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 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 her 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 dreams of the day the children will ride him. But Fritz isn’t like the beautiful horses that live within the city walls. So he just watches and wishes from afar. But when the bridge collapses, everything changes.
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 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.
I Walk with Vanessa
No words are needed to tell this sweet story of kindness and friendship. When a girl witnesses a new student being bullied at school, she makes the decision to befriend the new girl and walk to school with her the next day. And that small gesture of kindness changes everything!
by Pat Zietlow Miller
What can she do to make her friend feel better? That’s the question a young girl asks herself when she sees her classmates laugh at another girl who spilled her grape juice. But that leads to an even bigger question. What can we all do every day to show kindness?
by Derek Munson
How do you deal with your very first enemy? A boy needs ideas, and his somewhat sneaky dad comes up with a great one: bake your enemy an “enemy pie.” But there’s a catch. Enemy pie only works if the boy is willing to spend an entire day playing with his enemy.
The Girl and the Bicycle
by Mark Pett
The green bicycle in the store window is perfect, and the girl just has to have it! But when she finally earns enough to buy the bicycle—it’s gone! This wordless picture book will inspire readers with its tale of hard work, perseverance—and kindness.
Last Stop on Market Street
by Matt de la Peña
Winner of both the Caldecott Medal and the Newbery Medal, Last Stop on Market Street features eye-catching illustrations and a charming story. As CJ and his grandmother ride the bus, Nana helps CJ spot the worth and beauty in the people and situations around them.
Stick and Stone
by Beth Ferry
In this delightful tale of kindness and friendship, when Pinecone starts teasing Stone, Stick “sticks up” for Stone and the two become best friends. But then disaster strikes, and Stick is blown away in a sudden hurricane. Can Stone find him or is their friendship lost forever?
by Maribeth Boelts
Every kid in Jeremy’s school is getting new shoes. Those shoes. When Jeremy finds a pair in a thrift shop, he convinces his Grandma to buy them—even though they’re way too small. But when he notices another boy wearing worn-out shoes, Jeremy knows exactly what to do!
The Rabbit Listened
by Cori Doerrfeld
Taylor builds a magnificent house of blocks. When the house gets knocked down, Taylor’s friends try to cheer her up. Some want to talk about it and some want to get angry. Others want to help her rebuild, but Taylor doesn’t want any of those things. What does Taylor need?
A Hat for Mrs. Goldman
by Michelle Edwards
Sophia loves helping Mrs. Goldman make hats for people. Mrs. Goldman knits them and Sophia decorates them with beautiful pompoms. One day Sophia notices that Mrs. Goldman doesn’t have a hat of her own. But can Sophia make an entire hat all by herself?
by JonArno Lawson
As a young girl walks with her father through the city, she gathers a bouquet of flowers and begins to share them with the people and animals she encounters. Without a single word, this sweet picture book shows how small acts of kindness bring beauty to the world!
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!
Do you have a favorite picture book about kindness? Please share it in the comments and I’ll add it to our Readers’ Picks list!