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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.