Picture Books about Caring and Thoughtful Attitudes

Picture Books about Caring and Thoughtful Attitudes

These caring picture books illustrate caring and kind behaviour. The book characters help those in need, are concerned for others, and understand how their actions affect people.

Picture Books about Caring and Thoughtful Attitudes

Why Use Picture Books about Caring Attitudes?

These caring picture books are perfect for teaching life lessons, values, empathy, friendships and character development. They promote the message that a caring and kind attitude is important, as well as showing how important to put themselves into someone else’s shoes.

The benefits of a caring and kind attitude include:

  • making connections and building positive relationships
  • increased self-esteem and self-worth
  • a happier and more positive mindset
  • having a sense of accomplishment

Picture Books about Caring and Kind Attitudes

The positive caring themes in the caring picture books below include:

  • standing up for others in need
  • putting themselves into someone else’s shoes
  • being a supportive friend
  • seeing the good in people
  • making the best choice in difficult situations
  • putting others first
  • being considerate
  • responding politely to insults

While many caring picture books show positive actions, others highlight negative behaviour that can promote a meaningful discussion about more positive actions. The behaviours include:

  • unkind attitude to others
  • a lack of empathy
  • ungrateful of others actions
  • selfish and likely not to share
  • expects to get their own way and argues if they don’t
  • impatient when they don’t get their own way
  • unable to put themselves into another person’s shoes
  • doesn’t see their behaviour as selfish or uncaring

Questions to Use with Caring Picture Books

  • What does it mean to be caring?
  • Describe [character’s] caring actions and the consequences?
  • In what ways was [character] caring?
  • How do caring actions affect [character’s] life?
  • What were the consequences to [character] because of a lack of balance?
  • In what ways could [character] have been more caring?
  • Why is it important [character] tried to be more caring?
  • What could [character] have done to be more caring?
  • Why did [character] find it difficult to be caring?

FREE Graphic Organizers

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The resource includes a graphic organizer for each learner profile. Fill in the form below to get access to the FREE pack.

You can find the FULL CARING resource pack by clicking on the image.

If you already have access to the free resource library, you will find the freebie in the Learner Profile section.

Picture Books about Caring Attitudes and Actions

An Extraordinary Egg by Leo Lionni

Three frogs live on Pebble Island. One of them finds a large, grey egg and according to her two friends, it is a ‘chicken’ egg. When the ‘chicken’ finally hatches it plays with the frogs all day. Later, its mother comes along, and she greets her baby as “my sweet little alligator” to the disbelief of the frogs.

Read to discuss a caring attitude and identity.

Anita and the Dragons by Hannah Carmona

From her home in the Dominican Republic, Anita watches dragons fly high above her. She doesn’t let them scare her, but one day she finds she will have to travel on one of them, an aeroplane, to begin a new life in “a distant land far, far away”.

Promotes immigration, thinkers, reflection, worries and courage.

Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller

Tanisha’s classmate wants to help her feel better when she spills grape juice down her new dress. But what does it actually mean to be kind? Be Kind explores the different actions, big and small, that can make a difference, particularly to a friend.

Reinforces themes of empathy, relationship skills, thoughtfulness and kindness.

Big Bear Hug by Nicholas Oldland

A loving bear hugs every living thing he comes across, particularly trees. When he comes across a man ready to chop down the oldest, most beautiful tree. Bear finds the perfect solution to stop the destruction.

Reinforces themes of nature, social awareness, problem-solving and enthusiasm.

The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates

A big umbrella standing by the door is something special. It is so big that when it rains anyone can stand underneath it and there will always be room for more.

This book reinforces themes of acceptance, kindness, tolerance and sharing.

Bird House by Blanca Gómez

A grandmother and granddaughter find an injured bird on a snowy day. Together, they nurse it back to health. They set the healthy bird free, respecting that it belongs in the wild. The grandmother teaches the young girl that the bird is not theirs to keep, but is welcome to visit the birdhouse they built.

Use the book to reinforce a caring attitude, intergenerational relationships and respect for living things.

The Digger and the Flower by Joseph Kuefler

A digger spots a single blue flower on the construction site. Dozer charges in and cuts the flower down. An upset Digger salvages the seeds. He travels far away, plants them on a hill, and cares for the seeds as they grow.

Promotes responsible decision-making, compassion and social awareness.

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson

Chloe and her friends have been excluding the new girl Maya. When her teacher does a lesson on kindness Chloe reflects on her behaviour and regrets “each kindness I had never shown.”

Promotes relationship skills, inclusion, kindness and reflection.

Fly Free! by Roseanne Thong

In Vietnam, Mai starts a chain reaction of kindness that spread through her village and beyond.

Reinforces themes of social awareness, thoughtfulness, and compassion.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Over the course of a boy’s life, he asks a tree to help him and she gives him everything she has. It is only on reflection, as an old man, he feels gratitude and thankfulness towards the tree.

Heckedy Peg by Audrey Wood

A loving mother saves her seven children (names after the days of the week) from an evil witch. The witch, Heckedy Peg, turns the children into food and takes them to her home, a cave. The mother tricks the witch into giving her the children back.

Promotes discussions on caring, disobedience, creative thinking, and prediction.

A Home for Bird by Philip C Stead

Vernon the toad finds a small, blue and silent bird. The thoughtful toad worries about his new friend and takes the bird on a journey to find its home.

This book reinforces the themes of thoughtfulness, caring and determination.

How to Heal a Broken Wing by Bob Graham

Everyone walks past a wounded pigeon on the pavement. A compassionate boy takes the pigeon home to care for, with the help of his parents.

Promotes compassion, social awareness, and mindfulness.

Koala Lou by Mem Fox

Koala Lou worries when her busy mother forgets to tell her how much she loves her. She sets out to win the Bush Olympics to win back her mother’s love. She doesn’t win but realises she had never lost her mother’s love.

Let's Get a Pup! Said Kate by Bob Graham

After grieving for the loss of her dog, Kate decides it is time to get a new one. The family visit a shelter and find the perfect puppy called Dave. But when Kate see Rosy, an old, grey dog they decide to take home both.

Promotes discussions on being caring, compassion and responsibility.

The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc

A lion discovers an injured bird and nurses it back to health. The two become close but as spring arrives the bird returns to its family now flying north. The lion continues on with its life, and as autumn comes around, the lion hears the familiar sound of the bird.

This wordless book reinforces themes of empathy, relationship skills, compassion and kindness.

Little Bird by Germano Zullo

A man sets free a flock of birds from his truck but one remains. He cares for the bird and then encourages the bird to fly back to its family. As the man returns to his van, the flock of birds fly back to thank the driver.

Read for discussions on kindness, freedom, gratitude and making friends.

My Father's Arms Are A Boat by Stein Erik Lunde

A grieving boy looks to his father for comfort. His father answers questions about when will his mother wake up. As they walk into a snowy night the father reassures his worried son as he holds him close.

Reinforces themes of bereavement, self-management, fears and resilience.

My Friend is Sad by Mo Willems

Gerald is down in the dumps and Piggie is determined to cheer him up. She dresses up as a cowboy, a clown, and even a robot! But nothing works. What does it take to make a sad elephant happy?

My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann

Rabbit gathers the community together to help Mouse retrieve his aeroplane stuck in a tree. This wordless book reinforces the themes of problem-solving, cooperation, friendship and compassion.

The Odd Egg by Emily Gravett

All the birds had an egg, except Duck. He shows great compassion when he finds his own egg. The anticipation builds as the egg hatches. What will be inside?

Promotes open-mindedness, responsibility and a sense of belonging.

Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson

Ordinary Mary starts a chain reaction when she picks some blueberries for her neighbour. This caring and compassionate act multiples around the world.

Phileas's Fortune: A Story about Self-Expression by Agnes de Lestrade

Large factories churn out beautiful, ugly and funny words. People purchase, then swallow the words to communicate. Not all words are equal and the cost of each word varies. Phileas catches three discarded, random words to express his love for Cybele.

Reinforces themes of communication, perseverance, problem-solving, risk-taking and creative thinking.

The Red Bicycle by Jude Isabella

When Leo donates his bike to a charity it is taken to Africa where it is used to carry goods to market and as an ambulance that travels on the rough terrain to patients in need.

Read to promote gratitude, cause & effect, social awareness and responsible decision-making.

The Ricker Racker Club by Patrick Guest

Poppy proves herself worthy of the boys only Ricker Racker Club. The rules state you have to be kind and brave. When she shows them she is equal in all ways they make her an equal member.

This book reinforces the themes of courage, caring, equality and gender roles.

Sad, The Dog by Sandy Fussell

A dog, who named himself Sad, is unappreciated by his owners. When the family move home, Sad is devastated to discover he has been abandoned. But when the new family arrive at the house the boy becomes his perfect playmate and he renames the dog Lucky.

The Scarecrow by Beth Ferry

An old scarecrow successfully keeps all the animals away from his field until a baby crow crashes at his feet. Having never known friendship, the lonely scarecrow adopts and cares for the fragile bird. A loving bond develops between two should be rivals and lasts for many years.

Shelter by Céline Claire

All the animals are safe in their home as a storm approaches. When two strangers appear asking for shelter, the animals are suspicious and turn them away. As the storm worsens, a family of foxes find themselves in need of shelter. The two strangers show the kindness the other animals wouldn’t give.

Translated from French, Shelter promotes discussions on helping those in need, empathy, compassion, acceptance and immigration.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead

Zookeeper, Amos McGee, always found time to visit his good friends in unique and compassionate ways. One day, Amos wakes up with a cold and can’t make it to work. His friends, the tortoise, penguin and owl, return his kindness by visiting him.

Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson

A girl picks colourful flowers poking up through the cracks in the pavement. She places her flowers on a dead sparrow, a sleeping man and into a dog’s collar. At home, she places flowers in her mother’s hair and a few on her brother’s head.

This wordless book promotes kindness, generosity, making a difference and inference.

The Silence Seeker by Ben Morley

The Silence Seeker by Ben Morley

Joe’s mum tells him the new neighbours are asylum seekers, but he mishears this as ‘silence seekers’. In an act of kindness, Joe helps his new neighbour find a quiet place to be and a new bond grows despite the language barrier.

Reinforces themes of immigration, thoughtfulness, social awareness and persistence.

Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev

A local Pet Club won’t allow a young boy to join with his pet elephant. Together, they help the members of the club understand that pets come in all shapes and sizes, just like friends.

A Symphony of Whales by Steve Schuch

When Glashka discovers a pod of stranded beluga whales in Siberia she gathers the townspeople to help free them. Waiting for a Russian Icebreaker to arrive the people break the ice so the whales can breathe.

This true story promotes teamwork, compassion and community.

Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora

Tomás, the son of migrant workers, grows up listening to his grandfather’s stories. His grandfather advises him to visit the library where he discovers a whole new world. Tomás’ special bond with his grandfather and the librarian motivates him to advance his own education.

The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers

When a boy finds a mysterious aeroplane he takes it for a ride, which doesn’t go quite as planned. He flies upwards until he runs out of petrol and lands on the moon. He meets a marooned alien and they work together to return to their homes.

Read to discuss being caring, cooperation, and creative thinking.

Where the Heart Is by Irma Gold

Based on a true story. Old Joao finds a penguin covered in oil on a beach near Rio de Janeiro. He nurses it back to health and the penguin stays with Joao long after it is healthy. After a year, the penguin travels over 8,000km to a penguin colony in Patagonia only to return on the long journey to visit the old man.

Use to discuss friendship, connections, caring for others and a sense of belonging.

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox

A boy named Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge lives next to an old people’s home. His favourite resident is Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper. When Wilfrid finds out she has lost her memory he goes on a journey to discover what memories are so he can help Miss Nancy find hers.

Promotes a sense of community, friendship, compassion and different perspectives.

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What Next?

Learning through positive examples in your classroom is a great way to promote caring behaviour. I hope these caring picture book suggestions will help start a discussion on the ethical dilemmas the characters face and then what your students may face.

Do you have any additional suggestions for caring picture books? Hit the comments and let me know!

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Picture Books about Caring and Thoughtful Attitudes

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