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Empathy reading list

Angelica's Wish (by Annette Menniti Campbell)
A modern day fairy tale about the many hardships experienced by stray cats and one mother cat's wish. Fantasy picture book. Interest level: Gr. 2-6

Buddy Unchained (by Daisy Bix, illustrated by Joel Hyatt)
Gryphon Press, 2006. 24 pages. Buddy the dog, once lived outside on the end of a chain. Buddy tells how he was rescued and placed with a loving family in this book dedicated to each person who helps to protect animals. Fiction picture book. Interest level: Gr. K-3. Awards: KIND Children's Book Award, ASPCA Henry Bergh Children's Book Award.

Here, There and Everywhere: The Story of Sreeeeeeeet the Lorikeet (written by Mira Tweti, illustrated by Lisa Brady, with a foreward by Jane Goodall)
Parrot Press, 2008. 47 pages. A young Lorikeet is snatched away from his family and brought to America where he is sold in a pet shop. The Lorikeet's guardians, a boy and his parents, soon realize the bird does not belong in captivity so they return him to his native New Guinea where he is reunited with his family. This captivating story, based on actual events, will help bring much needed awareness to the plight of caged/imprisoned birds. Fiction picture book. Interest level: Grades 2 and up.

Max Talks to Me (by Claire Buchwald, illustrated by Karen Ritz)
Gryphon Press, 2007. 24 pages. A story about the loving relationship between a boy and his dog where needs are communicated and met. An excellent title for teaching empathy. A Humane Society Youth KIND Children's Honor Book. Fiction picture book. Interest level: Gr. K-3.

Puddles On The Floor (by Lorena Estep, illustrated by Tammy Grimes)
Published by Crescent Renewal Resource, 2008. A poignant story based on actual events, about a sweet beagle pup who leads a tough, lonely life, chained to a doghouse, until he is rescued and placed with a loving family. Fiction picture book. Interest level: Gr 2-6. (paperback)

Deliverence of Dancing Bears (by Elizabeth Stanley)
Gr 2-5 Picture Book. A dancing bear kept in captivity dreams of freedom until an old man rescues her. Colourful, detailed illustrations complement this thought-provoking story for mature readers. The theme of wild animals in captivity is treated with great sensitivity.

Doggie Dreams (by Nancy Kapp)
In fun, rhyming couplets and striking artwork, the Chapmans present hilarious pictures of what dogs might dream of being and doing. Chewing on bones? Sleeping all day? No, these dogs dream of dancing on stage, running for president, flying to the moon, going to school, and yes, eating steak in a diner while the people wait outside on the street. Most dogs have been denied
these "people only" experiences...until now!

A Dog Called Kitty (by Bill Wallace)
The puppy was small and fuzzy, with a friendly, wagging tail – and Ricky was afraid of him! No wonder, since he was attacked by a dog when he was just a baby. So when a stray puppy comes sniffling around the farm, Ricky tells it to get lost. But the puppy keeps trying to play with Ricky. And every time Ricky’s mom feeds the cats, the little dog comes running. The cats aren’t sharing their food, however, and the poor pup is slowly starving. If Ricky doesn’t overcome his fear, the little puppy may die – but if he lets himself get close enough to feed it, he may find the best friend he’s ever had!

Chomps, Flea and Gray Cat (by Bill Wallace)
Jealous? Me? Well...maybe a little. My people got a new white puppy named Chomps. That's because he bites at everything, especially flies. What could a gray cat -- me -- want with a Scottish terrier, anyway? The little nipper got into some trouble with the big rats in the barn. It was partly my fault. So...I had to save him. Problem is, now I can't get rid of him. What am I supposed to do with a dog who's determined to get himself into trouble?

The Big Little Book of Happy Sadness (by Colin Thompson)
One Friday on his way home from school, George visits the animal shelter. There, in the very last cage, is Jeremy, a sad dog who looks as lost and lonely as George feels. When Jeremy comes home to live with George and his granny, their whole lives change, and they learn that when it comes to love, it's quality not quantity that counts . . .

RSPCA education children and animal cruelty

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Cruelty to animals - the 'link' to human violence
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Encouraging kindness in children
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