Loving kindness

How do you teach a child to be compassionate in a world of walls, bullying and blame? You live as an example, surround yourself with kind people and talk to your kid about feelings. Another way to weave kindness into everyday life is with books — fun stories with interesting characters, cute animals and relatable kids facing common struggles. These books offer all of the above!


The Rabbit Listened

Minneapolis author Cori Doerrfeld’s beautiful story — about how to react when someone’s going through a difficult time — might be our favorite release of the year. (OK, it’s not out until February 2018, but still.) Taylor has lost something dear. Animals come along, one by one, and try to comfort the child with expressions of anger, avoidance, vengeance and even humor. But Taylor isn’t quite ready to process the loss. Then a rabbit appears and simply sits close by — until Taylor asks the rabbit to stay and listen to a story about loss, recovery and dreams that come after a difficult time.

Ages 3–5 • $17.99


The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles

In this gorgeously illustrated watercolor picture book, a humble man lives alone on top of a hill near the sea. When bottles wash ashore, he brings them in and happily delivers them to their intended recipients. He sees the joy the notes bring to so many people, and he yearns for a message of his own. One day, when he finds a note without any name at all, he ends up finding new friends.

Ages 4–8 • $17.99

The Book of Mistakes

Mistakes don’t need to be bad. In fact, mistakes in drawing (which can seem like such a perfectionist’s craft) are something to be explored and made into gorgeous surprises. When the author’s real-life drawing goes wrong, she adapts it and changes it until an entire whimsical world takes shape, making mistakes seem more like magic when considered with self-forgiveness and an open mind.

Ages 4–8 • $18.99

Plenty of Love to Go Around

Plum the dog is jealous of the neighbor’s new cat, Pinkie. Plum thinks there’s only room for one “Special One.” He even tries to lose Pinkie when the cat follows him to the dog park — even though Pinkie saves Plum from being locked in a shed. It’s not until Plum’s owner explains that there’s enough love for both of the animals, that the dog accepts the cat.  

Ages 3–5 • $17.99

Little Big Girl

Matisse is a little girl in a big world. She uses her little hands to make big things, and when she’s tired, she takes a big nap. When she meets a new person who’s even littler than her, will she rise to the big occasion? Through gaining a little brother, Matisse — playfully illustrated with brush strokes by longtime Disney illustrator Claire Keane — discovers she’s even bigger than she thought. 

Ages 3–5 • $17.99