Are you looking for good children’s books on empathy and compassion? With some studies pointing to reduced empathy levels in today’s children compared to earlier times, the need to reinforce empathy lessons in our children is even greater.

The below list of books comes in aid of parents and educators. Listed and categorized agewise, these books are a must in every childrens’ bookshelf.

Children’s Books About Empathy and Compassion


Picture Books About Compassion

2 9

Teach Your Dragon Empathy

Steve Herman (Author)

This is a book to teach kids about empathy, compassion, kindness. Through the learnings of pet dragon, this book teaches how to understand other’s feelings, be considerate and put yourself in other’s shoes. Fun and entertaining book with beautiful illustrations, this picture book is perfect for toddlers to early readers. Check here on Amazon.

3 9

I Am Human: A Book of Empathy

Susan Verde (Author), Peter H. Reynolds (Illustrator)

This picture book narrates how everyone can make good choices while acting with compassion and empathy. A book for preschoolers to grade2, perfect for a bedtime story-time. Includes a medication guide for kids. Check here on Amazon.

6 10

We All Belong

Nathalie Goss (Author), Alex Goss (Author), Goss Castle (Author)

It is a beautifully illustrated picture book emphasizing how recognizing differences and celebrating them make this world a beautiful place. Written in catchy rhythmic language, it is a poem about respecting differences – be it culture, color, or religion. Check here on Amazon.

9 9

Dinosaur Learns Empathy

Steve Herman (Author)

A highly recommended book by therapists, teachers, and parents – this is a picture book about a Dinosaur, and his best friends – a Dragon and a Unicorn. It is a fun read where children get introduced to empathy. Colorful illustrations with a simple story make this book a kids favorite. Check here on Amazon.

10 9

Start With Sorry

P.T. Finch (Author), Jody Mullen (Editor), Gokhan Bas (Illustrator)

This a picture book with lessons on empathy, manners for children aged 3 to 5 years old. It narrates the story of a three years old Luna and her brother Asher. Luna reacts with anger after overcoming with jealousy. This makes Asher sad. However, with her mother’s help, Luna learns to control her emotion and say sorry. A positively relatable picture book for younger children. Check here on Amazon.

14 5

A Little SPOT of Sadness

Diane Alber (Author)

Sadness can happen for many reasons. This book helps children identify and visualize sadness and helps them overcome it. Written in a rhythmic style and with beautiful illustrations, this book teaches children to exercise empathy and find their peaceful spot. Check here on Amazon.


Books About Compassion for Kindergarten

1 9

Empathy Is Your Superpower

Cori Bussolari PsyD and Zach Greszkowiak

This book is an introduction to empathy for kindergarten. The story helps children learn to understand others’ feelings and empathize. A great message with a charming and simple story. Check here on Amazon.

4 9

I Am Love: A Book of Compassion

Susan Verde (Author), Peter H. Reynolds (Illustrator)

This compassion childrens’ book celebrates love. The story teaches the true meaning of love – empathy, kindness, care. Beautiful pictures and simple sentences make this storybook a nice read for kindergarten. Check here on Amazon.

5 9

Compassionate Ninja

Mary Nhin (Author), Grow Grit Press (Author), Jelena Stupar (Illustrator)

Want to teach your child compassion? This book from hugely popular Ninja life hacks is the perfect one for your child. Compassionate Ninja arrives on the first day of her school and acts kindly with everyone. However, she gets upset with herself over her performance. Then, she gets reminded that it is important to be kind and loving to herself as well, just like others. A good lesson for preschoolers and beginner readers. Check here on Amazon.

13 5

Do others have feelings too?

Divya Mohan (Author), Hend Moharram (Illustrator)

It is a sweet story about a small child Mili. Her playtime got interrupted when a dragonfly lost its way. However, Mili still helped the dragonfly find its way. A charming story for kindergarten kids on love, compassion, care, tolerance. Check here on Amazon.

15 5

I Love You Brother

Cara Brzezicki (Author)

This is a story about two little brothers and sibling bonding. Kindness starts at home. This story reminds us all – despite differences we are all family. And it is important to be compassionate and understanding towards one’s siblings. A charming storybook for kindergarteners. Check here on Amazon.


Empathy Books for Middle School

7 9

Be the Difference

Jayneen Sanders (Author), Cherie Zamazing (Illustrator)

This empathy book for middle graders lists more than forty ideas to bring positive changes to the world. It focuses on three things – empathy, kindness, and racial and gender equality. This book introduces children to many positive things bringing a positive mindset – the text is kid-friendly, and illustrations are beautiful. Check here on Amazon.

8 9

What Is Empathy?

Amanda Morin (Author)

This is the story of two friends – Ava and Sofia, and how they handled the issue of bullying. Written from the point of both Ava and Sofia, this book teaches empathy and make children understand other’s point of view. A picture storybook for tweens. Check here on Amazon.

11 6

A Kids Book About Empathy

Daron K. Roberts (Author)

Written by Daron K. Roberts – an NFL Coach, and leadership professor, this book helps children learn how to feel ‘with’ others. A good empathy book for children aged five and above. Check here on Amazon.

16 5

Learning to Listen, Learning to Care

Lawrence E. Shapiro PhD (Author)

Learning to listen and care is an essential part of learning empathy. This book contains exercises with topics on – learning to express feelings, listening to others’ feelings, understanding body language, setting positive goals, keeping cool, etc. A good exercise book for bringing positivity in children, perfect for tweens. Check here on Amazon.

17 5

Turtle Boy

M. Evan Wolkenstein (Author)

This book narrates the story of Seventh grader Will who is being bullied at school. A chance encounter with another boy struggling with an incurable disease, changes Will’s outlook towards life. As Will helps his new friend fulfill his bucket list, he also learns more about life and kindness. A perfect book on compassion and kindness for tween readers. Check here on Amazon.


Empathy Books for High School

12 5

UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed

Michele Borba Dr. (Author)

As per a study – teens today are forty percent less empathetic than they were thirty years ago. This lack of empathy goes hand in hand with self-absorption or selfie syndrome. In this book – the author, Dr. Borba singles out factors causing the empathy crisis. He also shares a helpful framework for parents and educators to raise empathetic children. The activities are segregated for different age groups – starting with toddlers to teens. Check here on Amazon.

18 4

Nowhere Boy

Katherine Marsh (Author)

This is the story of an unlikely friendship developed between a newly arrived Syrian refugee boy in Brussels and a teenager from Washington DC. Together they help each other defy the odds and brave the world. A heart-touching book about friendship, empathy, compassion, written for middle and high schoolers. Check here on Amazon.

19 3

The Self-Compassionate Teen

Karen Bluth PhD (Author), Kristin Neff PhD (Foreword)

Being a teenager now-a-days comes with lots of pressure due to the ever-growing presence of social media and electronics in daily lives. While there is enough awareness about being kind to others, the self-compassion part is often left out of the discussion. This book tackles the topic and makes children believe in themselves. It reminds children to be kind to themselves and reduce the stress in the process. A much-needed compassion book for today’s teens. Check here on Amazon.