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6 Diverse Children's Books about Friendship and Kindness to Help Kids Build Healthy Connections


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Learning social skills are an important part of growing up. Reading books about friendship and kindness can help children understand what healthy can connections look like. These diverse children's books can foster conversations about what it takes to be a good friend and about ways we can all be kind to one another. Happy reading!



There's nothing in the world like a wonderful friend. Friends are there to laugh with you and ready with a hug when you need one. There are forever friends and brand new friends. Friends for adventures and friends for cozy days indoors. Friends who are just like you and friends who are nothing like you at all. In this book, celebrate ALL the marvelous ways to be a friend!


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Written by kindergarten teacher and Instagram influencer affectionately known as the Tutu Teacher, comes a picture book about a class that creates a kindness pledge to ensure that their class is the kindest it can possibly be.


It's the first day of Kindergarten and Leo isn't at all ready. Leo is a quiet kid and would prefer to stay home. Over the summer, his new teacher, Ms. Perry sent a letter asking her students to think about how to show kindness in school. She explained that they would be making a kindness pledge, and each student should bring one way to show kindness on the first day.


As it turns out, Leo's classmates have lots of ideas about kindness: like raising your hand, never leaving anyone out, and apologizing if you hurt someone's feelings. At the end of the first day, Ms. Perry asks if anyone witnessed something they'd like her to add to the kindness pledge? Lots of hands shoot up in the air. Several classmates say they noticed Leo returning crayons to the box, holding the door for everyone, and helping a friend who fell. Leo smiles as he realizes he really does know a lot about kindness after all.


A story reassuringly told by Vera Ahiyya and brought to exuberant life by illustrator Joey Chou, this story about a classroom coming together to make a kindergarten into a KINDergarten is sure to calm the nerves--and offer inspiration--to new kindergartners and the adults in their lives.

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From the best-selling author of the hugely popular Kindergarten, Here I Come!, here's a guidebook in verse that shows children how to be kind in the new and exciting world of kindergarten.


Small enough to fit in a child's backpack, this collection of short poems--one to a page--spans the entire year of kindergarten, offering sweet and simple tips on how to be your best self--sharing your umbrella with a friend; taking turns on the swings, and inviting someone to join in a game. This is the perfect companion to DJ Steinberg's enormously successful Kindergarten, Here I Come!


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From Newbery Medalist and New York Times best-selling author Meg Medina comes the bittersweet story of two girls who will always be each other's número uno, even though one is moving away.


A big truck with its mouth wide open is parked at the curb, ready to gobble up Evelyn's mirror with the stickers around the edge . . . and the sofa that we bounce on to get to the moon.


Evelyn Del Rey is Daniela's best friend. They do everything together and even live in twin apartments across the street from each other: Daniela with her mami and hamster, and Evelyn with her mami, papi, and cat. But not after today--not after Evelyn moves away. Until then, the girls play amid the moving boxes until it's time to say goodbye, making promises to keep in touch, because they know that their friendship will always be special. The tenderness of Meg Medina's beautifully written story about friendship and change is balanced by Sonia Sánchez's colorful and vibrant depictions of the girls' urban neighborhood.


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When Tanisha spills grape juice all over her new dress, her classmate wants to make her feel better, wondering: What does it mean to be kind?


From asking the new girl to play to standing up for someone being bullied, this moving story explores what kindness is, and how any act, big or small, can make a difference--or at least help a friend.


With a gentle text from the award-winning author of Sophie's Squash, Pat Zietlow Miller, and irresistible art from Jen Hill, Be Kind is an unforgettable story about how two simple words can change the world.


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This simple yet powerful picture book--from a New York Times bestselling husband-and-wife team--tells the story of one girl who inspires a community to stand up to bullying. The perfect back-to-school read for every kid, family and classroom!


Inspired by real events, I Walk with Vanessa explores the feelings of helplessness and anger that arise in the wake of seeing a classmate treated badly, and shows how a single act of kindness can lead to an entire community joining in to help. By choosing only pictures to tell their story, the creators underscore the idea that someone can be an ally without having to say a word. With themes of acceptance, kindness, and strength in numbers, this timeless and profound feel-good story will resonate with readers young and old.


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Your turn! Which books would you add to this list? Let us know.




BOOK TRAILER


KINDergarten is a picture book about a class that creates a kindness pledge to ensure that their class is the kindest it can possibly be.





 

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