroes are brave. But they aren’t the only ones. Kids are brave every day. When they are told they are too little, but accomplish something big. When they check for monsters under the bed, just in case. When they face something uncertain, whether a thunderstorm or a hospital visit. When they stand up for what’s right, even when it means facing consequences. Like superheroes, brave kids can save the world, just by being brave. Thoughtful text from Stacy McAnulty paired with vibrant illustrations from Joanne Lew-Vriethoff encourage kids to be brave in all the ways they can: trying new things, speaking their mind, confronting bullies, and more. This book will inspire kids to follow their hearts and to have courage, no matter the situation.

Books About Values And Virtues and Dogs

Hurry Up!: A Book About Slowing Down
Written by Kate Dopirak & illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-8

A busy boy and his dog learn to slow down and enjoy life together in this lyrical, rhyming picture book perfect for hurried families everywhere.

For one busy boy, life is all hurry up, hurry down, hurry round and round and round! That is until he takes a big breath…and a big break…and slows down to see all the wonderful things in the world around him.

From celebrated picture book creators Kate Dopirak and Christopher Silas Neal, this playful yet powerful picture book reminds us to be present, to be mindful, and to appreciate each moment.

Tricky
Written & illustrated by Kari Rust
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

An old dog learns new tricks in this story about righting wrongs

Nothing in Common
Written by Kate Hoefler & illustrated by Corinna Luyken
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A tender and timely story of compassion and finding common ground with others, perfect for fans of _I Walk With Vanessa _and Thank You, Omu!

Two neighbors both love to watch the old man and his dog from their windows, but they never wave to each other. After all, they have nothing in common. But everything changes when they are the only ones who notice that one day is different—there is the old man, but where is the dog?

In this lyrical picture book, two strangers learn about the many ways the world connects us—even if the only thing we have in common is how much we care about someone else. Filled with whimsy and warmth, Nothing In Common is a tender friendship story that reminds us to always lead with compassion.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Dex: The Heart of a Hero - Tired of being overlooked because he is so small, Dexter, a big-hearted dog with big dreams transforms himself into a superhero.

  2. Pig the Pug - Pig is a greedy and selfish Pug. He has all the bouncy balls, bones, and chew toys a dog could ever want yet he refuses to share with his poor friend, Trevor. Little does he know, however, that being greedy has its consquences. Join Pig as he learns to share - the hard way! Young readers will love the irresistbly quirky and funny illustrations that are paired with a relatable lesson of learning to share with others. For dog and pet lovers everywhere.

  3. Found - A wordless picture book about what we lose, what we find, and what we give back. Jenn’s beloved dog was lost sometime ago. Long enough that she has given up the search. But she still misses her friend. One day she finds a lost dog. She takes him in and despite a rocky start, she grows to love him. Until she spots his picture on a missing poster. His name is Roscoe, and he’s someone else’s best friend. Jenn knows she should return Roscoe, but she really doesn’t want to. Will Jenn do the right thing? Or will she keep this new dog she’s grown to love so much?

  4. Pig the Fibber - The world’s bestselling pug is back! Pig was a pug, and I’m sorry to say, he would often tell lies just to get his own way. Pig the Pug tells lies to get what he wants and get Trevor the sausage dog in trouble. When Pig hatches a plan to get at the hidden treats in the back of the closet, his lies get Trevor thrown out of the house. Finally he’s all alone with those treats. What he didn’t expect was the bowling ball. Maybe this time Pig the Pug will learn his lesson.

Want to see books about dogs?

Books About Values And Virtues and Community

The Breaking News
Written & illustrated by Sarah Lynne Reul
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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

What Can a Citizen Do?
Written by Dave Eggers & 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.

The Little Red Stroller
Written by Joshua Furst & illustrated by Katy Wu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Luna outgrows her stroller just as Ernie needs one, and when he outgrows it he passes it along to Gigi, and soon many different families have received and shared the gift.

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

  2. Little Wise Wolf - Books have taught Little Wise Wolf many things. But perhaps he’s not quite as wise as he thinks he is. A small wolf spends all his time reading big books and discovering new stars. Because he knows so much, everyone calls him Little Wise Wolf, and many of his neighbors come to him with questions. However, with so many big books still to read, he simply does not have time to answer them. Then, one day, he is summoned by the king’s crow: the king is gravely ill, and only Little Wise Wolf can heal him. It is a long way to the king’s castle, and Little Wise Wolf finds he is unprepared for the arduous journey. Tired and hungry, he begins to doubt how wise he really is, as there are many things he does not know about the world. Things the other animals know all about it. But will they help him? In this big story disguised as a small one, Gijs van der Hammen deftly explores the value of relationships and the interconnectedness of us all. It highlights for young children the important life lesson that everyone has unique skills and knowledge, so everyone in a community matters —- and we all need the help of others sometimes. Beautifully told and richly illustrated by Hanneke Siemensma, this engaging read-aloud has the timeless appeal of a folktale. It would be an excellent choice to begin conversations about the social studies concept of community and the character education topics of kindness and empathy.

  3. The Belonging Tree - The Belonging Tree is a thoughtful picture book about respect, inclusion, and acceptance in a woodland community of animals from writer Maryann Cocca-Leffler and illustrator Kristine A. Lombardi. Life was ordinary in the big oak tree on Forest Lane. Squirrels lived in every part of the tree, and the Gray squirrel family inhabited the knot in the middle. But the neighborhood starts to change as the big oak tree welcomes families of chipmunks, beavers, and birds. And with each new arrival, the Grays become increasingly unhappy. Can’t everything remain just as it was? It will take an unexpected moment of heroism from a thoughtful inhabitant to finally open hearts and bind together this diverse animal community. Christy Ottaviano Books

  4. Hey, Wall - A boy takes on a community art project in order to make his neighborhood more beautiful in this empowering and inspiring picture book by Susan Verde, stunningly illustrated by award-winning artist John Parra. One creative boy. One bare, abandoned wall. One BIG idea. There is a wall in Ángel’s neighborhood. Around it, the community bustles with life: music, dancing, laughing. Not the wall. It is bleak. One boy decides to change that. But he can’t do it alone. Told in elegant verse by Susan Verde and vibrantly illustrated by John Parra, this inspiring picture book celebrates the power of art to tell a story and bring a community together.

Books About Values And Virtues and Helping Others

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

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

The Lost Star
Written by Przemysław Wechterowicz & illustrated by Marcin Minor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

What happens when a star falls to earth . . . and doesn’t know how to get back home? A magical, mysterious story that’s perfect for bedtime. One night, when the moon is shining and a dormouse is having fun with the fireflies, she spots a gentle glow in the woods. The light comes from a golden star that has fallen to Earth and needs to get back home. Dormouse and her woodland friends do their best to help the star return to the sky, but one by one they fail . . . and the star grows paler and paler. Will the mysterious Frog finally succeed? Filled with atmospheric illustrations and soothing, dreamlike text, this heartwarming picture book will enchant children.

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

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

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. Snail Crossing - In a book that is as cheerful and charming as Snail himself, Corey Tabor tells a winning tale of slow but steady Snail, whose determination and kindness bring him the best reward of all: friendship. When Snail spies a plump, crisp cabbage across the road, nothing will stop him—not a speeding car or even a hungry crow. But then kindhearted Snail stops to help a crew of antsy ants in a rainstorm, and he loses his way. It looks like he will never get his treat—until Snail’s new friends come up with an ingenious idea. . . .

  3. The Farmer - A farmer’s hard work is rewarded in this eco-friendly and elegantly illustrated picture book. In the town, everyone is sleeping. But not Paul. Paul mows. Paul rakes. Paul sows. Paul draws water. And soon Paul has beautiful plants and flowers growing all around him. But one day, the water dries up. The sun beats down. Paul despairs. But thanks to his animal friends, and a bit of rain, help is on the way . . .

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

Books About Values And Virtues and Gratitude

When Grandpa Gives You a Toolbox
Written by Jamie L. B. Deenihan & illustrated by Lorraine Rocha
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

In this delightful story, by the same author who wrote When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree, a boy is disappointed with his grandfather’s gift—until he learns he can use it to build exactly what he wanted with his own two hands, and a little help from grandpa, of course!

You asked for a special house for your dolls; but instead Grandpa gives you a toolbox! What do you do? Launching it into outer space is a bad idea. So is feeding it to a T. rex! Instead, be patient, pay attention, and you might find that you’re pretty handy. And just maybe, with grandpa’s help, you’ll get that dollhouse after all. This clever story celebrates kindness, hard work, and community, as well as variety in gender expression: the male main character proudly engages in activities that might be considered typically girl (playing with dolls) and typically boy (building with tools).

Thankful
Written by Eileen Spinelli & illustrated by Archie Preston
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

The gardener’s thankful for every green sprout.

The fireman, for putting the fire out.

The artist is thankful for color and light.

The clown for her costume silly and bright.

Thankful, written by beloved children’s author Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Archie Preston, combines charming rhymes and whimsical illustrations to convey the importance of being thankful for everyday blessings. Like the gardener thankful for every green sprout, and the firefighter, for putting the fire out, children are encouraged to be thankful for the many blessings they find in their lives. Spinelli exhibits her endearing gift for storytelling with this engaging poem, reminding children how blessed and special they are. Meant to be read aloud, this heartwarming board book will be a treasured keepsake for parents and children alike.

The Thank You Letter
Written & illustrated by Jane Cabrera
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Grace sets off to spread gratitude to everyone in her community and receives a delightful response!

Grace writes charming and humorous letters to thank relatives and friends for her birthday presents. But why stop there? To who else can she give thanks? Grace thanks Mr. Jones for teaching her to read, her dog for his waggy tail, and the sky for being so blue.

Soon showers of thoughtful letters and notes are circulating through the town. When Grace returns home, a gatefold reveals that the inside is decorated from floor to ceiling with notes, cards, and letters responding to her thoughtful missives.

Favorite storytime author and illustrator, Jane Cabrera’s vivid and textured acrylic paintings are filled with joyful cuteness and warmth. Patterns from the inside of envelopes smartly add to the epistolary theme. This delightful celebration of mindful thankfulness and community togetherness is perfect for curling up in a cozy spot and sharing one-on-one.

Honorable Mentions
  1. May We Have Enough to Share - Award-winning author Richard Van Camp wrote this book to express his gratitude for all that surrounds him and his family. The strength of their connections, the nature that provides for them, the love that is endless. Complemented by photos from photographers who celebrate their own gratefulness on the collective blog Tea&Bannock, the simple verse in May We Have Enough to Share is the perfect way to start or end your little one’s days in gratitude.

  2. We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga - The Cherokee community is grateful for blessings and challenges that each season brings. This is modern Native American life as told by an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation. The word otsaliheliga (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah) is used by members of the Cherokee Nation to express gratitude. Beginning in the fall with the new year and ending in summer, follow a full Cherokee year of celebrations and experiences. Written by a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, this look at one group of Native Americans is appended with a glossary and the complete Cherokee syllabary, originally created by Sequoyah.

  3. A Teacher Is the Greatest Gift - Sharing A Teacher is the Greatest Gift is the perfect gesture to remind teachers of the difference they make in their student’s lives. What does your teacher mean to you? A compass that points the way, an umbrella in a windy storm, an encyclopedia of knowledge—a teacher can be all these things and more. This sweet picture book beautifully illustrates all the different things our teachers have taught us, the care they have given us, and how they’ve inspired us. It’s undeniable that a teacher is the greatest gift of all, and this book is a lovely way to express your thanks.

  4. Thank You, Bees - This gentle message of gratitude and connection, enhanced by beautifully simple collage illustrations, makes for a charming gift. Sun gives us light. Thank you, sun. Clouds bring the rain that makes puddles to splash in. Sheep give us wool for our sweaters and hats. The honey that sweetens our bread comes from bees (thank you, bees). With spare, repetitive text and bright, torn-paper collage artwork, this picture book gives even the youngest readers a subtle sense of how everyday things are related — and inspires an appreciation for life’s simple gifts.

Want to see books about gratitude?

Books About Values And Virtues and Bunnies And Rabbits

Too Many Carrots
Written by Katy Hudson
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

The bestselling picture book that Publisher’s Weekly calls “simultaneously sassy and sweet.” Rabbit loves carrots — and that’s a big problem! In this phenomenal bestseller, Rabbit loves carrots a little too much. In fact, his carrots are crowding him out of his cozy burrow. When his friends offer to help, they’re just asking for trouble — a lot of trouble! This charming and lovingly illustrated children’s book, by acclaimed author Katy Hudson (A Loud Winter’s Nap and Bear and Duck), shows how friendships get us over the rough spots in life, even if the going gets a little bumpy. Too Many Carrots is the perfect springtime, Eastertime, and anytime gift.

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

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

What Are You Waiting For?
Written by Scott Menchin & illustrated by Matt Phelan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-8

A badger finds his rabbit friend outside waiting for something and giving badger clues and guesses to figure out they are waiting to see the moon appear.

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

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

Books About Values And Virtues and Bears

The Perfect Sofa
Written & illustrated by Fifi Kuo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Penguin and Panda decide it’s time for a new sofa—but they are overwhelmed by the options. Will they find what they’re looking for? When Penguin and Panda decide their tired sofa is in need of replacement, they set out to find the perfect one. But none of the options are quite right and no sofa can seem to match the comfort of the one they already have. Is what they’re looking for closer than they think?

The Berenstain Bears Play a Good Game
Written by Jan Berenstain & illustrated by Stan Berenstain
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When a fight breaks out during Brother and Sister Bear’s soccer game, Missus Ursula reminds everyone about fair play and sportsmanship.

The Berenstain Bears and the Truth
Written & illustrated by Jan Berenstain and Stan Berenstain
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

This classic Berenstain Bears story is a perfect way to teach children about the importance of honesty!

Come for a visit in Bear Country with this classic First Time Book® from Stan and Jan Berenstain. When Mama goes to the market, Brother and Sister play soccer in the house . . . and end up breaking a lamp! When Mama asks them what happened, they tell her a series of whoppers that just get bigger and bigger. Will they ever tell her the truth?

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

  2. The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies - This classic Berenstain Bears story is a perfect way to teach children about self-control and the importance of compromise! Come for a visit in Bear Country with this classic First Time Book® from Stan and Jan Berenstain. Brother and Sister are having a bad case of the “gimmies.” Whenever they don’t get what they want, they throw a tantrum. But is this really the best way to handle their emotions?

  3. Sneaky Beak - “Is your bath bubbly enough? Is your bed bouncy enough? Is your cereal crunchy enough? Don’t delay—call Sneaky Beak today for deals beyond your wildest dreams!” When Bear sees a commercial advertising the Snores-Galore Mega Bed, the “bounciest bed ever,” he decides that he wants one. The salesbird, Sneaky Beak, shows up and convinces Bear that he needs the Super-Whirl Turbo Tub and the Crunch-O-Matic Granola Maker, too—not to mention a trip in his vacation rocket to get away from it all. But are all those gadgets really what Bear needs?

  4. Ahoy There, Little Polar Bear (Board Book) - Lars, the little polar bear who lives at the North Pole, is off on a new adventure. This time he’s been accidentally scooped up in a gigantic fishnet and is heading into port aboard a ship. How will he ever get home? Luckily, Lars isn’t the only four-feeted creature on board. Nemo, the ship’s cat, comes up with a plan to get Lars home that just might work.

Want to see books about bears?

Books About Values And Virtues and Culture

Rechenka's Eggs
Written by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Old Babushka, known throughout all of Moskva for her beautifully painted eggs, is preparing her eggs for the Easter Festival when she takes in an injured goose. She names the goose Rechenka, and they live happily together until one day when Rechenka accidentally overturns a basket, breaking all of Babushka’s lovingly crafted eggs.

But the next morning Babushka has a surprise awaiting her in the basket. She cries: “A miracle!” It is one of many in this charmingly told tale of friendship and caring.

With vibrant illustrations, Patricia Polacco has joyously re-created the flavor of Old Moscow and its festivals. The eggs, stunningly colored and intricately designed, are authentic reproductions of eggs painted in the Ukrainian style. Rechenka’s Eggs is a timeless story of classic beauty.

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

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

The Seed of Compassion: Lessons from the Life and Teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Written by His Holiness The Dalai Lama & illustrated by Bao Luu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

For the first time ever, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate His Holiness the Dalai Lama addresses children directly, sharing lessons of peace and compassion, told through stories of his own childhood.

One of today’s most inspiring world leaders was once an ordinary child named Lhamo Thondup. In a small village in Tibet, his mother was his first great teacher of compassion. In everyday moments from his childhood, young readers begin to see that important lessons are all around us, and that they, too, can grow to truly understand them.

With simple, powerful text, the Dalai Lama shares the universalist teachings of treating one another with compassion, which Bao Luu illustrates beautifully in vibrant color. In an increasingly confusing world, The Seed of Compassion offers guidance and encouragement on how we all might bring more kindness to it.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Neekna and Chemai - Neekna and Chemai are two little girls growing up in the Okanagan Valley in the time before European contact. Through these two friends, we learn about the seasonal life patterns of the Okanagan First Peoples. The girls spend time with Great-Grandmother, who tells them about important ceremonies, and they gather plants with Neekna’s grandmother. Grandmother explains how bitterroot came to be an important food source, and why the people give a special ceremony of thanks at its harvest. Grandmother also tells the story of how a woman was changed to a rock to watch over the Okanagan Valley. Neekna understands how important it is that she has received the knowledge passed down for generations, from great-grandmother to grandmother to mother.

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

  3. The Chinese Emperor's New Clothes - Ming Da is only nine years old when he becomes the emperor of China, and his three advisors take advantage of him by stealing his stores of rice, gold, and precious stones. But Ming Da has a plan. With the help of his tailors, he comes up with a clever idea to outsmart his devious advisors: He asks his tailors to make “magical” new clothes for him. Anyone who is honest, the young emperor explains, will see the clothes’ true splendor, but anyone who is dishonest will see only burlap sacks. The emperor dons a burlap sack, and the ministers can’t help but fall for his cunning trick.

Books About Values And Virtues and Birds

Fly Flies
Written by Ziggy Hanaor & illustrated by Alice Bowsher
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Fly just wants to have fun flying, but everyone she meets thinks she’s doing it all WRONG!

Fly is happily practicing her flying in the park, doing some wibbles and some wobbles and some waveys. Blackbird, Seagull, Starling and Hawk take turns giving Fly advice about the best way to fly; fly in a straight line, glide on the wind, fly in a flock, dive onto your food…. Fly tries to take their advice on board, but each time finds that this is not HER way to fly. With a sweet, witty twist at the end, this is a delightful book about staying true to yourself in the face of people who insist they know better.

The Easter Egg
Written & illustrated by Jan Brett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Jan Brett’s lovable bunny hero, Hoppi, and her remarkable Easter Rabbit will enchant readers as they pore over illustrations filled with dazzling eggs made by Flora Bunny, Aunt Sassyfrass and others.

If Hoppi can make the best Easter egg, he will get to help the Easter Rabbit with his deliveries on Easter morning. But it is not so easy. Discouraged, he goes into the woods to think when a blue robin’s egg tumbles out of its nest. Hoppi keeps it safe and warm until the baby bird hatches, and when the Easter Rabbit arrives, he declares the empty blue eggshell the very best one to reward Hoppi for his kindness.

Spring is everywhere in gorgeous illustrations framed with pussy willows, flowering vines and flowers. Side borders feature busy rabbits making their unusual eggs and, in a border above, the Robin’s family drama unfolds.

A gatefold surprise reveals the Easter Rabbit.

Edgar and the Tattle-Tale Heart
Written by Jennifer Adams & illustrated by Ron Stucki
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Edgar, the mischievous toddler, accidentally breaks a statue while roughhousing with his sister, he must decide whether to tell their mother the truth—and Lenore must decide whether or not to tattle.

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

  2. Together We Grow - From award-winning novelist Susan Vaught comes a poignant picture book that celebrates inclusivity, acceptance, and the importance of rebuilding a community in the wake of disaster. Lightning gash! Windy lash! A storm drives all the farm animals indoors except for a lonely fox family. The barn isn’t their home. But where will they go for safety? This stunning picture books explores themes of acceptance and belonging: Large or small, Short and tall, There is room, There is room, There is room For us all.

  3. Limelight Larry - A vain peacock named Limelight Larry is excited to be in a book that is just about him, but before long, several of his animal friends begin poking their heads in to see what is going on as Limelight Larry tries to get them to go away.

  4. Where Is My Balloon? - Owl and Monkey from I Have a Balloon are back! But what happened to Owl’s balloon? Find out in this hilarious picture book about making mistakes and finding forgiveness. Owl has a balloon. Monkey has a sock with a star and a perfectly shaped hole. But then Owl asks Monkey to hold his balloon, just for a second. What do you think happens? POP! When Owl returns and asks for his balloon, Monkey offers him everything under the sun…except for the balloon. Can their friendship survive this catastrophe? Kirkus Reviews praised Owl and Monkey’s first adventure, I Have a Balloon, “This tightly paced narrative soars,” in a starred review.

Want to see books about birds?

Books About Values And Virtues and Habits And Behavior

I Am a Thief!
Written by Abigail Rayner & illustrated by Molly Ruttan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Eliza Jane Murphy—line leader, captain of the worm rescue team—impulsively pockets a sparkly green stone from her classroom’s “Exploring Green” display table, her heart crumples.

My heart stopped singing. My letters went wonky. I was too heavy to swing!

I wanted to put it back . . . But what if someone saw?

But when she discovers that nearly everyone in her family took something once in their lives—from her baby brother and mom, to her nana with her sausage-stealing dog—Eliza overcomes her shame to make things right.

A hilarious and heartfelt story about stealing and finding the courage to do the right thing.

Honey Moon Shiver
Written & illustrated by Joyce Magnin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

“Honey Moon is in a terrible pickle. She borrowed her mother’s precious silver locket without permission and now the family heirloom has gone missing. Honey suspects it was taken by one of her best friends. She sets out to find the necklace before her mother notices it’s gone. Along the way, Honey meets Shiver, who turns out to be much more than the owner of the newest popsicle shop in Sleepy Hollow. With Shiver’s guidance and a bit of magic, Honey is able to track down the locket and learn the importance of telling the truth and the power of forgiveness.”—Amazon.com.

The Boy Who Wouldn't Share
Written by Mike Reiss & illustrated by David Catrow and Mike Reiss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Edward has oodles of toys but doesn’t share any of them with his little sister, Claire. She cannot ride his rocking horse, hug his teddy bear, or even think about touching his Slinky. “They’re mine!” he says. That is, until one day when Edward finds himself stuck under his enormous pile of toys and can’t move! With a little help from an unlikely ally, he learns that if he can share with others, they’ll share right back with him. Mike Reiss’s wickedly funny verse and David Catrow’s remarkable gift for comic illustration make this one book you’ll want to share—again and again!

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Very Greedy Bee - A greedy bee learns a lesson when he “slurps and burps” too much nectar, falls asleep in a meadow, and needs help from other insects to find his way home after dark.

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

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

  4. A Bike Like Sergio's - When Ruben, who longs to have a bike like his friend Sergios that his family cannot afford, finds money in a grocery store, he has to make a tough decision about what to do with it.

Books About Values And Virtues and Sharing

I Am the Boss of This Chair
Written by Carolyn Crimi & illustrated by Marisa Morea
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

When a new kitten joins the family, can a top cat learn to share his chair—and (almost) everything else, too?

“I, Oswald Minklehoff Honey Bunny III, am the boss of this chair. You may look at it, and you may walk by it, but you may not sit in it. Because I am the boss of this chair, and that’s that.”

Oswald Minklehoff Honey Bunny III has always been top cat. Then Pom Pom the kitten comes along and suddenly Oswald isn’t the boss of everything anymore—not the toilet paper, food dish, back door, toy mouse, or even his own special chair. Will Oswald realize that life is more fun when you have a friend—and that, really, there’s plenty of room on the chair to share? A fun picture book with a comforting message for any kid with a new sibling.

The Squirrels Who Squabbled
Written by Rachel Bright & illustrated by Jim Field
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Greedy squirrels Cyril and Bruce both have their sights on a very special prize: the last pinecone of the season. Uh-oh! The race is on! A laugh-out-loud tale about friendship and sharing by the bestselling duo behind The Lion Inside and The Koala Who Could, Rachel Bright and Jim Field!

The Rainbow Fish
Written & illustrated by Marcus Pfister
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

The Rainbow Fish is an international best-seller and a modern classic.

Eye-catching foil stamping, glittering on every page, offers instant child appeal, but it is the universal message at the heart of this simple story about a beautiful fish who learns to make friends by sharing his most prized possessions that gives the book its lasting value.

A CHRISTOPHER AWARD WINNER

WINNER OF THE BOLOGNA BOOK FAIR CRITICI IN ERBA PRIZE

AMERICAN BOOKSELLERS ABBY AWARD WINNER

AN IRA-CBC CHILDREN’S CHOICE

#1 PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BESTSELLER and WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER

Honorable Mentions
  1. Llama Llama Time to Share - Does Llama Llama love his toys? Of course! Does Llama Llama love to share them? He’s not so sure. But when the new neighbor Nelly Gnu comes to visit, Mama makes it clear: It’s time to share. But Llama’s not so sure it’s time to share all his toys. Maybe just his blocks? It could be fun to make a castle with Nelly … But wait — Nelly has Llama’s little Fuzzy Llama! Can Llama Llama do it? At first he thinks he can … and then he really thinks he can’t … until Mama shows him that when he’s ready to share, he’ll also be ready to have more fun.

  2. We Share Everything! - On the first day of school, after their kindergarten teacher scolds them for not sharing, a boy and girl share their clothes and shoes.

  3. The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! - Pigeon learns about sharing when a curious duckling keeps asking questions about the hot dog Pigeon has found.

  4. It Came in the Mail - From the author-illustrator of Something Extraordinary comes a tale filled with dragons, pickles, friendship, and lots of mail—perfect for fans of Mo Williams and Bob Shea. Liam really wants some mail, so he writes a letter to his mailbox asking for something in return. His mailbox delivers, sending Liam more than he could have hoped for…and how! But as the mail starts to pile up, Liam realizes that the best packages and parcels are even better when shared with friends.

Books About Values And Virtues and Multicultural

Indestructibles: Let's Be Kind
Written by & illustrated by Ekaterina Trukhan and Amy Pixton
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Now selling a million copies a year, INDESTRUCTIBLES is the runaway little series that could! Printed on a special nontoxic, 100% washable, paperlike, recyclable material that is rip proof, chew proof, and drool proof, they are books designed for the way babies read—with their mouths!

Let’s Be Kind encourages kindness by introducing words and phrases like please, thank you, and I’m sorry in a warm, familial setting.

INDESTRUCTIBLES’ text is simple and engaging, and the bold, bright illustrations hold baby’s attention. Priced at just $5.95, these books are such a great value, parents will want to collect them all.

Henry and Bea
Written & illustrated by Jessixa Bagley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Henry and Bea are inseparable, but one day Henry suddenly stops talking to his best friend. Bea knows there’s something Henry’s not telling her, but what could it be?

Henry and Bea have always been inseparable…until one day Henry suddenly stops talking to Bea. He won’t chat with her in class, and he won’t sit with her at lunch. Bea can tell something’s going on, and she’s determined to find out what it is.

Then their teacher announces that the class is taking a field trip to a farm, and Bea hopes that this might be her chance to reconnect with Henry. When Henry finds an old cat collar at the farm and starts to cry, he finally reveals his secret to Bea: his cat Buddy died last week.

And even though it’s hard for them both, Bea knows that she’ll be there for Henry, as his best friend, no matter what. From award-winning author/illustrator Jessixa Bagley comes a realistic and ultimately uplifting portrayal of the challenges of childhood friendship.

It Takes a Village
Written by Hillary Rodham Clinton & 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. Those Shoes - 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.

  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. Pie Is for Sharing - A picnic, a beach, a pie cut into pieces and shared with good friends. Pie is for sharing. It starts off round, and you can slice it into as many pieces as you want. What else can be shared? A ball, of course. A tree? What about time? Through the course of one memorable Fourth of July picnic, Stephanie Ledyard and Jason Chin take young readers through the ups and downs of sharing in this lovely picture book.

  4. Get Up, Stand Up - Bob Marley’s music has inspired millions of listeners around the world with messages of peace, love, and truth. This third picture book adaptation of one of his beloved songs has a timely message for children: To counter injustice, lift others up with kindness and courage. As a young girl goes on with her day in school, she comes across several instances of teasing and intimidation. But with loving action and some help from her friends, she’s able to make things right for herself and others. With exuberant pictures by John Jay Cabuay accompanying Marley’s iconic lyrics, Get Up, Stand Up is a vibrant testament to the power we all have to make a difference.

Books About Values And Virtues and School

Ruthie and the (Not So) Teeny Tiny Lie
Written & illustrated by Laura Rankin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Laura Rankin touches on an important childhood issue of lying with gentleness and humor, offering a reassuring look at how standing up for the truth can help cut even the biggest mistake down to size.

Ruthie loves little things-the smaller the better. So when she finds a teeny tiny camera on the school playground one afternoon, she can hardly believe her luck. She wants to keep the camera in the worst way, but there’s one little problem: It isn’t hers.

Ruthie swears to her teacher and to her classmate Martin that she got the camera for her birthday. But deep down, Ruthie knows better, and all day long that teeny tiny camera weighs on her conscience until she can hardly stand it. How could one little camera turn into such a great big problem?

Miss Nelson is Missing!
Written by Harry G Allard Jr & illustrated by James Marshall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

The kids in Room 207 were misbehaving again. Spitballs stuck to the ceiling. Paper planes whizzing through the air. They were the worst-behaved class in the whole school. So begins this quirky classic, first published in 1977 and still relevant today as a lighthearted reminder to show our appreciation to those we value. The students don’t proffer a shred of respect for their good-natured teacher Miss Nelson, but when the witchy substitute Miss Viola Swamp appears on the scene, they start to regret their own wicked ways. James Marshall’s scritchy, cartoonish full-color ink and wash illustrations are hilarious. A back-to-school perennial!

The Giggly Guide of How to Behave at School
Written & illustrated by Philippe Jalbert
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Mind your manners! Wondering what to expect on your first day of school? With 44 simple rules on how to behave, and how not to behave, at school, this giggly guidebook shows you exactly what it means to be the perfect student, and what happens when you’re not… Giggles are sure to ensue, and kids and their parents will surely want the companion book of how to behave, too!

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Giver - A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

  2. Junie B., First Grader: Cheater Pants - Meet the World’s Funniest First Grader—Junie B. Jones! Junie B. has all the answers when it comes to cheating. It’s just plain wrong! But what about copying someone else’s homework? That’s not cheating, right? ’Cause homework isn’t even a test! And speaking of tests . . . what if a friend shares an answer that you didn’t even ask for? Sharing definitely isn’t cheating . . . is it? Uh-oh. Maybe this cheating business is more complicated than Junie B. thought. Could she be a cheater pants and not even know it?

  3. A Is for Elizabeth - Elizabeth is in second grade. Class 2B! It’s great! Friends, recess, homework! Even a big project: Make a poster of your name. Yayyy! Hang on. The name Elizabeth has a bajillion letters in it! The name Anna has only four letters. Plus, Anna’s first letter is A, which is also the first letter of Alphabetical Order. But Anna can’t always be first! That’s not fair! In A is for Elizabeth, Elizabeth makes more than a poster. She also makes some important choices—about fairness, rules, speaking up, and glue. But the most important thing she makes is…a friend! With copious line art by Paige Keiser, this first book in a new series—spun off from Vail’s beloved Justin Case series—is sure to delight fans of Judy Moody, Junie B. Jones, and Clementine.

Books About Values And Virtues and Presents And Gifts

Auntie Claus (Deluxe Edition)
Written & illustrated by Elise Primavera
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A deluxe gift edition of the modern Christmas classic, featuring an access code to a printable Christmas party kit, plus downloadable audio read by Academy Award-winning actress Ellen Burstyn!

Auntie Claus is just another eccentric New Yorker—or is she? Young Sophie has often wondered about her unusual great-aunt, Auntie Claus. She lives in penthouse 25C at the Bing Cherry Hotel and is so curioso! After all, Auntie Claus serves Christmas cookies all year long and her tree is always the best-decorated in the city. And then there’s her annual “business trip,” right around the holidays. This year Sophie is determined to get to the bottom of Auntie Claus’s mysterious ways. Put on your mittens and bundle up for an adventure beyond your wildest dreams. Ho, ho, ho!

Your Magnificent Chooser
Written by John Ortberg & illustrated by Robert Dunn
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

We all have choices to make every day, even the youngest children. The choices we make play a large part in forming who we grow to be as adults. For kids, those choices can include whether to be obedient or disobedient, to share or be selfish, to have a good attitude or not, and more. John Ortberg addresses the ability to choose in a whimsical way by inviting children to use their “magnificent chooser” that God gave them to make right choices daily. Parents will love reading this book to their kids, and kids will enjoy the content while learning lessons that will stay with them throughout their lives.

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

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

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

  2. Son - They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive? She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice. Son thrusts readers once again into the chilling world of the Newbery Medal winning book, The Giver, as well as Gathering Blue and Messenger where a new hero emerges. In this thrilling series finale, the startling and long-awaited conclusion to Lois Lowry’s epic tale culminates in a final clash between good and evil.

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

Books About Values And Virtues and Imagination And Play

Wake Up, Let's Play!
Written by Marit Tornqvist
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Join two friends who love playing together wherever they are. They play restaurants and boats, castles and baking, snowmen and parties. And when the day is over and it’s time for bed, they can’t wait to play together again tomorrow.

With gorgeous, detailed scenes of children playing, this simple board book has very few words, encouraging children to interact with the beautiful artwork in their own way.

A sturdy board book for young hands about the endless possibilities of imaginative play.

Out There
Written & illustrated by Tom Sullivan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This stunning picture book will have young readers wondering about outer space and life on other planets while imparting a surprising and profound message of empathy. From the author/illustrator of Blue vs. Yellow and I Used to Be a Fish. Do you ever look up at the night sky and wonder if there is anybody else out there? Are there evil robots or cool aliens? Do they fly in UFOs or live in futuristic cities? Or maybe . . . they are just like us. Out There is a wonder-filled, surprising journey of imagination and empathy, a book that will inspire readers of all ages to reflect on how much we all have in common, despite our differences.

After the Rain
Written by Rebecca Koehn & illustrated by Simone Krüger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Drip, Drop, Plink. The rain stops, and Levi runs outside to play in a stream of rain water. But Polly puts an end to his fun when she doesn’t want to share. It’s a puddle fight! Until they see that the water is disappearing fast. Truce! They find a way to save the water and discover that it is more fun to play together. After the Rain puts a new twist on the rainy-day picture book about sharing and learning to work together.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Emily's Idea - How a simple creative act spreads a message of love and acceptance around the world? Emily’s idea started small. Many beautiful ideas do. She folded, doodled, and snipped. But also, like many ideas, Emily’s small idea grew. When a little girl decides to create a paper chain of dolls, her idea catches on. Then it spreads far and wide as children around the world begin to create and share their own. This is the story of how that girl makes it happen.

  2. Yasmin the Superhero - Yasmin gathers a cape and mask and sets out to find a villain to defeat with her “super powers”—however there are no villains hiding on her block, just neighbors who need a little help.

  3. You Can't Win Them All, Rainbow Fish - A brand new paperback title in the bestselling Rainbow Fish series! Everyone loses once in a while. But being a good sport when you lose isn’t always easy—not even for Rainbow Fish. A lighthearted look at accepting loss without losing your sparkle!

  4. Sarabella's Thinking Cap - From the bestselling creator of Skippyjon Jones, a heartwarming story about the importance of imagination and creativity. Sarabella is always thinking—conjuring, daydreaming, and creating new worlds from her imagination. There is so much going on in her head that it can barely be contained. But there are times when daydreaming is decidedly not a good thing—like when you’re supposed to be doing multiplication tables. Luckily, Sarabella has an understanding teacher and with his encouragement She comes up with her own idea to show everyone who she is.

Books About Values And Virtues and Family Life

Love
Written by Matt De La Pena & illustrated by Loren Long
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “[A] poetic reckoning of the importance of love in a child’s life . . . eloquent and moving.”—People “Everything that can be called love — from shared joy to comfort in the darkness — is gathered in the pages of this reassuring, refreshingly honest picture book.”—The New York Times Book Review, Editors’ Choice / Staff Picks From the Book Review “Lyrical and sensitive, ‘Love’ is the sort of book likely to leave readers of all ages a little tremulous, and brimming with feeling.”—The Wall Street Journal From Newbery Medal-winning author Matt de la Peña and bestselling illustrator Loren Long comes a story about the strongest bond there is and the diverse and powerful ways it connects us all. “In the beginning there is light and two wide-eyed figures standing near the foot of your bed and the sound of their voices is love. … A cab driver plays love softly on his radio while you bounce in back with the bumps of the city and everything smells new, and it smells like life.” In this heartfelt celebration of love, Newbery Medal-winning author Matt de la Peña and bestselling illustrator Loren Long depict the many ways we experience this universal bond, which carries us from the day we are born throughout the years of our childhood and beyond. With a lyrical text that’s soothing and inspiring, this tender tale is a needed comfort and a new classic that will resonate with readers of every age.

Betty Bunny Wants a Goal
Written by Michael Kaplan & illustrated by Stephane Jorisch
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

When a young rabbit quits soccer after a disappointing first game, her family encourages her to keep trying.

Families Belong
Written by Dan Saks & illustrated by Brooke Smart
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

A rhyming, light-hearted celebration of families being - and belonging - together.

Families belong
Together like a puzzle
Different-sized people
One big snuggle

This deliciously warm board book is an appreciation of the unconditional love and comfort shared within a family. Through a handful of specific yet universal scenarios, from singing songs together to sharing food together, from dancing together to lying still together, this book invites the youngest readers to celebrate what it means for a family to be truly together.

Honorable Mentions
  1. As Big as the Sky - What happens when a brother and sister who share a love as big as the sky must separate? This heartwarming story set in an African village shows that with a little generosity, there’s always a way to come together. In a small African village in Malawi, Prisca and her brother Caleb work together and play together, chasing each other as fast as they can. But when Caleb has to leave home to attend a good school, Prisca misses him terribly. Hoping to earn enough money to visit him, Prisca begs a local peddler to sell her crafts—but no one buys what she’s made. However, thanks to Prisca’s kindness and compassion, her dreams of reuniting with Caleb just may come true.

  2. The Summer I Saved the World...in 65 Days - One summer. One girl. One plan. Inspired by her late grandmother, Nina Ross sets out to do 65 anonymous good things for her family and neighbors, one for each day of summer vacation, to find out if doing good actually does any good. But things don’t turn out exactly as she envisioned.

  3. A Mango in the Hand - Guided by proverbs from his father and other relatives, Francisco makes several attempts to bring ripe mangos home for dessert on his saint day, and in the process learns lessons in love and generosity. Includes glossary of Spanish terms.

  4. A Homemade Together Christmas - A family of adorable pigs decides that this year they will make their gifts to each other for Christmas rather than buy gifts. Each family member is excited to try. Momma makes breakfast, Dad makes a blanket, and sister Rosie sings a song. But the littlest pig struggles to come up with an idea. What can he make?

Books About Values And Virtues and Easy Readers

Should I Share My Ice Cream?
Written & illustrated by Mo Willems
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In a latest entry in a Geisel Award-winning series, the friendship between reserved Gerald and fun-loving Piggie is tested when Gerald faces a difficult decision. By the Emmy Award- and Caldecott Honor-winning author of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! 100,000 first printing.

Waiting Is Not Easy!
Written & illustrated by Mo Willems
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

Gerald is careful. Piggie is not. Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can. Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to.

Gerald and Piggie are best friends.

In Waiting Is Not Easy!, Piggie has a surprise for Gerald, but he is going to have to wait for it. And Wait. And wait some more…

A Big Guy Took My Ball!
Written & illustrated by Mo Willems
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Gerald is careful. Piggie is not. Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can. Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to.

Gerald and Piggie are best friends.

In A Big Guy Took My Ball! Piggie is devastated when a big guy takes her ball! Gerald is big, too…but is he big enough to help his best friend?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Penny and Her Marble - Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes’s award-winning Penny returns in the third easy-to-read story about a sweet and curious mouse, perfect for fans Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, Owen, and Chrysanthemum. When Penny spots a marble in Mrs. Goodwin’s front yard, she picks it up, puts it in her pocket, and takes it home. It’s a beautiful marble—it’s big, shiny, blue, smooth, and fast, and Penny loves it. But does the marble really belong to Penny? Penny and Her Marble was named a 2014 Geisel Honor book by the American Library Association. This annual award, given to the most distinguished books for beginning readers, is named for the world-renowned children’s author Theodor Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss. Kevin Henkes is a master at creating beautifully illustrated books that resonate with young children. The Penny books are new classics for beginning readers and will appeal to fans of Frog and Toad, Little Bear, and Henry and Mudge. Don’t miss Penny’s newest adventures in Penny and Her Sled, coming this fall!

  2. The Cookie Fiasco - Four friends. Three cookies. One problem. Hippo, Croc, and the Squirrels are determined to have equal cookies for all! But how? There are only three cookies . . . and four of them! They need to act fast before nervous Hippo breaks all the cookies into crumbs!

Books About Values And Virtues and Lying

A Day's Work
Written by Eve Bunting & illustrated by Ronald Himler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Francisco, a young Mexican American boy, tries to help his grandfather find work, he discovers that even though the old man cannot speak English, he has something even more valuable to teach Francisco.

Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big
Written & illustrated by Berkeley Breathed
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-18

Edwurd’s little sister comes to the rescue when Edwurd’s humongous fib lands him in trouble with a three-eyed alien from another galaxy.

Sam Tells Stories
Written by Thierry Robberecht & illustrated by Philippe Goossens
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Eager to make friends, Sam decides to tell a story that isn’t true in order to win his new classmates over, but when he is confronted with the truth, Sam has to set the record straight and learns an important lesson in the process.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Eli's Lie-O-Meter - Mom’s Choice Award for Children’s Picture Books (Gold) Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Honor Winner Eli knows the difference between pretending and the real facts. Pretending is what he does when he orbits the earth with Duffy, and the real facts are what actually happen. Sometimes in REAL life, keeping to the facts is hard for Eli. Eli has a knack for telling fibs and an occasional whopper. But when Eli’s dog Duffy gets banished to the backyard, Eli learns at least one reason for telling the truth! While it can be common for kids to stretch the truth, toss out fibs, or tell big whoppers, why does this frustrate parents so much? It’s helpful for parents to understand how kids experience a lie. Kids don’t really believe they are lying. Instead, the fact-stretching can be a convenient way to get out of trouble or to protect someone else from being punished. Telling lies may be a way your child can safeguard friendships. Or stretching the truth might only be a bit of fun. Enjoy this story with your children. and as they see the consequence of Eli’s fibs, they might understand the benefits of sticking to the truth. And to help you get the facts straight on fibs, lies, big lies, and whoppers, included is a Note to Parents by Mary Lamia, PhD, a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst who works with adults, adolescents, and preteens.

  2. The Lying King - Can warthogs fly? Do tigers eat broccoli? For answers, follow along as Warthog lies his way to the throne in this timeless, yet most timely, Tale from the Watering Hole. Will the Truth catch up with the king? ​Find out as Alex Beard’s whimsical animals come to life to illuminate real world truths for children of all ages. With a nod to Aesop and Kipling, this funny and pointed parable has lessons for everyone, from the playground to the boardroom and beyond!

Want to see books about lying?

Books About Values And Virtues and Manners And Etiquette

People Share with People
Written by Lisa Wheeler & illustrated by Molly Idle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s good to share a blanket. It’s nice to share some fries. It’s great to share your crayons BEFORE somebody cries. Yes… People share with people! It’s not that hard to do. So if you’d like to cozy up… I’ll SHARE this book with you!

Number One Sam
Written & illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

They’re off!

Sam is the best race-car driver in history-he is number one at every race!

But when his best friend, Maggie, shows that she has racing talent of her own, Sam doesn’t know how to handle coming in second place. Will he learn what it truly means to be a winner?

The Way I Act
Written by Steve Metzger & illustrated by Janan Cain
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

The Way I Act explores thirteen ways of behaving. The friendly verses and bold illustrations convey many positive ideas of how to act in a variety of situations. In the companion book, The Way I Feel, children learned that feelings come and go and simply are. A little older now, they are ready to think about the ability they have to control how things turn out. Like The Way I Feel, this book is ideal for children with autism.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Being Frank - Frank follows the motto, “Honesty is the best policy.” He tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Frank never lies to his schoolmates, he always tells the truth to adults, and he’s always honest with police officers. The balancing act of finding tact, that fine line between telling the truth and telling too much truth, is the main theme of this story, and it’s very funny—although not necessarily to his friend Dotti whose freckles remind Frank of the Big Dipper, or to the teacher who hears that her breath smells like onions, or to the principal who is told that his toupee looks like a weasel. No one is quite as impressed with Frank’s honesty as he thinks they should be. He is sweet and straightforward, and, well, very frank, but with everyone annoyed at him, Frank is now honestly unhappy. He decides to visit his confidante and pal, Grandpa Ernest, who has a history of frankness himself. With a few lessons from Grandpa, Frank begins to understand that the truth is important, but so is not being hurtful. With amusing characters and expressive artwork, this story tells the powerful message of finding the good in everything—a lesson that sends compassion and understanding to take the place of rudeness in the complex concept of truth.

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

  3. The Giggly Guide of How to Behave - Mind your manners! There’s more to good manners than just saying “please” and “thank you”! With 44 simple rules on how to behave, and how not to behave, this giggly guidebook shows you exactly what it means to have good manners, and what happens when you don’t follow the rules of good behavior… Kids and their parents will giggle their way through this clever and colorful guide on polite behavior, and are sure to want the companion book on how to behave at school, too!

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