Kids’ Books to Celebrate World Kindness Day!

World Kindness Day is observed around the world on November 13 every year. If you’re a parent, teacher, or librarian, sometimes the best way to teach the kids in your life about an important value is to read a book with them about the subject. Children need to discover what makes them different to celebrate what makes them unique. We all know a kind word can go a long way and even make someone’s day, so check out our Canadian booklist below for children’s books that weave the theme of kindness into their words and pictures as they highlight the importance of being thoughtful and compassionate in our daily lives—whether we’re interacting with others or learning how to be kind to ourselves.

Kindness is a Golden Heart
Written by Jessica Kluthe
Illustrated by Charlene Chua
Orca Book Publishers, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-4598-3285-5

From sunrise to sunset, a young child has opportunities to demonstrate kindness—to their parent, their pet, and themself—and to receive kindness as well. Young readers learn how to use their “golden heart” by guiding them through many ways to be kind.

A World of Kindness
Edited by Ann Featherstone
Illustrated by Suzanne Del Rizzo
Pajama Press, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-7727-8050-5

Nine celebrated children’s picture book illustrators, including Rebecca Bender, Wallace Edwards, and Suzanne Del Rizzo, unite to create an empowering text that celebrates the ways young children can show kindness.

When We Are Kind/Nihá’ádaahwiinít’íj̨go
Written by Monique Gray Smith
Illustrated by Nicole Neidhardt
Translated by Mildred Waters
Orca Book Publishers, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-4598-2753-0
Ages 3-10 RL: Grade 2

This dual-language picture book—in English and Diné—celebrates simple acts of everyday kindness and encourages children to explore how they feel when they initiate and receive acts of kindness in their lives.

Choose Kindness
Written and illustrated by Ruth Ohi
Scholastic Canada, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-44318-251-5
Ages 3-8 RL: Grades 2-3

Bunny is having a tough morning, but manages to brighten up and get out the door. Pretty soon Bunny comes across Beetle, who needs a little cheering too. Bunny and Beetle band together and they come across Marten. They are just what Marten needed, and the three carry on. Along the way they pick up Wren and Lemming too. Their care and attention to each other’s feelings boosts everyone’s mood. When they find Bear, who has forgotten something important, they joyfully come together to make a big difference.

What Kids Did: Stories of Kindness and Invention in the Time of COVID-19
Written by Erin Silver
Second Story Press, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-77260-164-0
Ages 6-9 RL: Grade 3

In early 2020, the COVID-19 virus changed the world. We had to stay apart, away from work, school, and our everyday routines. But, all around the world, kids came up with creative and thoughtful ways to help others. From making 3-D printed medical equipment to food bank fundraising, kids made a difference in their communities.

Angus All Aglow
Written by Heather Smith
Illustrated by Alice Carter
Orca Book Publishers, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-4598-1493-6
Ages 3-7 RL: Grade 4

Angus loves sparkly things, so much so that he can hear them. To Angus, shiny objects not only look beautiful, they also crackle, buzz and go whiz-bang-POP! His unique ability is lost, however, when Angus wears his grandma’s beaded necklace to school, and his classmates tease him. Saddened by their laughter, Angus stops hearing the sparkle. But a kind gesture from a friend helps to restore his sparkle.

The Caterpillar Woman
Written by Nadia Sammurtok
Illustrated by Carolyn Gan
Inhabit Media, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-77227-083-9
Ages 8 and up RL: Grades 3-4

Kind-hearted Piujuq loves to take walks on the tundra surrounded by butterflies. One day, a stranger asks for a favour and Piujuq obliges. That kindness leaves Piujuq stuck in the body of a caterpillar. Thinking no one could love her now and afraid of frightening her family, Piujuq lives a lonely life on the tundra. Until the day another stranger appears…

My Name is Konisola
Written by Alisa Siegel
Second Story Press, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-77260-119-0
Ages 9-12 RL: Grades 4-5

On a freezing cold winter night, nine-year-old Konisola and her mother step off a plane in Canada. Their home in Nigeria is no longer safe for them, and they are taking the biggest chance of their lives to travel across the world in search of refuge. Soon after they land, disaster strikes, Konisola’s mother falls ill and they become separated. Konisola is forced to fend for herself in a strange country, with no family and no friends. Then she meets a remarkable nurse and things begin to change for the better. But Konisola’s future remains uncertain. Will this new life she has found be taken from her? Inspired by a true story.

No Vacancy
Written by Tziporah Cohen
Groundwood Books, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-77306-410-9
Ages 9-12 RL: Grades 5-6

When her family buys the run-down Jewel Motor Inn, 11-year-old Miriam makes it an adventure. She befriends Kate, whose grandma owns the local diner, as well as Maria, the motel housekeeper, and Father Donovan. When it becomes apparent only a miracle will save the motel—now her home—Jewish Miriam and Catholic Kate decide to create one of their own.