Picture Books that Nurture Emotional Awareness

An evolving list of picture books teaching emotional awareness and empathy, including books about anger, fear, anxiety, jealousy, resilliance, and more!

Explore strong emotions through story.

Research tells us that children who understand emotions are more likely to act kindly toward others. Encourage this by reading these amazing stories and completing the unique workbooks listed below.


Conversation Starters

  • Why is it helpful to recognize and talk about our feelings?

  • How can talking about feelings help us be more understanding of others?

  • Can you tell about a time when you’ve felt surprised, happy, angry, nervous, etc.?

  • Make a list of the emotions each family member experienced throughout the day, along with the events that accompanied them. Discuss what you have learned from your list.

  • How do you think you would feel if [a character's experience or a classmate's experience] happened to you?

  • What helps you calm down when you are experiencing strong emotions? Put together a "calm down box" by filling a shoe box with a few things that make you feel better (a special book, a small stuffed animal, your favorite figurine etc).

Books about General Emotions

The Feelings Book by Todd Parr
These simple, colorful illustrations of basic emotions will have your child exploring nuanced feelings through mimicry.

Glad Monster, Sad Monster: A Book About Feelings by Ed Emberly
Let Ed Emberly's brightly illustrated monsters help your young child explore strong emotions. You'll enjoy the cut-out masks that allow your child to "try on" different emotions.

My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss
This book describes the moods of our days in true Dr. Seuss fashion – silly, simple and imaginative.

Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods that Make My Day by Jamie Lee Curtis
Like Dr. Seuss's My Many Colored Days, this story is as enjoyable to read as it is emotionally enlightening.

There Are No Animals in This Book (Only Feelings) by Chani Sanchez
Remarkable contemporary artwork is paired with charming, highly-re-readable language to create a one-of-a-kind gem of a book.

Understanding Myself: A Kid's Guide to Intense Emotions ad Strong Feelings by Mary C. Lamia
The stories, quizzes, and fact boxes in this book help older kids understand and develop coping skills for strong emotions.

Books about Anger

Crabby Pants by Julie Gassman
This hilarious story will have young readers laughing out loud even as they discover how shallow, fleeting, and silly crabbiness can be.

Curious George (assorted titles) by H. A. Ray
George's adventures inevitably lead to a bit of trouble. These classic stories provide the perfect opportunity to discuss why adults sometimes get angry - often because we worry about the safety of our children when they break important rules.

Harriet, You'll Drive Me Wild by Mem Fox
Children and parents alike will recognize themselves is Mem Fox's classic story. The well-meaning but accident-prone child. The parent straining to be remain calm. The all-too-human boiling point. And the loving conclusion that provides an elegant reminder: even when family members are angry or embarrassed or sorry, we still love each other.

Sometimes I'm a Bombaloo by Rachel Vail
Let's be honest, tantrums sometimes happen. This book offers smart, funny insight into what happens when one child becomes – as she puts it – a bombaloo.

What to Do When Your Temper Flares: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anger by Dawn Heubner
This creative workbook teaches children and their parents practical tools for managing, redirecting, and diffusing strong feelings of anger.

Books about Jealousy

Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts
Have you ever longed for the latest trend? Have you ever been told they are too expensive. This story will help families discuss the difference between want and need. Plus this powerful story of friendship and family is sure to inspire compassion.

Percy and Tum Tum: A Tale of Two Dogs by Jen Hill
When the new dog moves to town, launches new trends, and enchants the neighborhood, Percy can't help but feel jealous. The colorful illustrations and clever humor are sure to make this story a family classic.

Red Cat, Blue Cat by Jenni Desmond
This vibrant, funny, simple story gently teaches the trouble caused by jealousy and the joys of self-acceptance and friendship.

Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss
The second story in this classic collection features Gertrude McFuzz, of Seussical the Musical fame. Gertrude desperately wants a glamorous tail, bigger even than La-La Lee Lou. Though she goes through great lengths to enhance her own tail, in the end she comes to appreciate her own.

Books about Fear & Anxiety

Lilly's Purple Purse by Keven Henkes
The clever author of Chrysanthemum and other childhood classics gives children a dose of calming perspective: "Today was a hard day. Tomorrow will be better."

Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears by Emily Gravett
Using humor, multi-media design, and grandiose language, this little book does an elegant job of encouraging young readers to face their fears through storytelling and journaling.

"The Old Woman Who Was Not Afraid." Grandmother Stories:  Wise Woman Stories from Around the World by Burleigh Muten
This story, tucked inside a beautiful anthology of "wise woman" fairy tales, gives children a mantra: "I will not be afraid. I will think of something." Though her tale is somewhat frightening, her bravery and self-reliance will inspire readers of every age.

The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm by LaVar Burton and Susan Schaefer Bernardo
This tale within a tale helps children - especially children who have experienced a traumatic storm or loss - cope with big fears. The rhyming verse and engaging illustrations draws readers right into rhinos world, where a storm has upended his home. The description of the Rhino's inner turmoil after "swallowing the storm" is recognizable to every child who has experienced fear and worry. In the end, focusing on the helpers and on hope helps the rhino release his storm.

The Scariest Thing of All by by Debi Gliori
Little Pip the rabbit keeps a list of the things he's afraid of, and that list is unbelievably long. When he gets lost in the woods, Pip must confront the scariest thing of all, and he finds an inner fierceness he never knew he had.

What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety by Dawn Hueber.
Techniques, examples and activities to get kids thinking about how to handle their worrying.

Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
The clever author of Chrysanthemum and other childhood classics brings his talent to the challenging issue of childhood anxiety over the first days of school.

Wilma Jean, Worry Machine by Juila Cook
This humorous book offers practical tools for helping children understand the source of anxiety and how to cope with it.

Books about Loneliness

An Angel for Solomon Singer by Cynthia Rylant
Lonely Solomon wanders into "The Westway Cafe - Where All Your Dreams Come True" and finds himself sharing his wishes, along with his orders, with the waitress - Angel.

The Invisible Boy by Tracy Ludwig
This charming story will inspire every reader who has ever felt invisible (hint: that's everyone at some time or another!).

The Gardener by Sarah Stewart
Moving to a new city can be a lonely experience, but Lydia hasn't come alone. She's packed a suitcase full of garden seeds and enough grit to make the best of a tough transition.

The Old Woman Who Named Things by Cynthia Rylant
She names her car, her house, her big, comfy chair, but she will not name the shy, brown puppy that visits her front gate each day. This beautiful tale gives us insight into how lonely aging friends and family members might feel, and it just might inspire your family to reach out to a senior in your life.

The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
This story about a sweet country cottage consumed by the big city is surprisingly good at conveying loneliness and nostalgia. This is a heart-warming classic you won't want to miss.

Books about Resilience and Grit

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
This incredible, modern fable features a young hero named Liam who is just curious and adventurous enough to change the world.

Flight School  by Lita Judge
A young penguin believes he has "the soul of an eagle," but he's having trouble getting off the ground. His plucky perseverance, and a little help, make his dreams a reality.

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Have you ever set out to make something magnificent? Have you ever had a vision, but wondered how to make it a reality? Have you ever been so frustrated by a project that - vision or no vision - you decided to quit right then and there? This charming book may help you look at your project from a whole new angle.

Papa's Mechanical Fish by Candice Flemming
An avid but imperfect inventor is in search of a great idea. Who could have guessed that a family fishing trip and his inquisitive daughter would give him just the inspiration he needs.

Back to Read Together for more book lists...

Haven't found what you're looking for?
Visit our Complete Resource List.

Or check out these projects and book lists to help raise your family's emotional awareness.

Disclaimer:  Doing Good Together™ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.

Chapter Books About Bullies, Bystanders, and Being Kind

A growing list of chapter books dealing with bullies

Empower your tween or teen to be an "upstander."

This growing collection of resources is provides the perfect starting place for a conversation about challenging social conflicts. Pick a book that interests your family. Read it together. Then, use the discussion questions to take the concepts further.

Also check out our collection of picture books about bullying.


Talk about the issue.

  • What are some other ways the main character could have dealt the main challenge? How would you have acted differently than the character in the story?

  • What do you think is the difference between bullying and teasing?

  • Do you ever feel lonely or left out? What do you do to feel better? What else can you do?

  • Do you ever see other kids at your school being bullied? How does it make you feel?

  • How do you think you could help a friend who is being bullied?

  • Let's make a list of great qualities about each of us. Why do you think it is important to think positive thoughts about yourself?

  • Check out this popular edition of the DGT™ Newsletter on "Raising Upstanders" for more strategies to prevent bullying.

Blubber by Judy Blume
This classic gives readers a clear picture of both the pain bullying can cause and the speed with which teasing can transform into bullying.

The Boy in the Dress by David Walliams
This delightful, laugh-out-loud story elegantly teaches older readers lessons in kindness and tolerance. Twelve-year-old Dennis is learning to cope with a stressful home life by finding his own passions and making his own choices, however unorthodox they may be.

Blue Cheese Breath and Stinky Feet by Catherine DePino
This is a simple chapter book, perfect for younger readers. Steve is determined to stand up to his bully. He turns to his parents to help him formulate a plan, but will it work?

Confessions of a Former Bully by Trudy Ludwig
Trudy Ludwig is an expert storyteller on the subject of bullying, and this sweet book is no exception. By giving readers the perspective of an engaging bully, Ludwig's book gives readers much to discuss, along with an excellent story.

Drita My Homegirl by Jenny Lombard
Ten-year-old Drita and her family have fled war-torn Kosovo to find safety in America. When Maxie is assigned to show Drita around the new school, the two struggle to find common ground. Sometimes friendship blossoms when you least expect it. And when you need it most.

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
Sudden tragedy during the great depression forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California and settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn’t ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance and bullying she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances. It’s a powerful, award-winning and much-loved story.

Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson
Readers will instantly love Frannie, an 11-year-old who strives to be good and "be the one" who stands up for others, in spite of so many challenges. Some days the whole world seems to bully us, but if we learn to stand up and have hope, we can turn things around.

Fish in a Tree by Linda Mullaly Hunt
This is the perfect book for everyone struggling with the sense that they don't fit in. “Everybody is smart in different ways. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing it is stupid.”

Jake Drake Bully Buster by Andrew Clements
This edition of the popular Jake Drake series reminds us that sometimes even bullies need a little kindness and understanding.

Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Teens will be fascinated by the unique situation explored in this eloquent book. When Valerie and her boyfriend Nick created the list of everyone and everything they hate, she had no idea he intended to open fire on their school. Though Valerie is wounded in the attack while attempting to protect another student, she is also implicated in the shootings when the hate list is discovered. Bullying, guilt, regret, and overcoming hard mistakes are just some of the issues that arise in this poignant story.

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Looking for one more thing to love about this enchanting series? Emerging research demonstrates that Rowling’s work is an incredible tool for teaching empathy and tolerance. Harry is the subject of significant bullying and badgering at the hands of his nemesis Draco Malfoy. Explore this series together and discuss the many-faceted issues of justice, bullying, and courage found in each of the books.

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
Wanda is teased by her classmates for wearing the same tattered dress to school each day. They don't believe her when she tells them of her collection of one hundred beautiful dresses at home. The bullying escalates until Wanda is pulled out of school, and one girl realizes she missed her chance to stand up for Wanda.

If You Believe in Mermaids…. Don’t Tell by A.A. Philips
Especially if your a boy, Todd Winslow knows there are some things you just can do, say, or be in front of others. He tries so hard to fit in at summer camp. He tries so hard to hide his love of mermaids and dressing up. Will he find the courage to overcome expectations and be himself?

The Liberation of Gabriel King by K. L. Going
Gabe needs liberation from his fears, fears of spiders, corpses, cows, and fifth grade. Gabe's new friend Frita makes it her mission to rid him - and incidentally herself - of fear. This exceptional story covers a lot of ground, including race relations, bullying, politics, and integrity.

Loser by Jerry Spinelli
Newbery-winning author Spinelli gives readers a beautifully written reminder that sometimes being different is exactly what it takes to be spectacular.

The Loser List (series) by H. N. Kowitt
Watch the trailer then read the book to discover how quickly one kid can move from being bullied to being one of the bullies and back again.

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
Winner of the Newbery Award in 1990, this is a modern myth featuring a homeless boy struggling with a sense of belonging. When Jeffrey Lionel “Maniac” Magee begins running, his myth really begins. Big conversations about racism, bullying and homelessness are sure to come out of this amazing story.

The Misfits by James Howe
Discover what happens when a group of bullied misfits decides to speak out, stand up, and be themselves.

My Secret Bully by Trudy Ludwig
Bullying hurts most when it comes from a former friend. This book depicts an all-too-common scenario and offers discussion ideas at the end.

Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger
This newly updated edition illuminates the transgender experience, and the pain the comes with being shamed for your very identity.

Playground: The Mostly True Story of a Former Bully by 50 Cent.
How does a kid become a bully? And what really happened on the playground that day that landed one student in the hospital and another in therapy? This story is sure to get teen readers talking.

A Smart Girl's Guide: Drama, Rumors & Secrets: Staying True to Yourself in Changing Times by Nancy Holyoke
Full of quotes, tips, quizzes, and great advice, this straightforward manual is a great book tohave on hand before bullying is a problem.

Smile by Raina Telgemeir
When Raina trips and smashes her two front teeth, she embarks on a long, embarrassing journey of dental treatments. Fitting in in sixth grade is hard enough, but this sweet, funny book will encourage kids to believe they can get through troubled times.

The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo.
From the moment he is born Despereaux is distrusted for being different. Who's ever heard of a mouse who doesn't scamper, who reads books, and who falls in love with a human princess? This Newbery winner is a great read-aloud book, and an essential to any big-hearted book collection!

Twerp by Mark Goldblatt
This vivid, often-funny, coming of age story shows us how hard it is to know and do the right thing. Can this sixth grader come to terms with his unmentionable act of bullying?

Wonder and Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories  by R. J. Palacio
The story of Auggie Pullman captured the attention of the world when it was first published in 2012. Auggie's unusual face and charming personality inspires an entire community to discuss what compassion, empathy, and kindness means in practice.  Auggie & Me tells the same story from three other perspectives, including that of Julian, the bully who let's his fear of Auggie's difference rule his behavior. These books are essential reading material for all who practice kindness.

Back to Read Together for more book lists.

Haven't found what you're looking for?
Visit our Complete Resource List.

Or check out these projects to start big-hearted conversations with your family.

 


Disclaimer:  Doing Good Together™ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.

A Growing List of Picture Books about Bullies, Bystanders, and Being Kind

Inspire big-hearted conversations

Teach your child to be an "upstander."

Give your child the tools to take a stand with this growing collection of books, conversation starters, and links.

You may also want to browse our collection of Chapter Books about Bullies, Bystanders, and Being Kind for your older child or your next family read-aloud title.

 

 


Talk about the issue.

  • What do you think is the difference between bullying and teasing? (Hint:  One of these is more intentionally mean, recurring, and involves a difference in power between two people.)

  • Do you ever feel lonely or left out? What do you do to feel better? What else can you do?

  • Do you ever see other kids at your school being bullied? How does it make you feel to be a bystander to such behavior?

  • How do you think you could help a friend or classmate who is being bullied? (At DGT™ we proudly call these helpers "Upstanders!")

  • Let's make a list of great qualities about each of us. Why do you think it is important to think positive thoughts about yourself?

  • Check out this popular edition of the DGT™ Newsletter on "Raising Upstanders" for more strategies to prevent bullying.

Recommended Picture Books

Big Red and The Little Bitty Wolf: A Story About Bullying by Jeanie Franz Ransom
This modern twist on a classic fairy tale is an excellent starting point for any conversation about bullying.

Bully on the Bus by Kathryn Apel
Young readers will be empowered by this story's fun use of fairy tales as inspiration to stand up to a bully. Seven-year-old Leroy sure is!

Bully on the Bus (The Decision is Yours Series) by Carl W. Bosch
Nostalgic fans of choose-your-own-adventure books will love this format. And young readers will be empowered to make meaningful decisions about bullying in this compelling, if somewhat dated book.

Chrysanthemum by Keven Henkes
Too often our most unique feature becomes a target for bullies. Chrysanthemum must learn to love her name, and herself, enough to overcome her classmates negativity in this childhood classic.

Enemy Pie by Derek Munson
This funny, sweet story features the sort of neighborhood conflict all kids experience. The secret recipe the only cure for conflict, enemy pie, may just inspire your kids to make a few new friends of their own.

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
When Chloe and her friends reject new girl Maya, she learns a valuable lesson about accepting people. And the regret of missing an opportunity to share kindness.

The Juice Box Bully: Empowering Kids to Stand up for Others by Rob Sornson and Maria Dismondy
Teach your kids how not to be a bystander with this story. One classroom has pledged to stand up for one another and to earnestly live by the golden rule. When the new kid starts to cause trouble, these classmates challenge one another to stay true to their pledge, ultimately teaching their new classmate what it means to be part of their community.

Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McLoud
I know this book pops up on every list. If you are wondering why, then perhaps you haven't read it in a while. The message is so clear and so motivating, even the youngest children will set out at once to fill buckets. Perhaps even more remarkable, even the oldest readers find it inspiring too!

The Invisible Boy by Tracy Ludwig
This charming story will inspire every reader who has ever felt invisible (hint: that's everyone at some time or another!).

My Secret Bully by Trudy Ludwig
Girls can be mean in particularly fierce but subtle ways. This book is perfect for any family coping with a "mean girl" scenario.

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
What's in a name, Shakespeare asked. For a child whose whole world is changing, the continuity of her own name may mean an awful lot. And friends who are willing to take the time to learn her name may mean even more. This is a great book about acceptance, friendship, and change.

The Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neil
I'm a big fan of this book, because my instinct has always been to turn to humor in tight situations. It's fun, it rhymes, and best of all, this book gives you ample opportunity to discuss how bullying begins and how to shut it down.

Stand in My Shoes: Kids Learning About Empathy by Bob Soronson, Ph.D.
The big idea of empathy is boiled down to the simple act of noticing the lives, experiences, and emotions of others. One part mindfulness, one part social skills lesso, and one part sweet story, this book is a helpful tool for your home library.

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by David Catrow
Teach your children (and remind yourself) to be true to their own idiosyncrasies, in spite of teasing. This book will have your whole family cheering one another on for much-loved quirks.

Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry
This funny story about kindness and friendship is certain to be an on-demand favorite for parents and kids alike.

One by Katheryn Otoshi
The simple text and calming watercolors in this book disguise a complicated story about friendship and standing up for others.

Tease Monster by Julia Cook
Discover the difference between laughing at someone and laughing with someone in this silly story.

Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Palacco
Master storyteller Palacco shares her own childhood experience with a learning disability, bullies, the teacher that made a difference.

The Weird Series by Erin Frankel (Weird, Tough, and Dare)
Featuring three books from the perspective of three different third graders, this series is touching, thoughtful, and a certain conversation starter!

 

Back to Read Together for more book lists!

Haven't found what you're looking for?
Visit our Complete Resource List.

Or check out these projects to practice kindness with your family.

 


Disclaimer:  Doing Good Together™ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.

Creative Picture Books to Inspire Everyday Acts of Kindness

Picture books to inspire everyday acts of kindness for families from DoingGoodTogether.org

Teach empathy with these excellent stories!

Simple acts of kindness can have a big impact on the world, as one good deed inspires the next. This evolving list of picture books will motivate your family to help others in ways great and small every day.


Conversation Starters

  • How would we know if someone was having a bad day and may need a little extra kindness?

  • What are some safe and simple ways to share kindness with a stranger?

  • What acts of kindness have others shared with you recently? How did they make you feel?

  • Have you ever thought of doing a kind thing for a stranger, but decided not to out of nervousness? How could you overcome your shyness in the future?

Buddha at Bedtime: Tales of Love and Wisdom for you to Read withYour Child to Enchant, Enlighten and Inspire by Dharmachari Nagaraja
This book contains 20 modernized versions of ancient Buddhist stories. Most are full of whimsy and wonder, spurring on creative play, even as they teach about kindness, courage, and peace. Each story ends with a short restatement of the moral for reinforcement.

Chicken Soup for Little Souls: The Goodness Gorillas by Lisa McCourt
This feel-good story teaches the importance of reaching out to others – even the class bully.

Clifford’s Good Deeds by Norman Bridwell
While he has good intentions, Clifford’s good deeds always seem to result in wacky situations.

The Day It Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond
When Cornelia Augusta catches hearts from the sky, she must decide what heart to give to what friend.

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
When Chloe and her friends reject new girl Maya, she learns a valuable lesson about accepting people. And the regret of missing an opportunity to share kindness.

The Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell
A wonderful story for inspiring a discussion about the power of friendship, appreciation for what we have, and the true meaning of gift giving.

The Giving Book: Open the Door to a Lifetime of Giving by Ellen Sabin
This book is a wonderful tool to help elementary school kids understand and set their own charitable priorities. This book is one part journal, one part work book, and one part cheerleader for the task of doing good.

The Giving Box: Create a Tradition of Giving with Your Children by Fred Rogers
The folktales and fables in this small volume encourage children in the spirit of giving. A “giving box” is also included — a simple way to make donating to charity a family ritual.

Have you Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud
This is the book that’s sweeping elementary schools across the nation. It’s likely you’ve encountered it somewhere, but this list would be very incomplete without it. The bucket provides a perfect metaphor for the way our words and actions can make others overflow with happy feelings, or the way we may lash out at others when we’re feeling depleted and empty. Even the youngest readers will set out to fill a bucket near them!

If Everybody Did by Jo Ann Stover
This funny book has a nice message about the impact of your actions on others.

Kids’ Random Acts of Kindness by Dawna Markova
Stories of loving kindness written by kids of all ages.

Kiki's Hats by Warren Hanson
Kiki’s story is another variation on the theme of how love and kindness can touch the world. Kids are inspired to start right now, sharing their own talents in whatever way they can. My five-year-old is especially in love with this simple story.

Kindness Is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler by Margery Cuyler
 When Mrs. Ruler’s class is challenged to perform as many good deeds as possible, they find creative and fun ways to give back to people.

The Kindness Quilt by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
When the students in Mrs. Cooper’s class are challenged to do acts of kindness and depict them in drawings, their work is so impressive, they create a “kindness quilt” that continues to grow. Don't let the cute, simple design of this book fool you. Children are universally inspired to mimic the activity in this book as soon as reading time ends!

Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson
Introduce the idea that kindness is contagious, and watch kindness circle the globe in just a few days. Mary, as ordinary as any other kid, starts it all with a special delivery. The rhythm and rhyme of this book make it a fun read aloud experience, too.

The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau
A great read and the perfect antidote to the season’s all-too-common messages of materialism and greed.

Reach Out and Give by Cheri Meiners
This book is very straight forward, and it’s definitely more a teaching tool than a story. It is simple, effective, and a quick read. After a brief discussion of gratitude, this book illustrates a number of different ways kids can be helpers in their community. In the back it includes discussion questions, a philanthropy role-play, generosity games, and ideas for service projects.

Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by Paul Yalowitz
A grumpy, lonely man discovers the importance of friendship when he receives an unexpected package from an admirer. A compelling message about the power of kindness.

The Three Questions by Jon J. Muth
Based on a short story by Leo Tolstoy, The Three Questions is the story of a little boy’s quest to discover the secret to being a good person.

Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth
Muth weaves three Zen fables into a whimsical story of three siblings who befriend their new panda bear neighbor. Each fable provides openings for discussions about anger and forgiveness, wealth, manners, imagination, patience, luck, and many other big ideas.

Back to Read Together for more book lists...

Haven't found what you're looking for?
Visit our Complete Resource List.

Or check out these projects to inspire your next act of kindness.


Disclaimer:  Doing Good Together™ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.

Celebrate Diversity with Inspiring (and Fun!) Picture Books

Celebrate diversity with inspiring (and fun!) picture books

Embrace similarities and honor differences with this evolving book list.

This collection sets the stage for big conversations about the differences and similarities between us all. Plus, they are outstanding stories your whole family will want to re-read! (For a list of books for older children, please see our Diversity - Chapter Books page.) 


Reflections

  • What can be learned from considering various points of view?

  • Imagine you are one of the characters in these stories. How would you feel?

  • What are some things you can do every day to celebrate differences?

Project Ideas

  • Good Eggs: a recipe for tolerance. Teach tolerance over breakfast with this thought-provoking recipe.

  • Make your home reflect cultural diversity by the art, music, and books you display; the movies and television shows you choose to watch; and the restaurants your family frequents.

Or, try this:  On a sheet of paper, draw a Venn diagram, list the things that are unique about you on the left side, the things that are unique about a character in one of these books on the right side. Add similarities in the middle. Take time to respectfully discuss these differences and similarities as a family.

The Big Orange Splot - part of an evolving list of books celebrating diversity

The Big Orange Splot by D. Manus Pinkwater
Celebrate creativity and individuality with this fun story. Children of all ages will discover how different ways of seeing the world can enrich our lives.

http://amzn.to/23pR0Sz

The Friendly Four by Eloise Greenfield
Told through engaging poetry, this story celebrates friendship as the best antidote to a "bummer summer."

Hey, Little Ant by Phillip M. Hoose, Hannah Hoose, and Debbie Tilley
Practice empathy by stepping into the smallest shoes imaginable. Seeing the world from such a different point of view offers a great starting point for imagining how different people experience the world.

One Green Apple - part of a growing list of books celebrating diversity

One Green Apple by Eve Bunting
Imagine how you might feel if you suddenly lived in a new country where everyone spoke differently, dressed differently, and ate differently. Celebrate ethnic and cultural diversity with this heart-warming story of Farah, an immigrant who is relieved to discover some familiar sights on a field trip to an apple orchard, where she begins to create new friendships across differences.

Whoever you are - part of a growing list of picture books that celebrate diversity

Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light by Tim Tingle
The author weaves his family's personal history into a bewitching story about a boy, his grandmother, and the challenges faced by modern American Indian families. 

The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss
What happens when you organize the world into them versus us, plain-belly sneetch or star-belly sneetch? This children's classic makes a mockery of superficial judgements, providing the perfect starting point for a conversation about similarities, differences, and acceptance.

Whoever You Are by Mem Fox
This simple, lyrical book is the perfect bedtime story for young children and an exceptional reminder that across the world children everywhere share profound similarities along with fascinating differences.

For rich resources celebrating diversity through children's literature, browse these outstanding blogs.

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Inspire Nature Lovers with This Growing List of Picture Books

a growing list of picture books io inspire recycling, protection of wlderness areas, and environmental advocacy

Encourage the next generation of outdoor adventurers with these fun stories.

Nothing inspires wonder, cultivates mindfulness, and relieves stress as effectively and enjoyably as time spent in nature. Inspire the wilderness enthusiast in your child with this growing list of stories.


Talk about the issue.

  • Name three things that you love to do outside?

  • Where are your favorite outdoor spaces?

  • Are their any outdoor adventures you hope to have some time in the future?

  • What creature do you wish you could see in the wild?

  • What can your family do to help take care of your favorite natural areas?

  • What can your family do to reduce waste in your home?

Brother Eagle, Sister Sky by Susan Jeffers.
Adapted from a speech supposedly made by the American Indian Chief Seattle, Brother Eagle, Sister Sky encourages reverence for the land and environment.

Canoe Days by Gary Paulsen.  
Enjoy the peace and pleasure of a summer day in this poetic, beautifully illustrated, and fully transportable canoe trip.

Everglades by Jean Craighead George and Wendell Mior.
A storyteller describes the Florida Everglades as he guides children though this one-of-a-kind ecosystem. Minor’s paintings depict the beauty of this home to alligators and egrets.

Fairy House by Tracy Kane.
Bring the joy of imaginative play to your outdoor experiences with this wonderful story. Join Kristin as she builds a fairy house in the woods, and follow her dream-like adventures with the fairies. Then build  your own fairy houses using the instructions in the book, and adding to them with your own imagination and natural treasures. It's a great alternative to screen time!

Fire Flies! by Julie Brinkloe.
Discover the magic of fireflies on a summer night, and learn to respect the freedom wild things deserve. This is a perfect companion for a summer camping trip, along with a bug net!

The Forest Has Eyes by Elise Maclay.
Have fun with this lushly drawn “camouflage art,” with pictures hidden within. Learn about Native American culture, their reverence for the land and the animals that inhabit the forests.

Fun with Nature and More Fun with Nature (Take Along Guides) both by Mel Boring, Diane Burns, and Leslie Dendy.
Kids will love learning about the most common creatures, tracks, and trees they're likely to encounter in North America. These books will turn every trip to the park into a scavenger hunt!

John Muir Wrestles a Waterfall by Julie Danneberg.
This exciting story from the life of renowned naturalist and environmental advocate John Muir is rich with history as well as natural wonders.

Maxwell's Mountain by Sheri Becker.
This story is perfect for young readers who want to lead their own nature expedition. Maxwell learns the rules that keep hikers safe as he trains to tackle the "mountain" at his local park.

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen. 
With few words and magical illustrations, this book places you in the chilled quiet of a winter night and the magical intimacy with nature that's possible in this silent world.

Old Elm Speaks: Tree Poems by Kristine O'Connell George.
This inspiring collection of tree poems is one part meditation and one part playful exploration of our stately neighbors.

The Raft by Jim LaMarche.
Follow along with Nicky's adventure in the Wisconsin woods. Nicky's summer with his raft, and his grandmother, opens him up to the natural world as well as his own artistic inclinations. The tone and the illustrations pull you in to this mesmerizing tale.

The Tree that Time Built: A Celebration of Nature, Science, and Imagination (A Poetry Speaks Experience) by Linda Winston, Mary Ann Hoberman, and Barbara Fortin.
This anthology of nature inspired poems is sure to inspire and engage your child with the outdoors in unexpected ways.

The Story of the Blue Planet by Andri Snaer Magneson.
This delightfully unique story is sure to spur conversations with your child and challenge your whole family to enjoy the simple pleasures of nature to the fullest.

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Disclaimer:  Doing Good Together™ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Books to Inspire Young Environmental Advocates

Inspire tees and tweens to take on green acts of kindness.

Inspire tweens and teens to try green acts of kindness.

This collection is full of practical tools for young environmental advocates. Featuring both fiction and nonfiction titles, your family is sure to find inspiration for environmental action.


Talk about the issue.

  • Engage your children in problem solving: What good things are we already doing in our day to help the earth? What simple changes can our family make to take even better care of our planet?

  • Ask questions that prompt conversations about environmental ethics: "Why should we walk instead of drive to the park?"

  • Acknowledge tough choices ("It's hard to know how far to turn down the thermostat in the winter."), and make a point to discuss your environmental values.

  • Explain that simple decisions can have an impact, like coloring on both sides of  the page, turning off the water when you brush your teeth, or turning out lights when you leave a room. 

Arlene the Rebel Queen by Carol Liu
Arlene and her friends face opposition when she attempts to minimize her school’s carbon footprint. How can she make them see that changes can be for the better?

50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Recycle by the Earth Works Group
Recycle at home, at school and in your community. This book will tell you how.

Waste Disposal (Earth SOS) by Sally Morgan
Find out where waste (nuclear, dirty water, garbage, toxic) goes and how it affects the environment. Also learn about recycling metals, glass and paper, and discover what kids can do to help deal with waste.

An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming by Al Gore
A version of the best-selling book for younger readers, An Inconvenient Truth explains how our planet is being threatened by rising carbon dioxide levels and what we can do about climate change.

Down To Earth Guide To Global Warming by Laurie David and Cambria Gordon
An introduction to global warming for kids that provides suggestions on how kids can help combat the problem.

Hoot by Carl Hiassen
An ecological mystery for the middle school set in which Roy, a new kid at school, sets out to save some burrowing owls from developers.

Flush by Carl Hiaasen
The second book in Hiaasen’s series of environmental novels and the follow-up to Hoot, Flush is the story of two children who work together to expose the illegal dumping of raw sewage from a casino ship.

True Green Kids: 100 Things You Can Do To Save The Planet by Kim McKay
Published by National Geographic, this guide to conservation and environmental change lists several easy things kids can do at home, school, and in the community to help save the planet.

How Monkeys Make Chocolate: Foods and Medicines from the Rainforest by Adrian Forsyth
Get lots of information about the plants, animals and people of the rainforest and their intricate web of interdependence.

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
The award-winning story of 13-year-old Brian Robeson’s struggle to survive after a plane crash in the Canadian wilderness. A classic.

Dr. Art’s Guide to Planet Earth: For Earthlings Ages 12 to 120 by Art Sussman, Ph.D.
A systems approach to how the earth works that is compelling, well-organized and understandable. There are also recommendations for what young people can do to help save the planet.

Generation Green: The Ultimate Teen Guide to Living an Eco-Friendly Life by Linda Sivertsen
Generation Green offers dozens of tips on how teens can do their part to help save the earth.

The Green Teen: The Eco-Friendly Teen’s Guide to Saving the Planet by Jenn Savedge
Get teenagers interested in living green(er) by promoting this book which is filled with ideas and stories to inspire them.

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
A young Eskimo girl gets lost in the Alaska tundra after running away to find her San Francisco pen pal and is taken in by a pack of Arctic wolves. This Newberry Medal winner is a tale of survival and much more.

Green Careers: Choosing Work for a Sustainable Future by Jim Cassio and Alice Rush (New Society Publishers, 2009). Ever wondered about a having a green job? This book will tell you about the skills, education, and expertise you’ll need, as well as what jobs are available to someone that is looking for an environmentally-friendly career.

 

Back to Read Together for more book lists...

Haven't found what you're looking for?
Visit our Complete Resource List.

Or check out these projects to heal the earth.

Disclaimer:  Doing Good Together™ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.

Heal the Earth with These Inspiring Picture Books

A growing list of picture books to inspire the next generatio of environmental advocates.

Inspire kids to become environmental advocates.

This list is designed to give your child critical tools to protect the environment. We've included some fiction and many nonfiction titles that offer practical tips and inspiring tales of earth-friendly acts of kindness.


Talk about the issue.

  • Engage your children in problem solving: What good things are we already doing in our day to help the earth? What simple changes can our family make to take even better care of our planet?

  • Ask questions that prompt conversations about environmental ethics: "Why should we walk instead of drive to the park?"

  • Acknowledge tough choices ("It's hard to know how far to turn down the thermostat in the winter."), and make a point to discuss your environmental values.

  • Explain that simple decisions can have an impact, like coloring on both sides of  the page, turning off the water when you brush your teeth, or turning out lights when you leave a room. 

365 Ways to Live Green for Kids: Saving the Environment at Home, School, or at Play–Every Day! by Sheri Amsel
Simple ideas for how kids can protect the earth.

The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle:  A Story About Recycling by Allison Inches
Ever wonder what happens when you recycle a plastic bottle? Follow its journey from your recycling bin to its new life as you learn about the importance of recycling.

The Berenstein Bears Go Green by Jan Berenstain and Mike Berenstain
When the Berenstain family discovers that the town dump is overflowing, they must find a way to fix the problem before it's too late.

 The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
When drought struck fourteen-year-old William Kamkwamba's Malawi village, everyone struggled. Failing crops mean there wasn't enough money to attend school, so William spent his time in the library where he discovered and became an expert in the power of wind. This true story of a boy who brought electricity to his village is as exciting and inspiring as any fiction picture book.

Colonel Trash Truck by Kathleen Crawley
The colonel is on a mission to protect the beauty of the earth by cleaning up litter — and convincing others to do the same.

The Greening Book by Ellen Sabin
Through activities and exercises, The Greening Book teaches children that they can make a difference in the future of our planet.

Here Comes the Garbage Barge by Jonah Winter
This hilarious story is sure to inspire your whole family to be mindful of your environmental impact.

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
The Lorax, who speaks for the trees, warns the Once-ler that there are lasting consequences of cutting down trees. In case you've missed it, this book is also an exceptional animated film.

The Michael Recycle series by Ellie Bethel
Recycling is a superpower! This endearingly entertaining series features Michael encouraging people to recycle and get creative in various situations.

One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia by Miranda Paul
How much mess can one plastic bag create? Find out in this compelling story, and follow Ceesay in her creative effort to clean up.

Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World by Laurie Lawlor
A pioneer in the field of environmentalism, this picture book tells of how Rachel Carson overcame opposition from family and friends to become the author of the famed book, Silent Spring, which linked the effects of humans to the changes in the environment.

Snowy White World to Save by Stephanie Lisa Tara
Mama Polar Bear and her cubs are facing down the real impact of climate change.

What Happens to Our Trash? by D. J. Ward
Discover what happens to garbage and recycling once it’s disposed of.

Why Should I Series:
Why Should I Protect Nature?
Why Should I Recycle?
Why Should I Save Water?
Why Should I Save Energy?

All by Jen Green and Mike Gordon. The four-book Why Should I? series by Jen Green answers children’s questions about the environment and demonstrates the importance of protecting nature.

Back to Read Together for more book lists...

Haven't found what you're looking for?
Visit our Complete Resource List.

Or check out these projects to heal the earth.

Disclaimer:  Doing Good Together™ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.

 

 

 

Inspire Creativity with This Growing List of Picture Books

Books PLUS conversation starters to inspire creativity from the kindness experts at DoingGoodTogether.org

Creativity makes empathy easier.

Walking in the shoes of someone else is above all an act of imagination.

Help your child (and yourself!) unlock creative potential and practice imaginative thinking with the conversation starters and books in this unique list. When you're ready use your creativity to share kindness with our project suggestions below!

 

Talk about the issue.

  • Do you ever find it difficult to share your creations with others? Why or why not?
  • What is your favorite artistic activity?  (drawing? painting? writing? sculpting? movie making? anything?)
  • Brainstorm a short list of ways your family can use your creative talents to share kindness with others.
  • What materials would you like to have on hand in case the creative mood strikes? Consider assembling a creativity corner full of craft supplies, recycled goodies, duct tape, and anything else you come up with.
  • Have you ever felt the same way the character in your story felt? Tell a story about that time.
  • Imagine if you faced the same challenge as the character in your story? How would you have reacted?

Enjoy our growing list of thoughtful books to spark your imagination!

What Do You Do With an Idea? by Kobi Yamada
This beautiful book is perfect for people of all ages, all aspirations, and all phases of creative endeavor. How do you nurture an idea? You'll see!

The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
Discover the reason this book tops any book list about creative endeavors. It's impossible to read reach the end without a strong desire to "make your mark."

Ella’s Trip to the Museum by Elaine Clayton
Ella uses her vivid imagination – dancing with the ballerinas in the paintings, frolicking with a statue of a Roman goddess — to make her visit to the museum memorable.

Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
Grab your boxes, parents. This book is a celebration of a imaginative play in its most classic form. When your story is done, visit our Pinterest Board Kids Can Upcycle! for more ideas for creating something new out of something ordinary.

Can You Find It? America: Search and Discover More Than 150 Details in 20 Works of Art by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Linda Falken
Look beyond the overall picture to discover details and otherwise overlooked features within famous works of art.

Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg
In this culture nearly paralyzed by a fear of failure, we are hearing time and again that children aren't being allowed to make mistakes. This book is certainly part of the cure! Discover the beauty in a mistake, then set out to make a few of your own!

Visiting the Art Museum by Laurene Krasny Brown and Marc Brown
Ages 4 and up. A charming look at a family’s visit to the museum. See it all — Rousseau, Pollock, mummies and arms and armor — along with the kind of comments you’d truly hear from kids touring a museum. (“I’ve seen enough. Let’s eat lunch.”)

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Have you ever set out to make something magnificent? Have you ever had a vision, but wondered how to make it a reality? Have you ever been so frustrated by a project that - vision or no vision - you decided to quit right then and there?

This charming book may help you look your current challenges from a whole new angle.

How the Sphinx Got to the Museum by Jesse Hartland
Follow the journey of the Sphinx over the span of thousands of years from its journey from Egypt to New York City.

Mrs. Brown on Exhibit and Other Museum Poems by Susan Katz, illustrated by R.W. Alley
A collection of poems from a teacher and her class who love museums. From an insectarium to clocks to a giant heart, kids learn about exhibits in museums all over the country.

Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty
Kids everywhere will fall in love with Iggy Peck and his outrageous, unstoppable urge to create. With towers of diapers, cathedrals of apples, and a second grade teacher who believes the classroom is no place for an architect, this clever story will become a family favorite.

Willow by Denise Brennan-Nelson & Rosemarie Brennan
Creativity can be messy. Mrs. Hawthorn is not a fan of mess. Willow, on the other hand, is delights in the wild, wanderings of her imagination. You'll find both Mrs. Hawthorn and Willow have something important to teach us in this one-of-a-kind story.

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