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How can we instill the value of giving from an early age?

Reading books, beyond being an intimate and enjoyable family activity, contributes significantly to the child’s social development and the creation of a value system that reflects the ideology and cultural norms in the family (Prof. Zohar Shavit, Childhood: An Introduction to Poetics of Children’s Literature, 1996).

The Center for Family Philanthropy invites you to use story time to open a family conversation on giving. We have compiled for you recommended children’s books (for ages 2-5) to spark a value-based conversation on giving.

Early childhood reading

The Best Gift of All

By Jonathan Emmett. It’s cold and blustery outside, and the best place for Mole to be is underground in his burrow. But it’s been a long time since he’s seen his friend Rabbit, so he tunnels through the ground to see her, meeting his friends Squirrel and Hedgehog along the way. When they find Rabbit under the weather with a terrible cold, Squirrel and Hedgehog give their friend gifts. Mole worries that he has nothing to offer, until Rabbit points out that he has brought her the very best gift of all — his friendship.

The book invites us to talk about the thought on the other- that stands in the core of the act of giving.

Too Many Carrots

By Katy Hudson tells the story of Rabbit, who loves carrots a little too much. In fact, his carrots are crowding him out of his cozy burrow. When his friends offer to help, they’re just asking for trouble, a lot of trouble! This charming and lovingly illustrated children’s book shows how friendships and sharing get us over the rough spots in life, and that happiness is only real when shared.


The Squirrels Who Squabbled

By Rachel Bright. Reedy squirrels Cyril and Bruce both have their sights on a very special prize: THE VERY LAST NUT OF THE SEASON! As the nut bounces crazily though the forest, the squirrels race after it, between the trees, over boulders, down the river and – ARGH! – Right to the edge of a waterfall! Working together might be the only way to save themselves now. A laugh-out-loud tale about friendship and sharing

The Way Home for Wolf

By Rachel Bright. Wolf cub Wilf doesn’t want help from anyone. Whatever it is, he can do it all by himself. But when Wilf finds himself lost and alone in the chill of the Arctic night, he discovers something important: sometimes we all need the helping hand of a friend and the power of giving and receiving.

Want to hear more about our forums? Know other great book that fit perfectly to our library?

Contact Maya Golan, Director of Family Philanthropy –