Who Cares? Children's Books that Teach Caring & Kindness
Have you ever seen preschoolers negotiate the boundaries of a play activity? "I'll be the mommy and you be the daddy," says a four year old. "No, you be the sister," says a playmate. On their own they work out the roles, and the story evolves. Have you ever seen a toddler pat the hand of a friend who is crying? These are examples of very young children learning and experiencing cooperation, empathy, respect, problem solving, and a sense of self. These are big and important topics that we usually discuss within the realm of adulthood or at least the teen years; however, children are mastering these elements of character at a very early age.
Children's literature can also promote guidance and understanding. "I'm sick", "I'm chilly", "I'm proud", "I'm happy" are all feelings that toddlers can see and hear in the engaging photos and rhymes of A Kiss Means I Love You. Each page is a potential conversation starter with even very young children. In Too Tall Houses, Rabbit and Owl's competitive nature takes them to a no-win conclusion – unless they can learn to cooperate. And Spunky, the thoughtful pup in Spunky Tells All, is faced with sharing his family with his worst enemy – a cat. But what will happen when Fiona gets into trouble? How will Spunky respond?
Character development isn't something that can wait till the teens or even the elementary years. Young children surprise us in their ability to care, and these lovely books can support that journey.
Read on for our book recommendations.