The best tools to sculpt a child’s mind are their childhood experiences. And one of the best experiences of their long childhood is children’s books. Enlarge your child’s world through the books you give them. For, what better book can we give our children than that which teaches them that other human beings are deserving of love, benevolence, and respect, and they need to make the world a more inclusive place. Give them books that help the children’s souls shine because no one is ever too small to be open, kind-hearted, and empathetic.
There are innumerable books that narrate beautiful tales woven around kindness, humanity, kindness, and compassion. Whittling it down to 15 was difficult, but here they are.
Last Stop On Market Street
By Matt De La Pena, Illustration: Christian Robinson
A routine bus ride every Sunday by a child and his grandma after church turns into a soul-searching tale of love, hope, and kindness that only a grandparent can give to their grandchild.
What If Everybody Did That?
By Ellen Javernick, Illustration: Colleen Madden
The world would be such a better place if everybody were a little more thoughtful and kind.
A story of a person with a rare syndrome whom we all love. Even in the sadness, the sense of love and goodness prevails that inspires you and makes you appreciate the kind things in life.
By Barbara Shook Hazen, Trina Schart Hyman
The story of a boy who cannot have a dog because they cannot feed one. But then he finds a starving kitten on the day his father loses his job. His parents allow him to keep it to make him happy. A sad yet heartwarming story.
Stand In My Shoes: Kids Learning About Empathy
By Bob Sornson
This book shows kids how easily one can develop empathy towards those around us. It teaches the intrinsic value of noticing and valuing the feelings of others.
The Royal Bee
By Frances Park, Illustration: Christopher Zhong-Yuan Zhang
Young Song-ho’s parents cannot afford to send him to school. But then he finds a beautiful school. His courage and determination come to the fore as he helps his offspring.
Uncle Willie And The Soup Kitchen
By Dyanne Disalvo-Ryan
This sensitive and colorful book narrates the story of a caring and friendly group that welcomes a hungry child into their kitchen.
Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed
By Emily Pearson, Fumi Kokasa
This feel-good tale celebrates and inspires a world strewn with everyday deeds. A simple act of picking blueberries for her neighbor turns into a story of compassion and empathy, even in random deeds.
By Page Mcbrier, Illustration: Lori Lohstoeter
Beatrice dreams of being a schoolgirl. But she cannot afford a uniform. But then she receives a goat. A true story of a child’s quest to lift her family out of poverty.
By Pat Zietlow Miller, Illustration: Jen Hill
This book speaks of the power of kindness. It illustrates how every act of kindness, big or small, can make a world of difference in everyone’s life.
Save Me A Seat
By Sarah Weeks, Gita Varadarajan
Joe and Ravi come from different places but study in the same school. They have nothing in common but are thrown together by fate. How will things turn out?
If You Plant A Seed
By Kadir Nelson
A seed infused with kindness bears sweet fruit. A story of gentle humor and mellowness demonstrates the power of even small acts and how generosity and compassion can finally get rewarded.
By Madeleine Sherak
The story of Lily, the kid with a big heart who inspires her friend to get together to form a club to help other kids and the community.
By Jacqueline Woodson. Illustration: E.B.Lewis
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Chloe doesn’t want to play with Maya. And then, one day, Maya is gone. Chloe is heartbroken when she realizes that she had lost an opportunity to be kind to a girl who just wanted to be a friend.
By Maribeth Boelts, Illustration: Noah Z. Jones
All Jeremy dreams about are a pair of shoes with black high-tops and two white stripes. Everyone but he seems to be wearing one. His grandma’s love and reasoning and the chance to help a friend finally opens his eyes to life’s priorities.
It is striking that many of life’s greatest lessons where found in children’s books. But we only realize it once we are adults.
IMAGE FEATURED: Publicdomain