Books to Encourage Kindness

13 Children’s Books That Encourage Kindness Towards Others

Kindness is one of the most important character traits, but sometimes kids need an extra reminder about the best ways to be kind to others or why kindness matters. These books provide that reminder in creative and appealing ways. Happy reading!

1. We All Sing With The Same Voice by J. Philip Miller and Sheppard M. Greene

We All Sing With The Same Voice by J. Philip Miller and Sheppard M. Greene

What It’s About: This is a song book that connects kids around the world.

2. Have You Filled A Bucket Today? A Guide To Daily Happiness For Kids by Carol McCloud

Have You Filled A Bucket Today? A Guide To Daily Happiness For Kids by Carol McCloud

What It’s About: This book introduces an idea that everyone has an “invisible bucket.” These buckets are used to hold your good thoughts and feelings about yourself. When you do something kind, you help fill someone else’s bucket.

3. A Sick Day For Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead

A Sick Day For Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead

What It’s About: This story is about a zookeeper who is great friends with all of the animals and takes the time out of his day to do what they like with them. One day, he is too sick to go to work and the animals decide to come and visit him.

4. Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson

What It’s About: This story is about a new girl at school, named Maya and how Chloe, who has gone to the school for a while, reacts when she arrives. Chloe is not welcoming towards Maya, and excludes her from the group games. Maya leaves and Chloe is left feeling full of regret.

5. Last Stop On Market Street by Matt de la Pena

What It’s About: This 2016 winner of the Newbery Medal follows a young boy, CJ, and his grandmother on their way home one day. CJ spends most of the journey asking “How come…?” questions about everyone and everything. His grandmother answers each question with patience and eventually they leave the bus to volunteer at a soup kitchen.

6. Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts

What It’s About: In this book, we see a young boy dreaming about getting a pair of really cool shoes. Unfortunately, his family does not have the money for this dream to become a reality. He eventually finds the shoes in a thrift shop in near perfect condition and buys them even though they are too tight. Another kid in his class can’t afford new shoes either, and his feet would fit in the cool shoes when the narrator’s would not. So, the narrator decides to give his shoes away.

7. Horton Hears A Who by Dr. Seuss

Horton Hears A Who by Dr. Seuss

What It’s About: A classic Dr. Seuss, this book is about an elephant who discovers an entire community living on a speck of dust. With his big ears, Horton is the only animal in the jungle who is able to hear the Whos. Despite being made fun of by the other animals, Horton stands by Whoville because he knows it is the right thing to do.

8. Enemy Pie by Derek Munson

Enemy Pie by Derek Munson

What It’s About: This is about a boy who is having a great summer until Jeremy Ross moves in down the street. Jeremy excludes people from birthday parties and laughs when they strike out in baseball. The narrator’s father makes enemy pie to help defeat Jeremy Ross. In order for enemy pie to work, the boys have to play together all day. By the end of the day they are good friends and enjoy the pie together.

9. Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson, Fumi Kosaka

Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson, Fumi Kosaka

What It’s About: This story is about an average girl who decides to pick some blueberries for her neighbor. The neighbor bakes blueberry muffins and gives plates of them to five other people. This good deed turns into a chain strangers doing kind things for other strangers. Eventually, Mary has someone do something nice for her whose kind actions can be traced back to Mary’s blueberry picking. by Trudy Ludwig

10. The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig

What It’s About: This sweet book tells the story of Brian, a quiet boy who never makes a fuss or much noise at all. He feels invisible compared to the other children who are the center of the teacher’s attention by being loud, or the children with lots of friends who get picked first for sports. When a new kid comes to school, he makes Brian feel a lot less invisible.

11. The Three Questions by Jon J Muth

The Three Questions by Jon J Muth

What It’s About: This book is about a boy named Nikolai who wants to be a good person, but is not always sure how. He wants to discover the answer to the three questions: When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do? His three animal friends help him answer these questions, but they all have slightly different approaches. He eventually learns that the right time is now, the important one is the one you are with, and the right thing to do is good.

12. Rude Cakes by Rowboat Watkins

Rude Cakes by Rowboat Watkins

What It’s About: This book is about a cake, who is, very rude. He never says please or thank you, never listens, and doesn’t share well. One day a giant cyclops takes the rude cake and wears him as a hat. The cyclops has great manners, but the cake hates being a hat. After finally getting away from the cyclops, the cake becomes much more polite.

13. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

What It’s About: A familiar book to many, this book tells the heartfelt story of a boy and a tree who loved each other very much, but the boy ends up taking parts of the tree until the tree is worn down into a stump. At the end of the book, the boy (now an old man) just needs a place to sit, so he and the stump sit together.


Lent Begins on Ash Wednesday

Image result for ash wednesday 2013Sunday, during Treasure Seekers we talked about Ash Wednesday which begins the season of Lent.

When you are at the building, please stop by the Lenten resource table and see if there is a devotional that appeals to you. Thinking about Jesus and his life in the days leading up to Palm Sunday, the Crucifixion on Maundy Thursday, then his Resurrection at Easter is a tradition that is centuries old.

Do you and your family have any special traditions during the season of Lent or any new hopes for this Lenten season?

Addicting Apps (and Reversing)

Dopamine Labs develops tools to boost and reduce app addiction

Dopamine Labs, a small startup in Los Angeles, not just creates tools that can hook users to an app… the company is now also giving people a way to kick their app habit.

Formed by two neuroscientists, T. Dalton Combs and Ramsay Brown, who received their doctorates from the University of Southern California, the company has developed what it calls a “reinforcement api” based on the duo’s complementary research at USC.

The company believes that using its api — a few lines of code — app developers can increase user engagement and positive reinforcement on any app.

“We asked ourselves what is the direction of the future of technology and humanity,” said Brown in an interview. “We had some hunches about human behavior as applied to technology and vice versa… and how one might go about building a better way for humans to use apps and navigate them….“The dopamine api is a tool that allows any app to become addictive,” said Brown. “The premise is really straightforward… people don’t just love that burst of dopamine they get from a notification, it changes the wiring of the brain.”


recovery-venn-mk1But now, the company has developed another tool (for Android users) that can help fight the addictive behavior its tools may help create…Called Space, the new app works as the inverse of the Dopamine api. Instead of encouraging user behavior and creating new neural wiring that encourages app use, the Space app actually reduces the drive to continue a behavior. With that gone, people are less inclined to use the app.

“Partially why we built space [is] …recognizing and understanding that technology changes people,” says Brown. “We can treat this as a design task… We’re leading this field of behavior design [and] we are disinterested in being the thought police.”

Instead, Brown sees the company’s role as providing tools to encourage good behavior and reduce bad behavior when it comes to mobile apps.

To read the whole article and find out more about Dopamine labs, go to

Living Out the Message of Kindness – Even to Enemies

Image result for images teaching kindnessOn Sunday in Treasure Seekers our passage was from Leviticus 19. We talked about some ways to live out the teaching to love our enemies.

We talked about the directions to leave part of the fields for strangers and what that could mean in our time and place.

Leviticus is in the first part of the Old Testament or Hebrew Scriptures.

Your family might enjoy reading the different ideas shared in this passage.‎ Related image

Celebrate by Sharing God’s Love

Image result for valentine's dayAs Valentine’s Day approaches, perhaps your family would like to talk about 1 John 4:7 – “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.”

The stories and teachings of scripture tell us that God is love.

Where do you see God’s love alive today?

How can we share God’s love this week?

Raising ‘Adults’

Hi! It’s Sharon again.

I’ve been reading some articles and a couple of books that are focused on raising kids who are independent (but not reckless), capable (but not arrogant), compassionate (but not naive). You get the idea, right? Adults!!

Well, thanks to a FB friend, this article seemed ‘spot on’ and reasonable. I especially like the beginning where the author, Amy Carney says,

Don’t judge me if you happen to see my kids eating packaged Ritz crackers for school lunch.
Don’t judge me if they’re on the sidelines of PE because they forgot their uniform.
Don’t judge me if they didn’t turn in their homework because it’s still sitting home on their desk.
What some may view as a lack of parenting, is what I deem parenting on purpose, as we work to build necessary life skills in our kids.

There are lots of resources out there, but I think trusting God to drop the right people into your kids’ life, praying for them and their friends, and reading common-sense blogs and articles like this one will help populate our world with young people who will be adults worth knowing and with whom the future is safe.

Here’s a link to the whole article: