Book Title: You, Me and Empathy

Author: Jayneen Sanders

Illustrator: Sofia Cardoso

For Ages: 3-9

Themes: empathy, compassion, kindness, diversity, tolerance, respect, character

Related learning areas: Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), feelings awareness, writing

A word from the author: Click here to view pages, resources and hear from the author

About the book

In this gem, young readers are invited to explore their feelings and discover their ability to understand not only their own emotions but also the feelings of others. Written in first-person narrative with every-day examples of situations that might cause uncomfortable feelings like worry, anger, sadness, or fright, this text with reflection questions sprinkled throughout is sure to spark and ignite some dynamic conversations about empathy, compassion and kindness.   

Why I love it

The eye-catching illustrations give this darling newcomer just the boost it needs as it digs deeply into empathy, the gift of stepping into one another’s shoes and attempting to feel what someone else is experiencing.

How I use it in my classroom

This is a text that would not only be a fun read-aloud followed by a riveting enrichment discussion but also one that we could make available in a calm-down corner or at an empathy center in the room. Student reflections could be developed in writing, with drawings, or even aloud using an app like Seesaw or Flipgrid and shared with a wider audience to help others view empathy through a child’s lens.

How parents can use it at home

Parents can use it as a springboard for empathy conversations that could serve to mobilize compassion in their children’s hearts. Children have an incredible capacity for loving kindness, so why not take your child’s lead and see where this treasure takes you. Point out feelings when you see them and ask your children questions like, “What is that person feeling?” and “What might that experience feel like?” and “If that were you, what would you want or need?”

Parents could also take their children to a resale shop and go through the gently-used clothing and shoes with inquiries like, “Who do you think this dress belonged to?” and “What do you think made them happy?” You could do the same exercise using a jar of buttons: “Whom do you think this button belonged to?” “What do you think made them sad?” “How do you think they felt when _______?” Reading fiction also elevates empathy, so follow this story up with a fictional tale.

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AUTHOR: Barbara Gruener, Corner on Character
Barbara is a school counselor and character coach in Friendswood, Texas. In her 34 years of public education, she has been blessed to work with students of all ages and stages of development, pre-K to 12th grade. Barbara is also an author and a professional development specialist who enjoys influencing and inspiring through her high-energy, engaging workshops and keynotes. When she not working, you can find her reading, writing, knitting, baking, taking long walks or relaxing poolside with her husband and three children. 

Barbara’s Book

What's under your capeWhat’s Under Your Cape? Superheroes of the Character Kind, is a wonderful character education resource book for elementary educators. It is filled with ideas, activities and suggested children’s literature which teachers can use as they help to instill good character into the hearts of their boys and girls. Just think what our future world would be if all of today’s children would grow up to become positive character superheroes—what a beautiful world that would be! ~ Pam Morgan, Retired Elementary Principal
You can purchase Barbara’s book HERE.

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