Picture books about kindness are so good because they teach kids to notice the world around them and find ways to make life easier for others. These children’s books about kindness include stories about sharing a kind word, performing a kind deed, and adopting a kind lifestyle in general. Hopefully, you’ll find some great picks for your family!
31 Best Picture Books About Kindness
Here are some of the best picture books about kindness:
A Sick Day for Amos McGee
Published: May 25, 2010
The Best Sick Day Ever and the animals in the zoo feature in this striking picture book debut. Friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In Amos McGee’s case, all sorts of species, too! Every day he spends a little bit of time with each of his friends at the zoo, running races with the tortoise, keeping the shy penguin company, and even reading bedtime stories to the owl. But when Amos is too sick to make it to the zoo, his animal friends decide it’s time they returned the favor.
The Invisible Boy
Published: October 8, 2013
A simple act of kindness can transform an invisible boy into a friend…
Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody in class ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party . . . until, that is, a new kid comes to class.
When Justin, the new boy, arrives, Brian is the first to make him feel welcome. And when Brian and Justin team up to work on a class project together, Brian finds a way to shine.
A Small Kindness
Published: February 2, 2021
It was like a game of tag, with one small act of kindness spreading throughout a small community of kids and teachers alike. Award-winning children’s book author Stacy McAnulty packs a powerful punch with minimal text, providing a sweet message about all the small ways one can be kind. Illustrator Wendy Leach creates a diverse cast of characters while using color as a visual cue to how kindness is able to spread, even in a small community like a school. Overall, A Small Kindness is sure to speak to this new generation of children and their parents.
Kindness Makes Us Strong
Published: December 24, 2019
Kindness is a friendly hello. A roaring cheer. A quick boost. Kindness is what makes us strong! This joyful board book shows various children as they extend kindness in all kinds of situations: on the playground, at lunchtime, on a bike path, and on a neighborhood street. This sweet preschool read-aloud shows the way kindness helps build friendship and community.
Published: October 2, 2012
Each kindness makes the world a little better
This unforgettable book is written and illustrated by the award-winning team that created The Other Side and the Caldecott Honor winner Coming On Home Soon. With its powerful anti-bullying message and striking art, it will resonate with readers long after they’ve put it down.
Chloe and her friends won’t play with the new girl, Maya. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her friends, they reject her. Eventually Maya stops coming to school. When Chloe’s teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship, and thinks about how much better it could have been if she’d shown a little kindness toward Maya.
Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed
Published: April 29, 2002
A kindness story that promotes caring and compassionate behavior for children and adults.
Can one child’s good deed change the world? It can when she’s Ordinary Mary―an ordinary girl from an ordinary school, on her way to her ordinary house―who stumbles upon ordinary blueberries. When she decides to pick them for her neighbor, Mrs. Bishop, she starts a chain reaction that multiplies around the world.
Do Unto Otters: A Book About Kindness
Published: September 4, 2007
Mr. Rabbit’s new neighbors are Otters. OTTERS! But he doesn’t know anything about Otters. Will they get along? Will they be friends? Just treat otters the same way you’d like them to treat you, advises wise Mr. Owl. And so begins Mr. Rabbit’s reflection on good manners.
In her smart, quirky style Laurie Keller highlights how to be a good friend and neighbor―just follow the Golden Rule! This title has Common Core connections.
Published: February 6, 2018
When Tanisha spills grape juice all over her new dress, her classmate wants to make her feel better, wondering: What does it mean to be kind?
From asking the new girl to play to standing up for someone being bullied, this moving story explores what kindness is, and how any act, big or small, can make a difference―or at least help a friend.
Kindness Is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler
Published: June 26, 2007
She’s about to teach a new golden rule:
KINDNESS IS COOL!
Soon the entire class is doing so many good deeds that their kindness bulletin board barely fits their classroom!
From clearing the table after dinner, to helping the elderly, one kindergarten class is proving that kids really can make a difference.
Count along with Mrs. Ruler’s class. Can all their good deeds really add up to 100 acts of kindness?
Acclaimed picture book author Margery Cuyler will inspire children of all ages to have a heart and save the world!
How to Heal a Broken Wing
Published: August 26, 2008
In a spare urban fable, Bob Graham brings us one small boy, one loving family, and one miraculous story of hope and healing.
“No one saw the bird fall.”
In a city full of hurried people, only young Will notices the bird lying hurt on the ground. With the help of his sympathetic mother, he gently wraps the injured bird and takes it home. In classic Bob Graham style, the beauty is in the details: the careful ministrations with an eyedropper, the bedroom filled with animal memorabilia, the saving of the single feather as a good-luck charm for the bird’s return to the sky. Wistful and uplifting, here is a tale of possibility — and of the souls who never doubt its power.
I Walk with Vanessa: A Picture Book Story about a Simple Act of Kindness
Published: April 24, 2018
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.
Tomorrow I’ll Be Kind
Published: January 14, 2020
Tomorrow I’ll be everything
I strive to be each day
And even when it’s difficult
I’ll work to find a way.
Immerse yourself in the beautifully hand-lettered words of widsom, hope, and positivity alongside adorable illustrations of love and caring. This book is a reminder to all readers, young and old, that the smallest kind gesture can make the biggest difference in the world–we just have to remember to be kind to one another.
The Kindness Quilt
Published: September 1, 2006
Random acts of kindness pictured on a paper quilt
Minna and her classmates have been asked by their teacher, Mrs. Bloom, to work on a Kindness Project. Mrs. Bloom wants them to do and draw and share an act of kindness. Minna and her family do lots of kind things, but Minna can’t decide which one is right for her project. Then she starts writing and drawing and cutting—and an idea for a paper quilt picturing many acts of kindness begins to take shape!
Published: June 9, 2020
A fallen star and one child’s kindness lead to a chain of good works that change her town from a dreary, dark place to one of dazzling brightness.
When a girl finds a fallen star, she decides to keep it hidden. But this star encourages kindness and needs to shine, so it comes out from the shadows. At first the glow from the star starts to fade, and the girl worries–maybe she’s not a very good starkeeper. Then a chance gesture of kindness seems to brighten the star, and soon this kindness leads to a chain of good works that light up the once-dreary town.
The art of the book follows the star’s journey and lights up more and more with each act of kindness.
Published: May 24, 2021
What happens when a pigeon who looks after all the visitors in the park finds himself in need? Help comes from a surprising source in a touching story of unexpected connection.
Hugo the pigeon has a very important job. He is a park warden: he tends to his small Parisian park and all the people who live around it. Hugo helps the park neighbors all year long: keeping Madame Grande company as she sits in the sun, discussing the news with Monsieur Occupé, entertaining little Bébé and Coquine so their mothers can take a rest, and flying from one apartment to the next during the winter to remind everyone that spring is coming. But one set of windows never opens for Hugo’s visits. Hugo knows that Somebody is there behind the curtains, but whoever they are, they hide whenever he knocks. What will it take for the mysterious Somebody to be coaxed out to enjoy the park—and perhaps make a few friends? Award-winning author Atinuke teams up with acclaimed illustrator Birgitta Sif for a charming, joyful story of friendship, bravery, and community.
The Bear Who Shared
Published: March 17, 2011
Norris the bear has been waiting patiently for the last ripe fruit to fall from the tree. But Tulip the raccoon and Violet the mouse have too . . . although maybe not so patiently. In fact, Tulip and Violet sniff, listen to, and even hug the fruit. Norris catches the fruit when it finally falls, and because he is a wise bear, he shares it and makes two new friends.
A lovely simplicity of language and gorgeous artwork make this story of one of life’s first lessons perfect for the youngest listeners.
Superbuns!.: Kindness Is Her Super Power
Published: July 2, 2019
Some superheroes can leap tall buildings in a single bound, some can crawl up a wall, some grow wolfsharp claws, and some have superhuman speed. And Superbuns? Her superpower is being kind. Super kind. She can’t help but be kind: watering a neighbor’s daisies; helping a friend cross the street; feeding a hungry goldfish.
Superbuns’s older sister Blossom is a super know-it-all who doesn’t believe kindness is a superpower. Not one bit. And all this kindness is slowing them down on their way to Grammy’s house, where a yummy carrot cobbler awaits.
But the sisters are being followed by a little fox, and when Blossom learns the fox is not after their cobbler but is lost, she discovers kindness really is a superpower after all.
We’re All Wonders
Published: March 28, 2017
Over 8 million people have fallen in love with Wonder and have joined the movement to Choose Kind. Now younger readers can meet Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face, and his beloved dog, Daisy.
Countless fans have asked R. J. Palacio to write a book for younger readers. With We’re All Wonders, she makes her picture-book debut as both author and artist, with a spare, powerful text and striking, richly imagined illustrations. Palacio shows readers what it’s like to live in Auggie’s world—a world in which he feels like any other kid, but he’s not always seen that way.
Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch
Published: December 7, 2021
One wintry day, a postman delivers a mysterious package with a big pink bow to a lonely man named Mr. Hatch.
“Somebody loves you,” the note says.
“Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch sings as he dusts his living room.
“Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch whistles as he does his errands in town.
“But who,” Mr. Hatch wonders, “could that somebody be?”
When Mr. Hatch discovers just who his secret admirer is, the answer is even better than he could have guessed!
Have You Filled A Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids
Published: October 1, 2015
While using a simple metaphor of a bucket and a dipper, author Carol McCloud illustrates that when we choose to be kind, we not only fill the buckets of those around us, but also fill our OWN bucket! Conversely, when we choose to say or do mean things, we are dipping into buckets. All day long, we are either filling up or dipping into each other’s buckets by what we say and what we do. When you’re a bucket filler, you make the world a better place to be! This 32-page picture book is perfect for children, parents, grandparents, teachers and people that want to teach empathy, nurture kindness and create a positive environment in their home, classroom, workplace and community.
Because Amelia Smiled
Published: September 11, 2012
Because Amelia smiles as she skips down the street, her neighbor Mrs. Higgins smiles too, and decides to send a care package of cookies to her grandson Lionel in Mexico. The cookies give Lionel an idea, and his idea inspires a student, who in turn inspires a ballet troupe in England! And so the good feelings that started with Amelia’s smile make their way around the world, from a goodwill recital in Israel, to an impromptu rumba concert in Paris, to a long-awaited marriage proposal in Italy, to a knitted scarf for a beloved niece back in New York. Putting a unique spin on “what goes around comes around,” David Ezra Stein’s charmingly illustrated story reminds us that adding even a small dose of kindness into the world is sure to spur more and more kindness, which could eventually make its way back to you!
If You Plant A Seed
Published: March 3, 2015
If you plant a carrot seed . . . a carrot will grow.
If you plant a cabbage seed . . . cabbage will grow.
But what happens if you plant a seed of kindness . . . or selfishness?
With spare text and breathtaking oil paintings, If You Plant a Seed demonstrates not only the process of planting and growing for young children but also how a seed of kindness can bear sweet fruit.
Hank Finds an Egg
Published: May 31, 2013
While walking through the woods, Hank finds an egg all alone on the forest floor. Spotting its home high up in a tree, Hank diligently tries to return the egg to its nest, but is met with failure each time. After keeping the egg warm overnight, he returns to the scene the next morning. To his surprise, he is met by another forest creature. Will they find a way together to see the egg safely home?
Artist Rebecca Dudley crafts each tiny leaf, flower, and creature that appears in Hank’s forest in breathtaking detail, bringing the sunlit woods to life. From delicate ferns to the glow of Hank’s little campfire, Hank Finds an Egg immerses you in its vivid miniature world.
Published: February 4, 2020
In a book that is as cheerful and charming as Snail himself, Corey Tabor tells a winning tale of slow but steady Snail, whose determination and kindness bring him the best reward of all: friendship.
When Snail spies a plump, crisp cabbage across the road, nothing will stop him—not a speeding car or even a hungry crow.
But then kindhearted Snail stops to help a crew of antsy ants in a rainstorm, and he loses his way. It looks like he will never get his treat—until Snail’s new friends come up with an ingenious idea. . . .
Bear Feels Scared
Published: August 5, 2008
In the deep, dark woods
by the Strawberry Vale,
a big bear lumbers
down a small, crooked trail…
The sun is setting and it’s getting chilly. When Bear’s friends discover that he is not at home in his lair, they march out into the cold to find their pal. Friends don’t let friends stay lost! Wren, Owl, and Raven take to the skies while Badger, Mole, and Mouse search on the ground. Pretty soon Bear is found, and once he’s back in his cave, he feels quite safe with his friends all around.
Published: March 20, 2012
A man drives his truck up to a cliff’s edge. Unable to go any further, he opens the back door of his truck and a flock of birds flies out, but, as the man soon discovers, a small timid bird remains. Surprised and delighted, the man acts kindly towards the bird and an intimacy develops. After lunch, the man tries to show the bird that he should fly off and join his friends. The man’s comic attempt at flight deepens the encounter between these two very different creatures. Soon the bird flies off and the man drives away, but in a surprise twist the bird and his friends return, and in a starkly lyrical moment we see them all experience something entirely new.
The Boy and the Giant
Published: November 6, 2018
There is a Secret Giant in Gableview who has hands the size of tabletops, legs as long as drainpipes, and feet as big as rowing boats. But little Billy thinks the Giant is just a tall tale that his grandad likes to tell. According to Grandad, the Giant keeps the bears away when they go camping and rescues Billy’s favorite kite when it gets tangled up in the tallest tree. Grandad swears the Giant is real, but Billy’s not buying it. Why has he never seen the giant before? Why does the Giant stay hidden? Grandad knows why: People are afraid of things that look different. When Billy suddenly finds himself face-to-face with the Giant, he runs away in fear—and hurts the Giant’s feelings. But now he’s got an opportunity to make it up to him, and, just maybe, to be friends with the nicest guy in town.
The Big Umbrella
Published: February 6, 2018
By the door there is an umbrella. It is big. It is so big that when it starts to rain there is room for everyone underneath. It doesn’t matter if you are tall. Or plaid. Or hairy. It doesn’t matter how many legs you have.
Don’t worry that there won’t be enough room under the umbrella. Because there will always be room.
Harry’s Lovely Spring Day
Published: May 4, 2018
We see the start of the ‘Harry The Happy Mouse’ series as Harry learns about the value of kindness, and why a small thing for someone could mean something big for someone else.
Harry is living in the city when he is helped by a stranger. Harry then decides to find the stranger to thank her. It really does turn out to be a Lovely Spring Day!
Plant a Kiss
Published: December 27, 2011
Little Miss planted a kiss…
One small act of love blooms into something bigger and more dazzling than Little Miss could have ever imagined in this epic journey about life, kindness, and giving.
Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Peter H. Reynolds team together to share a message of hope and to remind us all of the joys to be gained from being open and unselfish.
Wolf in the Snow
Published: January 3, 2017
A girl is lost in a snowstorm. A wolf cub is lost, too. How will they find their way home?
Paintings rich with feeling tell this satisfying story of friendship and trust. Here is a book set on a wintry night that will spark imaginations and warm hearts, from Matthew Cordell, author of Trouble Gum and Another Brother.
There they are: 31 of the best picture books about kindness! These may be children’s books, but we all need a little bit of kindness every day. Which ones have you read? And what did I miss?
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