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Books on Giving and Generosity for Children, Youth, and All Ages

  • Brumbeau, Jeff and de Marken, Gail, The Quiltmaker’s Gift, 2000, Orchard Books (Scholastic, Inc).
    This beautifully illustrated picture book tells the story of a generous quiltmaker who finally agrees to make a quilt for a greedy king, but only under certain conditions. In the end, she causes the king to undergo a change of heart.
  • Cooney, Barbara, Miss Rumphius, Puffin Books.
    The story of Miss Alice Rumphius—known as the “Lupine Lady”—who grew up hearing the stories of her beloved grandfather and decided upon three things she wanted to do: to see faraway places, to return and live by the sea, and to make the world more beautiful.
  • DiSalvo-Ryan, DyAnne, City Green, 1994, Scholastic Books.
    Set in an urban setting with multicultural illustrations, this is a story of a girl who sets about transforming a vacant lot into a community garden, inspiring her neighbors to take part in its creation and upkeep.
  • DiSalvo-Ryan, DyAnne, Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen, 1991, William Morrow & Co. Inc.
    A boy spends the day with his uncle in the soup kitchen, preparing and serving food for the hungry in his local area.
  • Flikkema, Elizabeth, Make the World a Better Place: My Sharing Time, Talent and Treasure Activity Book, 2005, Learning to Give Press, Muskegon, MI.
    The central character to this activity book is an ant, Ant Philomena, nicknamed Ant Phil. Ant Phil teaches young people about philanthropy through engaging activities and understandable language and stories.
  • Forsyth-Vail, Gail, Stories in Faith, 2007, UUA, Boston.
    Wisdom tales drawn from many cultures and traditions are presented in a framework of the seven principles of Unitarian Universalism and its six sources of faith. It is designed as a resource for parents, religious educators, ministers and seekers, and offers ways to use the stories in multigenerational settings.
  • Hughes, Shirley, Giving, 1993, Candlewick Press, Cambridge, MA.
    This story book is for young children, featuring behaviors of giving and sharing among family, friends, and in community.
  • Hutchins, Pat, The Doorbell Rang, 1986, Mulberry Books, New York.
    Ma has made a dozen delicious cookies. It should be plenty for her two children. But then the doorbell rings—and rings and rings and rings. Great message about generosity and sharing for young children.
  • McPhail, David, Mole Music, Henry Holt and Co.
    A little mole living underground decides to learn to play violin. As he does so the mole’s music is heard above ground and without his knowing, influences and transforms those above who hear it.
  • Moore, Mary Ann, Hide-and-Seek with God, 1994, Skinner House Books, Boston, MA.
    God comes alive in a variety of multicultural, non-sexist forms—as transcendent mystery, the mother and father of life, peace and silence, light and darkness, and more. This book offers stories for young and old that speak to God as a source of abundance and life’s blessings.
  • Muth, Jon, Stone Soup, 2003, Scholastic Books, New York.
    A story for all ages with lovely Asian watercolor illustrations, the author retells this familiar old trickster tale, combining his love for Zen Buddhism and Eastern culture in celebrating the power of generosity.
  • Pfister, Marcus, The Rainbow Fish, 1992, North-South Books, NY.
    The story of a beautiful fish that learns to make friends by sharing his most prized possessions—his shimmering scales.
  • Pinkwater, Daniel Manus, The Doodle Flute, 1991, MacMillan Publishing.
    A story of two boys—one with the only doodle flute around and one who wants to have one—come to an agreement on how to best share this special item.
  • Polacco, Patricia, Chicken Sunday, 1992, Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, New York.
    Based on the author’s childhood experience, this moving story promotes an appreciation of diversity and generosity
  • Rogers, Fred, The Giving Box, 2000, Running Press Book Publishers.
    Beginning with a message to parents, this book contains folktales and fables that illustrate giving and generosity. In addition, there are activities for families, including the practice of the “Giving Box.”
  • Ryan, DyAnne DiSalvo, City Green, HarperCollins.
    A young girl sees a vacant lot in her community and sets about the process of transforming the lot into a community park for all to enjoy.    
  • Sabin, Ellen, The Giving Book: Open the Door to a Lifetime of Giving, 2004, Watering Can Press.
    Written as a workbook for children in the primary grades, provides a fun way to learn about generosity, to identify the causes they care about, and to discover ways to give and to keep a record of their giving. NOTE: This book may not be perceived as inclusive to all socio-economic groups and may require balancing messages about “helping others” to be inclusive of educational or family background, income levels diversity.
  • Sage, James, The Little Band, Scholastic.
    A little band that parades through town, making positive changes along the way.
  • Shea, Pegi Deitz, The Carpet Boy’s Gift, 2003, Tilbury House, Gardiner, ME.
    Yearning for freedom and schooling for himself and the other children who toil in a carpet factory in Pakistan to repay loans from the factory owner to their parents, Nadeem is inspired by a former carpet boy named Iqbal to lead the way.
  • Schwartz, David M., If You Made A Million, 1989, Mulberry Books.
    This book describes the various forms money can take—coins, paper, personal checks—and how it can be used to make purchases, pay off loans, or build interest in the bank.
  • Stafford, Anika, Aisha’s Moonlit Walk, 2005, Skinner House Books, Boston, MA.
    This book features eight stories and seasonal celebrations of the pagan year. This book lends itself to stewardship of the earth and giving/receiving/gratitude.
  • Steptoe, John,  Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters. Amistad.
    A story set in Africa about Mufaro and his two beautiful daughters—one selfish and mean and the other kind and generous.
  • Williams, Betsy Hill, Editor, UU & Me! Collected Stories, 2003, UUA, Skinner House Books, Boston, MA.
    This book is a collection of 26 stories featured in the uu&me! magazine series published by the Church of the Larger Fellowship of the Unitarian Universalist Association. The stories provide a rich source of stories that promote generosity, service, and caring for our earth and its creatures. NOTE: The Dec 1998 issue of uu&me! features the theme of Giving and Getting.
  • Williamson, Nancy S., 52 Ways to Teach Stewardship, 1999, Rainbow Books, San Diego, CA.
    This activity book is designed for ages 4-12 and teaches the concepts of Biblical Stewardship through a series of 52 activities. The authors grant permission to copy the activity pages for classroom use.
  • Zeiler, Frederika, A Kid’s Guide to Giving, 2006, published by innovativeKids.
    Written and published by the time she was twenty years old, Zeiler researched and listed a variety of worthy organizations under the categories of people, animals, and the environment. This book includes inspirational stories about young people and their expressions of generosity.

Download Stewardship and Generosity Resources for Congregations (Word, 6 pages).

Stories in Faith Exploring Our UU Principles and Sources Through Wisdom Tales

By Gail Forsyth-Vail

From inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop

This book belongs to the Tapestry of Faith Toolkit Series provided by the UUA Faith Development Office. Toolkit Books provide background knowledge, inspiration, and practical guidance to program and lead UU faith development and to help us explore and live our faith in our congregations,...

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