I love me some book lists. It’s cold outside right now, the leaves have almost completely departed our two large maple trees in the front yard and all I can think about is people who won’t have a home to go to for Thanksgiving dinner.
And so I’m sitting next to our crackling, wood fireplace feeling inspired to offer up our family’s favorite books helping communicate and illustrate kindness to others. They’re not your flashy, new-age crazy books. They’re solid offerings to the young hearts and minds in our smallest humans… during a time in their lives when innate kindness has no beginning, no end and no boundaries until they’re souls are ultimately shaped by the people and world around them.
Books are a great way to encourage kids to continue life with a limitless open heart. Because, in my opinion, you can have the loftiest dreams, desires and goals in the world but if they’re not seeded out of empathy of helping others, none of them will truly make a lasting difference.
I tried to offer an image inside each book so you can see the illustrations as they have just as much to do with the storytelling as the words.
Each Kindness by E.B. Lewis. (Our personal favorite)
A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead.
My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett (it’s on most of my book lists, just it’s that good and who can pass up a little boy who wants to save a baby dragon’s life?).
Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud.
Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
My Friend is Sad by Mo Willems.
The Empty Pot by Demi. (Ok, this book is more about telling the truth, however, this is a form of kindness in our home)
The Lion and the Mouse by Carol Jones. (An Aesop Fable)
Biscuit and the Lost Teddy Bear by Alyssa Satin Capucilli. (We mustn’t forget the littles)
The Bible is also host to plentiful stories – like the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) – and verses in regards to kindness¹:
“The Bible tells us in this passage that kindness is a fruit of the Spirit. If we are saved, the Holy Spirit is living inside of us, and we can be people who overflow with kindness. This does not mean that we will be kind all the time. But as we come to know God more and more, we change. Kindness becomes part of who we are. With the Spirit living inside of us, He gives the power to be kind.”
“This verse helps us to discover one of the most important things about kindness-God is our example. He is a God of great kindness, and one of the main ways we see His kindness is through His forgiveness.”
“This verse commands us to be kind. It tells us to be kind as God is kind to us through His forgiveness. What could we draw a picture of to help remind us to be kind to one another?”
We are supposed to bind kindness around our necks and write it on our hearts. This means kindness is supposed to be part of who we are. It is with us wherever we go.”
We are not supposed to be kind just because we are commanded to, but we are to love kindness, to think of it with joy! We are to want to be kind!”