Books that teach kindness, empathy and compassion

There are many wonderful picture books on kindness, empathy, and compassion that teach the concept beautifully to children. Don’t forget to check out the last post about teaching compassion to children. You can check it out here. Here are some of my book recommendations that will help the conversation and help you go deeper with your children:

1. “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio:

This heartwarming story follows the journey of a young boy named Auggie with a facial difference starting fifth grade at a mainstream school. It teaches children about acceptance, empathy, and the power of kindness. This book was made into a wonderful movie.

wonder book cover

2. “The Invisible Boy” by Trudy Ludwig:

This book tells the story of Brian, a boy who often feels invisible and excluded by his classmates. It beautifully illustrates the importance of including and reaching out to others, emphasizing empathy, and kindness.

3. “Each Kindness” by Jacqueline Woodson:

This book explores the impact of small acts of kindness and the regret that can come from missed opportunities to show compassion. It encourages children to choose kindness in their daily interactions.

4. “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” by Carol McCloud:

This book uses the metaphor of a bucket to explain how our words and actions can either fill or empty someone’s emotional well-being. It emphasizes the importance of acts of kindness and caring.

5. “A Sick Day for Amos McGee” by Philip C. Stead:

This charming book tells the story of a zookeeper who always makes time to visit his animal friends, even when he’s not feeling well. It highlights compassion, friendship, and the power of caring for others.

a sick day for amos mcgee cover

6. “The Rabbit Listened” by Cori Doerrfeld:

In this book, a young boy named Taylor goes through a difficult experience, and various animals try to comfort him with their own advice. It teaches children the importance of empathy and listening to someone’s feelings without judgment.

7. “Those Shoes” by Maribeth Boelts:

This book addresses the themes of empathy and compassion through the story of a young boy who desires a pair of popular shoes but learns the value of putting others’ needs before his own.

8. “Enemy Pie” by Derek Munson:

This book tells the story of a boy who wants to get rid of his enemy but instead finds a way to become friends through a thoughtful gesture. It teaches children about forgiveness, empathy, and the power of seeing beyond differences.

9. “Words and Your Heart” by Kate Jane Neal:

This book does an incredible job of conveying the concept that words hold great power. It touches upon the fact that words can be hurtful. And it encourages the reader to use words to look after each other’s hearts. 

words and your heart book cover

10. “Kindness Makes Us Strong” by Sophie Beer:

This board book is for young children and displays diverse children sharing simple acts of kindness. The text “Kindness is…” is followed by a relatable activity that most children will feel confident that they can achieve. This book can be used to spark a conversation about which random acts of kindness your child might like to apply in their own lives.


Do you have any books on kindness that you like? What are your recommendations? I would love to know.

1 Comment

  1. Diego4620

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