The month of February is famous for love and friendship thanks to Valentine’s Day. Unknown to many (including myself until recently) it also hosts Random Acts of Kindness Day on the 17th. In fact, the entire week is meant to be a celebration of thoughtfulness throughout communities, schools and households.
In my opinion, children can never experience too much kindness. While there are countless ways to encourage empathy, compassion and friendship, I believe books are a great tool to reinforce and celebrate these themes.
Here are three sweet stories that will inspire kiddies to pay it forward with kindness:
Written by Deborah Diesen, Illustrated by Dan Hanna
For ages: baby and up
This fun board book is essential for baby’s first library. Mr. Fish is known to be moody and likes to spread the “dreary-wearies”. One day he experiences a random act of kindness from a friendly fish who kisses him unexpectedly. This is all the grumpy fish needs to turn his mood around and leave his “pout-pout” status behind. As young readers get older, they can continue to enjoy this story and adults can expand on the message. As an added bonus, youngsters will love the rhyming words and the chorus of blubs.
Written and Illustrated by Trevor Lai
For ages: 3 to 6
This picture book features a lonely little pig with oversized red glasses. He is so busy reading that he does not make any friends. His attempts to befriend a young girl go unnoticed until he decides to share something very special to him - his very last book. Children will fall in love with this charming piglet and this feel-good read.
Written by Kristi Yamaguchi, Illustrated by John Lee
For ages: 4 to 8
This title is ideal to illustrate the pay it forward message for kids. Fun fact: the author is ice-skating champion Kristi Yamaguchi. Beyond her medals she also has a heart of gold, apparent by her mission to motivate kids to be kind. In this story, Cara is one caring cat who also likes to skate. She strives to pass on kindness to her friends. Her positive attitude inspires other good deeds until they ultimately return full circle to Cara. This picture book is perfect for Random Acts of Kindness Day and all year long.