Children’s Books About Kindness: 10 Titles to Read with Your Kids

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Whether this September brings homeschooling, remote schooling, hybrid schooling, or in-person schooling, we all need more stories of kindness. Rather than launch into my traditional back-to-school book roundup, I want to share some empathy-building, bucket-filling children’s books about kindness and friendship. 

How to…  

Being kind can be very abstract. These picture books about kindness offer examples of how simple – and how complicated- “being kind” can be.

Pass it On Book Cover - Picture Books about KindnessPass It On by Sophy Henn

The power of sharing a smile, a laugh, a moment of joy is vibrantly illustrated in Sophy Henn’s gem. What kindness will you pass on?

Finding Kindness - Children's Books about KindnessFinding Kindness by Deborah Underwood

Releasing a ladybug, doing yard work for an elderly neighbor, where can you find acts of kindness around you? A great conversation starter about what kindness can look like – big and small. You and your kids will appreciate how children’s books about kindness get specific!Be Kind Book Cover - Children's Books about kindness

Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller

Being kind is not always obvious. Sometimes we don’t know how! The sweet story of friendship reminds us that it is always worth trying. Pat Zietlow Miller is a masterful children’s author and this is a total win.

Empathy Builders

Children's books about empathy

Maddi’s Fridge by Lois Brandt

Maddi has a secret. Her best friend, Sophia, has promised not to tell. But how do you help a friend whose family is struggling to keep food in the fridge? A must read for every family- especially in these financially uncertain times.

I Walk with Vanessa by Kerascoët 

I LOVE wordless books. They can be so powerful and this is no exception. How can you be an ally to a bullied or lonely friend? Just walk with them, no words required. Let your children read this one to you. 

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman by Michelle Edwards & G. Brian Karas

Mrs. Goldman knits hats for everyone else in the neighborhood. Come winter, however, Sophia notices that she doesn’t have one for herself!  There is only one way for Sophia to fix that. Perfectly imperfect- just like friendship

The Buddy Bench by Patty Brozo

Does your school or neighborhood playground have a Buddy Bench? Ours does! It is that magical place where children can sit when they are looking for a playmate. Let your imagination roam with all the new friendships that can be made!

Soul-filling Stories

the curious garden book cover - children's books about kindnessThe Curious Garden by Peter Brown

I love this story by the uber-talented Peter Brown.  When Liam stumbles upon a little sprout of green, he sets to work helping a struggling garden come back to life. Soon, green magic transform his gray community. 

The Spiffiest Giant in Town by Julian Donaldson

From the author and illustrator of the Gruffalo and Room on the Broom, comes the sweet tale of a giant who finally gets a fancy new suit to replace his torn gown and sandals. His heart is as giant as he is. An old one but a good one.  hooray for hat book cover - picture books about kindness

Hooray For Hat! by Brian Won

This is a staple in my Toddler Story Time repertoire.  I love this playful story of friends heading out to share some love and cheer each other up.  Vibrant, joyful and brimming with happiness.

There are so many beautiful children’s books about kindness and friendship. Which are your favorites? 

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