7 Wonderful Picture Books on the Power of Friendship, Empathy and Kindness

Posted on August 1, 2018

by cindy vanderbrink

Enemy Pie by Derek Munson

Enemy pie by Derek Munson ; illustrated by Tara Calahan King

A gentle tale that teaches a young boy about kindness and friendship.

Just one of the great books on the 101 Picture Book Challenge list.

What do you do when the new neighbor kid becomes your nemesis? In “Enemy Pie” our young, nameless, narrator seeks advice from his father on how to deal with his new adversary, Jeremy Ross. Dad has just the solution for dealing with Jeremy, he’s going to bake an enemy pie. Dad assures his son that the pie “is the fastest known way to get rid of enemies.” But there is a catch. According to his father, our narrator must spend time with Jeremy and be nice to him to make sure the pie works. I think you can probably guess what happens next… Jeremy eats the pie and it’s chock full of worms! Just kidding! Of course, the boys become friends and enjoy delicious pie. This gentle tale reminds us that making assumptions of others is wrong and that honey (or pie) attracts more flies. Only one thing missing from this one – the recipe!

Borrow it from the Library:

Picture Book | DVD


Ages 4-8 | Grades Preschool-7

Reading Beyond the 101 Picture Book Challenge List

More Books About Redemption and Kindness

Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller
Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller

When Tanisha spills grape juice all over her new dress, her classmate contemplates how to make her feel better and what it means to be kind. From asking the new girl to play to standing up for someone being bullied, this moving and thoughtful story explores what a child can do to be kind, and how each act, big or small, can make a difference or at least help a friend.

Ages 3-6

Ben Rides On by Matt Davies
Ben Rides On by Matt Davies

Ben rides his new bicycle the very, very long way to school but Adrian Underbite, perhaps the world’s largest third-grader, takes the bike anyway and later, when Ben finds Adrian in trouble, he must decide whether or not to help the larcenous bully.

Ages 4-7

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

A little mouse thinks her name is absolutely perfect until she starts school and all the kids make fun of her. Also available in DVD, eAudio, eAudio Spanish or eVideo.

Ages 4-8

I Walk with Vanessa by Kerascoët
I Walk with Vanessa by Kerascoët

An elementary school girl witnesses the bullying of another girl, but she is not sure how to help.

Ages 4-8

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell
Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell

When Molly Lou has to start in a new school, Ronald Durkin makes fun of her height and her buck teeth. But Molly has learned a lot from her grandma and knows just how to put him in place–in a very satisfying way. Also available in eBook.

Ages 5-8

I Am Human : A Book of Empathy by Susan Verde
I am human : a book of empathy / by Susan Verde ; art by Peter H. Reynolds

A child recognizes his own humanity, his capacity for doing harm and being harmed, his ability to feel joy and sadness, and his belief in hope and promise to keep learning. Also available in eBook.

Ages 4-8

What is the 101 Picture Book Challenge?

The 101 Picture Book Challenge is for anyone at any age. Librarians hand picked the titles on the list which includes classics, new titles and everything in between.

101 Picture Book Challenge - book cover collage

To get started, register online. You can track your progress online or if you prefer a paper log booklet, pick one up at your neighborhood Library. The books are organized into categories but you can read the books in any order and at your own pace. When you read all 101 titles, you earn a free picture book (while supplies last).

This is the latest in a series of blog posts exploring some of the things we love about these books.

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