Children Reader Books

Are you an educator seeking to teach kindness in the classroom? Or a parent trying to share good morals with your kids? Or just a kid at heart looking for uplifting books on kindness?

Check out our collection of books for younger readers. Here is a list of our favorite picture books.

Be Kind, by Pat Zietlow Miller & illustrated by Jen Hill

This is one of our favorite child-reader books about kindness. Kids can often wonder what kindness is and this book gives the answer. It asks good questions about what it means to be kind and how do we spread kindness. The watercolor illustrations are beautiful as the book gives ideas on kindness.

One point that I like is that it mentions kindness can be hard. At One Kind Act a Day we feel kindness and courage go hand in hand, and this is shown by how hard it can be to be kind and stand up for someone else. Sometimes we can’t fix problems with our kindness, but our small kind acts can make a big difference and spread.

We love this book, and feel it is right in line with the mission of One Kind Act a Day. Buy this book, read it to your kids, read it to yourself, read it to anyone, but most importantly incorporate its message of kindness into your life.

Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed, by Emily Pearson & illustrated by Fumi Kosaka

In this adorable book Mary does a small act of kindness and it gets passed on to five people, who do something kind for five more people, and on and on. In a few short pages these acts of kindness are passed around the world and make their way back to Mary.

If you have read “Pay It Forward” this book’s concept is similar but it portrays the message in a better way. It focuses on the acts of kindness and the outreach the concept has. There is even a really cool page that shows the multiplier effect of passing five kind acts on, and that in a few short steps the number of kind acts reaches 30 billion, far more than the population of Earth.

This book does a great job at showing the extraordinary power in one ordinary person’s good deed and just how far that ripple effect can reach.

The Cool Bean, by Jory John & Pete Oswald

John and Oswald knock it out of the park again in “The Cool Bean”. This is a story that in just a few short pages hits upon a lot of important lessons in childhood. Friends may drift apart, you may not feel like you fit in or fit the label of “cool”, and real measure of being “cool” is how you treat others.

Packed with hilarious legume related puns, this book has great examples of small acts of kindness and the HUGE impacts they have on the recipients. The little bean realizes that what makes you cool isn’t your swagger, your sunglasses, or your hair. Being cool is about, “a smile at the right moment. It’s about dusting someone off, helping them up again, and pointing them in the right direction.”

Kindness Snippet Jar, by Diane Alber

This is a great story to use in the classroom or with a group of kids. A little paper snippet sees a jar full of other papers that have kindness notes written on them. The paper snippet wants to be just like them but in order to be a kindness note it needs kindness words written on it. The snippet enlists the help of other paper scraps who join together to make a mosaic of kindness notes.

“Kindness Snippets” is a fun idea that a classroom can do. As kids do kind acts, they write it on the snippet and put it in the jar. After a kindness initiative is over the teacher and students can take out all the snippets and make a colorful mosaic of all their kindness. It becomes a beautiful reminder for the class to do kind acts.

All Are Welcome, by Alexandra Penfold & illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman

Going to school can be a frightening experience for young kids. With this book kids can not only feel welcome but see how to accept and welcome others in a kind way. Using well-written verse and beautiful pictures this book assures us that we are welcome and entreats us to welcome others. Our world is a diverse place and even with our differences we can make a society where all are welcome.

The Invisible Boy, by Trudy Ludwig & illustrated by Patrice Barton

This is a story that tugs at your heart. Brian is an invisible boy. Not really invisible, people just don’t notice him. He is quiet and not popular with the other kids. Even his teacher, who has to focus on other loud or whiny kids, has trouble noticing him. One day a new kid, Justin, comes to class. This new kid eats different food and looks a little different. The other kids laugh at him. Knowing how it feels to be left out Brian does a kind act and leaves a note for Justin. Justin then includes Brian in activities, and they start to become friends. With a couple of bumps in the road Brian becomes visible.

Early in the book Brian is drawn monochromatic but as he starts to make friends a tinge of color comes into his form until he is fully drawn in color like the other kids. I loved this touch that the artist added.

This is a good book for any kid who feels invisible, and it teaches a great message to reach out and include others. It is a good story about friendship and inclusion and the benefits of reaching out to others in kindness.

The Sour Grape, by Jory John and Pete Oswald

A thin-skinned grape has become sour and holds grudges for any and all perceived slight. Grape wasn’t always this way, it used to be sweet, until one day no one showed up for Grape’s birthday party. Grape became sour and started to resent everything everyone else did. But then Grape realizes that we all have misunderstandings, and sometimes they can be our fault without us even realizing it. We need to have understanding for others and be kind. We don’t know what is going on in others’ lives and so we need to have grace and be kind.

With fun food puns and colorful illustrations Jory John and Pete Oswald give us another hit.

Can I Play Too?, by Mo Willems

Elephant and Piggie are approached by their friend Snake who wants to join in their game of catch. Then begins the difficult question, how can a Snake catch and throw a ball?

It is a heart-warming story of friendship, inclusion, accommodation, and frank acceptance of others’ differences. It shows how there is a space for everyone, even if we may be different, and that we can all be friends.

If you want more good books to read check out our middle age and adult age readers. You can also follow us on Goodreads!