The Empathy Way Book Series Review

This review is sponsored by The Empathy Way.

Empathy is the ability to see and value what another person is feeling. Helping children to develop their empathy is such an important aspect of raising emotionally intelligent children. Children are naturally empathetic, and while it is true that learning to develop empathetic thoughts and behaviors starts at home, there is also a very important place for it in the classroom. Educators (this means teachers and parents) need to be able to emotionally connect with children in order to help them understand and to learn different concepts.

Which is why I love The Empathy Way book series by Dr. Anne Paris, Clinical Psychologist and Marian Brickner, animal behavior photographer. The books are based on the premise that emotionally upset or unstable children are not able to think clearly or learn at their full capacity. If a child feels unsafe, upset, or misunderstood, his or her cognitive abilities are diminished. What is more, children who feel connected (empathy!) are in the best possible position to learn and develop their creativity. According to Dr. Paris, “neuroscience research shows that when kids are understood emotionally, they are more calm and able to learn, and are less likely to engage in bullying and violent behaviors.”

Empathy comes more naturally to some children than others, and it can be taught or encouraged in a supportive and empathetic environment. Arguably, the most important tool for teaching empathy is modeling empathetic behavior. So how do we do this?

“The Empathy Way” book series is a great way for parents and educators to help kids learn about empathy and teach the skills needed to excel in a learning environment as well as to prevent violence and bullying. The curriculum is for children in kindergarten through third grade, and the empathy buddy program is a great way for holder kids to use their newly learned skills to develop a relationship and to learn to encourage younger children.

The Empathy Way series consists of three books staring five adorable bonobo apes. They currently live at the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens and were photographed for these books to illustrate empathy over a 12-year period.

In “Insides Out” Laney the bonobo introduces young children to the concept of empathy: what it is, why it’s important, and how to do it. She shows how empathy feels good, builds good family and friend relationships, and how empathy goes two ways, back and forth. Cute pictures of bonobo apes engage and delight young and old alike.

In “I’m Different, You’re Different” Jenga the bonobo teaches a poignant lesson about using empathy to connect with others who are “different.” Ridiculously cute photographs of bonobo apes illustrate the story of Jenga and Kaleb (a bald bonobo who looks different). At first, Jenga and his friends assume Kaleb is weird. But then empathy helps them move past their assumptions and get to know him. To their surprise and delight, Kaleb is funny and talented! Jenga and his friends discover a wonderful lesson about finding the secret value in everyone, even the outcasts.

In “You Scared Me!” Jenga and Laney are playing and minding their own business, when a bigger bonobo, Neeley, starts to harass them. Expressive photographs of bonobo apes illustrate how it feels to be bullied, what kids should do, and how adults can intervene effectively. The adults use empathy to help Neeley understand the reasons for her bad behavior and how she can get her wish to feel big and important in less hurtful ways. An important book in helping young children develop empathy in order to prevent bullying.

The teacher’s manual is an excellent resource for anyone hoping to get a better understanding of the scientific research surrounding the need for teaching empathy. It is straightforward and informational without being too dull and dry. It includes program descriptions, discussion prompts, and practical ways to encourage empathy using the three book series. If you are a teacher (either in a classroom or at home) or school administrator and are considering ordering this series for your students, you are able to receive a FREE PDF-copy of the Teacher’s Manual. Simply email your request, your name, email, address, and school name to:

You can purchase these books from AmazonThe Empathy Way Book Series Review or on The Empathy Way website.

Find all three books in the Empathy Way series at

Parents you too can help encourage your children to learn empathy at home and in the classroom. Now through November 25th, enter for your chance to win the entire 3 book series and teachers manual for your home or school.

No purchase is necessary, entrants must be 18+ and be residents of the U.S. to win. All entries will be verified, and the winner will be contacted upon selection by the Giveaway Tools App.

Good luck!

This promotion was sponsored by The Empathy Way and is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. The Fully Caffeinated Mama did receive the above mentioned products in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% her own, and they are based only on personal experience using these products. Please see the Disclosure Policy for more information. The Fully Caffeinated Mama is not responsible for prize fulfillment. 

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