It’s Random Acts of Kindness Day on the 17th of this month and in celebration, we’re bringing you our favorite children’s books that encourage kindness!
1) Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Peña (ages 3-5)
This award-winning book follows CJ and his grandmother on a bus journey across town, where CJ wonders why he doesn’t have an iPod like the boys on the bus? Why don’t they own a car like his friend Colby? His grandmother answers each question with encouragement, helping CJ see the beauty in their routine and the world around them.
Recommended reading for 3-5 year olds!
2) Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller (ages 3-6)
After seeing a classmate spill grape juice all over her new dress, the young narrator wonders how to make her feel better and what it means to be kind. She realises that it can mean many things- from standing up when someone is being bullied to asking the new girl to play. She even discovers that small acts of kindness can make a difference & that kindness spreads!
It’s a fantastic book for 3-6 year olds that encourages kindness & gives kids ideas on how they can be kind in their day to day life. Find out more about it here.
3) I Walk With Vanessa by Kerascoët (ages 4-8)
Inspired by real events, this book tells the story of a girl who inspires a community to stand up to bullying.
I Walk with Vanessa shows how a single act of kindness can lead up to an entire community joining into help. Interestingly, it only has pictures to tell the story to highlight the idea that someone can be an ally without having to say a word.
It’s recommended for 4-8 year olds but a feel-good story that resonates with readers both young and old!
4) Maddi’s Fridge by Louis Brandt (ages 4-9)
Sofia and Maddi are best friends. One day, when Sofia is looking for a snack in Maddi’s fridge, she discovers that Maddi’s fridge is empty and that she spends most of her days hungry. Maddi makes Sofia promise not to tell but is determined to help. It turns out that sometimes, the kindest thing to do is to break a promise.
Maddi’s Fridge is one of our favorites- it’s a book that addresses food insecurity and gives an example of how you can help a person in need through compassionate & empathetic friendship. Recommended reading for 4-9 year olds!
5) Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson (ages 5-9)
A new girl, Maya, comes to school and tries to make friends. Chloe, the narrator, is unkind but Maya keeps trying. Maya then moves away and Chloe is left only with the memory of her unkindness. However, Each Kindness ends with a positive message: if everyone extends their kindness to everyone they meet, the ripples will extend around the world.
A wonderful read for 5-9 year olds.
6) Kindness is Cooler, Mrs Ruler by Margery Cuyler (ages 5-10)
When the class gets rowdy, Mrs Ruler teaches the golden rule… which is that KINDNESS IS COOL! As the kids work through their acts of kindness, they realise they can change the world by being nice and doing good deeds.
This colorful & unique book offers 100 ideas that kids can put into practice! We recommend it for 5-10 year olds.
7) Wonder by R.J. Palacio (ages 8-12)
Wonder is about August (Auggie) Pullman who was born with a severe facial difference, and up until now, has been homeschooled by his parents. This book follows Auggie on his journey of joining a ‘real school,’ where readers (both young and old) can learn about compassion, acceptance, friendship and ultimately, kindness.
A wonderful read for 8-12 year olds, but as mentioned, also great for adults! It’s also been made into a film, so it’s worth also checking that out if you enjoyed the book.
Got any ideas or suggestions for what we cover next? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and it may get featured in a future blog!