Books That Teach Kindness

by | Dec 7, 2021 | Activities, Family, Learning

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Great skills for everyone.

Kindness is an important trait that is seen in many ways. An act of kindness can transform someone’s day.  Kindness spreads like confetti – when one person shows it that person is more apt to share it with others. Kindness connects us all people in the world. It changes the energy or culture in the room. The best way to teach kindness and experience the feelings one gets when being kind, is kindness modeled by the parent. This is just a start of a list of books to read with your child and family to teach kindness. 

The Little Pocket Book of KIndness by Lois Blyth

the little pocket book of kindness book cover

Your family could use this book in many ways. The main focus is that kindness is contagious. This book has many stories that show different ways people have been kind to others. It also has quotes and different activities that families can do to model kindness. Each story has an Act of Kindness at the end. The photos are of people showing how to be kind.  

How Full is Your Bucket? By Mary Reckmeyer and Tom Rath. 

How FullI s Your Bucket book cover

What a fun story! This book is recommended for children ages 3 to 5, but is beneficial for all ages. This is a story about a boy named Felix who learns the importance of his actions and words given in any day. He learns that every moment matters. The analogy used is how kindness can fill a person’s bucket every day. Filling someone’s bucket consists of being kind and being aware of one’s actions. Felix learns the  importance of filling someone’s bucket. You and your child could spend time creating a bucket and then ways that you could fill someone’s bucket. 

Last Stop On Market Street book cover

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena

Another great book to read as a family is Last Stop on Market Street. This book has many themes. A few of them consist of intergenerational friendship, building community, and finding beauty in unlikely places. It also stresses the value of helping the less fortunate and teaching kindness. This could be a story that a grandparent would read with the family or children.

One by Kathryn Otoshi

One book cover

Working together is an important lifelong skill for all people to have. This book tells a story of how working together is best. The author uses different colors as the subjects to tell the story. Blue is a quiet color. Red’s a hothead who likes to pick on Blue. Yellow, Orange, Green, and Purple don’t like what they see.  Things get out of hand—until One comes along. One shows all the colors that  working together is even more important than being alone.  This book reinforces many skills that young readers are learning about in school. Like numbers, counting, and primary and secondary colors. More importantly they also learn about accepting and appreciating each other’s differences. 

Pete the Cat’s Groovy Guide to Kindness by Kimberly and James Dean

Pete the Cat Groovy guide to Kindness book cover teach kindness

The beauty of this book is that you can read the entire book at one time or a page or two at a time. It might be something that you read one page before your child goes to school. Pete the Cat shares some quotes and words on kindness in this fun collection.  These quotes really teach kindness and are about sharing, helping others, and having compassion for others.

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible”

Dalai Lama XIV
I Am Enough book Cover

I Am Enough by Grace Byers

This is an uplifting and motivating book. The message encourages children to recognize their uniqueness and show respect and kindness to others.  Through the use of simple simile and rhyme she portrays messages of empowerment .  This story shares how each individual is unique, and recognizes one’s  individual worth. Easy reading with the option for a lot of discussion.

Chrysanthemum book Cover

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Chrysanthemum is a funny and honest school story about a girl who loved her name. She thought her name was perfect. Once she started school she learned about teasing from the kids in her class. They teased her about her name. Once she realized how unique and special her name was from the music teacher it helped her to build her self-esteem, and acceptance to share all year round. 

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

The Rainbow Fish book cover

Looking for a bedtime story? Well this one is perfect. It fits with all ages of children. This is a wonderful story that shows how sharing and being kind will help one to be happy. Rainbow Fish has beautiful, colorful, and shiny metallic scales.  The other fish just want one of his scales.  Fish loves his scales so much he does not want to share them. The more he gave away the more delighted he became.  It is like when you are kind to others it makes you feel happy. 

If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelsen

If You Plant A Seed book Cover teach kindness

This beautifully illustrated book shows how planting a seed of kindness can bear sweet fruit.  It begins with a rabbit and a mouse planting vegetable seeds, and “in time, with love and care,” the seeds grow.. The animals enjoy their harvest.  When birds show up, rabbit and mouse have a difficult time sharing, but do share a tomato. They realize by sharing the birds spread some kindness of their own by spreading seeds or kindness as they fly. The theme of the story is if you plant a seed of kindness the fruits of kindness will grow and grow and grow.  

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Wonder book Cover

A wonderful story about choosing to be kind to all kids and people. The main character, Auggie, wants to be friends with his classmates, but they can’t get past his extraordinary face. Through his perseverance and family, Auggie meets a few friends. The character traits shown are empathy, compassion, acceptance, friendship, and—ultimately—kindness. This is a great book to read aloud as a family. It addresses the importance of befriending a new kid in school, not giving up on friendship, appreciating each other’s differences and how kindness spreads. 

We Are All Wonders book Cover

We’re All Wonders by R.J. Palacio

Choosing kind is something all parents want for their children. That’s why it’s important to teach kindness. This story focuses on how important it is to look at each person as unique and appreciating differences. This is a perfect book to read together and discuss empathy and kindness along the way. What does empathy look like and feel like? What does kindness look like and feel like? It reaffirms the need to belong. “People can see the way they see. Look with kindness and you will always see wonder. We are all wonders.”

Kindness starts with looking for the good in people and the world. These books will help teach kindness and build many character traits. Happy reading!

Books That Teach Kindness

by Dr. Kim Grengs, Ed.D., Parent Coach

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