Best Children’s Books About Kindness

As a mama, the quality I most want to teach my children is kindness.

You see, teaching your child to be the smartest or the strongest or the something else ‘est’ will only take them so far.

But teaching them to be kind and generous and going out of their way to help others will matter literally in every aspect of their lives for as long as they live.

In fact, research shows that being kind even makes you happier. And what mama wouldn’t want their child to have a life full of happiness.

The awesome thing is, as parents, we have the opportunity to help our children to think through wrong-doing in a way that helps them grow and learn.

Even when they create ‘empathy blind spots’ where they decide that certain people’s feelings don’t “count” and therefore they feel justified in being mean to them.

We can help strengthen our child’s innate kindness.

How I hear you ask? Well, we can do this by:

  • Providing our children with opportunities to show kindness; and
  • Creating opportunities to openly discuss feelings and teach them how to cope with these feelings in productive ways.

And lucky for us, we have one pretty powerful tool in our parenting arsenal to help us; children’s books about kindness.

>> Related: To My Child: In A World Where You Can Be Anything, Be Kind!

Why Are Children’s Books About Kindness So Powerful?

When we snuggled up to our children and read a book with them, we are also creating a safe place for them to let go of their worries.

We are creating an opportunity for connection no matter what has happened throughout the day.

And when our child feels safe and connected it provides a chance to have real conversations with them. To openly discuss their feelings without it feeling as though we are lecturing them.

>> Related: To My Child: I Will Lay With You Every Night As Long As You Need

When we talk about their feelings, it creates an opportunity to discuss what the right and wrong thing is to do in situations. To be able to put themselves into someone’s shoes. To think about how they can act in kindness.

Reading children’s books about kindness and friendship also provides a range of different situations for us to talk about with our child in a fun and relatable way.

Situations that they might not yet have experienced but may one day soon, especially if they are starting school.

There are different characters, different storylines, even different pictures that we can use to talk through and enable our child to navigate their emotions and learn what it means to be kind.

And even better, books allow you to extend the conversation on kindness, empathy, and friendship by asking simple open-ended questions like:

  • How can you be a good friend?
  • Was the main character kind? What did they do that you showed you they were kind?
  • What happened to make the character sad? What could the other character do to make them feel better?
  • What are three things you can do to help someone at school tomorrow?
  • How do you know if someone is upset or sad?
  • Has anyone ever been unkind to you? How did it feel?

Best Picture Books About Kindness

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It is never early to start reading to your child and in this awesome list of picture books, you’ll find the perfect books to start inspiring kindness with your little one.

How Kind!

This gorgeous book by Mary Murphy teaches children how kindness is spread when Hen gives Pig an unexpected present.

Ages 2-5 years

How Kind!
$6.99 $6.28
11/28/2023 03:03 pm GMT

Hug Machine

This endearing story by Scott Campbell encourages a warm, caring, and buoyantly affectionate approach to life. And it all starts with a hug!

Ages 2-4 years

Hug Machine
$8.99 $6.99
11/30/2023 01:03 am GMT

A Sick Day for Amos McGee

A sick day for Amos McGee, by Phillip C Stead, teaches your kids that friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

Ages 2-6 years

11/30/2023 02:03 pm GMT

Hey, Little Ant

This though provoking book by Phillip M & Hannah Hoose, is bound to inspire important discussions as it explores the conversation between two creatures, large and small.

Ages 3-7 years

Hey, Little Ant
$18.99 $12.49
11/30/2023 07:03 pm GMT

The Nice Book

A perfect introduction to manners and playing nice, by David Ezra Stein.

Ages 1-3 years

The Nice Book
$7.99 $6.99
12/01/2023 04:03 am GMT

I See Kindness Everywhere

This book by Shelly Frost, encourages us to take moments to look for kindness in our every day!

Ages 2 and up

12/01/2023 07:03 pm GMT


This is a story of friendship and helping each other with a message that anyone can be a superhero. Written by Julia Donaldson.

Ages 4-8 years

$16.99 $9.09
12/02/2023 12:03 pm GMT

The Lion & the Mouse

In an adaptation of one of Aesop’s most beloved fables, written by Jerry Pinkney, this unlikely pair learn that no act of kindness is ever wasted.

Ages 1-8 years

12/03/2023 01:03 am GMT

The Cloud (Child’s Play Library)

This gorgeous book from Hannah Cumming shows children that everyone has bad days. It describes when a black cloud descends on a little girl at school, how the support from a classmate with a great deal of imagination helps to brighten up everyone’s lives.

Ages 5-6 years

Little Bird

This book by Germano Zullo suggests to kids that little things can change
lives – and perhaps even the world.

Ages 5-6 years

Little Bird
$16.95 $5.32
11/26/2023 07:03 am GMT

Books To Inspire Your Child To Be An ‘Includer’

One of the best thing we can do as parents is to empower our children to act as “includers.”

To teach them to include and stand up for others who may be feeling left out.

These books are a fabulous way to create opportunities to discuss inclusion, especially for preschoolers and early grade schoolers who may experience exclusion and rational aggression for the first time as they start their schooling experience.

Nothing Rhymes With Orange

This laugh-out-loud, read-aloud tale from New York Times bestselling author Adam Rex, explores how Orange feels left out as nothing rhymes with it.

Ages 5-6 years

11/27/2023 09:03 pm GMT

Worm Loves Worm

A perfect laugh-out-loud, read-aloud tale from New York Times bestselling author Adam Rex that that teaches lessons about friendship and inspires conversations about inclusiveness and cherishing our differences.

Ages 5-6 years

Worm Loves Worm
$17.99 $14.75
11/29/2023 04:03 pm GMT

We’re All Wonders

Now a major motion picture, this book by R J Palacio, explores the life of Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face, and his beloved dog, Daisy. This uplifting story encourages children to choose kind.

Ages 4-8 years

We're All Wonders
$18.99 $8.85
11/30/2023 06:03 am GMT

My Two Blankets

Written by Irena Kobald, this is a multicultural story of friendship is about leaving home, moving to a foreign and strange place, and finding a new friend.

Ages 6-9 years

11/29/2023 11:03 am GMT


This multi-cutlery tale by Kyo Maclear, is a humorous and lively commentary on individuality and tolerance. Its high-spirited illustrations capture the experience and emotions of anyone who
has ever wondered about their place in the world.

Ages 4-7 years

$8.99 $7.64
11/30/2023 10:03 pm GMT

Hello, My Name Is Octicorn 

Octicorn is a funny, sweet, and disarming character who is a champion for anyone who has ever felt a little bit different. Written by Kevin Diller.

Ages 4-8 years

12/01/2023 11:03 am GMT

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon

This book by Patty Lovell, encourages kids to be yourself like Molly Lou Melon no matter what a bully may do.

Ages 4 – 8 years

12/02/2023 01:03 am GMT

Strictly No Elephants

In this bestselling and internationally beloved picture book by Lisa Mantchev, the local Pet Club won’t admit a boy’s tiny pet elephant, so he finds a solution—one that involves all kinds of
unusual animals.

Ages 4-8 years

12/02/2023 07:03 pm GMT

Nerdy Birdy

When he’s at his lowest point, Nerdy Birdy meets a flock just like him. He has friends and discovers that there are far more nerdy birdies than cool birdies in the sky. Written by Aaron Reynolds.

Ages 4-8 years

Nerdy Birdy
$19.99 $10.77
12/03/2023 07:03 am GMT

The Big Umbrella

This sweet extended metaphor uses an umbrella to demonstrate how kindness and inclusion work. Written by Amy June Bates.

Ages 4-8 years

The Big Umbrella
$18.99 $10.69
11/25/2023 03:03 pm GMT

Books About Friendship And Learning What It Is To Be A Good Friend

No list of books that teach kindness would be complete without showing the value of friendship and what it means to be a good friend.

Be a Friend  

This heartwarming story of self-acceptance, courage, and unbreakable friendship, written by Saline Yoon, is for anyone who has ever felt “different.”

Ages 3-6 years

Be a Friend
$18.99 $14.36
11/26/2023 06:03 pm GMT

A Home for Bird

This is a tender tale of a thoughtful friend who is determined to help his quiet companion, written by Philip C. Stead the author of A Sick Day for Amos McGee.

Ages 3-6 years

A Home for Bird
$18.99 $6.13
11/28/2023 07:03 am GMT

The Monster Who Lost His Mean

One young monster’s attempts to live up to his name go hilariously awry as he discovers―with a little help from new friends―that it’s not what you’re called but who you are that counts. Written by Tiffany Strelitz Haber.

Ages 4-8 years

11/29/2023 09:03 pm GMT

How Do Dinosaurs Play with Their Friends?

Time and time again, children are told to “play nice.” This brilliantly illustrated board book, by Jane Yolen, is packed with rhymes that will teach children how.

Ages 3-5 years

I Walk with Vanessa: A Story About a Simple Act of Kindness

This simple yet powerful picture book, by Kersacoet, tells the story of one girl who inspires a community to stand up to bullying. Inspired by real events.

Ages 4-8 years

My Friend Is Sad

Told entirely in speech bubbles with a repetitive use of familiar phrases, this highly original book is perfect for children just learning to read. The story teaches empathy and some basic social skills like helping a friend feel better. 

Ages 4-8 years

12/01/2023 12:03 am GMT

Enemy Pie

In this funny yet endearing story one little boy learns an effective recipe for turning a best enemy into a best friend. Written by Derek Munson.

Ages 5-9 years

Enemy Pie
$16.99 $10.99
12/01/2023 05:03 pm GMT

Final Thoughts On Books About Kindness For Kids

Kindness shouldn’t just be shown to our family and friends, it is something that we can show to others in our small everyday moments.

Through reading children’s books, like the below list, you are able to open up the conversation of kindness and provide tangible examples to your children of how being helpful and showing kindness to others can be part of our daily lives.

And if you’re looking for more great family time ideas, then check out these reasons why spending time with family is important, free family activity ideas, and traditions to start with grandchildren.

Books About Kindness | The Best Children’s Books About Kindness {The Ultimate List}