12 Books to Teach Kids About Giving

Books on giving

*This post was written by Caitlin, a member of the MarbleSpark team*

With the Holiday season quickly approaching, there is an increased emphasis on gratitude and giving.

Kids often get caught up in the excitement and presents, causing the idea of giving and gratitude to be pushed aside and forgotten about. On top of that, it can also be hard for them to fully grasp the idea of giving.

But, don’t worry! The books about giving listed below will help introduce your child to the concept of giving, generosity, and gratitude.

In addition to taking the time to read these books with your children, it is important to initiate a conversation with them about the ways they can give and help others.

Although the first things that typically come to mind when we think about giving are the big acts of kindness and generosity, there are so many little everyday acts that get forgotten about.

Whether it is smiling and saying “Hi” to someone you pass or holding open a door, these small acts have the power to make such a difference in the lives of others.

So, rather than focusing on teaching your kids about all of the grand gestures of giving, it is helpful to introduce the concepts slowly and start with all of the little ways they can help.

The little ways of giving and being kind are often times the ones that stick with us the most!

Teaching kids about giving, generosity, and gratitude can be done in many ways. Yes, these books help start the process! But, kids always look up to those around them whom they love.

You, as parents, aunts and uncles, and grandparents, can teach by example. If the kids see you helping others and giving back, they will be more willing to do the same.

And don’t worry, this doesn’t have to be anything big! The simplest things will show the kids that you value helping others and it will inspire them to act similarly. In fact, the little acts are more effective because they are able to do them too!

While reading these books introduces the concept to the kids, the more they read them the more they understand the idea. By making this a part of their lives, the acts of kindness and giving become habitual!

12 Books to Teach Kids About Giving, Generosity and Gratitude

1. The Giving Tree

Giving Tree

In his book, Shel Silverstein, teaches children about selfless giving. The short story tells the tale of a selfless apple tree consistently giving to a growing boy.

2. The Berenstain Bears Think of Those in Need

Berenstein Bears

The Berenstain Bears realize they have too much stuff. What are they going to do with it? With Christmas soon approaching, the Berenstain Bears decide to give away everything they don’t need.

This short story teaches kids how giving away things they no longer need can help others!

3. Rufus & Ryan Give Thanks


Ryan, an energetic young boy, and his stuffed monkey, Rufus, embark on a treasure hunt around the house and give thanks for all of the things that make him happy.

This charming story encourages kids to be thankful for all of their blessings!

4. The Invisible Boy

Invisible boy

Nobody in class seems to notice or include Brian until the new kid, Justin, joins the class. Brian is the first to welcome Justin to the class. When they decide to work on a group project together, Brian finds a way to shine.

This short story shows kids how small acts of kindness can really make a difference in the lives of others!

5. The Berenstain Bears and The Joy of Giving

 Joy of Giving

Brother and Sister are so excited for all of the Christmas presents, but during the Christmas pageant, something happens that teaches the kids about the joy of giving.

Brother and Sister are given a set amount of money to buy presents for the other, but when they learn that they can spend the leftovers however they like, they are more excited about buying something for themselves than picking out a present.

This tale teaches kids about how wonderful it is to give.

6. Have you filled a bucket today?

Fill Bucket

Carol McCloud’ story shows kids the importance of filling others’ buckets with small acts of kindness and gratitude. The story uses a bucket to show how kindness and positive behavior can fill others’ buckets with good thoughts.

McCloud successfully uses bucket filling as a metaphor for the effects our actions have on the wellbeing of others.

7. Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed

Ordinary Mary

Mary is just an ordinary girl who stumbles upon blueberries on her way home from school. She starts a chain reaction when she decides to pick some of the blueberries and give them to her neighbor, Mrs. Bishop.

Emily Pearson’s story shows kids how small acts of kindness really can make a difference and go a long way.

8. The Berenstain Bears Count Their Blessings

Count Blessings

During a big storm, Mama and Papa help the cubs realize they are safe and should remember to count their blessings. The big storm reminds Brother and Sister to be thankful that they have their home to keep them cozy and safe.

This book teaches kids about the importance of gratitude. 

9. One Hen

One Hen

Inspired by a true story, this book is sure to teach kids that even the small donations have the potential to make a large difference.

The picture book tells the story of a young boy, Kojo, who has to quit school. With a small loan from the village, he buys one hen, and within a year, he has a flock of 25 hens. His farm continues to grow and becomes the largest in Ghana and West Africa.

Thankful for the opportunity the small village loan gave him, he starts to make small loans to other families.

The book does a great job teaching kids about the power of giving.

10. The Giving Book

Giving Book

Interactive and inspiring, The Giving Book helps kids understand giving and learn how they can partake. This book allows them to record their ideas and dreams for the world, making them authors for their journey about compassion and giving.

By allowing them to be the main character, the book gives kids the opportunity to participate.

11. A Kid’s Guide to Giving

Guide to Giving

Written by a kid for kids, this book not only teaches children about giving but also shows them all of the different ways that they can give.

Listing over 100 charities that benefit everything ranging from people to animals, the guide helps kids decide what is important to them and allows them to pick the way that they want to give.

12. Evie & the Volunteers (Series)


Evie and her friends volunteer all over town in this series. From helping out at the local animal shelter to an after-school program, Evie and her friends learn about giving back to others.

In all of these books, the kids have the opportunity to embark on a new adventure with the main characters and learn about a new way to give, be kind, or be thankful!

These books remind us to be thankful for our blessings and expose us to the variety of ways we can help others.

We hope these books help you introduce and expand upon the concepts of giving, generosity, and gratitude.

Happy giving!

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