Pre-School Parent Resources

The activities below are aimed at children aged under 3 years and are arranged according to the virtue they explore. In addition, a list of reading resources for each virtue is provided.


Hug is a picture book about a monkey who wants a hug as he has lost his mum. The animals in the jungle help him find his mum and at the end everyone hugs. There are no words other than ‘hug’ in this book so it is a wonderful opportunity to create your own story using your own words about the animals showing compassion to the baby monkey by noticing he is sad as well as the gratitude of the mum to the animals for looking after her baby.

A Bit Lost

A Bit Lost tells the story of a baby owl who falls out of his nest. A rabbit comes to the rescue and helps the baby owl find their mum. The mummy owl is incredibly grateful to the rabbit and shows this by inviting him for biscuits at the end of the story.


Grrrrr! tells the story of Fred the bear who competes in a bear competition each year. A rival bear steals Fred’s ‘grrrrr’ and the animals of the wood come together to help him. When they find his ‘grrrrr’ Fred shows compassion to the rival bear, listening to his explanation and forgiving him for taking his ‘grrrrr’. Both the rival bear and Fred show gratitude to the animals of the wood for helping them.

Once Upon a Cloud

For those readers who loved Frozen and Tangled, we can heartily recommend Once Upon a Cloud, by Claire Keane. Similar to her work on Frozen and Tangled, Keane has produced a visually stunning book. The topic of Once Upon a Cloud is that of gratitude and compassion. Celeste wants the perfect gift to celebrate her mother. Celeste finds a magical way to give thanks to her mother and show her how much she cares.

The Orange House

The Orange House by Nahid Kazemi is a book about kindness and compassion, in particular when others are in need. The orange house is an old house, surrounded by new modern-built houses. In the beginning, the newer houses are very self-congratulatory and point out the differences between themselves and the older orange house. When they realise that this kind of behaviour might have devastating consequence for the orange house, they start to understand the importance of kindness. Ultimately, the orange house, and its neighbours find a way of living together happily.

Further Reading


The Koala Who Could

The Koala who Could is a story about a cautious Koala bear who likes to stay up high in his eucalyptus tree, safe from the animals and hectic life on the ground below him. His friends always ask if he would like to come down and play but he always declines until one day he is forced from his tree! Once on the ground, Koala realises how much he has been missing. The Koala shows how easy it is to let fear stop you from doing things. This is a good book to demonstrate how courage could have been used and to help children realise that sometimes the things that you find scary aren’t as daunting as you imagine.


With a host of lovable, but imperfect characters, this heartfelt classic explores a range of themes pertinent to discussing the virtues. While gratitude and courage, as well as sadness, and insecurity, are woven throughout, the theme that draws all these together is kindness; “Love is taking a few steps backward, maybe even more…to give way to the happiness of the person you love.” – Winnie-the-Pooh.

Lost and Found

This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of an unlikely friendship between a lost penguin and a young boy. One day, a young boy finds a penguin on his doorstep and decides to help him return home. The boy shows great courage and resourcefulness on his quest to return the penguin to the South Pole, facing danger head-on in his rowing boat. However, although he succeeds on his mission, he discovers that both he and the penguin are sadder than ever. What they really needed all along was each other. The beautiful illustrations and limited text mean that this book is suitable for younger readers but could lead to rich discussions about both friendship and courage with older readers.

I am Rosa Parks

I am Rosa Parks makes the story of Rosa Parks, best known for her influential role in the civil rights movement in America, accessible and understandable for younger children. The book shows how Rosa dared to stand up for herself in a society in which this was very difficult to do and provides a means to talk about inequality. The book is clear and easy to follow for younger readers with engaging illustrations and text presentation. As well as being able to talk about how Rosa showed courage in her actions and beliefs, the story lends itself to talking about respect and civility too.

Eliot Jones, Midnight Superhero

Eliot Jones, Midnight Superhero tells the story of a young boy who by day seems quiet and unassuming, yet by night turns into a superhero. After midnight Eliot flies about saving people, is called on by the Queen to help catch a jewel thief and saves the Earth from a giant meteor! Readers will be engaged by Eliot’s adventures and any superhero fans will enjoy the comic style illustrations. Courage is evident throughout this story with Eliot risking his own life to saves others. While these are extraordinary acts of bravery, the book demonstrates how courage can be shown by all people and encourages readers to look beyond stereotypes and first impressions.

The Snail and the Whale

The Snail and the Whale is a story about an unlikely pair of friends who travel the world together. Snail wants to be adventurous but feels small compared to the big wide world and when he is faced with helping his friend whale (when he gets beached on the coast) he doesn’t think he will be able to. However, the little snail demonstrates huge courage and uses his skills to help the whale get rescued. This is a heart-warming story which uses detailed pictures and rhymes to show how courage can be shown in all shapes and sizes.

The Fox and the Star

The Fox and the Star is a touching story about a Fox and the loss of his friend star. Star gives fox courage to explore the deep dark forest and when she disappears Fox must find the strength to face the forest alone. When Fox does, he realises there is a whole new world out there with beauty and adventure. This book is impeccably illustrated, with each page beautifully designed to reflect foxes fears and feelings. This book explores love and loss and how courage can be the vehicle to hope and new beginnings. Younger children will love the pictures in this book which is why we have put it in the 0-7 years category, however, the book also uses wonderfully descriptive language which would make it suitable for an older reader too.

The Elephant’s Umbrella

This picture book tells the story of a generous elephant who is happy to share his umbrella. However, when the umbrella gets blown away, it falls into the hands of some animals who are less willing to share. A lovely story for little ones about being generous with our possessions.

The Last Chip

This beautiful picture book tells the story of Percy, a very hungry pigeon, whose attempts to get something to eat are constantly thwarted by bigger pigeons. However, an act of kindness from an unexpected source warms his heart and fills his tummy. In addition to the heart-warming story about generosity, a donation from every book sale goes to The Trussell Trust, who run foodbanks across the UK. A great way to show generosity in action!

I Want My Hat Back

This story is funny tale about a bear who can’t find his red hat. He embarks on a hunt for it and as he searches, he patiently and politely asks the animals of the wood if they’ve seen it. As the bear begins to think he has lost his hat forever, he is asked a question which sparks his memory and makes him realise he has been lied to by the rabbit! The story takes a slightly mischievous turn when the bear appears to have eaten the rabbit (and yet denies any knowledge of its whereabouts!). This version of the classic repetitive tale uses simple wording and playfully demonstrates that being dishonest can have consequences.

This Is Not My Hat

This story is a follow-up to ‘I want my hat back’. The tale takes a twist on honesty with a small fish who is very honest about being dishonest. After stealing a hat from another fish, we see the thoughts of the fishy thief. The thief is seen by a crab and, although the crab agrees not to tell anyone where the fish is going, the crab is clearly not to be trusted. Ultimately, the fish is discovered (and probably eaten). This is a great story with which to discuss honesty with younger children… particularly whether the crab was right to break his agreement with a thief!


Tiddler is the tale of a very small fish who likes to tell very tall tales. With a rhyming storyline, stunning illustrations (by Axel Scheffler), Tiddler will capture the attention of younger children. Tiddler is not a bad fish, but he does allow his imagination to run away with him. This book shows that, while having an imagination and telling tales is wonderful fun, it is also important to be honest. While Tiddler’s friends love his stories, they don’t always believe him, even when one of them turns out to be true.

Don’t Tell Lies Lucy! A Cautionary Tale

Telling the truth is important – lies lead to problems. This entertaining tale makes this clear and highlights how important it is for us to tell the truth, so that we can trust one another. Lucy loves telling lies and doesn’t take responsibility for her mistakes. Because of her behaviour, she doesn’t trust the word of others – a big mistake!