Saturday, November 3, 2018

All about KINDNESS - an info wrap

Illustration: Elizabeth Graeber

Cool to Be Kind: Children’s Books That Champion Kindness

by Dena McMurdie


Dena read Jack London's White Fang in the third grade and has loved children's books ever since. She reads, blogs, and paints in North Carolina where she lives with her husband and three children. You can also find her at her blog, Batch of Books, where she writes about children's, middle grade, and young adult books.

My husband and I have spent many family discussions teaching our children about kindness. We tell our kids that what goes around comes around. If you want to be treated with kindness, you need to treat others with kindness. We’ve been successful for the most part, but kids make mistakes (who doesn’t?) and need a refresher now and then. Here are some books that celebrate kindness and help my family remember how and why we should be kind.

by Mary Murphy

Kindness is contagious. When Hen gives an egg to Pig, she starts a domino effect of kindness that spreads throughout the barnyard. This adorable board book is straightforward and simple in its message of expressing kindness to others.

(Ages 2 – 5)

by David Ezra Stein

Adults often say “Be nice!” to little tots who don’t yet understand what that really means. This sweet little book uses clear, simple statements — like “When you get in a snit, don’t hit” and “If you have more than you need, share” — to teach children how to treat others.
(Ages 0-3)

by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead

Amos spends his days caring for his animal friends at the zoo. When Amos gets sick, the animals decide to return the favor. This classic story about selflessness teaches kids that if you treat others with kindness, they’ll be kind to you.
(Ages 2 – 6)

by Jodie Shepherd, illustrated by Tom Brannon

Elmo is working to earn his Monster Scout “K Is for Kindness” Badge! Follow along with Elmo as he does good deeds around the neighborhood and learns what it means to be a kind person.
(Ages 3 – 7)

by Dr. Seuss

One day Horton, with his very big ears, hears a tiny yelp for help coming from a speck. The other jungle animals don’t know what he’s talking about, and they want to destroy the speck. Thus begins Horton’s epic journey to save the Whos. This classic Dr. Seuss tale is such a great way to teach kids that kindness is persistent and that any person, or elephant, can stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.

(Ages 5 – 9)

by Trudy Ludwig, illustrated by Patrice Barton

Shy, quiet Brian feels invisible in the hustle and bustle of his classroom. Then a new student arrives and Brian sees an opportunity to make a friend. The Invisible Boy provides a gentle reminder of how it feels to be left out and how small acts of kindness — something as simple as saying hi — can make a big difference in someone’s life.

(Ages 6 – 9)

by Margery Cuyler, illustrated by Sachiko Yoshikawa

Mrs. Ruler starts a kindness campaign in her class. As the kids work on their acts of kindness, they realize they can change the world through their good deeds. This offbeat and colorful book offers 100 ideas kids can put into action.

(Ages 5 – 10)

by KerascoΓ«et

A classmate wonders how she can help when she sees Vanessa, the new girl at school, walking home crying after a confrontation with a bully. A sweet and simple wordless picture book that opens up conversations around kindness, caring, and stepping up against bullying.

(Ages 4 – 8)

by Maribeth Boelts, illustrated by Noah Z. Jones

Kindness and generosity take center stage as a young man chooses to look past his own desire to fit in and help someone else in need. This is a great discussion starter about peer pressure, kindness, and poverty.

(Ages 5 – 8)

by Patty Lovell, illustrated by David Catrow

Short, bullfrog-voiced, and buck-toothed, Molly Lou Melon is the perfect target for the school bully. Good thing her grandmother taught her to be confident and love herself just as she is. A powerful message on how important it is to be kind to yourself as well as others.

(Ages 4 – 8)

by Emily Pearson, illustrated by Fumi Kosaka

Mary is ordinary in every way, but even ordinary kids can do extraordinary things. By performing one simple act of kindness, Mary starts a chain reaction that affects people all over the world.

(Ages 4 – 8)

by Rana DiOrio, illustrated by StΓ©phane Jorisch

Kindness often takes courage. We can choose to be kind to others in our actions each day. Using short, simple terms, this delightful picture book gives kids several specific suggestions of how to be kind.

(Ages 4 – 8)

by Matt de la PeΓ±a, illustrated by Christian Robinson

Messages of optimism, kindness, and serving those less fortunate than you are palpable in every word and page of this beautiful book. A grandmother teaches her grandson to look on the bright side of life and lift up those around him.

(Ages 3 – 5)

by Carol McCloud, illustrated by David Messing

Kind actions help both the receiver and the giver. Everyone has an invisible bucket that can be filled up through kindness. As you fill other people’s buckets, your bucket also fills up — which makes you (and them) feel good inside.

(Ages 3 – 5)

by Tiffany Strelitz Haber, illustrated by Kirstie Edmunds

Excluded by the other monsters for losing his "M", Onster goes in search of new friends. This simple story holds several messages about choosing good friends, self-confidence, peer pressure, and kindness.

(Ages 4 – 8)

by Patricia Hegarty, illustrated by Greg Abbott

A little mouse is building a house when a frog comes along and laments the fact that his pond has dried up. The little mouse immediately invites the frog to live with him. Soon birds that lost their tree, rabbits chased away from their burrow by eagles, and other animals looking for a home join in building a home where “everybody in it will feel that they belong.”

(Ages 3 – 7)

by Lynea Gillen, illustrated by Kristina Swarner

Sometimes you need a reminder that there are good people in the world. This book highlights the good actions of people and encourages children to spread the love. Read this when you or your child needs a lift.

(Ages 3 – 7)

by Laurie Keller

A family of otters moves in next door and Rabbit is worried. He doesn’t know anything about otters, but Owl teaches Rabbit to treat the otters with kindness — just the way he would want to be treated. This silly how-to book about the golden rule is both funny and enlightening.

(Ages 4 – 8)

by Mercer Mayer

Everyone’s favorite critter learns a lesson in kindness in a way that’s relatable for children. Little Critter learns to put others first, be considerate, and show kindness through his words and actions.

(Ages 3 – 7)

What books have you read that have great messages of kindness for young readers?

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2016 and updated in 2018.


Have a wonderful weekend everyone and be sure to come back and visit me next week. I love having you here on Storywraps. I always strive to feature the best kid's books that will help you instil a love of reading in your child that will last them a lifetime.  

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