The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein

The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein

With back-to-school season upon us, though it may look different than ever before, many of us are reading all the school stories with our children and students. We’re reading stories about the first day of school and navigating relationships with other children at school, but how about navigating children’s relationships with themselves? Today, I bring you The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein, illustrated by Pett. Whether you’ve got a true perfectionist in your life or not, I encourage you to get your hands on this important book and share it with the children in your life!

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Adventures in Kindness: 52 Awesome Kid Adventures for Building a Better World by Sophia and Carrie Fox

Adventures in Kindness: 52 Awesome Kid Adventures for Building a Better World by Sophia and Carrie Fox

By now, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that we believe our most important job as parents is to help our children grow into kind, positive, and strong members of our community, and one of our favorite tools in this endeavor is children’s literature. So, when the team behind Adventures in Kindness: 52 Awesome Kid Adventures for Building a Better World reached out to see if I’d like to take a look at their book, I gave my standard, “I’ll happily take a look, though I can’t promise to feature it until we’ve received it and read it…” But this time, I figured this would be a book our family would love. And sure enough, we do! Read on to see what Adventures in Kindness, by mother-daughter duo Sophia and Carrie Fox, illustrated by Nichole Wong Forti, is all about!

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Goin’ Someplace Special by Patricia McKissack

Goin’ Someplace Special by Patricia McKissack

A few months ago, I recommended the book The Honest-to-Goodness Truth by Patricia McKissack, illustrated by Gisella Potter. And, I was honestly a bit surprised by how many of you had never read any of McKissack’s works! At the time, I vowed to remedy that, and since our family’s focus this month is on resilience, Goin’ Someplace Special by McKissack, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, is the perfect McKissack book for you to get to know and love!

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When You Are Brave by Pat Zietlow Miller

When You Are Brave by Pat Zietlow Miller

Okay, all, July is almost over, but I’ve got time to squeeze in one more book recommendation from our courage booklist, and you’re definitely going to want to check this one out. I scrambled to buy this book one day last summer, when our older daughter needed a little bravery boost for a summer camp… And we’ve returned to it multiple evenings in times of need, when the thought of what was coming the next day was a little too much to one of our girls. But, we’ve also pulled it out simply for a fun read, because it’s a fantastically written and beautifully illustrated picture book! Read on to see what makes When You Are Brave by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler, so delightful.

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Picture Books to Promote Resilience

Picture Books to Promote Resilience

Resilience, or the ability to overcome hardship… Something most of us want our children to develop. We hope they can grow into people who respond positively to adversity, who overcome negative situations, who not only tolerate but learn to embrace imperfection, and who approach challenges with a growth mindset and a willingness to risk multiple attempts, maybe even failing, in order to persevere, learn, and grow. To that end, resilience is our Family Focus Trait for August! Read on for a little insight into research on resilience and child development, and then check out our resilience booklist.

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Courage by Bernard Waber

Courage by Bernard Waber

I’ve been a Bernard Waber fan since I was a child. I have distinct memories of reading Ira Sleeps Over, and Lyle the Crocodile still makes me laugh. Somehow, I missed his Courage until just a few years ago, and I’m here to tell you that it’s a delightful addition to our July Family Focus Traits booklist, “Books Featuring Courageous Role Models.” Read on to see what makes Waber’s Courage one worth reading!

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Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco

Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco

Are your children scared of thunder or fascinated by it? In our house, the answer is a very strong “Yes!” to both! We live in an area of the country that gets little rain and even fewer storms, so thunder is a real novelty for our girls, something they only experience when we visit family in the summers. As a result, afternoon thunderstorms are something they really look forward to, but nighttime thunderstorms can scare them.

Enter Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco. Thunder Cake both feeds their fascination with storms, helps them overcome their worries about thunder, AND is all about cake! Read on to see what makes Thunder Cake delightful enough to have been on repeat in our house all summer.

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A Girl Like You by Frank and Carla Murphy

A Girl Like You by Frank and Carla Murphy

Do you have daughters or granddaughters? Do you teach girls, coach girls, or babysit girls? Do you mentor girls at church or babysit for girls down the street? If you can even come close to answering yes to any of these questions, then please check out A Girl Like You by Frank and Carla Murphy, illustrated by Kayla Harren!

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Books Featuring Courageous Role Models

Books Featuring Courageous Role Models

About a year and a half ago, I wrote a post rounding up our favorite books to read to help children overcome fear and anxiety. Then, when my husband and I drafted out our year of Family Focus Traits, we knew that we wanted to include courage (by the way, courage is our July Family Focus Trait!), and in my head I thought, “Ooh, I’ve already got a great list written for that trait!” But, the more I thought about it, I knew this list needed to be slightly different. While my list of books to help overcome fear and anxiety focused on specific fears with explicit strategies to help overcome that fear (which often took courage, for sure!), our list of books featuring fiercely courageous role models shows characters demonstrating courage in other situations, too. Yes, there is some overlap between the two lists, but the books you’ll find on the list below tend to focus more strongly on the courage rather than on the fear or worry itself. So, read on to see which books we love for featuring fabulously courageous role models!

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50+ Books to Help Build Compassion and Empathy

50+ Books to Help Build Compassion and Empathy

Drum roll please… Our family character trait(s) for February are… compassion and empathy! (You can read more about our 12 character traits for 2020 here and here.) With Valentine’s Day in February, we wanted to focus our month on love and kindness, but in terms of having family conversations about our behaviors, those are both very broad, general terms. The more we thought about how we wanted to help our girls grow, we realized we wanted to help them SEE others more. To see other people and notice how they might be feeling. To put themselves in others’ shoes and act on what they observe. So, while we also obviously hope our children are kind in every way and show love to important people in their lives, we really want them to start to notice. To pay attention to others. To stop and help if it seems that they can, or to make amends for their own choices if they need to do so…

In other words, to approach the world around them with compassion and empathy!

As Jamie C. Martin wrote in Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at at Time, “Books help your family grasp on a new level that what we have in common with our worldwide neighbors far outweighs what separates us… It naturally develops compassion… because we all have similar needs, hopes, and desires. Great stories build an empathic foundation that leads to a life of service and concern for others” (p. 26). To that end, we love to use children’s literature to help our children develop fully as people. So, of course, we’ll be reading a lot of books showcasing compassion and empathy in February! Below, I’ve got 50+ amazing books for you to read with your children. Check it out, read along with us, and let me know if I’ve missed any amazing stories that our girls need to know and love!

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