When we teach children to be kind, we tell them how to treat others with love. Stories are the best way to teach our children to empathize with others through different experiences. I will be introducing, in the next few weeks, a list of my favorite Picture Books that are perfect for helping kids develop compassion and empathy.
First on my list is Pat Zietlow ‘s BE KIND illustrated by Jen Hill. Tanisha is embarrassed by having spilled grape juice on her new dress and runs out into the hall after the other kids laugh at her. The unnamed kid, the narrator of the book, wants to make Tanisha feel better but isn’t sure how, and wonders what it means to be kind. Maybe kindness is giving? Or could it be helping? Is it paying attention? Using people’s names? It can be hard to be kind, to stand up to others. And sometimes, kindness could be just sitting near someone quietly and then showing without words that you understand. The kid comes up with examples in her school, community, across the country and the world.
A beautifully illustrated book with the powerful message that small acts of kindness matter, and that they can build up with other simple and practical acts of kindness to make a difference – a book that can open up a discussion about what it means to be kind.
Published: November, 2018 ISBN-13: 978-1626723214
When talking about kindness, one of my favorite read-aloud is The smartest (or the spiffiest) giant in town by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, the famed author, and illustrator duo of The Gruffalo.
In this story, George, the scruffiest giant in town, wished to be the smartest in town. So, one day, he sees a shop selling giant-sized clothes, he decides it’s time for a new look. With smart trousers, a smart shirt stripy tie, and shiny shoes and belt, George is a new giant. But on his way home, he meets various animals who desperately need his help … and his clothes!! With smart trousers, a smart shirt stripy tie, and shiny shoes and belt, George is a new giant. But on his way home, he meets various animals who desperately need his help … and his clothes!!
Children love this story not only because the giant is so incredibly kind and the animals are so grateful but also are amused by the fact that George is giving away all his clothes.
I also love the message that this conveyed in this story: that it’s not what you have, but what you do is what really matters. A great tale of kindness told in the simplest manner for children.
Published: April 2010 ISBN-13: 978-0230749368