Kindness is not something we’re naturally born with, it’s something we’re taught. Therefore, one of our most important jobs as parents is teaching our kids how to be kind. 

If you’re looking for some great tips on teaching children kindness, check out our Step-By-Step For Raising Kind Kids.

Books can also play an important role in your kindness lessons.

Research shows that reading kindness stories helps kids understand and empathize with different perspectives. This, in turn, leads to them treating others with more kindness.

Check out these amazing books that teach kindness to children and see if you discover a few new family favorites.


1. How Full Is Your Bucket? For Kids

Author: Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer

Age: 3-8 Years Old

What It’s About: Felix wakes up one morning and finds an invisible bucket floating overhead. When the bucket is full, he feels great. When it’s empty, he feels awful. 

Why It’s Important: Felix begins to see how every interaction in a day either fills or empties his bucket. Felix then realizes that everything he says or does to other people fills or empties their buckets as well. It’s a lesson in the cumulative power of kindness.



2. I am Kind (Positive Power)

Author: Suzy Capozzi

Age: 4-6 Years Old

What It’s About: I Am Kind follows a little girl who sees kindness all around her. She sees her mother, her neighbor, even her nature troop all acting kindly.

Why It’s Important: The little girl realizes that she, too, has the power to be kind, and that even small actions can have a big impact. This book encourages everyday kindness. It also includes 2 sheets of stickers, which kids love!



3. Sally Sore Loser: A Story About Winning and Losing

Author: Frank J. Sileo

Age: 4-8 Years Old

What It’s About: Sally loves to be first at everything! This also means Sally hates losing, which can lead to hot tempers and hurt feelings. She even gets the nickname Sally Sore Loser from her classmates at school. 

Why It’s Important: With the help of her teacher and her mom, Sally learns the rules for being a good winner and a good loser. She also learns that the most important thing is to have fun.



4. The Energy Bus for Kids

Author: Jon Gordon

Age: 4-8 Years Old

What It’s About: George is a regular kid having a bad day. But when Joy, the bus driver, puts on the brakes and invites him on board, his attitude starts to change. 

Why It’s Important: Joy helps George understand that he has the power to choose his attitude. If he believes in himself, has a positive vision for the future, and fuels his ride with positive energy, he’ll find the strength to overcome any challenge.



5. The Jelly Donut Difference: Sharing Kindness With the World

Author: Maria Dismondy

Age: 3-8 Years Old

What It’s About: Leah and Dexter are brother and sister. They don’t always get along. In fact, there are times they can be downright mean to each other. Then jelly donuts enter the picture, and the two learn to be kind. 

Why It’s Important: This earnest story of being a good sibling, neighbor, and friend may inspire kids to find ways to be generous in their own lives.



6. I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness

Author: Susan Verde

Age: 4-8 Years Old

What It’s About: Sometimes life is so hectic that it pushes us out of balance. This story teaches kids how to find a still place within themselves so that they can calm the noise around them and find their peace. Colorful illustrations offer a bit of humor regarding what it could look like when our emotions carry us away. 

Why It’s Important: Scenes of the child in a balance pose, feeding birds, and meditating beneath a tree reinforce messages of kindness, compassion, and self-awareness as worry melts into happiness. This is a simple, helpful tool for cultivating kid mindfulness.



7. Zach Apologizes (Zach Rules Series)

Author: William Mulcahy

Age: 5-8 Years Old

What It’s About: When Zach shoves his little brother to the floor, he knows he did something wrong. Even so, it’s hard to apologize, especially when he thinks his brother kind of deserved it! Zach tries to ignore the problem, but finally, with his mom’s help, he learns the four steps to apologizing.

Why It’s Important: This book teaches kids the right way to apologize. Which includes not only stating what you did that was wrong, but acknowledging how it made the other person feel. A powerful lesson in meaningful apologies.



8. Listening with My Heart: A Story of Kindness and Self-Compassion

Author: Gabi Garcia

Age: 5-8 Years Old

What It’s About: When Esperanza finds a heart-shaped rock, she sees it as a reminder to spread kindness and love in the world. But when the school play doesn’t go like she expected, will she remember to give it to herself?

Why It’s Important: Kids often believe that their worth is attached to their accomplishments and making a mistake is something to be ashamed of. This story reminds us to treat ourselves like we would treat a friend. This book touches on the universal themes of kindness, empathy and self-compassion.



9. The Invisible Boy

Author: Trudy Ludwig

Age: 6-9 Years Old

What It’s About: Brian is the story’s “invisible boy”. Nobody ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party . . . until a new kid comes to class. When Justin arrives, Brian is the first to make him feel welcome. And when Brian and Justin team up to work on a class project together, Brian finds a way to flourish.

Why It’s Important: This sweet story shows how small acts of kindness can help children feel included and allow them to shine. The book reminds kids not to overlook quieter children. Everyone has something to offer.


If you LOVE these books, be sure to check out our other Acts Of Kindness Books For Kids