Would you like to explore a selection of picture books about kindness? Some of the stories will make you laugh and some of them will make you cry. They’ll make you think, and, best of all, they’ll make you talk.
And talking about the characters in these stories will help your children become more aware of kindness and the ways they might show it every day—to their friends, to their siblings, and sometimes even to perfect strangers.
Read the synopses of a few of my favorite picture books about kindness below, then head to your local library with my free printable library list.
A Home for Bird
by Philip C. Stead
Vernon the Toad has found a new friend. But Vernon is worried. Bird doesn’t seem to want to talk, and he doesn’t seem very happy. It must be because he’s missing his home. So Vernon does what anyone would do when he discovers his friend is lost. He sets out to find A Home for Bird … whatever it takes.
Bear in Love
by Daniel Pinkwater
If the way to a bear’s heart is through his stomach, then Bear’s new admirer is certainly on the right track. When special treats begin to appear on Bear’s doorstep, he can’t wait to meet his new (but very secretive) friend! He may not know who is showing him such kindness, but that doesn’t stop Bear from returning the favor.
Boxes for Katje
by Candace Fleming
In the dark days after WWII, a small kindness blossoms into a full-blown friendship between two little girls who live a world apart. One day the postman brings Katje a box filled with much-needed gifts—all the way from America. But that’s just the beginning for these two girls, their families, and eventually, their communities.
by Patricia Polacco
Kindness begets kindness—and the kindness in Chicken Sunday begins with Miss Eula and her big heart. But it doesn’t stop there. The kindness continues with fried chicken dinners, three grateful children, a soft-hearted old shopkeeper, and an Easter bonnet for a much-loved Grandma.
by Jacqueline Woodson
Kindness is contagious, but Jacqueline Woodson’s Each Kindness offers a sad reminder that kindness that isn’t shared can’t spread. Chloe doesn’t want to be friends with the new girl who wears secondhand clothes. But when Maya stops coming to school, Chloe realizes that the chance to be kind may not last forever.
Fritz and the Beautiful Horses
by Jan Brett
Jan Brett’s beautiful illustrations tell the story of Fritz, a dependable and sure-footed pony who dreamed of the day the children would ride him. But Fritz wasn’t like the beautiful horses that lived within the city walls. So he just watched and wished from across the river. But then the bridge collapsed…and everything changed.
How to Heal a Broken Wing
by Bob Graham
Bob Graham doesn’t use very many words in his touching story about a big-hearted boy and a very lucky bird. In the hustle and bustle of the big city, no one stops to notice a bird with a broken wing. Nobody, that is, except Will. The illustrations do most of the storytelling in this sweet book about kindness and compassion.
Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters
by John Steptoe
In John Steptoe’s African tale, Mufaro’s daughters are both beautiful, but only one is kind. When a search is announced to find a woman beautiful and worthy enough to be the king’s wife, Mufaro sends his daughters to the palace. But the girls soon discover that kindness shown in secret may be much more visible than you realize.
by Cindy McKinley
Showing kindness—even something as simple as a smile—can make a huge difference. As Katie walks through the park with her mother, she smiles at a sad young man. And when Katie’s simple act of kindness is passed from one perfect stranger to the next, it’s plain to see that kindness is contagious after all.
The Invisible Boy
by Trudy Ludwig
If you’ve ever felt invisible, Trudy Ludwig’s The Invisible Boy will make you smile. Brian has always felt invisible. But when a new boy comes to school, Brian is the only one who shows him kindness. And as their friendship blossoms, so does Brian. The once-invisible boy suddenly seems full of life and color.
Penguin and Pinecone
by Salina Yoon
When a penguin discovers a cold and lost-looking pinecone, an unlikely but wonderful friendship is born. And although friendships can be somewhat unexpected, and sometimes don’t even make sense, Penguin and Pinecone prove that when you give kindness and love, friendship always grows.
Would you like to read some of my favorite picture books about kindness with your children?
Click to download my list to take to your local library.
Looking for MORE books? You can find more great library lists here!