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3 Read-Aloud Stories for Preschoolers that Build Empathy

One of the main themes for our book picks this month has been friendship and family. We all want our kids to be compassionate and caring about others, so talking to them about topics like empathy, compassion, kindness, and inclusivity is so important.

Empathy is the foundation for developing kindness, as it requires you to think about how others are feeling and see their perspective.

Rather than lecture about empathy, how about reading books where empathy is demonstrated? This week we are spotlighting 3 amazing books that inspire this skill.

Book Spotlights:

The Rabbit listened by Cori Doerrfeld

When something sad happens, Taylor doesn't know where to turn. All the animals are sure they have the answer. The chicken wants to talk it out, but Taylor doesn't feel like chatting. The bear thinks Taylor should get angry, but that's not quite right either. One by one, the animals try to tell Taylor how to act, and one by one they fail to offer comfort. Then the rabbit arrives. All the rabbit does is listen . . . which is just what Taylor needs.

Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry

Stick and Stone are sticking together in this hilarious and heart-warming board book that proves why best friends ROCK!

When Stick rescues Stone from a prickly situation with a Pinecone, the pair become fast friends. But when Stick gets stuck, can Stone return the favor? The author Beth Ferry writes warm, rhyming text that includes a subtle anti-bullying message even the youngest reader will understand.

Luli and the Language of Tea by Andrea Wang

Though they may speak different languages, kids from all over the world come together to enjoy the shared pastime of tea in this delicious book for young readers.

When five-year-old Luli joins her new English as a Second Language class, the playroom is quiet. Luli can’t speak English, neither can anyone else. That’s when she has a brilliant idea to host a tea party and bring them all together.

Extension Ideas:

Do regular check-ins during story time!

  • Ask questions about that book that connect with different emotions.

  • How do you think the character felt?

  • What emotion is the character feeling?

  • How would you feel if that was you?

  • What would you say if that happened?

  • What would you do?

Drawing pictures to illustrate those feelings will give you even more opportunities to discuss them!


Once again this year, we are running our Adopt a Reader program. Families from HIPPY Halton have the opportunity to invite a family to take part in the challenge. Both TD Bank and First Book Canada generously donated new books to each family.

From February 20th to March 20th, keep track of your progress, and read for 10 to 15 minutes each day.

At the end of the program, you will receive a certificate of completion and an additional free book! Last year, we gave away over 700 books - Let’s get ready to read Halton!


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