Two kids lay on the floor looking at a book

Celebrate kindness in all its forms!

These top ten titles inspire children to be kind to themselves, to others and to our planet.


1. Kind Kids

Written by Dr. Helen Maffini and Whitney Stewart
Illustrated by Mariana Ruiz Johnson


Discover all the forms kindness can take! Fifty unique games, crafts and mindfulness activities help kids develop empathy and respect for themselves, their loved ones and the wider world. Written by preschool mindfulness experts Dr. Helen Maffini and Whitney Stewart, the cards include hands-on solo and group activities perfect for home or classroom use and beyond.

 

2. Count On Us!

Written by Gabi Snyder
Illustrated by Sarah Walsh


Learn how a movement builds from one person to a billion in this A to Z environmental activism book. Readers count from 1 to 10 – and then in larger increments to a billion – as they learn new terms from “conservation” to “activism.” Inset boxes provide easy-to-understand definitions of additional new vocabulary words.

 

3. Run, Little Chaski!

Written by Mariana Llanos
Illustrated by Mariana Ruiz Johnson


In this tale set in the ancient Inka (sometimes spelled Inca) empire, Little Chaski has a big job: he is the Inka King’s newest royal messenger. On his first day delivering messages he stops to help several creatures in need along the way, causing him to nearly miss his sunset deadline. But the kindness he bestowed on these animals winds up helping him in surprising ways.

 

4. Whole Whale

Written by Karen Yin
Illustrated by Nelleke Verhoeff


No one likes to be left out! Laugh along with the BIG book that fosters both kindness and mathematics. Young readers will giggle with delight as one hundred unusual animals try to squeeze into the oversized pages of this raucous rhyming tale. “But can we fit a whole blue whale?” is repeated throughout, as more animals join the melange.

 

5. The Boy Who Grew Flowers

Written by Jen Wojtowicz
Illustrated by Steve Adams


Quiet Rink always sits at the back of the classroom, away from the other children who have heard strange rumors about his family and prefer to keep their distance. But when a kind new girl joins his class, Rink’s life begins to change. Inspired by the experiences of her brother, who is on the autism spectrum, Jen Wojtowicz's heartwarming tale encourages children to empathize with and reach out to others.

 

6. That’s Mine!

Written by Sumana Seeboruth
Illustrated by Ashleigh Corrin


When one toddler in a childcare setting takes all the toy animals for herself, she discovers that monopolizing all the toys can be a bit lonely. Will offering one of the animals to another child help bridge the gap? In this gentle exploration of early friendship, toddlers will recognize the tension between wanting everything to be “mine!” and the desire to connect with other children.

 

7. Zahra’s Blessing

Written by Shirin Shamsi
Illustrated by Manal Mirza


Zahra hugs her cherished teddy bear and prays that Ramadan will bring her a longed-for sister. When her bear subsequently goes missing, Zahra finds herself grappling with intense feelings of loss. Over the next few weeks, as she volunteers with her mother at a local shelter for asylum seekers, Zahra befriends a displaced child, resulting in a newfound sense of gratitude and an unexpected Ramadan blessing.

 

8. The Girl with a Brave Heart

Written by Rita Jahanforuz
Illustrated by Vali Mintzi


Young Shiraz lives a lonely life with her stepmother and stepsister, completely unaware of the old woman who lives alone next door...until Shiraz's runaway yarn ball brings them face-to-face. This beautiful story from Tehran-born Israeli pop star Rita Jahanforuz explores the power of listening to others and the value of empathy.

 

9. The Bread Pet

Written by Kate DePalma
Illustrated by Nelleke Verhoeff


Cora promises to keep Uncle JB’s Bread Pet alive but didn’t anticipate its exponential growth! She needs to come up with a solution — and fast! This whimsical STEM story of family, creativity and community will inspire young makers to experiment and share their gifts with others. Includes sourdough starter recipe and sourdough bread recipe.

 

10. Just Like Brothers

Written by Elizabeth Baguley
Illustrated by Aurelie Blanz


A heartwarming fable for our time! A human mother tells her small son to watch out for wolves, and a wolf mother tells her cub to fear men — but their children don't listen. What will happen when the boy and the cub cross paths in the forest? This simple but profound story makes it easy to start conversations about prejudice, empathy and trust.

 



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