Simple Acts of Kindness in Picture Books

As adults, we struggle with how we can make a difference in the world. Think how much more helpless young children feel. The picture books below teach that kindness begins at home and school. Practicing simple acts of kindness in these small places not only helps others who are feeling scared or bullied or embarrassed, but also provides an example to others.

And that is a lesson that adults can learn, too!



The Bagel King by Andrew Larsen (ill. by Sandy Nichols). 9781771385749. 2018. Gr PK-2.
Every Sunday Eli’s Zaida brings him bagels from the bakery. But one Sunday, after Zaida was injured in a fall, he didn’t show up. When Eli discovers that Zaida had been bring baked goods to all his friends as well, he decides to help.

Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller (ill. by Jen Hill). 9781626723214. 2018. Gr PK-1.
When a girl sees a classmate spill grape juice on her dress, she almost laughs. But she remembers her mother’s advice to always be kind, and starts thinking about what it means to be kind and how she can show kindness to her embarrassed classmate.

The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates (ill. by Juniper Bates). 9781534406582. 2018. Gr PK-2.
A big red umbrella with a smiley face likes to help anyone who needs shelter from the rain. It spreads its arms wide and welcomes those who are small, tall, hairy, or many-legged. There is always room for everyone under the big red umbrella.

Boo Who? by Ben Clanton. 9780763688240. 2018. Gr PK-2.
Boo is the new kid, and even though the other kids are welcoming, he doesn’t fit in—he can’t catch a ball, and the others can’t feel a tag—until his friends find a game that he is great at!

The Breaking News by Sarah Lynne Reul. 9781250153562. 2018. Gr PK-2.
A young girl doesn’t know how to cope with the reaction of her parents and teacher to disastrous news. When her teacher tells the class to “look for the helpers,” she looks for ways that she can help by showing small kindnesses.


I Walk with Vanessa : A Story about a Simple Act of Kindness by Kerascoet. 9781524769550. 2108. Gr PK-3.
After seeing the new girl, Vanessa, being bullied on her way home from school, a young girl comes up with a way to make Vanessa feel welcomed. Her actions eventually grow to involve the whole school.

May I Come In? by Marsha Diane Arnold (ill. by Jennie Poh. 9781585363940. 2018. Gr PK-2.
Raccoon doesn’t want to be alone during a thunderstorm, so he sets out to see if the other animals have room for him. But no one will let him in, until one neighbor finally offers him a haven.

The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld. 9780735229358. 2018. Gr PK-1.
A child named Taylor decides to build something amazing out of blocks, until a group of crows flies by and knocks it down. Several well-meaning animals try to help him, but only make it worse, until a rabbit arrives and just sits and listens.

Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell. 9781250076366. 2018. Gr PK-1.
A young girl risks her own safety in a blizzard to help a wolf cub find its pack. Weary from having done so, the girl collapses. To return her kindness, the fierce wolves gather around her, howling to lead her family to find her.

You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith & Danielle Daniel. 9781459814479. 2018. Gr K-2.
This picture book teaches children many ways that they can show kindness and respect to their friends, families, and communities.

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