We are reading everything Leo Lionni in my classroom of kindergartners. I love starting the year with Leo. He feels like an old friend every time I open one of his books. When I began intentionally doing author studies I started with his work. I always feel like his stories resonate with every student. One of my favorites is The Alphabet Tree. It covers so many bases in the kindergarten classroom. Letter leaves are blown off their tree and a wise old bug tells them to come together and make words. If they stick together they won't blow around as much. Then an even wiser caterpillar tells them they can really say something if they come together and create a message. Their message is one of peace.
After reading the story we always make our own alphabet tree and I use "Post-it Note" leaves that can make words. The words then evolve into a message that goes along with our classroom rules.
I have a unique class this year that require students to be very tolerant of each others differences. I am constantly asking myself, "How do I get them to choose kindness this soon? Oh, I make it a rule!"