10 books like The Boy with Flowers in His Hair

By Jarvis,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Boy with Flowers in His Hair. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Day War Came

By Nicola Davies, Rebecca Cobb (illustrator),

Book cover of The Day War Came

Sadly, this powerful story feels more relevant than ever. Inspired by the Syrian refugee crisis, it confronts the reality of war head-on, putting the reader in the shoes of a little girl whose everyday routine is shattered. Because of the subject matter, this may be unsuitable for very young or sensitive kids – but it proves that picture books can be a potent way of speaking to older kids, too.

The unsophisticated language and naive illustrations provide children easy access to important discussions surrounding conflict and misplaced children. Poignant, thought-provoking, and ultimately uplifting, this story reminds us of the reality of war and that our children provide hope for a peaceful future.

The Day War Came

By Nicola Davies, Rebecca Cobb (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A powerful and necessary picture book - the journey of a child forced to become a refugee when war destroys everything she has ever known.

Imagine if, on an ordinary day, war came. Imagine it turned your town to rubble. Imagine going on a long and difficult journey - all alone. Imagine finding no welcome at the end of it. Then imagine a child who gives you something small but very, very precious...

When the government refused to allow 3000 child refugees to enter this country in 2016, Nicola Davies was so angry she wrote a poem. It started a…


How to Be a Lion

By Ed Vere,

Book cover of How to Be a Lion

Leonard, the lion, knows he’s expected to be fierce and loud. But he’s just not feeling it. Rather than live up to everyone else expectations, he befriends a duck and pursues his love of poetry.

Vere presents boys with a gentle role model and celebrates those who choose to stick up for themselves and their friends. In this way, Leonard’s as brave as any other lion.

This story will affirm those who feel like outsiders and encourages kids to be themselves – and follow their own interests. I love the warmth of this book – from the quirky writing style (which reminded me of Winnie-the-Pooh) to Vere’s palette of hot reds and oranges that depict the savannah so well.

How to Be a Lion

By Ed Vere,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Be a Lion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Oscar's Book Prize 2019

"This witty, resonant picture book is a manual for anyone's life, young or old." Sunday Times Children's Book of the Week

You don't have to ROAR to be heard...

Meet Leonard - a lion like no other.

Leonard's best friend is Marianne, a duck. But lions chomp ducks, don't they?

What will the pair do when their way of life is threatened?

From the New York Times-bestselling author of Max the Brave comes a powerful story celebrating daydreamers, individuality and the quiet courage to be yourself.

"Positive role models showing boys how to…


Baker Cat

By Posy Simmonds,

Book cover of Baker Cat

Baker Cat is like a feline Cinderella, tasked to do all the hard work at the bakery. His responsibilities are endless. And at the end of the day, he’s still expected to rid the bakery of mice. Simmonds’ characterisation is faultless, with a timeless feel that reminds me of Beatrix Potter’s work.

Baker Cat is a funny and dramatic story told through a mix of speech balloons, comic panels, and traditional narrative sections. I have precious memories of sharing it with my own boys when they were young – we loved those tiny mice and Baker Cat’s delicious-looking pastries! Definitely one to read over and again.

Baker Cat

By Posy Simmonds,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

All day long the baker's cat toils in the bakery and all night he is expected to catch the mice that run riot in the storeroom. If he doesn't catch any mice, the beastly baker tells him, he won't get any food. Too exhausted to chase after the cheeky rodents, the baker's cat becomes thin and sad and weepy, until the mice take pity on him and together they concoct a clever plan . . .

"Posy Simmonds delights as ever with a subversive story rich in humour and glorious in its bakery details." Guardian

"Anything by Posy Simmonds is…


What Happened to You?

By James Catchpole, Karen George (illustrator),

Book cover of What Happened to You?

This book is awesome because often when children see someone who is different from them, they ask a question that can be considered rude or hurtful without them meaning to be rude or hurtful. They are just being curious. This book shows how that sort of question can be hurtful and shows children another more important way to interact with someone who is different and that is with empathy.

What Happened to You?

By James Catchpole, Karen George (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked What Happened to You? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first ever picture book addressing how a disabled child might want to be spoken to.

What happened to you? Was it a shark? A burglar? A lion? Did it fall off?

Every time Joe goes out the questions are the same . . . what happened to his leg? But is this even a question Joe has to answer?

A ground-breaking, funny story that helps children understand what it might feel like to be seen as different.

'A revolutionary book on disability.' Inclusive Storytime

'Catchpole's beautifully judged, child-friendly words ably evoke the fatigue and wariness of repeatedly being asked…


I Like You

By Sandol Stoddard Warburg, Jacqueline Chwast (illustrator),

Book cover of I Like You

I love this charming book about the kindness that comes with friendship. Pen drawings accompany the text, which is at certain times silly, other times fun, and at the best of times poignant. Point in case:

“And I like you because

When I am feeling sad you don’t always cheer me up right away

Sometimes it is better to be sad."

I’m not sure every child would understand the significance of that sentence. But the words at some point in their lives will come back around. The book lists reasons why we like our friends, namely because they offer us kindness and empathy when we are down. And when we are up, they take pleasure in the moment right alongside us – a valuable lesson for kids.

I Like You

By Sandol Stoddard Warburg, Jacqueline Chwast (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This classic and funny hardcover picture book is the perfect way to say I like you.

A deeply affectionate celebration of all the reasons we like each other, here is the book that Romeo would have given Juliet, Charlie Brown would have given Snoopy, and you can give to some very special friend.

This book expresses the true meaning of friendship in a long list of ways with charming accompanying illustrations by Jacqueline Chwast. For example: I like you because you know where I'm ticklish, and you don't tickle me there except just a little tiny bit sometimes!

Whether for…


Be Kind

By Pat Zietlow Miller, Jen Hill (illustrator),

Book cover of Be Kind

One of the things I love about this book is that Miller addresses the very true idea that being kind is not always easy. Often, we tell kids to “be kind,” but we don’t tell them how. In this book, the main character tries to help her friend, Tanisha, who spills grape juice on herself. But her initial attempts aren’t successful. The main character wonders what it means to be kind and knows that she can do small kindnesses. She thinks about how small kindness can be contagious and “spill out of the school” and go all around the world. As I wonder about the power of kindness to heal, this book makes me think about how wonderful it is that we can all help in our own small way.

Be Kind

By Pat Zietlow Miller, Jen Hill (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Be Kind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Tanisha spills grape juice all over her new dress, her classmate contemplates how to make her feel better and what it means to be kind. From asking the new girl to play to standing up for someone being bullied, this moving and thoughtful story explores what a child can do to be kind, and how each act, big or small, can make a difference - or at least help a friend. With awardwinning author Pat Zietlow Miller's gentle text and Jen Hill's irresistible art, Be Kind is an unforgettable story about how two simple words can change the world.


Each Kindness

By Jacqueline Woodson, E.B. Lewis (illustrator),

Book cover of Each Kindness

“Mommy, do I have to sit by her?”

My kid can be a real jerk. He picks a genre of child and decides they’re terrible. He’s been horrified by the existence of girls, boys, toddlers, big kids, and human babies. It’s straight-up bigotry, and it’s not okay with me. I’ve preached and preached on sharing space and being nice. Each Kindness doesn’t preach. We stand in the main character’s shoes as she decides who deserves kindness and who doesn’t. We feel the consequences.

Each Kindness

By Jacqueline Woodson, E.B. Lewis (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Each Kindness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF A CORETTA SCOTT KING HONOR AND THE JANE ADDAMS PEACE AWARD!

Each kindness makes the world a little better

This unforgettable book is written and illustrated by the award-winning team that created The Other Side and the Caldecott Honor winner Coming On Home Soon. With its powerful anti-bullying message and striking art, it will resonate with readers long after they've put it down.

Chloe and her friends won't play with the new girl, Maya. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her friends, they reject her. Eventually Maya stops coming to school. When Chloe's teacher gives a…


The Day the World Came to Town

By Jim DeFede,

Book cover of The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland

This book covers the fascinating true story of a small town in Newfoundland that inherited thousands of temporary new residents when 9/11 grounded all flights headed for America. I love stories about people who rise to the occasion during a challenge, and the way the people of Gander stepped up to help the passengers—both human and animal—that arrived on their doorsteps unexpectedly really moved me. As I read about all the little ways the people of Gander showed they cared, I couldn’t help but wonder what I would do and how welcoming I would be in such a situation. Would I open my heart and home the way the folks of Gander did?

The Day the World Came to Town

By Jim DeFede,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Day the World Came to Town as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The True Story Behind the Events on 9/11 that Inspired Broadway's Smash Hit Musical Come from Away, Featuring All New Material from the Author

When 38 jetliners bound for the United States were forced to land at Gander International Airport in Canada by the closing of U.S. airspace on September 11, the population of this small town on Newfoundland Island swelled from 10,300 to nearly 17,000. The citizens of Gander met the stranded passengers with an overwhelming display of friendship and goodwill.

As the passengers stepped from the airplanes, exhausted, hungry and distraught after being held on board for nearly…


I Walk with Vanessa

By Kerascoët,

Book cover of I Walk with Vanessa: A Story About a Simple Act of Kindness

Kindness multiplies. These words (from the endnotes) come to life in the stirring story portrayed in I Walk With Vanessa: A Story About a Simple Act of Kindness. The new girl in school is bullied, but another girl’s decision to walk her to school creates a community outpouring of empathy—and joy. The story itself has no words, but the illustrations offer many opportunities for discovery and discussion. One of my all-time favorites!

I Walk with Vanessa

By Kerascoët,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked I Walk with Vanessa as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This simple yet powerful picture book--from a New York Times bestselling husband-and-wife team--tells the story of one girl who inspires a community to stand up to bullying. The perfect back-to-school read for every kid, family and classroom!

Don't miss the companion book, I Forgive Alex, about the importance of compassion and forgiveness.

Inspired by real events, I Walk with Vanessa explores the feelings of helplessness and anger that arise in the wake of seeing a classmate treated badly, and shows how a single act of kindness can lead to an entire community joining in to help. By choosing only pictures…


Be the Difference

By Jayneen Sanders, Cherie Zamazing (illustrator),

Book cover of Be the Difference: 40+ ideas for kids to create positive change using empathy, kindness, equality and environmental awareness

We’re all looking for ways to teach our children to care for each other as well as our planet. This is a wonderful way to engage kids and get them thinking about the greater good. Filled with fun ideas, children are empowered to make a difference. I love the discussion questions to prompt thinking and the place for children to write down their own ideas. 

Be the Difference

By Jayneen Sanders, Cherie Zamazing (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Be the Difference as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This engaging book provides over 40 powerful ideas on how kids and the people who love them can make a difference. Using kid-friendly text and beautiful illustrations, the focus is on three key areas: empathy and kindness, racial and gender equality, and caring for the environment. We know from research that ‘doing good is good for you’. The participant benefits both mentally and physically. Encouraging a mindset of giving and being part of positive change when a child is young, benefits both the child and their future. The aim of this book is to introduce kids to the many positive…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in kindness, friendships, and empathy?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about kindness, friendships, and empathy.

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Empathy Explore 99 books about empathy