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5 Books About Giving That Every Child Should Read

Check out these top books that inspire thought, change, and growth.
on November 18, 2013

It's that time of the year when our kids' brains become clouded by thoughts of candy and parties, brightly-wrapped gifts, and winter break.  The holiday-time commercials start running on repeat, and before we know it, wish list-writing will replace homework and chores. 


It's the time of year when families really need to make a concerted effort to talk to their children about gratitude and kindness and all that good stuff so that kids don't get too wrapped up in the holiday hype. So that kids remember what holiday giving really means. Families really need to start demonstrating generosity through their own giving, volunteering, and conversations to clarify for children how important it is to give back.


It's that time of the year when we've got to be sneaky and clever with our kids' messaging for fear of them "tuning us out" and missing the big picture.  Lucky for us, a wide range of rich texts are at our fingertips that truly help to convey the idea that giving and kindness are important not only at holiday time—but any time throughout the year. 


These five books teach giving and kindness without directly saying it.  They are books with rich illustrations and deep messages that will make readers think, change, and grow. 


The Farmer by Mark Ludy (ages 5-9)

This story's strong message of "treat others how you would like to be treated" is woven through breathtaking illustrations and heart-warming characters. Readers will be moved by the farmer's kindness and giving despite hardship and will learn from his example. 


How to Heal a Broken Wing by Bob Graham (ages 5-7)

Simple and sweet, this "urban tale" of a boy who stops to care for a bird with a broken wing demonstrates to readers the importance of stepping back, paying attention to the world around us, and sharing kindness with others.  This book demonstrates how one person can make a big difference in another person's life. 


The Gardener by Sarah Stewart and illustrated by David Small (ages 5-7) 

Set in the Depression Era, Lydia Grace leaves her family to live with her uncle and help him with his bakery, and her kindness and compassion, strength of character, and generosity are contagious. Children and adults alike will learn from Lydia Grace's giving nature and how she makes the best of her situation, helping others find the sunshine and beauty in every day. 


Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson (ages 4-8)

Ordinary Mary is on her way to her ordinary home from her ordinary school, when she decides to pick up the blueberries on the walk for a neighbor. What she does is begin a series of events where everyone gives a little and everyone realizes how good it feels. 


The Rain Came Down by David Shannon (ages 5-7)

An unexpected rainstorm turns a cranky and selfish community into one filled with kindness and giving. This smart story demonstrates the power of one person and how one person choosing an attitude of caring can change an entire community.


What books do you think are worth reading over and over because of their strong messages of giving and kindness? 


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