This is a list of children’s picture books that are about kindness. I’ve included these books because, in addition to a positive message, they are fun to read. Some are funny, or have great illustrations, and all of them held my attention and the attention of my kids. I hope you enjoy them, too.

Here is an idea to help jump-start a discussion about this virtue with kids:

Try the VirtueGame! It teaches 10 virtues in a fun, engaging way.



Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming Stacey Dressen-McQueen

I love this book. After the war, an American girl is pen pals with a Katje, who lives in Holland. Katje’s village is very poor, and her pen pal organizes her town to send supplies to Katje’s village. The gratitude of the village and the joy the town has in giving makes this book moving and inspiring.

Now one foot, Now the Other by Tomie DePaola Published 1981

This book does a beautiful job of handling the difficult subjects of aging, illness and loss in a simple, accessible way. Its tone and illustrations are straightforward and compassionate. When his grandfather suffers a stroke, Bobby teaches him to walk, just as his grandfather had once taught him.

Good Night, Harry by Kim Lewis

This book is light and sweet. Harry’s friends help him sleep.

The Letter, from Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel

Toad wishes for a letter, and Frog send him one. Many of the Frog and Toad stories show kindness.

The Lion and the Mouse by Aesop

The Elves and the Shoemaker, retold by Jim LaMarche

A happy book with rich illustrations showing two elves who help a poor cobbler rebuild his business. The Cobbler and his wife are kind in return.