Today is Empathy Day – founded by EmpathyLab in 2017, Empathy Day focuses on using books as tool to build more understanding between us all, encouraging everyone to read, share books, and put empathy into action. To support the project, EmpathyLab have created a series of resources, guides, and reading lists for schools, libraries and bookshops – which includes two Nosy Crow titles, Running on Empty by S. E. Durrant and Ella on the Outside by Cath Howe. You can find out more on the EmpathyLab website, here.
And to celebrate Empathy Day, we’ve asked our staff to come up with a list of some brilliant Nosy Crow books that encourage empathy!
Here are some of the Crow’s recommendations for Empathy Day reading:
Running on Empty, by S. E. Durrant.
“Running On Empty made me cry. AJ navigates life’s already difficult roads with the added pressure of worrying about his parents, who both have learning difficulties.” – Beth Gooding, Marketing Assistant
Ella on the Outside, written by Cath Howe.
“I can’t think of a book that better demonstrates empathy than Ella on the Outside. It’s such a sharply-drawn portrait of what it feels like to be somewhere new, to feel anxious and lonely, and to want to make friends.” – Tom Bonnick, Senior Commissioning Editor and Business Development Manager
When a Dragon comes to Stay, written by Caryl Hart and illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw.
“I love the way When a Dragon Comes to Stay helps children understand that some behaviours are less acceptable than others, steering them towards kind and considerate actions without passing judgement.” – Alice Bartosinksi, Senior Commissioning Editor, Picture Books
Little Bird Flies, written by Karen McCombie.
“Little Bird Flies is a socio-historical novel that is so applicable to today’s social issues also. I was absorbed the whole way through, and Bridie is a great character who you really root for.” – Nur Ben-Hamida, Contracts Executive
Welcome to Our World: A Celebration of Children Everywhere!, written by Moira Butterfield and illustrated by Harriet Lynas.
“As a rights seller, I love learning about customs from around the world and I’m sure curious children do too. Welcome to Our World beautifully demonstrates that whilst we might all do things in a different way, we really aren’t so different from one another after all…” – Erin Murgatroyd, Rights Manager
The Middler, written by Kirsty Applebaum.
“The Middler shows that no matter what the people around you are saying about other communities, it’s vital to find things out for yourself and to be open-minded about people who are different to you.” – Fiona Scoble, Editor
The Suitcase, by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros
“The Suitcase is a play on the page, the animal’s voices telling an understated, clever, sad story of the importance of kindness to strangers with a twist of kindness at the end that gets me every time.” – Kate Wilson, Managing Director
The Velveteen Rabbit, written by Margery Williams and illustrated by Sarah Massini.
“The Velveteen Rabbit was my favourite childhood story. It taught me the great value of humility in the character of the Skin Horse, and that everybody deserves to be real.” – Sophie Emmings, Office and Operations Assistant
Leap Frog, written by Jane Clarke and illustrated by Britta Teckentrup.
“For me, Leap Frog really highlights that new experiences can cause anxiety in all of us, young or old and from all walks of life.” – Manda Scott, Senior Designer
The Phantom Lollipop Man, written by Pamela Butchart and illustrated by Thomas Flintham
“Hidden subtly behind its laugh-out-loud humour The Phantom Lollipop Man! conveys a touching and poignant message about the importance of taking the time to find out everyone’s story – even the most invisible ones.” – Catherine Stokes, Head of Sales and Marketing
This Zoo is Not For You, by Ross Collins.
“This Zoo is Not For You has such an important message about being open and welcoming to everyone; but, thanks to Ross’ mischievous sense of humour, it’s both funny AND heartfelt – and will always bring a smile to your face.” – Rebecca Mason, Senior Publicity Executive
My Cousin is a Time Traveller, by David Solomons.
“Through the humour of My Cousin is a Time Traveller, Luke learns a serious lesson: a thing he’d love (being a superhero) is a terrible burden to his brother. He doesn’t agree with Zack but he does come to empathise with him.” – Kirsty Stansfield, Head of Fiction
Anna At War, written by Helen Peters.
“Reading Anna At War made me think about what it is like to be evacuated and how brave these children have been – not knowing where they were going and whether they would ever see their families again.” – Stela Alekova, Financial Controller
The Same But Different Too, written by Karl Newson and illustrated by Kate Hindley.
“This book is all about celebrating our differences. Whether we’re big or small, quiet or loud, a goat who hates hugs or a walrus on a mobility scooter, we can all listen and be kind to one another… and we can all enjoy a bedtime story!” – Tegen Evans, Editor
No Ballet Shoes in Syria, written by Catherine Bruton.
“No Ballet Shoes in Syria is a hugely compassionate story that puts a very human perspective on a terrible conflict, but draws out hope from it too.” – Frances Sleigh, Senior Sales Manager
Splash, written by Charli Howard.
“Splash is a book that conveys a message that is very close to my heart: self-acceptance and body positivity. As the story unfolds, Molly learns that her body is not her enemy but the best ally to achieve her dreams.” – Michela Pea, Senior Rights Manager
This is a Dog, by Ross Collins.
“This is a Dog.” – Etty, Office Dog
You can find out more about Empathy Day on the EmpathyLab website, here – if you’re taking part, we’d love to hear about it!