The best children’s books that teach kindness and inclusion

Michelle Kaiser Author Of Special Ed and the Bull-ies
By Michelle Kaiser

Who am I?

I joined the anti-bullying crusade late in life. After writing my first book, entities were contacting me and asking if I would share their anti-bullying messages on my website. I learned so much about the increasing problem of bullying and how its tentacles reach out to other social issues such as teen suicide, school shootings, and drug use. I thought that Special Ed and the Bull-ies would be my only book but decided that it was important to make it into a series. With each book I can focus on a different aspect of this growing problem and hopefully make a difference in this world.


I wrote...

Special Ed and the Bull-ies

By Michelle Kaiser,

Book cover of Special Ed and the Bull-ies

What is my book about?

“We are each special in our own way,” Momma tells Special Ed and that is the theme of my anti-bullying books. The story is based on a real-life special-needs calf on our Texas ranch. The real Special Ed was different from other calves in demeanor and appearance and most of what is in this first book is true. If Special Ed had been human, he most certainly would have been teased for being different. In this initial book of The Adventures of Special Ed, children learn the power of joining forces to combat the Bull-ies and to celebrate our differences.

The books I picked & why

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The Invisible Boy

By Trudy Ludwig, Patrice Barton (illustrator),

Book cover of The Invisible Boy

Why this book?

There are too many children out there who feel lonely and isolated – just like the character in my book. These kids want to be included but are just too shy to step forward, so they often get left out. I chose this book because of the sweet story that demonstrates how one person can change another person’s life with an act of kindness. I also periodically check Amazon’s top 100 Children’s Books on Bullying to see what I want to read (which is where I found this book) and it is currently #1.

The Invisible Boy

By Trudy Ludwig, Patrice Barton (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Invisible Boy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A gentle story that teaches how small acts of kindness can help children feel included and allow them to flourish, from esteemed author and speaker Trudy Ludwig and acclaimed illustrator Patrice Barton.

A simple act of kindness can transform an invisible boy into a friend...

Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody in class ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party . . . until, that is, a new kid comes to class.

When Justin, the new boy, arrives, Brian is the first to make him feel welcome. And when Brian…


Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon

By Patty Lovell, David Catrow (illustrator),

Book cover of Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon

Why this book?

As soon as I saw the cover, I fell in love with this book. The illustrations are fabulous, and the storyline is in sync with my anti-bullying books. Poor Molly Lou is – shall we say… unattractive? – and picked on at school. But Molly Lou is a confident young girl with good self-esteem instilled from her grandmother, so the bully doesn’t stand a chance! A wonderful story about a clever girl fighting back without physically fighting.

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon

By Patty Lovell, David Catrow (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Be yourself like Molly Lou Melon no matter what a bully may do.

Molly Lou Melon is short and clumsy, has buck teeth, and has a voice that sounds like a bullfrog being squeezed by a boa constrictor. She doesn't mind. Her grandmother has always told her to walk proud, smile big, and sing loud, and she takes that advice to heart.

But then Molly Lou has to start in a new school. A horrible bully picks on her on the very first day, but Molly Lou Melon knows just what to do about that. 


Last Stop on Market Street

By Matt de la Peña, Christian Robinson (illustrator),

Book cover of Last Stop on Market Street

Why this book?

This is another one of those stories where a familial bond strengthens the character of a young child and I like to read about those relationships. Although it is not about bullying, children are often teased because they don’t wear the latest fashions or have the newest gadget, and this book highlights finding beauty in all things. CJ learns that, even though his family is not rich, there are others worse off than he. It teaches empathy – plus showing kindness, helping others, celebrating the mundane, being joyful, and other core values.

Last Stop on Market Street

By Matt de la Peña, Christian Robinson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Last Stop on Market Street as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don't own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn't he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty and fun in their routine and in the world around them. This energetic ride through a bustling city highlights the love and understanding between grandparent and grandchild as the world comes…


The Snowy Day

By Ezra Jack Keats,

Book cover of The Snowy Day

Why this book?

I have always been a fan of Ezra Jack Keats and have purchased every one of his titles for my local library. This is his most famous story (and a Caldecott Medal winner) that teaches a lesson all children should learn at a small age – we all experience the same feelings of disappointment, exclusion, loneliness, joy, anticipation, connectivity – no matter what we look like or what color our skin is. A beautiful story of acceptance with simple, yet impactful, illustrations. 

The Snowy Day

By Ezra Jack Keats,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Snowy Day as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The magic and wonder of winter's first snowfall is perfectly captured in Ezra Jack Keat's Caldecott Medal-winning picture book. This celebrated classic has been shared by generations of readers and listeners, a must-have for every child's bookshelf and a perfect gift for the holiday season.

New York Public Library's #1 book on the list of "Top Check Outs of All Time"

In 1962, a little boy named Peter put on his snowsuit and stepped out of his house and into the hearts of millions of readers. Universal in its appeal, this story beautifully depicts a child's wonder at a new…


Little You

By Richard Van Camp, Julie Flett (illustrator),

Book cover of Little You

Why this book?

I have always enjoyed poetry and this book introduces simple couplets to children while telling a sweet story of loving Asian parents who welcome a new child. Geared to very young children, the artwork can tell the story without someone reading it to them, but the lyrical words just add to the beauty of the message. 

Little You

By Richard Van Camp, Julie Flett (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Little You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


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