Developing Social Skills: Best Books for Kids

Developing Social Skills: Best Books for Kids

28 May 2022 • Words by Samantha Redgrave-Hogg 3 mins

How do you like to choose books at home? Perhaps you take a trip to the library, buy them or borrow from other families. Books are really important to me and mine. I could have reeled off a quick few books from an internet search but this simply isn’t me. When I write it is from a sincere and candid place so all the books I have either read with my children or have received personal recommendations from fellow trustworthy writers. But most importantly find the books that work best for you and your family. I know there are so many to choose from but hopefully, this gives you a little head start in working out some top book suggestions for developing social skills in kids.

Best Books for Developing Social Skills in Kids

For Teamwork

The Tall Man and the Small Mouse (written by Mara Bergman and illustrated by Birgitta Sif). The endearingly rare friendship that develops between the tall man and the small mouse reminds us that we need to look beyond differences and work together as a team. You might ask your child what their unique set of strengths are and how, when mingled with others, things are even better.

For Kindness

Kindness is my Superpower (by Alicia Ortego) rhymes its way through the importance of having empathy and being compassionate to others. We all want to teach our kids to be kind but this goes further by reminding us that it’s ok to make mistakes. Lucas carries out acts of kindness, like tying his sister’s shoelaces, which are easy and fun. A great role model for kids!

For Jealousy

Brin is overwhelmed with jealousy On Sudden Hill (by Linda Sarah and Benji Davies) when a new boy Shu changes the dynamic of his friendship with Etho. This is a great way to be curious with your child about how they feel when someone new wants to join their play. You could also wonder about what it took for Brin to adapt to the new relationship and what he had to do to overcome any anxiety or internal struggles.

The Moshi app also has a short audio-moment, Understanding Jealousy with Buster & Fifi, that’s perfect to help kids better understand what jealousy feels and also how to overcome it.

For Sharing

Sharing a Shell (written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Lydia Monks) uses the familiar and captivating rhyming style lots of us are now used to and mesmerized by to tell the story of a crab, an anemone, and a bristle worm. Unpinning the tale are moral lessons of sharing and conflict resolution. You might ask your child how it feels to share and what stops them sometimes from wanting to do that. It’s ok if they don’t always want to. Some things are too precious to them but it’s great to open up a dialogue and get to know how they might be feeling.

The Moshi app has a short audio-moment, Kindness, Caring and Sharing with Dewy, that helps young kids learn to be kind and share with others.

For Inclusivity

The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Raúf is a favorite in our house. It is an emotional read and more appropriate for older children (nine onwards). When trying to sum up the social-emotional themes, I quickly realized there were too many to pinpoint. Amongst them are courage, how to have hope when fear looms, determination, friendship, bullying, how to celebrate diversity, and the value of open-heartedness. I would highly recommend this book.

Cali’s Rockpool of Inclusivity, also from the Moshi app, is the perfect pairing for XXX as it teaches listeners to celebrate differences and welcome new friends.

Enjoy the process of reading and embrace all the little shared moments when snuggled up together with a good book. It’s a wonderful way to be mindful, talk through unfamiliar feelings, and bond together as a family. This will initiate a special, lifelong journey with reading for your children. What a truly magical gift you are passing on.

Samantha Redgrave-Hogg