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Best Picture Books for Teaching Compassion

Use these picture books to teach important life lessons.
on October 20, 2014
 

Compassion is a difficult skill for parents to teach their kids because compassion can be demonstrated in so many ways. 

Using a combination of rich and diverse books to paint a picture of compassion for kids is a wise way to go.  In these books, characters take risks and go out of their way to help others, and all of the books provide a smart starting point for discussion and conversation with your kids. 

 

It's worth adding these books to your shelves. Here are 7 of the best picture books for teaching compassion:

 

The Great Fuzz Frenzy by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel

Prairie dogs are confused and excited when a tennis ball ends up in their burrows, and prairie dog life is challenged when a frenzy breaks out over the fuzzy "thing." 

Talk about community, sharing, and generosity

 

The Farmer by Mark S. Ludy

The farmer's patience and faith are tested by Mother Nature and difficult neighbors, but he remains giving and kind through it all. 

Talk about generosity, kindness, and forgiveness

 

Dotty by Erica Perl and illustrated by Julia Denos

Ida is a girl who takes her imaginary friend with her to school. One day, Ida realizes that not everyone views imaginary friends like she does--until one important person shares her special friend with her.

Talk about differences, tolerance, and open-mindedness

              

Stellaluna by Janell Cannon

Little bat Stellaluna soon realizes that even though she may look different from little birds, they can still be friends. 

Talk about important themes like fitting in, confidence, and acceptance

Cool extension activities 

 

How to Heal a Broken Wing by Bob Graham

"No one saw the bird fall." No one except the little boy who, with his parents, take the injured bird home and care for it until it is ready to fly free.

Talk about hope, healing, and kindness

 

Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Ronald Himler

A homeless boy and his father live in an airport, trying not to be noticed by the busy passengers, workers, and flight crews. 

Talk about homelessness, helping others, and gratitude

 

Unspoken by Henry Cole

This wordless picture book tells the story of one Southern girl who discovers a slave hiding in her barn. It is the story of an unspoken understanding between two children living completely different lives.

Talk about slavery, kindness, generosity, and changing history

 

I'd love to hear what books you turn to in order to talk about or teach compassion to your kids. Please share your thoughts on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page, or find Amy on Twitter, @teachmama, and let's continue the conversation!

 

 

Read all posts by Amy Mascott.

 

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