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READING KINDNESS: 8 BOOKS FOR KIDS TO KNOW KINDNESS

Written by: Malak Tariq


In a world filled with sensational news, conflicts and an influx of emoticons over emotions, even a small act of care and empathy possesses a healing touch! Parents, in particular, are concerned about how to give their kids lessons on the importance of kindness. They are wondering how to raise children who will be a force for love and goodness in the face of bitterness and hate.

Kindness is the virtue of caring about others, being friendly and generous. There are many ways to incorporate the value of kindness in kids. Books in particular are a one-stop source to inculcate this virtue. When parents read good stories to kids, their values strengthen for the better.

Here are some storybooks with amazing illustrations that shall inspire and introduce kids to the world of Kindness :

1. "Last Stop on Market Street"

This Newbery Medal-winning book follows a boy and his grandmother as they witness beauty, kindness and joy on the bus. This award-winning modern classic—a must-have for every child’s home library—is an inclusive ode to kindness, empathy, gratitude, and finding joy in unexpected places, and celebrates the special bond between a curious young boy and his loving grandmother.

Age group: 5 years and up.


2. "Those Shoes"

"Those Shoes" tells a story of generosity and selflessness in the midst of peer pressure.

All Jeremy wants is a pair of those shoes, the ones everyone at school seems to be wearing. Though Jeremy’s grandma says they don’t have room for "want," just "need," when his old shoes fall apart at school, he is more determined than ever to have those shoes, even a thrift-shop pair that is too small. But sore feet aren’t much fun, and Jeremy soon sees that the things he has — warm boots, a loving grandma, and the chance to help a friend — are worth more than the things he wants.

Age group: 5 years and up.

3. "Most People"

"Most People" reminds kids that, although there are many scary events and images in the world, there are also countless examples of goodness.

Michael Leannah wrote Most People as an antidote to the scary words and images kids hear and see every day. Jennifer Morris’s emotive, diverting characters provide the perfect complement to Leannah’s words, leading us through the crowded streets of an urban day in the company of two pairs of siblings (one of color). We see what they see: the hulking dude with tattoos and chains assisting an elderly lady onto the bus; the Goth teenager with piercings and purple Mohawk returning a lost wallet to its owner; and the myriad interactions of daily existence, most of them well-intended. Most People is a courageous, constructive response to the dystopian world of the news media.

Age group: 6 years and up.


4. "Come With Me"

This book follows a little girl's quest to make the world a better place.

“Together, the words and pictures work seamlessly to deliver a powerful message: What we do matters.”—R. J. Palacio, the New York Times When the news reports are flooded with tales of hatred and fear, a girl asks her papa what she can do to make the world a better place. “Come with me,” he says. Hand-in-hand, they walk to the subway, tipping their hats to those they meet.

In this lyrical and timely story, author Holly M. McGhee and illustrator Pascal Lemaître champion the power of kindness, bravery, and friendship in the face of uncertainty.

Age group: 5 years and up.

5. "Be Kind"

The protagonist of this story tries to follow her mother's advice to "be kind" and learns what compassion in action looks like.

A New York Times bestseller!

With a gentle text from the award-winning author of Sophie's Squash, Pat Zietlow Miller, and irresistible art from Jen Hill, Be Kind is an unforgettable story about how two simple words can change the world.


Age group: 5 years and up.



6. "Chocolate Milk, Por Favor! Celebrating Diversity With Empathy"

Chocolate milk becomes a symbol to tell the story of a boy's friendship with a new classmate who doesn't speak English. This empowering picture book shows how being different is delicious and that kindness and empathy are truly universal languages in action-packed illustrations.


Age group: 6 years and up.



7. "I Walk With Vanessa"

Named by Parents Magazine as the "Best Book that Champions Kindness"! This simple yet powerful picture book--from a New York Times bestselling husband-and-wife team--tells the story of one girl who inspires a community to stand up to bullying. Inspired by real events, I Walk with Vanessa explores the feelings of helplessness and anger that arise in the wake of seeing a classmate treated badly, and shows how a single act of kindness can lead to an entire community joining in to help. By choosing only pictures to tell their story, the creators underscore the idea that someone can be an ally without having to say a word. With themes of acceptance, kindness, and strength in numbers, this timeless and profound feel-good story will resonate with readers young and old.


Age group: 5 years and up.


8. "Listening With My Heart"

When Esperanza finds a heart-shaped rock, she sees it as a reminder to spread kindness and love in the world. But when the school play doesn’t go the way she’d hoped, will she remember to show it to herself? We talk to kids a lot about how to be friends with others, but not much about how to be friends with them. Yet self-acceptance and positive self-talk help them build emotional resilience, growth mindset, and well-being.

Listening with my Heart reminds us of the other golden rule-- to treat ourselves with the same understanding and compassion we give to others. It also touches on the universal themes of friendship and empathy. It includes kid-friendly mindfulness and self-compassion activities.

A wonderful addition to any home or school library!


Age group: 6 years and up.



These children's books offer beautiful lessons about friendship, acceptance, kindness and compassion along with inculcating the spirit of reading in kids. Parents will surely have a wholesome time when they read these valuable lessons of kindness to their kids.

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