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7 Books About Kindness for Kids

Whether your young reader is just starting or an avid bookworm, there's a treasure trove of books about kindness for kids to explore.

By Courtney Leiva
7 Books About Kindness for Kids

Marco VDM/ Getty Images

If you're looking to spice up storytime, why not explore books brimming with tales of kindness and compassion? These stories are heartwarming and essential tools for nurturing empathy, care, and understanding in young minds, shaping their social-emotional skills for the better.

Whether your young reader is just starting or an avid bookworm, there's a treasure trove of books about kindness for kids to explore. To bring you the best ones, we've sought insights from experts like Norline Wild, an assistant professor at Niagara University with expertise in early childhood education, Lee Scott, chairperson of The Goddard School's educational advisory Board, and Alexandra Plante, a seasoned university reference and instruction librarian.

Below, discover the significance of these books and their seven book recommendations to enrich your little one's reading repertoire.

What is a book about kindness?

Books about kindness for kids span various styles and cater to youngsters, from toddlers to tweens. Norline Wild, an assistant professor at Niagara University specializing in early childhood education and child development, points out that these books vary not only in format, but also in their approach to storytelling.

According to Wild, "Some books explore the concept of kindness through poetic expressions, whereas others present narratives where characters experience kindness and acceptance through their interactions."

Why is a book about kindness important?

Wild tells Today's Parent that books about kindness are important for all ages as they play a crucial role in shaping values and perspectives.

"These children's books serve as powerful tools for teaching empathy, compassion, and understanding toward others," she explains. "By exposing children to stories that show kindness in various forms, children have the opportunity to understand what kindness means, to see examples, and to consider how they can show themselves and others kindness."

Seven Books about kindness for kids

Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller

Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller, Books About Kindness for Kids
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Dive into a world where kindness is king with Pat Zietlow Miller's enchanting read for kids ages three to six. Watch as a grape juice mishap becomes a heartwarming lesson in compassion, proving even the smallest hands can change the world — one act of kindness at a time.

We love the page-turning illustrations, beautiful messaging and ideas about sharing goodness.



Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig

Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig, Books About Kindness for Kids

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Geared towards children aged eight and above, this book not only imparts valuable lessons on human relationships but also showcases the power of kindness in forging new friendships. The story revolves around Brian, a reserved yet imaginative boy his classmates overlook. It is only when he strikes up a friendship with Justin, a fellow student facing similar neglect, that Brian truly shines.

Lee praises the book for its ability to relate to many children who navigate similar social challenges.

She tells Today's Parent, "I recommend this book because many children have been in these situations. Children often feel invisible in new circumstances or hesitate to join a group. Everyone wants to belong, and this book helps children see how they can participate with others, highlighting that everyone has something to contribute."


Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Peña

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Peña, Books About Kindness for Kids

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Alexandra Plante, a university reference and instruction librarian, thinks this book is a must-read for kids who want to explore kindness. It tells the tale of CJ, a young main character, and his grandmother as they ride the bus together after church every Sunday.

Throughout their journey, CJ meets different people and faces various situations, making it a heartwarming story that encourages empathy and acceptance.

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson, Books about Kindness For Kids

Designed for kids aged six to ten, the story follows Chloe, a young girl who learns a valuable lesson about friendship after initially turning down Maya, the new girl in class. Lee describes it as a challenging but essential read.

"My heart aches a little when reading this with children because it's a tough lesson on the impact of bullying, even for little ones," she explains to Today's Parent. "It is a must-read because Jacqueline Woodson presented the story in such a way to bring out strong emotion. It opens the door for deep discussions with children and tells them to choose kindness."

Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates and Juniper Bates

Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates and Juniper Bates, Books About Kindness For Kids
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According to Wild, sharing an umbrella in this story demonstrates the far-reaching influence of a simple act of kindness. It serves as a metaphor for inclusion, presented in a manner suitable for all ages.

She explains to Today's Parent, "As more and more people and animals are sheltered from the rain, we see the red umbrella expand, symbolizing the spirit of inclusion. When the sun comes out, we witness a vibrant community gathering together as they engage in conversation, play, share meals, and enjoy each other's company."

Saturday at the Food Pantry by Diane O’Neill

Saturday at the Food Pantry by Diane O’Neill, Books About Kindness For Kids

In this heartwarming picture book, readers follow a young girl named Molly and her mom as they go to a local food pantry. During their visit, Molly bumps into a classmate from school, and they both find joy in being kind to others at the pantry by making and sharing art.

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Wild says this is one of the greatest picture books about kindness." It provides a beautiful chance to discuss the crucial subject of food insecurity with kids in a developmentally appropriate manner and to look into ways to be kind and supportive of one another in our community," she says. "Moreover, it can comfort children who may relate to this experience personally."

It is an engaging read with colorful imagery kids get excited about.

Thank You, Omu by Oge Mora

Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora, Books About Kindness for Kids

Discover a heartwarming tale of kindness and community in this delightful picture book that captures the essence of a small act of kindness. Wild adores this story for its touching portrayal of a woman named Omu who performs a kind act by sharing her stew with her neighbors until there's none left for herself.

"It is then that her community's kindness is revealed as they return to her home with a potluck meal," she says. "This is a fabulous story of thankfulness and kindness and provides an opportunity to explore a variety of community members."

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Because kindness often starts with gratitude, this book is a must-read.

Experts: 

  • Norline Wild, assistant professor at Niagara University, and specialist in early childhood education and child development
  • Alexandra Plante, a University Reference & Instruction Librarian
  • Lee Scott, chairperson of The Goddard School's Educational Advisory Board
This article was originally published on Mar 25, 2024

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