Baby, Best Books, Children & Teen, Kids, Parenting

The Best Children’s Books About Empathy

“What are the best Children’s books about Empathy?” We looked at 219 of the top Kids Empathy books, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question!

The top 17 titles, all appearing on 3 or more “Best Children’s Empathy” book lists, are ranked below by how many lists they appear on. The remaining 200+ titles, as well as the lists we used are in alphabetical order at the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!

Top 17 Best Children’s Books About Empathy

17 .) A Sick Day for Amos McGee written by Philip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead

 A Sick Day for Amos McGee

Lists It Appears On:

  • Buzzfeed
  • Dad Suggests
  • Home Grown Friends

Amos McGee, a friendly zookeeper, always made time to visit his good friends: the elephant, the tortoise, the penguin, the rhinoceros, and the owl. But one day–‘Ah-choo!’–he woke with the sniffles and the sneezes. Though he didn’t make it into the zoo that day, he did receive some unexpected guests.

16 .) Be Kind written by Pat Zietlow Miller

 Be Kind

Lists It Appears On:

  • A Mighty Girl
  • Colours Of Us
  • Dad Suggests

When Tanisha spills grape juice all over her new dress, her classmate contemplates how to make her feel better and what it means to be kind. From asking the new girl to play to standing up for someone being bullied, this moving and thoughtful story explores what a child can do to be kind, and how each act, big or small, can make a difference or at least help a friend.…

15 .) Chocolate milk, Por Favor written by Maria Dismondy

 Chocolate milk, Por Favor

Lists It Appears On:

  • Colours Of Us
  • Education And Behavior
  • Goodreads

14 .) Chrysanthemum written by Kevin Henkes


Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Home Grown Friends
  • Self Sufficient Kids

Chrysanthemum loves her name, until she starts going to school and the other children make fun of it.

13 .) Come With Me written by Holly M. McGhee

 Come With Me

Lists It Appears On:

  • A Mighty Girl
  • NY Times
  • Read Brightly

Frightened by news of angry people around the world, a young girl gets her parents’ help in learning to be compassionate and brave a little at a time.

12 .) Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids written by Carol McCloud

 Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids

Lists It Appears On:

  • A Mighty Girl
  • Buzzfeed
  • Up Parent

Through sweet, simple prose and vivid illustrations, this book encourages positive behavior as children see how very easy and rewarding it is to express kindness, appreciation, and love on a daily basis.

11 .) Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed written by Emily Pearson and Fumi Kosaka

 Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed

Lists It Appears On:

  • A Mighty Girl
  • Buzzfeed
  • Up Parent

A young girl’s good deed is multiplied as it is passed on by those who have been touched by the kindesss of others.

10 .) The Hundred Dresses written by Eleanor Estes

 The Hundred Dresses

Lists It Appears On:

  • FH
  • Parents
  • Self Sufficient Kids

In winning a medal she is no longer there to receive, a tight-lipped little Polish girl teaches her classmates a lesson. Includes a note from the author’s daughter, Helena Estes.

9 .) The Sneetches written by Dr. Seuss

 The Sneetches

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Home Grown Friends
  • The School Run

Includes four humorous verse fantasies: The Sneetches, The Zax, The Many Daves, and What was I Scared of?

8 .) Hey Little Ant written by Phillip and Hannah Hoose

 Hey Little Ant

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Home Grown Friends
  • Read Brightly
  • Self Sufficient Kids

A song in which an ant pleads with the kid who is tempted to squish it.

7 .) I Walk With Vanessa: A Story About a Simple Act of Kindness written by Kerascoët

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

Lists It Appears On:

  • A Mighty Girl
  • Colours Of Us
  • Dad Suggests
  • Up Parent

An elementary school girl witnesses the bullying of another girl, but she is not sure how to help.

6 .) One written by Kathryn Otoshi


Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Home Grown Friends
  • Read Brightly
  • Self Sufficient Kids

A number/color book reminding us that it just takes one to make everyone count.

5 .) Last Stop on Market Street written by Matt de la Pena

 Last Stop on Market Street

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Buzzfeed
  • Dad Suggests
  • FH
  • Read Brightly

4 .) Wonder written by R.J. Palacio


Lists It Appears On:

  • Books For Keeps
  • Cool Mom Picks
  • Family Education
  • Medium
  • Self Sufficient Kids

3 .) Each Kindness written by Jacqueline Woodson

 Each Kindness

Lists It Appears On:

  • A Mighty Girl
  • Book Riot
  • Buzzfeed
  • Medium
  • Read Brightly
  • Up Parent

When Ms. Albert teaches a lesson on kindness, Chloe realizes that she and her friends have been wrong in making fun of new student Maya’s shabby clothes and refusing to play with her.

2 .) The Invisible Boy written by Trudy Ludwig

 The Invisible Boy

Lists It Appears On:

  • Buzzfeed
  • Dad Suggests
  • FH
  • Medium
  • Self Sufficient Kids
  • Up Parent

Brian has always felt invisible at school, but when a new student, Justin, arrives, everything changes.

1 .) Those Shoes written by Maribeth Boelts

 Those Shoes

Lists It Appears On:

  • Buzzfeed
  • Colours Of Us
  • FH
  • Medium
  • Parents
  • Up Parent

Jeremy, who longs to have the black high tops that everyone at school seems to have but his grandmother cannot afford, is excited when he sees them for sale in a thrift shop and decides to buy them even though they are the wrong size.

The 200+ Additional Best Kids Books About Empathy

18A Hat for Mrs. Goldman: A Story About Knitting and LoveMichelle EdwardsA Mighty Girl
19Amazing GraceMary HoffmanHome Grown Friends
Self Sufficient Kids
20Bear Feels SickKarma Wilson and Jane Chapman
Education And Behavior
Home Grown Friends
21El DeafoCool Mom Picks
22Enemy PieDerek MunsonBuzzfeed
Up Parent
23Fly Away HomeEve BuntingFH
24How Are You Peeling: Foods With MoodsSaxton Freymann and Joost ElfersChildrens Book Daily
Fractus Learning
25Lost and Found Cat: The True Story of Kunkush’s Incredible JourneyDoug Kuntz & Amy ShrodesColours Of Us
26LovelyNY Times
Read Brightly
27Maddi’s FridgeA Mighty Girl
28Most PeopleNY Times
Read Brightly
29Out of My MindSharon Draper:Cool Mom Picks
30Rude CakesRowboat WatkinsBuzzfeed
31Sam and the Lucky MoneyKaren ChinnColours Of Us
32Spaghetti In A Hot Dog Bun: Having The Courage To Be Who You AreMaria DismondyFamily Education
Fractus Learning
33Stand in My Shoes: Kids Learning about EmpathyBob SornsonFamily Education
34Stand Tall Molly Lou MellonPatty LovellFractus Learning
35The Name JarYangsook ChoiBook Riot
36The Rabbit ListenedRead Brightly
Up Parent
The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade
Book Riot
Read Brightly
38Understand and CareCheri Meiners
Education And Behavior
Up Parent
39We’re All WondersDad Suggests
Read Brightly
40What Does It Mean To Be Kind?Colours Of Us
Up Parent
41Why Am I Me?NY Times
Read Brightly
42You Hold Me UpMonique Gray SmithColours Of Us
43A Color of His OwnBook Riot
44A is for ActivistBook Riot
45A Separate PeaceJohn KnowlesLifehacker
46A Wrinkle in TimeMadeleine L’EngleLifehacker
Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse
Read Brightly
48After Ever AfterCool Mom Picks
49Al Capone Does My ShirtsThriving
50All the WorldBook Riot
51Apt. 3Colours Of Us
52Baby FacesMargaret MillerParents
53Baby Faces Peekaboo!DK PublishingParents
54Baz & BenzReading
55Beatrice’s GoatFH
56Beautiful OopsBarney SaltzbergFractus Learning
Beginnings and Endings with Lifetimes in Between’
Childrens Book Daily
58Can You Tell How Someone FeelsNita Everly
Education And Behavior
59Catching Teller CrowReading
60Cate’s Magic GardenUp Parent
61Charlotte’s WebE. B. WhiteFractus Learning
62Cloud BustingBooks For Keeps
63Cloud Tea MonkeysA Mighty Girl
64Confessions of a Former BullyTrudy LudwigFamily Education
65Counting On CommunityBook Riot
66Dear Mr. RosenwaldFH
67Desmond and the Very Mean WordColours Of Us
68Don’t Need FriendsCarolyn CrimiFractus Learning
Doña Flor: A Tall Tale About a Giant Woman with a Great Big Heart
A Mighty Girl
70Dragon PostReading
71Emma and the WhaleRead Brightly
72EmpathyLabBooks For Keeps
73Essex LibrariesBooks For Keeps
74Everything I’ve Never SaidReading
75Everywhere BabiesSusan MeyersParents
76Extra YarnA Mighty Girl
77Far From the TreeReading
78Finding PerfectThriving
79Fish in a TreeThriving
80Freak the MightyRodman PhilbrickParents
81Freaks Like UsCool Mom Picks
82Gabe & Izzy: Standing Up for America’s BulliedGabrielle FordFamily Education
83Giraffes Can’t DanceThe School Run
84Good People EverywhereColours Of Us
85Hannah’s WayA Mighty Girl
86Happy In Our SkinBook Riot
87Hattie & HudsonA Mighty Girl
88Highway BodiesReading
89Horace and Morris but Mostly DoloresJames HoweHome Grown Friends
90Horton Hears a WhoDr. SeussBuzzfeed
91How to Be a LionRead Brightly
92I Am Human: A Book of EmpathyColours Of Us
93I Am Out With LanternsReading
94I Am Peace: A Book of MindfulnessColours Of Us
95I Am YogaColours Of Us
96I Know a LadyA Mighty Girl
97I’m Australian TooReading
98I’m New HereColours Of Us
99If you could be mineBooks For Keeps
100Introducing TeddyBook Riot
101It’s Okay To Be DifferentTodd ParrHome Grown Friends
102Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall GorillaKatherine ApplegateParents
103Just as Long as We’re TogetherJudy BlumeLifehacker
104Just Because: Where Seeing Another Point of View Makes a Better YouAmber HouseyGoodreads
105Just GraceCharise MericleFractus Learning
106Just KiddingTrudy LudwigFamily Education
107Kindness is Cooler, Mrs. RulerUp Parent
108Let’s be KindUp Parent
109Life is Like the Wind’Childrens Book Daily
110Little Elliot, Big FunMike CuratoParents
111Llama Llama and the Bully GoatAnna DewdneyFamily Education
112Looking After LouisCool Mom Picks
113Lots of FeelingsShelley RotnerFractus Learning
114Love That DogBooks For Keeps
Malala, a Brave Girl from Pakistan/Iqbal, a Brave Boy from Pakistan
Book Riot
116Mama Panya’s PancakesFH
117Marcelo in the Real WorldCool Mom Picks
118Marlene, Marlene, Queen of MeanJane LynchFamily Education
119Meet Me at the IntersectionReading
120MigrantBook Riot
121MirrorBooks For Keeps
122Moo, Baa, La La La!Sandra BoyntonParents
123Moo!David LaRochelleParents
Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress
Book Riot
125My Brother Is SpecialMaureen Crane WartskiLifehacker
126My Princess BoyBook Riot
127Naked Mole Rat Gets DressedBook Riot
128Nico & LolaUp Parent
129Ninth WardJewell Parker RhodesParents
131No, No, No!Marie-Isabelle CallierFractus Learning
132Nobody Likes a GoblinDad Suggests
133On the Come UpReading
134One Day, So Many WaysReading
135PaperboyVince VawterFractus Learning
136Pass It OnRead Brightly
137Peace Is an OfferingRead Brightly
138Plant a KissA Mighty Girl
139Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari MaathaiClaire A. NivolaParents
140Poetry EmotionBooks For Keeps
141Quincy and BuckCamille MatthewsGoodreads
142Red: a Crayon’s StoryBook Riot
143Roll of Thunder, Hear My CryMildred D. TaylorLifehacker
144Same Sun HereSilas House and Neela VaswaniFractus Learning
145Save Me a SeatSara WeeksMedium
146Seed by SeedUp Parent
Senior Children and Education Librarians
Books For Keeps
148Shine’Childrens Book Daily
149Sidewalk FlowersA Mighty Girl
Since We’re Friends: An Autism Picture Book
Colours Of Us
151Something ElseBooks For Keeps
152Sorry DayReading
153SporkBook Riot
154Spot Goes to the FarmEric HillParents
155Stand Up for Yourself & Your FriendsPatti Kelley CriswellFamily Education
156Start With SorryP.T. FinchGoodreads
157StellalunaA Mighty Girl
Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness
Up Parent
159StevieJohn SteptoeParents
160Stone GirlReading
161Sumi’s First Day of SchoolColours Of Us
162Sumi’s Frist Day of School EverSoyung PakMedium
163Susan LaughsCool Mom Picks
164Swing SidewaysThriving
165Take A Deep BreathSue GravesFractus Learning
166That’s Not Fair!Colours Of Us
167The AnswerBook Riot
The Berenstain Bears: Kindness Counts
Up Parent
169The Big UmbrellaColours Of Us
170The Boy At the Back of the ClassThe School Run
171The Boy On The Wooden Box: How The Impossible Became Possible On Schindler’s ListLeon LeysonFractus Learning
172The Bubble BoyThe School Run
173The Bully Blockers ClubTeresa BatemanFamily Education
174The Butter Battle BookDr. SeussHome Grown Friends
175The Can ManColours Of Us
176The Colour of HomeBooks For Keeps
177The DiddakoiBooks For Keeps
178The English RosesUp Parent
179The Face At The WindowColours Of Us
180The GardenerA Mighty Girl
181The Giving TreeShel SilversteinBuzzfeed
182The Great Big Book of Feelings’Childrens Book Daily
The Grief Book: Strategies for Young People’
Childrens Book Daily
184The Hard-Times JarFH
185The Jar of HappinessBooks For Keeps
186The JourneyColours Of Us
187The Juice Box BullyBob Sornson, Ph.D.Family Education
188The Kindness QuiltUp Parent
189The Lemonade ClubA Mighty Girl
190The Librarian of AuschwitzReading
191The Messenger Bird’Childrens Book Daily
192The One Day HouseColours Of Us
193The Other SideBook Riot
194The Protected’Childrens Book Daily
195The Rhino Who Swallowed a StormLeVar Burton and Susan Schaefer BernardoParents
196The Snail and the WhaleA Mighty Girl
197The Story of FerdinandDad Suggests
198The Three QuestionsJon J MuthBuzzfeed
199The WallEve BuntingSelf Sufficient Kids
200The War That Saved My LifeThriving
201The Wattle Tree’Childrens Book Daily
202The Wednesday SurpriseA Mighty Girl
203The Wolf’s Colourful CoatThe School Run
204Through Grandpa’s EyesPatricia MacLachlanSelf Sufficient Kids
205Tuck EverlastingNatalie BabbittLifehacker
206Two White RabbitsColours Of Us
207Voices in the ParkThe School Run
208Waiting For WingsLois EhlertFractus Learning
209We All Sing With the Same VoiceJ. Philip Miller and Sheppard M. GreeneBuzzfeed
210WeslandiaPaul FleishmanFractus Learning
211What If Everybody Did That?Ellen JavernickGoodreads
212What’s Wrong with Timmy?Maria ShriverSelf Sufficient Kids
213When I Care about OthersCornelia Maude Spelman
Education And Behavior
214WishtreeKatherine Applegate:Medium
215Wolf in the SnowA Mighty Girl
216You Don’t Know Everything, Jilly P!Reading
217You Must Be LaylaReading
218You, Me and EmpathyColours Of Us
219Yuko-chan and the Daruma DollColours Of Us

24 Best Children’s Empathy Book Sources/Lists

A Mighty Girl 22 Children’s Books That Teach Kids to Be Kind
Book Riot 25 Picture Books That Promote Empathy and Respect
Books For Keeps Children’s Books – Articles – Ten of the Best Books to boost empathy
Buzzfeed 13 Children’s Books That Encourage Kindness Toward Others
Childrens Book Daily Must-Have Children’s Books on Grief, Empathy and Feelings
Colours Of Us 19 Multicultural Children’s Books teaching Kindness & Empathy
Cool Mom Picks 8 back-to-school books that teach empathy for kids with special needs
Dad Suggests 8 Picture Books that Teach Empathy to Kids
Education And Behavior 5 Great Books to Teach Young Children About Empathy
Family Education 11 Children’s Books About Bullying, Teasing & Empathy
FH 10 Children’s Books to Help You Teach Empathy on International
Fractus Learning The Best 15 Books to Raise Children’s Emotional IQ and Teach Empathy
Goodreads Best Children’s Picture Books Teaching Empathy
Home Grown Friends 10 Children’s Books that Teach Acceptance and Empathy
Lifehacker Teach Your Kids Empathy With These Old-School Chapter Books
Medium Kindness Matters: 11 Diverse Children’s Books that Teach Kindness
NY Times You Can’t Teach Kids Empathy, but These Picture Books Inspire It
Parents 20 Books That Encourage Empathy
Read Brightly 16 Books That Model Empathy and Compassion for Young Readers
Reading Blog: Children’s books that teach empathy
Self Sufficient Kids 10 Children’s Books About Empathy
The School Run Teaching kids empathy
Thriving Books that teach empathy and kindness
Up Parent Children’s Books About Empathy and Kindness

You Might Also Like