Kindness and community

These books are perfect to share at the beginning of the school year when you are working to build community in your classroom.

The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates and juniper Bates

Published by Simon and Schuster, 2018

The Big Umbrella: Bates, Amy June, Bates, Juniper, Bates, Amy June ...

This umbrella is big enough to cover everyone. A quick read, great illustrations, and a diverse cast of characters get the conversation on inclusion rolling. 40 pages; ages 4-8.

The Buddy Bench by Patty Brozo, illustrated by Mike Deas

Published by Tilbury House Publishers, 2019

The Buddy Bench: Brozo, Patty, Deas, Mike: 9780884486978: Amazon.com: Books

What happens when kids are being left out at recess? This class has a solution: build a buddy bench. When you see someone sitting on the bench, you know they’re looking for a friend. Includes information and additional resources about buddy benches. 36 pages; ages 4-8.

All of Us by Kathryn Erskine, illustrated by Alexander Boiger

Published by Philomel Books, 2021

All of Us by Kathryn Erskine: 9780593204696 | PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

All kinds of kids are celebrated as they work and play together. A quick read that would be perfect for welcoming kids to a new group. 32 pages; ages 2-8.

Keeping the City Going by Brian Floca

Published by Atheneum, 2021

Keeping the City Going | Book by Brian Floca | Official Publisher Page |  Simon & Schuster

Delivery people, trash collectors, medical personnel, transit and construction workers: this book celebrates all those who kept things running when the rest of us were inside during the pandemic. 40 pages; ages 4-8.

The Cool Bean by Jory John, illustrated by Pete Oswald

Published by HarperCollins, 2019

The Cool Bean - Kindle edition by John, Jory, Oswald, Pete ...

In this school, the cool kids are also kind, and the bean who’s been feeling kind of uncool appreciates it. 40 pages; ages 4-8.

The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar, illustrated by Alea Marley

Published by Sterling Children’s Books, 2019

The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh - Kindle edition by Kelkar ...

Harpreet dresses according to his moods, and a new school has him wearing white every day, trying to fade into the background. But a friendship helps him start dressing in all the colors of the rainbow again. Includes additional information about Sikhism. 32 pages; ages 3-8.

I Walk With Vanessa: A Story About a Simple Act of Kindness by Kerascoet

Published by Schwartz & Wade, 2018

I Walk with Vanessa: A Story About a Simple Act of Kindness ...

The girl in this wordless story has to figure out what to do when she sees new girl Vanessa getting picked on. The whole school ends up coming together to put an end to the bullying.  Based on a true story. Includes a message for kids about how to help someone who is being bullied and some helpful words for adults to use when talking about the book with children.  40 pages; ages 4-8.

Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Jen Hill

Published by Roaring Brook Press, 2018

Be Kind - Kindle edition by Zietlow Miller, Pat, Hill, Jen ...

After her friendly overtures are rebuffed, a girl reflects on what it means to be kind. 32 pages; ages 3-8.

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold, illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2018

All Are Welcome: Penfold, Alexandra, Kaufman, Suzanne ...

Rhyming text and busy illustrations show a diverse classroom of children and families coming together to form a community. 44 pages; ages 4-8.

Say Something! by Peter H. Reynolds

Published by Orchard Books, 2019

Say Something: Reynolds, Peter H., Reynolds, Peter H ...

“Some people find it easier to say something than others. But everyone has something to say.” Encourages extroverts and introverts alike to express themselves in a variety of ways. 40 pages; ages 4-9.

You Matter by Christian Robinson

Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2020

You Matter | Book by Christian Robinson | Official Publisher Page ...

Even when you feel small, insignificant, or lost, you matter. A quick and reassuring read for every member of the group. 40 pages; ages 4-8.

Jenny Mei Is Sad by Tracy Subisak

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2021

Jenny Mei Is Sad: Subisak, Tracy: 9780316537711: Amazon.com: Books

Sometimes Jenny Mei seems happy. Other times she seems angry. But her friend knows she is sad, and that being sad is hard. Having a good friend can help. 40 pages; ages 4-8.

Our LIttle Kitchen by Jillian Tamaki

Published by Harry N. Abrams, 2020

Our Little Kitchen: Tamaki, Jillian: 9781419746550: Amazon.com: Books

There’s plenty of cheerful energy in this rhyming story about a group of volunteers that meets each week to prepare a community dinner. Includes recipes for vegetable soup and apple crumble. 48 pages; ages 4-8.

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael López

Published by Nancy Paulsen Books, 2018

The Day You Begin: Woodson, Jacqueline, López, Rafael: 9780399246531:  Amazon.com: Books

Four kids feel a little strange on the first day of school, but as time goes on, they start to connect and feel okay about what makes them unique. 32 pages; grades 1-4.