We usually spend the whole month of February sharing our favourite pictures books that highlight kindness with our students. We’re always on the search for new books, but here are some of the best ones we’ve shared in the past. We want to point out that we use these books mostly with our fourth and fifth graders. Don’t forget that older students love pictures books too (and they enjoy being read to).
Each Kindness by Jacqueline Wilson: This is a powerful story great for all ages (but older students resonate with the message). What happens when no one is nice to the new girl? What happens when the new girl stops coming to school?
Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller: A picture that book that shows children tangible examples of kindness they can share each and every day.
Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson: Highlights how one simple act of kindness can snowball around the world.
If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson: A fictional story about animals planting seeds of kindness and compassion, until rabbit plants a seed of selfishness.
Listening With My Heart by Gabi Garcia: This one was a little young for our fifth graders, but it is a wonderful story about mindfulness and kindness, listening to your inner voice and doing what is best.
I Am a Wolf by Kelly Leigh Miller: This one was a pleasant surprise (and just plain fun!) A dog finds herself in an animal shelter and insists she’s a wolf, but finds kindness from others allows her to be herself.
We Are All Wonders by R. J. Palacio: A picture book based on the novel Wonder (and movie with the same name) that shows respecting differences and choosing kind is always best.
Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry: A quick read about how sticking it out with a friend even when times get tough can get you through anything.
A World of Kindness by Ann Featherstone: This book is great for getting students to start thinking about how children can influence the world around them.
The Jelly Donut Difference: Sharing Kindness With the World by Maria Dismondy: Do you have students who are constantly nipicking at each other? This is the perfect book for that! Leah and Dexter are brother and sister and drive each other crazy (on purpose). This one gives students the chance to see how kindness can be paid forward.
The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig: Another amazing read by Trudy Ludwig who truly understands children and how they respond to each other. My students loved this story of an introvert boy who makes friends with the new kid.
Try a Little Kindness by Henry Cole: This one is really cute and my fifth graders loved the illustrations. Animals try to demonstrate acts of kindness.
Kindness is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler by Margery Cuyler: This one was a little young for my fifth graders, but it was a great one for them to read to their kindergarten buddies. Mrs. Ruler’s class starts filling up a bulletin board with kind deeds. This is a great one to lead into a schoolwide kindness bulletin board.
I Walk With Vanessa by Kerascoët: This is a wordless picture book (perfect to use with your English language learners) about how a simple act of kindness can change a person’s life.
Shh! We Have a Plan! by Chris Haughton: When a group of friends goes for a walk and discovers a bird high in a tree. They want to keep it for themselves, so they devise a plan. But, one member of the group surprises everyone with an act of kindness. This one is quite cute and lots of fun!
We can’t afford to keep every book in stock, so take these titles to your school librarian or look them up at your local public library to keep costs down! Enjoy!
And a BONUS just for you!
Super Buns!: Kindness is Her Superpower by Diane Krendensor: This one comes out July 2019, but get your pre-order in because it is FANTASTIC and loved by all of our students! Superbuns has kindness as her superpower, but no one (especially Superbuns’s sister) thinks it’s really a superpower. You decide!
Do you have a great book about kindness we’ve missed? We’d love to add it. Please share it in the comments below!