We live in a world today where common courtesies and kindness is rare to come by. Not to many decades ago, children respected their parents, asked before leaving the inner table, actually sat at the dinner table, and respected their elders. These days, I don’t know about you, but I tend to find children are becoming terrible delinquents at earlier and earlier ages. It is for this reason, I wish to share 10 books that encourage the teachings of one of the most vital social attributes children, and adults, should posses more of, Kindness:
1. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
A heartfelt story of love shared between two unlikely beings: a boy and a tree. Bit by bit, the boy removes parts of the tree until it is left as merely a stump. By the time the boy is an old man, all he needs is a place to sit so he and the stump sit together.
This book displays the continual generosity and kindness of the tree and how the boy’s actions affect the tree. This book teaches that although kindness is a good thing, you should never give up so much that is causes you to suffer.
2. Rude Cakes by Rowboat Watkins
This is a book about a rude cake. He doesn’t have any manners, doesn’t listen and doesn’t share. This is a great book that teaches children about the importance of good manners and how good behavior can prove that you’re respectful of others and thoughtful.
3. The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig, illustrated by Patrice Barton
A story of a quiet little boy who feels invisible around his noisy, outgoing classmates. When a new kid comes to school, he makes the little boy feel a lot less invisible.
This book showcases how all kids are different and it aims to celebrate those differences.
4. Enemy Pie by Derek Munson, illustrated by Tara Calahan King
When a boy moves in down the street who excludes and laughs at people, a father makes an enemy pie to help defeat the boy. This tale tells a story of judging books by their cover. After the two enemies spend quality time together, they learn that they actually get along quite well.
5. Horton Hears A Who by Dr. Seuss
A classic story by the one and only Dr. Seuss about an elephant who discovers an entire community living on a speck of dust. Despite being made fun of by the other animals, Horton stands by Whoville because he knows it is the right thing to do.
This story teaches an important lesson about sticking to you guns and fighting for what you believe is right.
6. Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis
A story about a new girl in school who is not welcomed by the ringleader of the group, who excludes her from all of the group games. When the new girl leaves, the bully is left feeling full of guilt.
This story teaches the important lesson that sometimes we cannot fix the damages we have caused, which is why it’s important we try to be kind in all situations.
7. A Sick Day For Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead
A story about a zookeeper who loves all of the animals he cares for, and how he takes time out of his day to spend time with each and every one of them. When one day he falls sick, the animals decide to go visit him and take care of him as he does selflessly for them.
This is a great story that shows how continual kindness towards others is repaid with equal kindness.
8. Have You Filled A Bucket Today? A Guide To Daily Happiness For Kids by Carol McCloud, illustrated by David Messing
This book uses a metaphor about an invisible bucket that is used to hold good thoughts and feelings about yourself, and when you do something kind, you help to fill someone else’s bucket.
This book provides a visual representation of kindness and enforces the notion of how our actions can positively and negatively impact others.
9. We All Sing With The Same Voice by J. Philip Miller and Sheppard M. Greene, illustrated by Paul Meisel
A song book that connects kids from around the world. It highlights differences between children and how, regardless of how different we are from each other physically, culturally, etc., we can all sing the same song.
Not only is this a musically engaging book, but it encourages global and cultural awareness of others. This book is another one that celebrates our beautiful differences.
10. Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson, illustrated by Fumi Kosaka
This book is about a girl who picks some berries for her neighbor, who, in turn, bakes some muffins to give to other people. It is a story that shows how one act of kindness can set off a chain reaction of kindness towards others.
So, why not bring the best out of your kids by reading one of these books with them?
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