As promised I have compiled a few books that teach kindness. Although there are many great books out there, for the purpose of brevity I will list four. The first two books are suggestions for lower elementary readers, while the second two are for an older audience of young readers.
- “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein.
A true classic for young readers. I love its focus on empathy and find my heart breaking a little for the giving tree every time I read it. The story reminds young readers to be grateful for the support they have, and to return love and kindness.
- “Have you Filled a Bucket Today?” By Carol McCloud
This book uses the metaphor of filling up a bucket with your love, kindness, and positive actions. It encourages loving behavior by illustrating how our actions and words either “fill up” or “empty” our buckets.
- The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Although perhaps above the reading level of younger children, it is accessible to them by reading aloud with an adult. The characters in “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe” and particularly relatable to children and the book has many lessons on kindness and navigating sibling relationships.
- “Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain
A more complex look into friendship, freedom and systemic oppression. It asks readers to think about how we as a part of a community within a broader society, show either love and kindness, or hate and subjugation. Because the story touches on a handful or sensitive (albeit very important issues) I suggest this story be saved for middle and high school readers.
“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
The joy of learning. Together.