Books provide a natural jumping point to discuss difficult or intangible ideas to children. They provide the opportunity to spend quality time co-reading and also the quiet space for questions to arise amidst the chaos of day-to-day life. The following are a few books we have read that encourage generosity, giving, and an overall helpful spirit in children.
Ryan and Jimmy: And the Well in Africa That Brought Them Together by Herb Shoveller
It costs a lot of money to build a well in Africa — a lot more than Ryan Hreljac had thought. Still, the six year old kept doing chores around his parents’ house, even after he learned it could take him years to earn enough money. Then a friend of the family wrote an article in the local newspaper about Ryan’s wish to build a well to supply people with safe, clean water. Before long, ripples of goodwill began spreading. People started sending money to help pay for Ryan’s well. Ryan was interviewed on television. His dream of a well became an international news story.
Helping Kids Help: Organizing Successful Charitable Projects by Elizabeth Renee Heiss
This book helps children develop career and life skills such as commitment, sacrifice, cooperation, and tolerance through charity projects and youth philanthropy. This is a guide to practical issues such as assigning tasks, selecting appropriate charitable organizations, and parental permission issues.
How Dalia Put a Big Yellow Comforter Inside a Tiny Blue Box by Linda Heller
Is Dalia’s little blue box magic—or is the real magic the generosity that helps her fill it? When Dalia learns about tzedakah, the Jewish tradition of charity and caring, she creates a tzedakah box where she can keep the money she’s saved to help those in need. Her little brother Yossi is curious about the Hebrew letters painted on the box. “Are those letters magic?” he asks. They must be because Dalia tells him she’s putting a big yellow comforter, a butterfly bush, and a banana cream pie inside of it! How ever will she do it? Though there may be joy in receiving, Dalia’s story serves as a powerful reminder that the greatest joy of all comes from giving generously to others.
A Kids Guide to Giving by Freddi Zeiler
A comprehensive guide to giving money, volunteering, donating goods, and organizing charity events includes listings of charitable organizations–divided into three categories: People, Animals, and Environment–that make it easy for kids to get involved in the charities that mean the most to them and make a difference in the world.
E Is for Ethics by Ian James Corlett
This book includes twenty-six simple, clear, fun and original stories have been carefully crafted for parents to read to their child, aged four to ten. Each insightful story features one of two children, Elliott or his sister Lucy, centering on a different positive ethic, such as tact, empathy, and understanding. At the end of each story there are several questions that will help children and parents discuss the implications of each tale.
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