Stories That Teach Kindness

"A story is a way to say something that can't be said any other way... You tell a story because a statement would be inadequate." - Flannery O'Connor

The stories we tell our children help to shape their moral imaginations. In fact, they're constantly being shaped by the stories they hear. (We all are!) So how do we teach virtues like kindness? Reading a well-crafted story to saturate their minds and hearts is a great place to start.

Here are 6 of our family's favorite picture books that show the value of kindness.

PS - A few of these make me cry every single time. Consider yourself warned.

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman

Mrs.Goldman is too busy knitting hats for everyone in the neighborhood to make a hat for herself. Despite her limited knitting skills, her young neighbor Sophia endeavors to make Mrs.Goldman the perfect hat. A heart (and head) warming story.

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A Sick Day for Amos McGee

Amos McGee, the faithful zookeeper, is home sick. The animals at the zoo miss his presence, so they plan a visit to cheer him up. A sweet reminder that friends come in all shapes and sizes, this book is the perfect introduction to the concept of kindness.

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Boxes for Katje

World War II has just ended, but Katje's town of Olst, Holland is still struggling with poverty. Out of nowhere, a box from a little girl named Rosie arrives from America with soap and socks and chocolate. A friendship is born and, as a result, the town will never be the same. Based on a heartwarming true story that proves even children can change the world.

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Last Stop on Market Street

It's Sunday after church, and CJ and his gradma are riding the bus across town. When CJ complains about his circumstances, his grandma's kind responses help shift his perspective to one of gratitude and seeing the beauty in the world around him.

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Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch

When lonely Mr.Hatch receives an anonymous Valentine's Day gift with a note that says, "Somebody loves you," his entire world changes. This is the story of the transformational power of loving and being loved.

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Thank You, Mr. Falker

You might recognize this prolific author/illustrator, but once upon a time, she was a little girl named Trisha with undiscovered dyslexia. This is the true story of the teacher who changed her life - and ours! - with his patience and kindness.

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