Creating Empathy in a Children’s Book by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג -
I'm a writer, scientist, musician, inventor and lecturer. During the daytime I am advisor to the President of Shenkar College. In the evening I write children's books, satire, and "how to" manuals ("Mel's ten tips). I'm co-founder of Ourboox and married to Ourboox CEO Shuli Sapir-Nevo.
Oct 2013
Member Since
Published Books

Creating Empathy in a Children’s Book

by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג

Empathy is a key factor in a children’s book.

Why should we care about the character or what happens to him/her?

The character should resonate in our hearts the same way a great song does.

Here are some ways to create empathy and some examples that I added (you can do better.)


1. Perhaps your characters displays a valued characteristic such as loyalty, love, or courage. Put it right at the beginning.

Peter was the only boy in the class who wasn’t afraid of Rex the bulldog.


2. Perhaps your character is particularly good at something. – Show us what it is.

Susan could draw anything. Even pigeons.


3. Treated in an unjust or mean fashion.

Children picked on Jeremy because he was from out of town.


4. Wishing for something universally understood, such as love, purpose, friendship.

Cynthia dreamed of having a friend.


5. Thrust into danger. – Either by nature, misfortune, or someone.

One day, the bank manager paid them a visit.


6. Thrust into grief – make sure first that we know a little bit about the character.

Freda had only one brother and when he became sick with tuberculosis, she became sick with grief.


7. Caring for others, especially at a cost to oneself.

Even though mother bird was hungry, she fed the worms to her newly hatched chicks.


8. Unique, attention-getting, unusual.

Even when Jennifer was sick or lonely, she still smiled.


9. Attempting to overcome a fear or to make a change.

“I have come to help fight the lion,” said the old wildebeest.


10. Facing an inner struggle.

No one was looking. Should she take the money?




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