kindness books

One of the most important things we can do as parents is teach our children to be kind. It is my hope that my children will be the ones that invite the new kid to sit with them. That they’ll make everyone feel welcome, and always be kind to others. The following list of kindness books encourage kindness and teach children to think of others and to be inclusive of everyone. I believe that by teaching our children about kindness, and that it’s good to be different, that we’ll raise a tolerant generation of human beings who know that everyone is welcome, regardless of who they love, the color of their skin, how they identify, or their religious beliefs. Here are my favorite kindness books for toddlers and children.

The Best Kindness Books for Kids

Over the years as a parent, I have talked a lot about my love of kindness books. They are something I really prioritized with my first daughter from the time she was just a few months old. At 15 months, she would ask for the book “Be Kind” daily. I know it by heart and the message is so simple and so pure. And I like to think that means I’m doing something right.

In our family, we talk about and show kindness daily.

When I was growing up, if I had told my mom I didn’t like her, she would have snapped back at me. Alternatively, my preschooler was having a moment and told me she didn’t like me. I told her I thought she must be really upset to say that, and that I loved her very much. 

She apologized on her own a few moments later, and I gave her a big hug. 

As parents, we do our best to model kindness for our children. It goes far beyond please and thank you (although those are very important to me). As toddlers, both my girls would say please whenever they wanted something. We practice using soft, gentle hands with everyone. Think about how you greet others or hold a door open, and explain why. If someone were to say hi to Margot when she was very little (which seemed to happen all the time, I model kindness back for her. “Hi. This is Margot. How are you? Have a great day!” Modeling that behavior every day is key if we expect the same from our children. During my first parent teacher conference with my oldest, her teacher told me that she is so kind, includes everyone, and is a friend to everyone. I couldn’t ask for more. 

It’s so important to read kindness books – to share those stories and talk about the why being kind matters.


Here are my favorite kindness books

How Kind and ABCs of Kindness are two great places to start with your baby or toddler. I love the sweetness and simplicity of both books, and they’re filled with illustrations that your little ones will love. 

Love and Kindness go hand-in-hand, don’t they? In these books, which are ideal for toddlers and preschoolers, children learn about what love and kindness are. Love is baking a special cake or lending a helping hand. Love is reading one more book. But the thing I love most, is that all types of families are represented, so it’s a great opportunity for your children to see other children with one parent, two moms or dads, etc. In Kindness Makes Us Strong, learn how children show kindness in various situations. 

Kindness Rules is a light and fun board book about being kind. Alternatively, Giraffes Can’t Dance is about Gerald, who marches to the beat of his own drum. The lesson of feeling shut down, left out, and then finding yourself is a good one for young children. 

I cannot say enough good things about Be Kind. And I love it so much that if you asked me to recommend one book from this post, Be Kind would be it. I know the entire book by heart, and love that the messages of kindness are very much present but light enough for younger children to digest and enjoy. Tanisha’s friend wants to know how to make her feel better after she spills grape juice all over her new dress. Everyone laughs, but he finds himself wondering what to do, and what it means to be kind. It’s just so sweet. 

Be Strong is “Be Kind 2” but in spite of it’s title, it’s still very much about kindness, and the strength to come together to do what’s important. It’s so sweet that it’s almost a tear jerker – so if you love Be Kind, you’ll definitely want to read Be Strong, too. 

Cat and Bunny is a really sweet and simple book about two best friends who always play on their own, and then one day, someone else asks to join. One friend isn’t so sure but eventually realizes that including others is fun.  

Pass it on is really sweet and simple – a book about passing on kindness to others. The illustrations are especially sweet. Both my girls love this book. 

I love both of these books about welcoming everyone in two very different ways. All Are Welcome is an especially important book for children before they head to preschool as it’s incredibly diverse and shows how everyone can (and should!) come together. 


The following kindness books are ideal for kids 4-5 and up.

I bought them all when my oldest was probably 3, and I’m not sure she was old enough for them at the time, but we love them now.