Empathy is a challenging concept for adults, not to mention small children whose brains haven’t sufficiently developed to allow them to perceive anything but themselves as the center of the universe. However, this book is specifically designed to give young children a means to connect to the concept of empathy and ultimately be inspired to practice this behavior in their everyday lives. This is a nonfiction title, and it incorporates a wealth of useful tips and information within a visually appealing presentation. Please see my full review below!
Walking in someone else’s shoes is an important lesson in empathy for children and adults alike. A young girl named Maddie is learning all about others’ feelings from her teacher Lily in school one day. Through hypothetical examples, Maddie learns that empathy is a way to connect with others—in both positive and negative situations—and a way to build emotional bridges. This is a lifelong skill that, when cultivated at an early age, prepares young children for life as successful companions and leaders. Written by an early childhood educator, this book artfully explains the concept of empathy to young children while reading with a grownup. Short, concise phrases define empathy directly and then go into more detail through examples that help connect young readers to this intangible idea. Digitally rendered illustrations depict Maddie and her friends in cheerful and expressive ways, using bright colors and shapes to hold readers’ attention. Each page is dynamically presented: words appear in varying fonts, sizes, and colors, and strikingly different layouts are utilized to enhance the focus of a given spread. Though the narrative piece could use some improvement, the overall message and delivery of this book are beneficial to young children in both home and classroom settings. A combination of facts and accessible examples encourage even very young children to begin to recognize the world outside themselves in preparation for a brighter future. This is an excellent selection to enhance socio-emotional learning for young children.
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