Children’s Books about Sharing and Compromising

Children’s Books about Sharing and Compromising

These children's books about sharing show the importance of compromise and harmonious interactions in your classroom. The books also cover themes of cooperation, fairness, sharing and reflection.

Children’s Books about Sharing and Compromising

Why Read Children’s Books about Sharing and Compromising?

“Nothing appeals to children more than justice, and they should be taught in the nursery to “play fair” in games, to respect each other's property and rights, to give credit to others, and not to take too much credit to themselves.” ~Emily Post.

This quote from American author Emily Post highlights why we should read picture books about sharing and compromising in schools.

Learning to compromise helps children develop good relationships at home and school. Children's books about sharing illustrate the importance of harmonious interactions.

Many of the books are set in schools or include siblings working on compromising. Sometimes successful, sometimes not. The picture books also cover related themes of cooperation, fairness, sharing and reflection.

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Children’s Books about Compromise and Sharing

Are You Sitting Comfortably? by Leigh Hodgkinson

The back of this book asks, “Have you found the perfect snuggle-up-and-lose-yourself-in-a-book-place?” Unfortunately, the book lover in this story cannot, even after searching high and low for the perfect place to read his book. After his frustrating search, he decides the best way to read the book is to share it.

Promotes a love of reading, compromise, and friendships.

The Banana-Leaf Ball: How Play Can Change the World by Katie Smith Milway

Deo lives in a refugee camp in Tanzania, separated from his family. Remy, a gang leader, targets Deo, but when they come together on the football field, they find common ground and a sense of belonging.

The Big Bed by Bunmi Laditan

A father is presented with his own (camping) bed by his daughter, who moves into his place next to mum.

This book reinforces themes of persuasion, problem-solving and separation anxiety.

Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan

Rubina is mortified when her mother insists she takes her little sister, Sana, to a friend’s birthday party. Sana’s behaviour embarrasses Rubina, especially when she steals her prized party favour, a red lollipop. Reinforces themes of sharing, fairness, and forgiveness.

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.

Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming

After the devastation of World War II, Katje’s town in The Netherland lays in ruins. One day, Postman Kleinhoonte delivers a mysterious parcel to Katje, full of soap, socks, and chocolate. She starts a correspondence with the American sender, Rosie. When more packages arrive, Katje distributes the contents to her neighbours.

Can I Play Too? by Mo Willems

This is the first of three children's books about sharing by Mo Willems. Piggie and Gerald think creatively to include their new friend in a game of catch. Promotes problem-solving, compromise, fairness and relationships skills.

Cheese Belongs to You! by Alexis Deacon

A small rat with a bow on its tail stands next to a block of cheese. It declares that, under rats law, if you find cheese it belongs to you, “unless a big rat wants it…Then cheese belongs to him.” Bigger, quicker, stronger, scarier rats all claim the yellow block of cheese until chaos ensues.

Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin

Farmer Brown’s cows type him a letter demanding electric blankets. They go on strike when he refuses their demands. Duck takes an ultimatum from Farmer Brown to the cows and they agree to exchange the typewriter for the blankets. But, the next day Farmer Brown gets a note from the ducks demanding a diving board for their pond!

Read to discuss communication, persuasion, activism, knowledge, problem & solution, fairness, and resourcefulness.

Crayon by Simon Rickerty

Crayon, a picture book with limited text, tells the story of two monsters who stray onto each other's side of the book and are unable to cooperate. Promotes compromise, jealousy, and friendship.

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

Duncan’s crayons have quit. They leave letters expressing their grievances and requesting a change in their working conditions.

Reinforces themes of communication, creativity, self-awareness, relationship skills and perspectives.

Draw the Line by Kathryn Otoshi

Magic happens when two boys connect the lines they are drawing. The boy's emotions take over when their lines get tangled, and a rift appears.

This wordless book promotes forgiveness, conflict resolution and boundaries.

The Earth Shook: A Persian Tale by Donna Jo Napoli

In Iran, Parisa is woken by a powerful earthquake. She finds everything around her has been destroyed. Frightened, Parisa knocks on some doors, only to be faced with animals who have previously been hurt by humans. Alone, she dances, laughs, cooks food and waters the plants. One by one the distrustful animals gradually come to join her.

Read to discuss risk-taking, sharing, resilience, loneliness and courage.

Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams

In a Peshawar refugee camp, both Lina and Feroza find a matching sandal. They build a friendship and share the sandals, wearing them on alternate days. Lina and her mother are chosen to emigrate to America and gives the sandal to Feroza. But Feroza hands it back telling Lina they will share the sandals again one day.

Promotes a sense of belonging, compassion, friendship and social awareness.

Fred Gets Dressed by Peter Brown

Fred loves to be naked and loves to run around his house naked. He romps into his parents’ wardrobe and has fun dressing up in their clothes. His father’s clothes don’t look right, so Fred tries on his mother’s dress. Perfect. He puts on his mum's jewellery and makeup, too. When his parents (and family dog) find him, they join in the dress-up session.

Read to discuss non-traditional gender roles, self-expression, identity and supportive parents.

Hedgehog by Ashlyn Anstee

Winter is on its way, and animals are looking for somewhere to live, but Hedgehog is unwilling to let anyone into his hedge. He makes signs, puts locks on the door and even builds a fence. Will it be too late before he learns his lesson?

It’s Mine by Leo Lionni

Three selfish frogs continually yell, It’s mine! It’s mine! It’s mine! A rainstorm scares them and they huddled around a rock. The rock turns out to be a toad who helps the frogs understand sharing is much more fun.

It’s Not Fair by Amy Rosenthal

Different children experience ‘it’s not fair’ dilemmas, perceiving someone around them getting something more or better than what they have.

The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Audrey Wood

The narrator tries to persuade a mouse to share the red, ripe strawberry it has just picked. The mouse disguises and locks the strawberry away. The narrator suggests there is only one way to stop a big, hungry bear from eating it. They must eat it together. Will the tactic work?

Use to teach creative thinking, sharing, problem & solution and inferring.

I Love My New Toy! by Mo Willems

This is the second of three children's books about sharing by Mo Willems. Piggie is so excited to show Gerald her new toy. When he accidentally breaks it, she gets mad, and he feels guilty. When a squirrel shows the toy is supposed to break, they start on a journey of forgiveness while learning friends are more important than toys.

Mama Panya's Pancakes by Mary and Rich Chamberlin

Mama Panya's son Adika visits the market and invites everyone he meets to his home for pancakes. His mother worries about how she will feed them all, but she doesn't stop her son from inviting their neighbours. When the guests arrive, they all bring something to share.

Promotes discussions on a sense of community, generosity and sharing.

Mine! by Jerome Keane

Horse and Fox are BORED! But then a thing appears. They try to compromise over who will have the thing, but they don’t notice someone else is interested in it. Reinforces themes of conflict, cooperation and sharing.

My Two Grannies by Floella Benjamin

When Alvina’s parents go on holiday, her two grannies look after her. Grannie Vero is from Trinidad, and Grannie Rose is from the north of England. They eat different food, tell different stories and play different games, leading to some tension. Alvina comes up with an idea to help her grannies compromise.

Promotes discussions on different family structures, identity, compromise and a sense of belonging.

No Fits, Nilson! by Zachariah O’Hora

Amelia and her imaginary friend, Nilson, do everything together. When Nilson's temper erupts Amelia helps him control his emotions, but when Nilson gets the last scoop of ice cream Amelia throws a fit. This time Nilson helps her calm down by sharing the ice cream.

Norris, The Bear Who Shared by Catherine Rayner

Norris was wise and patient. He sat under the plorringe tree and waited for something special to happen. Tulip and Violet spotted a delicious plorringe fruit and clambered up the tree, but the fruit fell onto Norris' head. As well as being wise and patient Norris was also kind and shared the fruit with his two new friends.

Nour’s Secret Library by Wafa' Tarnowska

Two Syrian children use books to build a sense of community despite the war around them. They salvage books from bomb out homes and create a library in the basement of a half-collapsed building. The library became a safe haven for many and a beacon of hope in the darkness of war.

Use to discuss the effects of conflict and how small actions can help people through adversity.

Odd Dog by Claudia Boldt

Helmut loves apples so much that he is convinced his neighbour Igor is trying to steal them from his tree. Paranoid Helmut spends all his time thinking up ways to protect his apples until he learns Igor has no interest in his apples. (In the US, Helmut is named Peanut, and Igor is Milo.)

Reinforces themes of conflict, jealousy, problem-solving and sharing.

Pig the Pug by Aaron Blabey

Pig the Pug was greedy and selfish in almost every way. He lived with his dachshund friend, Trevor, but selfish Pig refused to share his toys with Trevor. Pig soon learns a painful lesson when he gets his just deserts.

Promotes positive behaviour, integrity, responsibility and self-management.

Please Mr Panda by Steve Antony

Mr Panda has a box of doughnuts to share. He politely asks the other animals if they would like them but is disappointed by their lack of manners. When the lemur says, “Please!” Mr Panda gives away his box of doughnuts which he doesn’t like anyway!

Promotes manners, sharing and perseverance.

Rude Cakes by Rowboat Watkins

A rude cake that doesn't share and lacks manners soon gets its comeuppance. It is abducted by a polite cyclops who teaches the rude cake the importance of saying please!

Read to discuss being principled, sharing and social awareness.

Rulers of the Playground by Joseph Kuefler

Everyone follows Johan's rules of the playground, all except Lennox. She wants to become the ruler of the playground. As playground politics and demanding behaviour increases, they lose all their friends. On reflection, they realise that they need to change their behaviour, and they come up with a plan to apologise.

The Runaway Wok by Ying Chang Compestine

The Runaway Wok: A Chinese New Year Tale by Ying Chang Compestine

A poor man, Ming Zhang, works for, Li, the richest man in Beijing. He sends his son to trade their last eggs for a bag of rice, but he returns with a singing wok. The wok hops to the greedy Li family, filling itself with food and gold once stolen from others. The Ming family share the fortune and food with other needy villagers.

Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems

This is the third of three children's books about sharing by Mo Willems. Gerald has a moral dilemma; should he share his amazing ice cream with Piggie? The more he thinks, the more excuses he comes up with why he shouldn’t share it. After much deliberation, Gerald makes the right decision, but the ice cream has melted.

The Squirrels Who Squabbled by Rachel Bright

Two greedy squirrels learn to share and cooperate when they chase after the last nut of the season. Promotes sharing, friendship, greed and cooperation.

Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora

Omu shares her delicious stew with everyone in the neighbourhood. They follow the amazing smell for a portion of Omu’s meal. Soon the pot is empty, and her generosity means she has no stew left for herself. But the community show their gratitude by sharing their food with her.

Read to discuss community, kindness, gratitude, and generosity.

That Fruit is Mine! by Anuska Allepuz

Five elephants discover a very tall fruit tree deep in the jungle. They compete with each other to see who can reach the exotic fruit first. Their focus on being the first means they overlook a team of mice working together to reach the fruit first. But they soon realise that teamwork and communication is a better way to reach their prize.

There’s a Bear on My Chair by Ross Collins

A polar bear is sitting in the chair of a furious mouse who rants and raves there is no room on the chair. In a reversal of fortune, the bear goes home to find there is the mouse in his house.

Reinforces themes of conflict, self-management, activism and sharing.

This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers

Wilfred is an organised boy who lives his life by rules. He claims a wandering moose as his new pet and names him Marcel. The moose is not keen on Wilfred’s rules and meets an old lady who claims him as her own. Wilfred recognises Marcel’s independence and learns how to compromise.

Up the Creek by Nicholas Oldland

When three friends go canoeing they soon start quarrelling. They can't agree on anything. When they end up in a dangerous situation, they realise it is better to work as a team. Promotes relationship skills and cooperation.

The Way of the Ninja by David Bruins

Ninja loves being with his friends but when his friends, Bear and Cowboy, don’t want to join in a frustrated Ninja plays alone. He concludes it is better to compromise with his friends than play by himself. Reinforces themes of compromise, problem-solving, respect and sharing.

We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen

Two turtles use their integrity and willpower when they find a hat in the middle of the desert. The tension and humour build in three parts, concluding with a spectacular ending.

Promotes perspectives, friendships and responsible decision-making.

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What Next?

Learning to compromise and share can be a challenge for any child. Still, it is essential as it helps them develop good relationships, particularly at school.

What picture books about sharing and compromising do you like to read with your students?

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Children’s Books about Compromise and Sharing

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