By Kaitlin Johnstone

My 5 Favorite Children's Books (that are actually kind!)

Being a teacher, I often very consciously reflect upon the materials I put in front of my students as well as the children in our Kind Cotton Reading Program. With Friday being National "Read a Book Day” and Sunday being National Literacy Day, I wanted to share with you my top 5 all-time favorite children's stories that cultivate conversions surrounding, kindness, love, empathy, and inclusion.

1. All Are Welcome

by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman

This beautiful story for any age celebrates inclusion as you follow a group of students throughout a typical day at school. EVERY child is loved and welcomed with open arms. This picture book is one that celebrates differences and is a must read that provides an imperative message during today’s political climate.

2. I am Enough

by Grace Byers

The perfect addition to any classroom or at home library. Not only does this text exemplify the importance of kindness toward others; it examines the importance of loving who you are. Byers and Bobo perfectly portray the beauty of believing in one’s self.

3. The Invisible Boy

by Trudy Ludwig

A nontraditional tale of a quiet boy who doesn’t make himself the center of the attention in any situation. His teacher and peers overlook him, which leads him to feel invisible. Then, a new child comes to school and helps him to feel more visible. This story is important to not only recognize, but celebrate the differences in children.

4. I am Human; A Book of Empathy

by Susan Verde

This book hones in on the imperfections that make as all the more perfect.  More specifically, it teaches children the value in learning from their mistakes to become a better human.

5. Ballerino Nate

by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

An excellent choice to provide an opportunity to discuss gender stereotypes. Having danced myself growing up and being fortunate enough to be in a company that was compromised of half boys, I personally love this story. Boys/men dance too, and this story is a beautiful reminder of that.


We hope you love our choices and we hope that you take the time to consider reading some to your children, or even yourselves. If there are any titles we missed, drop them in the comments below!

To celebrate both "Read a Book" Day & Literacy Day we're doubling your book donations all weekend long! That means, for every item purchased through this weekend we will provide not one, but two books to a child through our reading program!

Thank you all for spreading our mission of love and kindness through literature!


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