Teaching children to stand in someone else’s shoes or to see things from a different point of view are important skills to develop. Try reading these developing empathy and looking at different perspectives books for kids.
Developing Empathy and Looking at Things From Different Points of View Books
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In Saturday at the Food Pantry by Diane O’Neill, we meet Molly who is visiting a food pantry with her mom for needed food. Molly is grateful to be there, but then she sees a friend from school who looks embarrassed to be there. Will the girls realize that it’s ok to need help?
What the Animals Saw by Louise Greig invites us to see through the eyes of different animals. Imagine gazing out of an eagle’s eyes as you fly through the sky. Explore the environment with a variety of creatures.
Another book that would pair nicely with the one above is They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel. It is an interesting look at what a cat looks like through the eyes of different animals. It’s fascinating and a great lesson in perspective. Actually, check out Wenzel’s other books too for an interesting look at perspective.
Watercress is by Andrea Wang and is the story of a young girl and her family traveling through Ohio when they spot watercress alongside the road. The family piles out of the car and collects as much as they can. At first, the young girl is a bit embarrassed to be collecting food from alongside the road, but her mother shares a story from her childhood in China, that puts the experience in perspective. The young girl gains a new appreciation for foraging for food. The story was inspired by the author’s own childhood.
Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams literally helps young children walk in the shoes of other children who have to wash their clothes in the river and walk to get daily water. It’s a great book to use for teaching empathy as well as the challenge of water for daily life survival.
Gitty and Kvetch by Caroline Kusin Pritchard is a story of friends who see and approach life very differently. This duo sets off to build a perfect purple treehouse. Things won’t always go according to plan but these friends can get through.
Imagine getting a photograph and then turning it into a piece of art that you envision from what you see. That’s what you’ll find in What Do You See? : A Conversation in Pictures by Barney Saltzberg.
Can You See Me? by Gökce Irten reminds us that things that might look small to us could be huge to others. Something might be large up close but small if it’s far away. It’s all a matter of perspective.
Days Like This by Oriane Smith is all about seeing ordinary day-to-day things from different perspectives. Take a walk through nature and see things in a new perspective.
What Happened to You?by James Catchpole reminds us that “What happened to you?” is not the leading question we should be bombarding others with especially if we are meeting someone for the first time. In this story, we meet a boy who is trying to play at the playground when other kids start asking questions about his appearance. He doesn’t want to talk about it. He’s at the playground to play and that is what he wants to do. Eventually, a girl approaches and engages in playing together and they quickly continue their pirate game.
Conversation Starters to Discuss the Topic
-What do you think the author wanted us to take away from this story?
-Do you think it’s easy or challenging to look at things from different perspectives?
-When would it be appropriate to examine a situation from different points of view?
-Do you feel that sometimes your feelings and/or needs aren’t considered by others? When?
-How can you be a better listener?
Printable List of Books About Empathy and Looking at Things From Different Perspectives
Grab the printable book list and conversation starters shared above.
More book lists to enjoy.