Booklist: Children's books about kindness
Simon James Green, whose new picture book Fabulous Frankie (available here) is out this week, has picked out five favourite books for children all about being kind.
Simon told us, "In my new picture book, Fabulous Frankie, a rather ostentatious flamingo learns it isn’t the glitz and glamour that makes him fabulous, it’s being kind. In a world that can often feel like kindness is in short supply, here are my top 5 books to remind everyone (big or small!) just how wonderful it can be. ''
A Dog’s Tale: Life Lessons for a Pup
Michael Rosen & Tony Ross
This gorgeous book is an absolute favourite of mine. When a young puppy needs reassurance, a wise dog is there to offer canine tips for living life to the fullest. A lovely rhyming tale, it’s full of joy, but it’s also incredibly moving, dealing with some of life’s biggest moments with a beautifully light touch. With themes of friendship, community and family, this exquisite book reminds me that Rosen and Ross are two of the absolute greats of children’s literature for a very good reason.
The Last Chip
I love this story about Percy, a hungry pigeon who is desperately looking for a scrap of food, but is foiled at every turn. On his last legs, help comes from the most unlikely of heroes. This is a genuinely moving and uplifting story about the kindness of strangers, generosity, and caring for others. With artwork as beautiful as the story, a percentage of sales also go to charity.
Tiny and Teeny
Tiny lives in Glengadget and occupies her time helping assorted neighbours. But when disaster strikes and her life is turned upside down, all her good deeds pay off, as everyone rallies around to makes things better again. This adorable book has such a great message about the power of community and how good deeds have a habit of coming back to you. The brightly coloured illustrations create a genuinely immersive world that any child will enjoy exploring.
Rachel Bright & Chris Chatterton
This is an utterly charming book about a little Hugasaurus who sets off to play with some new friends for the first time. It goes well… until the other little dinosaurs start to squabble. Can Hugasaurus make everything better using the power of kindness? With fabulous rhyming text, and really sweet, colourful illustrations, this book is perfect for opening up conversations about being kind.
Alison Green & various illustrators, with foreword by Axel Scheffler
Kind invites us to imagine a world where everyone is kind, and looks at ways we might be able to make that come true. From simple suggestions like giving someone a smile, to creating a kindness jar and sharing toys, we’re reminded that being kind will help make the world a better place. With pictures by 38 top illustrators, this book is a visual feast for the eyes – plus there’s a donation to charity for every copy sold.
Simon James Green & Garry Parsons
Simon's own book, Fabulous Frankie, is a beautifully told and fabulously illustrated story of acceptance and valuing kindness. All Frankie the flamingo wants is to be fabulous! But he's literally surrounded by so many fabulous flamingos, so how on earth can he stand out from the crowd? He looks to all the latest fashion accessories to achieve his goal of being truly fabulous, but in the end it is Frankie's friends who will help him learn that the things that really do make him fabulous are on the inside. This flamboyant tale of kindness and learning to be yourself is filled with stylish illustrations and celebrates the joy of learning to value what's on the inside.