Children’s Books That Teach Empathy

Bookroo is a subscription box for children’s books based in the USA started by Rebecca Tanner and her sister in law. Today we have a guest post from the Bookroo Team and it’s exclusively for Eager Readers.

Thank you Bookroo team- Rebecca, Jane and Tiffany.

Rebecca, Jane and Tiffany

It’s lovely when people from different world’s collaborate and what better way to connect than through books.

Readers hope you enjoy this blog post.

Children’s literature offers an incomparable medium through which we can help children understand and develop empathy. One of the many wonderful things about books is that they let you see a story through someone else’s eyes. You get to step into other people’s shoes and understand their thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Whether a book character models empathy and compassion, explicitly talks about empathy, or simply helps you understand another person’s point-of-view, books are a powerful tool to help teach kids of all ages, from toddlers through high school and beyond, to nurture and demonstrate their natural instincts to be empathetic.

The Snatchabook

This book has important overarching themes of righting a wrong and empathy. The Snatchabook uses empathy by realizing what it would be like to have your cherished books stolen, and Eliza Brown uses empathy to realize what it would be like not to have parents reading you books. The two become friends because they can imagine what the other must feel like.

The Rabbit Listened

This story is a powerful lesson on empathizing and listening. When Taylor’s blocks fall down, a plethora of friends come by and try to cheer him up and leave when they don’t succeed. However, when the rabbit comes by, he just sits and listens to how Taylor feels–he never leaves. Though each of the friends wanted to help Taylor feel better and were trying to empathize, the rabbit didn’t try to fix the problem, stayed by Taylor’s side, and listened to understand exactly how Taylor was feeling.

Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse

Demonstrating the power of imagination and friendship to transcend our circumstances, this story of empathy is a classic in the making with its poignant illustrations and text. Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse tackles the very complex themes of poverty and judgement in a tender way directed at children (but still absolutely compelling for adults) that prods at the very core of the soul, bound to elicit empathy in all and tears in some.

A Boy Called Bat

Bat is a wonderful, developed character in this story about an animal-loving boy on the autism spectrum who thinks a skunk makes the perfect pet. This story can help children understand and have empathy for those on the Autism spectrum as they read about how Bat feels and the way his friends interact with him.

The Invisible Boy

The book is gorgeously and emotionally illustrated, letting the colors speak to the emotions of Brian—the invisible boy. This story is a powerful reminder that bullying takes many forms and that one person and one act of kindness can truly make a difference, even if they’re the only one. The Invisible Boy is a great tool for talking about how when the reader feels as Brian feels, they are practicing empathy, and how empathy can lead us to be the one to show kindness to others.

My Heart

Our hearts many feelings are beautifully summed up in this stunning and relatable book about emotions. The messaging and metaphors are simple enough for young readers to understand, but profound enough for adult readers to contemplate and learn from. This book is great to use talk with kids about emotions, our power over them, and how better understanding our own emotions can help us empathize with others.

Feel free to take a look at Bookroo’s platform dedicated to children’s books where you can discover more great recommendations!

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