Teaching the little ones in our lives to be kind is important now, more than ever. Kind to themselves, kind to their friends and family, kind to all the people they meet as they grow, and kind to the planet.
Reading with young children, especially sharing stories that model inclusion and have empathy is a fail-safe place to start. Amie Jones, self-confessed book addict, mum of three boys and founder of Kind Kids Book Club shares the best books to teach your child about kindness.
For 0-3 years
Written and illustrated by Eunice & Sabrina Mole | Published by Abrams Appleseed
This bright, rhyming board book with eye-catching neon illustrations is great for toddlers who are starting to navigate life lessons such as manners, sharing and gentleness. Put your positive pants on and grab your cape of kindness as we delve into the wonderful world of Magic Manners, a bright blue elephant who is keen to share his kindness rules.
Written by Judy Carey Nevin | Illustrated by Susie Hammer | Published by Simon & Schuster
What does kindness mean to you? Is it planting a seed? Or pushing a swing? Or sending a card? Unapologetically cheerful yet at the same time emphatically profound (especially during these troubled times we find ourselves in), this little book about all the different ways to be kind, packs a big punch and is pitch perfect from start to finish.
For 4–7 years
Written by Samuel Langley-Swain | Illustrated by Ryan Sonderegger | Published by Owlet Press
In Westburrow Wood there was a weasel called Wesley who loved clothes and had his own unique style. But the other weasels in the wood aren’t happy about Wesley at all. Sensitive, emotive and endearing, this book introduces an empowering and enduring role model for boys and girls who like to express themselves and also gently addresses tough issues such as bullying, fear of difference, empathy and forgiveness.
Written & illustrated by Devon Holzwarth | Published by Alison Green Books
By turns captivating and surprising, this story is the tale of Sami and his new-found friend Little Bird. Sami has had to leave his home in another country and is finding things difficult but Little Bird sees his struggles and endeavours to help him make friends. A warm and hopeful story with stunning illustrations, this book reminds us all (adults and children alike) that there is always something we can do to make the world a better place.
For 7–10 years
Written by Polly Ho-Yen | Illustrated by Binny Talib | Published by Stripes
Luna and Lenka are best friends despite the fact that they are total opposites. But one day they have an argument and things get tough. A clever and interesting tale about the complexity of friendships, the carefully-woven dual narratives of this book are a gentle reminder that there are always two sides to every story. Perfect for younger readers as they transition from picture books to slightly longer texts, this is a great teaching tool on the importance of empathy and the art of listening to, and understanding, others.
Written by Keilly Swift | Published by Dorling Kindersley
Want to raise a change maker? Then this fascinating fact book is for you! An easy to navigate guide, this keepsake book is jam-packed with inspirational ideas on kindness and social conscience. Full of positive encouragement to get started on making a big difference through small actions, this must-have manifesto tackles a wide range of topics including discrimination, green living, fake news, activism and equal rights in a positive and empowering way.
Kind Kids Book Club is dedicated to shaking up children’s bookshelves by bringing inclusive stories with heart to the table, inspiring important yet age-appropriate conversations with little people and nurturing social conscience from a young age. Find out more at www.kindkidsbookclub.co.uk.