25 Picture Books about Forgiveness and Letting Go
Discover picture books about forgiveness that promote understanding and tolerance in your classroom. They include characters learning to forgive, asking for forgiveness, letting go of grudges and seeing forgiveness as a positive action.
Using Books on Forgiveness with Children
Forgiveness is challenging for children, of course, it is difficult for many adults too! Learning to forgive and asking for forgiveness helps children form healthy relationships with family, friends and themselves. The flip side of forgiveness is the need to apologise and admit negative actions. This is also a tough situation for children who may want forgiveness but are unable or unwilling to apologise for negative actions.
Children need to see forgiveness in action to understand its power. That’s where these picture books about forgiveness come in. They show characters having to forgive others and those who find it difficult to follow through on such actions. They are also excellent discussion starters on how to negotiate challenging situations.
In a previous post, [related book and resource post], I put together books, videos and online resources. In this post, I explore a list of 25 picture books about forgiveness you can use in your classroom.
Key Benefits of Forgiveness
Using these books on forgiveness can help your students understand the benefits of letting go of grudges and resentment. The books illustrate that forgiveness brings:
- Healthier relationships
- Improved mental health
- Reduced anxiety and stress
- Improved self-esteem
Picture Books About Forgiveness
In this diverse collection of books on forgiveness, you will meet characters who:
- Make a choice to forgive
- Forgive with no expectation
- Understand the benefits of forgiveness
- See a situation from another person’s perspective
- Find it challenging to forgive, but recognise its power
- Go through a range of emotions on their journey of forgiveness
- Have the courage to forgive despite the hurtful actions of others.
Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan
Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco
The Forgiveness Garden by Lauren Thompson
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Hiawatha and the Peacemaker by Robbie Robertson
Hot Day on Abbott Avenue by Karen English
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
Once There was a Boy by Dub Leffler
The Only Way is Badger by Stella J Jones
Princess K.I.M. and the Lie That Grew by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
Under the Great Plum Tree by Sufiya Ahmed
Under the Lemon Moon by Edith Hope Fine
Forgiveness Discussion Starters
- What is forgiveness?
- Why do we forgive?
- In what way did [character] forgive [character]?
- Why did [character] find it difficult to forgive?
- When [character] forgave [character] were they condoning their behaviour/actions?
- Why was it important that [character] showed forgiveness?
- How did [character] feel after forgiving [character]?
- How did [character] feel when they wanted to be forgiven?
- What are the benefits of forgiving?
Discussing forgiveness, using these books about forgiveness, can help children process their feelings and see forgiveness as a positive action. Tell me about the resources or tools you use in your classroom to teach forgiveness. In particular, let me know if you use any books on forgiveness, not on this list,
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