Even before I had my Instagram page and this website, my friends frequently asked me to recommend books that would help their children work through fears and worries. Since starting to recommend books publically, I get asked for this even more frequently. Maybe it’s the age of my children and their friends, but it seems like I get asked for titles of books for fear and worry every other week… So, it’s about time that I just compiled a list of good books to help children cope with fear and worry! Continue reading “Books for Helping Children Cope with Fears and Worries”
For those of you who love to read books about bunnies, eggs, chicks, etc. during springtime and the Easter season, this list is for you! Below are some of our very favorite books that generally relate to Easter festivities, but can easily be incorporated into your year-round library.
(If you’re looking for Easter-specific books, both secular or religious in nature, be sure to check out yesterday’s post!). Continue reading “Our Favorite Books about Bunnies and Eggs”
So, it turns out that you all were almost perfectly 50/50 on whether you wanted holiday-specific Easter books or more general books about bunnies and eggs, so… I’ve got two lists for you! Below, you’ll find Easter-specific titles for a variety of ages and holiday interests— little readers, bigger kids, Christian, secular… Hopefully there’s something in here for you!
If you were really hoping for my favorite non-Easter books about bunnies and eggs for your year-round reading pleasure, have no fear… I’ve got those for you, too! Just click here to see our list of our list of favorite books about bunnies and eggs! Continue reading “Our Favorite Holiday-Specific Easter Books”
As you all know, my husband and I decided to make 2020 be the year that we intentionally teach, model, and practice with our girls one character trait per month. We have chosen these traits thoughtfully, spending time discussing what traits are important to us and what kind of adults we hope to help our children grow up to be. While the first three months of this work in 2020 seemed important and impactful, we’ve all recently been given the gift of time with the people in our houses, the opportunity to focus on what’s really important. In our house, we’re embracing this as a chance to truly focus on what kind of people our children grow up to be.
Our plan for April had been to work with the girls on authentic apologies and heartfelt forgiveness. While I thought about changing our focus or abandoning altogether for a month while we get our “everyone at home all day every day” feet under us, we’re going to power through on that focus… After all, so much time together in a small space inevitably leads to situations were genuine, heartfelt apologies and forgiveness are needed!
Today, I’ve got a booklist full of wonderful children’s stories in which the characters model not only authentic forgiveness, but also exemplify what a genuine apology might sound and look like (we talk a lot in our house about Responsive Classroom’s “apology of action” if you want more to help your children go beyond simple “I’m sorries”). Continue reading “Books that Model Authentic Apologies and Genuine Forgiveness”
This will come as no surprise to any of you all, but I love to give books as presents. Chances are good that if you have ever received a gift from our family, it was either a book or came with a book. Today, I’m thrilled to be partnering with my friend Nicole from Instagram’s @beginathome account to bring you 20 absolutely beautiful books perfect for gifting, whether for baby gifts, birthdays, or Easter baskets (because yes, Easter is right around the corner, in case you forgot in all the chaos of life lately…).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Check out my ten(ish) of my favorite beautiful books to gift below, then hop over to Nicole’s Instagram post (and while you’re there, be sure to check out the rest of her inspiring account @beginathome!) to see her ten picks.
Could your life use a little color and cheer right now? I’ve seen so many wonderful ideas shared about leaving happy sidewalk chalk messages, people pulling out their Christmas lights, and putting happy kid-drawn pictures in front windows as ways to spread joy around neighborhoods at a time when neighbors can’t be… well, neighborly. And, this felt like a terrific time to update our list of favorite rainbow and color books that I published last year! I was able to snag a few new rainbow and color books from our local library just before it closed, and added one from our collection, so I’ve got 4 new titles to add to my list! Continue reading “Four New Favorite Rainbow and Color Books”
So, admittedly, we’re not super into St. Patrick’s Day as a family. We try to wear green, and we’ll happily attend a St. Patrick’s Day Party if invited, but all in all, we put lots more energy into other holidays. So, though I do have a few favorite St. Patrick’s Day books (of course!), I haven’t spent nearly as much time searching for this holiday’s best books as I have for other holidays. But, every year I get lots of requests for St. Patrick’s books, so here you go! Continue reading “Ten Delightful St. Patrick’s Day Books”
When I posted my massive list of books to strengthen compassion and empathy in children, I also mentioned that one of the best ways to do so is to make sure your library features a diverse array of children and a wide range of experiences. As I’ve mentioned on here before, children’s books can be thought of as mirrors of children’s own experiences, as well as windows into the worlds of others. About 30 years ago, a leader in diversity and representation in children’s books, Rudine Sims Bishop, said:
“Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created and recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience. Reading, then, becomes a means of self-affirmation, and readers often seek their mirrors in books.” (Rudine Sims Bishop, 1990, quoted from the National Council of Teachers of English)
So, today, I have a list of terrific resources to serve as both windows and mirrors by highlighting neurodiversity, including characters with ADHD and dyslexia, characters who are on the autism spectrum, and more. These books will hopefully not only help children build a greater understanding of, and therefore empathy and compassion for, these diverse children around them, but also hopefully provide children with these diagnoses and differences with a greater sense of self and self-affirmation. Continue reading “Picture Books Featuring Characters with Neurodiversity and Autism”
Okay, everyone, it’s almost March, which means… It’s time to gather books for our next Family Focus character trait! Our family character trait(s) for March are teamwork and cooperation! (You can read more about our 12 character traits for 2020 here, here and here.)
The funny thing about trying to help children understand character traits such as empathy, compassion, teamwork, and cooperation is that these terms very abstract, so children usually need some direct instruction to understand what it means to show compassion or to be a good teammate. In fact, it wasn’t until our older daughter’s second season of an organized sport that we realized she didn’t really understand at all what it meant to be a good teammate (to have teammates and coaches relying on you to do your best, to listen, to work with everyone else instead of on her own…). After that lightbulb moment, we spent some time with our girls actually talking about teamwork, defining it for them, and trying to make it more concrete… That was a year and a half ago, and how I wish I had made this list of books then!
But never fear, I’ve got it now! Of course, this list goes far beyond simply being a positive member of a sports team… From teamwork to bossiness, collaboration and compromise, we’ve got your teamwork and cooperation needs covered below! So scroll down, take a look at some of the titles we love, and then start to collect them from Amazon (Affiliate links below), your local bookstore, or the closest library, and join along on our teamwork and cooperation journey this month.
As you likely know, February is Black History Month in the United States. Though this started as a week to raise awareness (Negro History Week) in 1925 and expanded to a full-month’s celebration in 1976, I urge you to take this Black History booklist use it, year-round, to educate and influence the next generation! While it’s important to remember that we do have a special month to focus on the amazing people who paved more smooth roads for future generations and their hopes and dreams, it’s also important to recognize these accomplishments and achievements throughout the rest of the year, too. You’ll see the big-name anti-slavery and Civil Rights leaders on this list, but you’ll also see lesser-known authors and artists, athletes and advocates, and more, as well as informational stories about experiences and movements in Black history. My hope is that we can all use this to continue to deepen our awareness of the contribution of Black Americans to our society!
So, whether you’re looking for specific resources to expand your students’ awareness of Black history during the month of February, or you’re hoping to help your children learn more about Black history throughout the year, I hope you’ll find the list below helpful! Bookmark it now and check in from time to time, as I’ll continue to update it as new titles appear (and, based on 2019 and 2020 so far, we’re on a terrific trend for stories about lesser-known people and events from Black history!). Continue reading “Terrific Books for Black History”