• Picture Book Snob

8 brilliant books for Empathy Day

Empathy is learnable – only 10% of our empathic ability is genetic,” according to Miranda McKearney OBE, the founder of EmpathyLab. Mc Kearney adds that,"Scientists say that reading builds empathy,” and EmpathyLab has put together a reading list on their website.


Inspired by this and Esther and Laura's latest #8BrilliantBooks #Bookstagram prompt, here are just some of the excellent stories we’ve reviewed which are ideal for fostering empathy...

Picture Books

A Smile by Raoul Follereau, illustrated by Hoda Hadadi, Pikku Publishing

A Smile by Raoul Follereau, illustrated by Hoda Hadadi, Pikku Publishing, April 2021

"No one needs a smile as much as someone who cannot smile any more..." This new edition of a classic poem, with exquisite illustrations, demonstrates the power of a simple act of kindness. Take a closer look...


The Suitcase by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros, Nosy Crow

The Suitcase by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros, Nosy Crow, May 2019 A powerful allegory about welcoming others and accepting their stories, even if they don't make sense to us or match our own experiences. Take a closer look...


Lionel the Lonely Monster Fred Blunt Oxford Children's Books

Lionel the Lonely Monster by Fred Blunt, Oxford University Press, February 2021

An incredibly uplifting tale that's ideal encouraging children to consider the feelings of others and examine their own prejudices. Take a closer look...


Are Your Stars Like My Stars by Leslie Helakoski and Heidi Woodward Sheffield, Sterling Books

Are Your Stars Like My Stars? by Leslie Helakoski and Heidi Woodward Sheffield, Sterling Publishing, July 2020

This celebrates the differences that make us special, while showcasing the experiences that unite us all, and sharing the perspectives of children around the world. Take a closer look...


Mini Monsters Can I Be The Best? by Caryl Hart and Tony Neal, published by Simon & Schuster. Cover.

Mini Monsters: Can I Be The Best? by Caryl Hart and Tony Neal, Simon & Schuster, Jan. 2021 A thoughtful story about the importance of being inclusive of others and sensitive to their emotions, which helps preschoolers and toddlers learn how to interact harmoniously. Take a closer look...


Nonfiction

Nelson Mandela’s Hope for His Nation by Lindsay McDivitt and Charly Palmer

A Plan for the People: Nelson Mandela’s Hope for His Nation by Lindsey McDivitt and Charly Palmer, Eerdmans, March 2021

“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of their skin... People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” I can't think of a better way to teach young people about empathy than this beautifully illustrated biography of one of history's most compassionate figures. Take a closer look...


Middle Grade


When the Sky Falls by Phil Earle, Andersen Press, June 2021 A masterful and moving story that introduces readers to the experiences of a variety of human and animal characters during in World War II. Take a closer look...

Young Adult

This Can Never Not Be Real by Sera Milano

This Can Never Not Be Real by Sera Milano, Farshore Books, April 2021

Told from the perspective of a variety of narrators, this takes readers inside the heads of each character. It introduces readers to a range of experiences, often at odds with appearances, and demonstrates how other people's lives aren't always as perfect as they seem. Take a closer look...


This post was shared on Instagram as part of the #8BrilliantBooks challenge created by Esther of @mrsbrownsbookbox and Laura of @loveableliterature. Take a look at their brilliant #bookstagram pages for more fabulous collections. Use the hashtag and tag Esther and Laura in your posts if you'd like to get involved and share #8BrilliantBooks yourself. A new theme is announced every Monday.


See more selections of #8Brilliantbooks


See more books reviewed by Picture Book Snob that promote empathy