The Power of Empathy

Be the Friend You've Always Wanted

Children - Picture Book
36 Pages
Reviewed on 11/11/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I have owned and operated a daycare/preschool for 32 years and am a certified parent-relationship coach. I have been privileged to help many families using the tools I acquired in both professions.

My passion for writing comes from years of reading children's books in my personal and professional life. I am grateful for the opportunity to help children learn to use their imaginations to embark on make-believe adventures, which will help teach them lifelong values and empower and inspire them to be anything they choose.
During my downtime, I enjoy traveling with my two sons, Evan and Scott, and daughter, Kendra, exploring new places, especially the great outdoors. Alaska, Great Britain, and Italy are some of my favorite places to travel.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Courtnee Turner Hoyle for Readers' Favorite

The Power of Empathy: Be the Friend You've Always Wanted is a children’s book by Ruth Maille. Orbit, a personified image of our planet, gathers a group of children together to discover a superpower: empathy. Orbit explains the emotion, and gives some examples, before asking the children to describe instances where they have shown empathy. Orbit goes on by showing examples of where empathy can provide a positive experience, and the story ends with positive affirmations.

Ruth Maille has owned an early learning center for thirty-two years, and her ability to connect with children on their level is shown through her wording. Her writing is clear, and the examples are relatable. I read the book with two of my young children, and they were engaged by the content and beautiful illustrations. The material could encourage meaningful discussions about behavior and empathy, and children may find a comparable example in their lives from one of the events in the story. The note at the beginning of the book speaks positively about our world as it heals from the recent pandemic and explains the reason why Orbit is wearing two bandages.

The story is part of “The Power of…” series, which has won well-deserved awards, and parents can feel confident knowing that an experienced proponent of children’s emotional development wrote this book. It would be a fantastic fit for libraries and community centers where young children are present. The Power of Empathy is a beautiful learning tool for parents or caregivers to place in home libraries.

Kathy Golden

The Power of Empathy: Be the Friend You’ve Always Wanted is a well-written, engaging children’s book by Ruth Maille. My first impression when seeing the book’s title was to wonder how the author would convey this power and ability to children. I found the tactic she employed to be so on point and in line with the idea of not having to teach children something, but rather choosing to awaken within them what they already know. Taking advantage of this, the main character Orbit encourages the children to call on their intuitive understanding of empathy. By doing so, they recall how it has been so much a part of their lives without them even knowing that many of the personal, caring, and connected experiences they’ve had with others were all because of something called empathy.

In Ruth Maille's The Power of Empathy, readers also see those light bulbs going on in the minds of the children as they begin to understand the importance of empathy and how much it helps them to be the friend to others that they want others to be to them. It’s obvious from the expressions on some of the children’s faces that they want to be even more empathic and more loving and concerned for others. I finished this story with a feeling that every child who reads it or to whom it is read will have a greater understanding of how much they can benefit others when they take advantage of their empathetic connections. The book is illustrated by Remesh Ram. What a wonderful job he has done. The cover illustration is large and colorful and inviting. The drawing of each child is filled with the individual’s personality. I enjoyed both the visual experience and the lesson being explored by Orbit. Thank you, Ruth, for this insightful and uplifting educational tool.

Philip Van Heusen

Emotions are natural and neutral. There is no such thing as a bad emotion. What one does with their emotions might be bad, but the feeling is neutral. Ruth Maille wants children to learn how to recognize and express their emotions positively. Ruth wrote The Power of Empathy: Be the Friend You’ve Always Wanted to help children understand empathy, which is a powerful healing tool. Empathy means understanding and caring about how someone else feels. Empathy feels the other person’s emotions, whether positive or negative. Think about how you would want your friends to support you when you are feeling low, sad, happy, mad, or loving, and then treat them that way. Just letting someone know that you understand and care helps them feel better. Being there for your friends is a large part of what it means to be a friend.

When sharing your emotions, using “I feel” statements is wise. Everyone has the right to their feelings. However, we should never judge someone for feeling a certain way. Instead of judging, we need to learn to feel with others. This feeling with others is the emotion called empathy. The Power of Empathy by Ruth Maille teaches young children how important and powerful empathy can be. In many ways, it is a superpower, and children will enjoy learning that they can have this superpower. Remesh Ram is the illustrator and does a beautiful job bringing the text to life. Parents need to model and explain the proper use of emotions. Spend time with your child reading this book and discussing the power of empathy in making and keeping friends. Explain how to use emotions for good and not for evil.

Sheena Monnin

The Power of Empathy: Be the Friend You've Always Wanted by Ruth Maille tells the story of Orbit and his friends as they learn about empathy and how to express their feelings authentically while understanding how feelings can impact those around them. Orbit tells children that empathy is a superpower they can use as they navigate their relationships and their friendships. Each child can think of a time and a scenario when they have had the opportunity to show empathy to those around them. The author does a great job of offering relatable, real-world examples of times when children may encounter strong feelings in others and how they can show caring, understanding, and respect. From missing a ball in sports to showing empathy during happy times, the reader will have a foundational understanding of empathy by the end of this delightful book.

The Power of Empathy by Ruth Maille is well written and has a protagonist that children can cheer for as Orbit teaches them valuable life lessons in bite-sized chunks that are perfect for kids’ minds as they are developing a sense of self and others. I love how Orbit teaches kids how to view the feelings and experiences of those around them and respond in loving and kind ways, uplifting and supporting their friends and family. The message of this book is so valuable in our ever-growing connections both in our communities and globally. Learning how to connect with others and their feelings is a powerful skill that this book teaches. Everything from the message, writing style, the story's flow, and the illustrations were well done.

Kristine Zimmerman

The latest in Ruth Maille's The Power of series is The Power of Empathy: Be the Friend You've Always Wanted. Orbit is back to share with his friends the superpower known as empathy. Orbit first asks the kids if they know what empathy means. Trent and Gabby explain that it is understanding and caring about how other people feel; also being able to see things from their point of view. Orbit and the kids share several scenarios that demonstrate the emotion of empathy, both receiving it and giving it. Orbit explains that we feel all kinds of emotions, happiness, sadness, anger, and fear. It is okay to have all those feelings. Understanding our emotions helps us to relate to other people when they are in similar situations. Empathy is a real superpower.

Social-emotional learning is an integral part of a child's education. The Power of Empathy is a dynamic yet engaging book that illustrates the importance of understanding and developing our emotional intelligence. Most kids are familiar with the emotions of happiness, sadness, anger, and even jealousy, but empathy is not discussed frequently. Ruth Maille does an amazing job of highlighting this emotion with everyday scenarios to which kids will instantly relate. The artwork by Remesh Ram is beautiful and inviting. A diverse group of children is represented, and Orbit is a friendly walking planet earth! Kids will be as excited as the children in the story as they realize they can make the world a kinder place by showing empathy. A wonderful addition to the Power of series.