Books to Love: A Focus on Cultivating Kindness

Jacie MaslykBlog, Self Care Better

In This Post:

  • An educator’s review of a book about kindness and a suggestion to focus on the kindness that exists in your day-to-day.
  • Three children’s book suggestions to cultivate kindness among your students, whatever your role in education.

As an avid reader, I enjoy reading all types of books.  I grab professional development books when I am interested in learning something new.  When I am striving to improve personally, I pick up self-care books.  I always seek out great children’s books when I am looking to snuggle up with my sons and enjoy reading time together.  With February’s focus on love and all that is positive, I am sharing some books that I love with a focus on cultivating kindness.

Books For Educators

Tamara Letter believes that when we lead with love, we can empower others to do the same. In her book, A Passion for Kindness, she shares her personal journey while also highlighting the personal experiences of others.  Tamara coins a term kindness cultivators, referring to those who are intentional about making a difference through kindness and gratitude.  We live in a fast-paced world, making it all too easy to overlook opportunities to be kind and connect with others. Tamara encourages readers to choose to see the potential for goodness in every day.  Not only does she offer this wisdom through her book, but she models it in her daily interactions and the relationships that she has built with educators across the globe.

In addition to a great read, I would recommend that you check out kindness journals.  Reflecting and writing about the kindness around you brings about an awareness of this all-important topic.  A simple writing journal can be the perfect place to jot down a random act of kindness or other thoughtful daily reflection.  Check out this list of 53 Writing Ideas About Random Acts of Kindness.

Reflecting and writing about the kindness around you brings about an awareness of this all-important topic. Click To Tweet

For other ideas on spreading kindness in your school, read Chad Ostrowski’s Teach Better post here.

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Books For Students

One Drop of Kindness tells the story of Gus and his transformation from negative to positive.  Author Jeff Kubiak, shares the journey of this endearing character from despair and anger to friendship and positivity.  Gus’s story will resonate with students as he goes through many emotions and situations that are familiar to young readers.  The overall positive message of the book makes it perfect for sharing with students, especially those in the elementary grades.  Jeff is also an educator that exudes his mission in all that he does.  An advocate for kindness and positivity, he travels across the country sharing the story of Gus and the message that it “only takes one drop of kindness to fill a heart with love.

Another great story with an underlying message of kindness is The Lonely Alien by James Perez.  This colorful story shows how everyone is different.  As the lonely alien searches to find a place where he belongs, he learns lessons of compassion, kindness, and acceptance.  When surely we have all felt like aliens at one time or another, and this story offers a happy ending focused on the kindness offered to one alien.

In A Sick Day For Amos McGee, we meet a friendly zookeeper who takes special care of all his animal friends.  When Amos gets sick one day, it is his animal friends who rally to take care of him.  The characters demonstrate the value of friendship and being kind to others.  The story also highlights the importance of giving back to those who have supported and taken care of you.  Authors Phillip and Erin Stead offer a heart-warming story and unique illustrations as we take a peek at the relationship between a man and the animals he cares for.

Cultivate Kindness

During this month of February, think about the ways you might cultivate kindness.

Start a kindness journal.

Practice random acts of kindness in your school or community.

Share one of these great books mentioned above . . . or share a book that you love in the comments section below!


An educator for the last 22 years, Dr. Jacie Maslyk, has served as a classroom teacher, reading specialist, elementary principal, and assistant superintendent. She is the author of STEAM Makers: Fostering Creativity and Innovation in the Elementary Classroom, Connect to Lead: Power Up Your Learning Network to Move Your School Forward (ISTE), Remake Literacy: Innovative Instructional Strategies for Maker Learning and Unlock Creativity: Opening a World of Imagination With Your Students. Jacie is a featured blogger with Demco, Defined STEM, and Education Closet, as well as maintaining her own blog, Creativity in the Making at . Jacie has been named a featured speaker for FETC 2020 and will also keynote the Virginia Children’s Engineering Council annual conference in February 2020. Connect with Jacie on Twitter @DrJacieMaslyk or email her at