33 Picture Books about Empathy and Understanding
Books about empathy help your students understand the consequences of their actions by imagining other people’s feelings, supporting them to be reflective and open-minded.
Books about Empathy and Understanding
Children need a good understanding of empathy and open-mindedness to counteract negativity in the world. They learn from the actions of adults around them, and teaching empathy is one of our most important responsibilities.
Opportunities to discuss the consequences of their actions helps children imagine other people’s feelings during intolerant or difficult situations, developing reflection and open-mindedness.
The recommended books show characters who:
- recognise the emotions of others
- understand how their actions may affect others
- understand the struggles of others
- are caring, thoughtful and respectful to others
- listen to what others have to say
- try to help others
You can also read about characters who try to use the empathy of others to get their own way. Other books instil empathy in the reader.
Picture Books about Empathy
Babu's Song by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen
Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller
The Day War Came by Nicola Davies
The Digger and the Flower by Joseph Kuefler
Faithful Elephants: A True Story of Animals, People, and War by Yukio Tsuchiya
Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams
The Hard-Times Jar by Ethel Footman Smothers
The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc
Little Wise Wolf by Gijs van der Hammen
Lotus and Feather by Ji-li Jiang
The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
What Is Given from the Heart by Patricia C. McKissack
While We Can't Hug by Eoin McLaughlin
Why Am I Me? by Paige Britt
Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox
You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith
- What is empathy?
- How do you show empathy?
- How do you feel when someone shows empathy towards you? Why?
- How did [character] show more empathy as the story went on?
- Describe how [character] showed empathy?
- Why did [character] need to show empathy towards [character]?
- Why did [character] and [character] have different perspectives on being empathic?
- How did [character’s] empathy impact those around them?
- How did [character’s] empathy impact their community?
- Why do you think [character] and [character] empathise in different ways?
- Why do you think [character] was more emphatic than [character]?
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