I love children’s books that take you into a child’s world and invite you to imagine what his or her life is like. Such books are a powerful tool for developing empathy. Lerner’s First Step Nonfiction—Communities series does just that, taking readers into the country, the city, and the suburbs to see how a typical day unfolds for a child in each of these settings.
Interesting photos show people engaged in day-to-day activities, from a father and his children eating breakfast in a city apartment to friends picking apples in a country orchard. The photos encourage young readers to relate to the people and scenes depicted on the page.
Special features also encourage empathic development. For example, Living in Urban Communities (cover pictured) offers a list of easy, doable ways for kids to help in their communities. My favorite tip? “Be respectful and friendly to your neighbors.” What a great world this would be if we all took that basic advice, no?
Check out First Step Nonfiction—Communities this fall to help build empathy in young readers while teaching all about different types of communities.