8 Kids’ Books That Teach Empathy and Kindness
Kids will learn all kinds of lessons throughout their childhood. But empathy and kindness are arguably two of the most critical skills they can practice. Adults with well-developed emotional intelligence, empathy, and kindness are happier and more successful, not to mention they have a positive impact on their communities. To help your child become kinder and more empathetic, a bookcase is a pretty great place to start! We've rounded up eight awesome kids’ books about empathy and kindness packed with valuable lessons for both young and old.
Empathy Is Your Superpower by Cori Bussolari, illustrated by Zach Greszkowiak
In this colorful children's book about kindness, kids can learn about what empathy is and how to use it in real-life situations. The end of the book includes tips, games, and an opportunity for reflection so that adults and kids can talk about how to apply empathy in everyday life.
I Am Human: A Book of Empathy by Susan Verde, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
This New York Times bestseller has inspired kids everywhere to learn empathy. Parents will love the messages of teaching kids to find common ground, connectedness, and empathy in this big wide world.
Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Jen Hill
When Tanisha accidentally spills juice on her new clothes, her classmate tries to step in and help as she wonders what it means to be kind. The New York Times Book Review wrote, "These days, it seems more important than ever for books to show young people how to act with thoughtfulness, civility, and kindness."
Jake the Growling Dog by Samantha Shannon, illustrated by Kerrie Joyce
Jake is a misunderstood dog who can't make friends because of his growl. Parents and kids will learn about the power of kindness and the importance of inclusion in this sweet story about a dog who strives to be one with his community.
The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld
Taylor feels sad and needs help. Thankfully, a cast of animal characters are there to offer up lots of advice, but none of it feels quite right until a rabbit shows Taylor the power of listening. Teaching kids to listen is a hugely important aspect of teaching empathy, and this book nails it on the head.
My Body Sends a Signal: Helping Kids Recognize Emotions and Express Feelings by Natalia Maguire, illustrated by Anastasia Zababashkina
Teaching children empathy and kindness is also teaching them to identify and express their emotions in appropriate ways. That's where My Body Sends a Signal comes in. Parents will love this children’s book about kindness because it allows them to open up conversations about how to handle feelings.
What Is Empathy?: A Bullying Storybook for Kids by Amanda Morin
This kids' book about empathy helps youngsters understand how people can perceive the same thing in different ways. Friends Sophia and Ava have a problem that needs to be solved, and readers will get to find out about that problem from both of their perspectives. Empathy and kindness become essential in helping the two friends see eye-to-eye.
Listening with My Heart: A Story of Kindness and Self-Compassion by Gabi Garcia, illustrated by Ying Hui Tan
Having kindness and empathy for others is incredibly important, but what about teaching kids to show self-compassion and love? This is the perfect book to do just that. With gorgeous illustrations and a lovely story to follow, kids can pick up skills on how to treat themselves with respect and kindness, surely something that anyone can use.
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