Can picture books teach life lessons? I think so. To find life lessons, I went to some original sources … life lessons from a 90-year-old woman and a 99-year-old man. Their words of wisdom were similar and it’s about living well to live long.
I added in a few life lessons that I’ve found along the way and the picture books that help to illustrate it. How about you? What life lessons resonate for you? Please do share!
Laugh (Every Day)
A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Everby Marla Frazee
Funny picture books are very popular in my house, but it’s hard to get both adult and child to snort laugh at the same time. Especially if said picture book gets read over and over again, which typically makes the humor wane over time.
Perhaps A Couple of Boys Have The Best Week Ever speaks to my son and I because he’s that kid. For all the outdoor enrichment activities that I plan for him, he’d rather be home in front of a screen. And he also has dryly sarcastic things to say about day camp and other activities forced upon him.
Humor is recommended for living a long full life. Laugh often, at least daily and surround yourself with people, and books, that make you laugh. That’s probably the #1 piece advice from those who have lived long and well. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
For Father’s Day a few years back, my husband recommended his favorite golf books, not once but twice. He played golf in college for University of Hawaii and is an avid collector of golf stuff: Scotty Cameron putters, golf books, and other very specific items that I can’t keep track of.
This Father’s Day, we are getting him a golf bag with wheels for exercise on the golf course. Naturally, he had a very specific bag in mind. He sent me a link of what he wanted.
For past Father’s Days, my husband likes to do a family outing picking strawberries because the golf course is too crowded on a Sunday for a golf outing. It’s a fun family tradition. Our other (new) tradition is to make Flipagram videos for each other to celebrate holidays.
What does your family like to do to celebrate for Father’s Day? Read more…
I’m celebrating Maria Gianferrari’s new sequel to Penny and Jelly today by doing a three picture book giveaway! Penny and Jelly Slumber Under the Stars celebrates the pleasure of the great outdoors in the company of our favorite animal friends..
We are celebrating Ramadan over at Multicultural Children’s Book Day for the month of June. This is my contribution. Join us at our blog with guest posts from authors on how they are celebrating Ramadan, and book giveaways.
I wanted to make a list of Ramadan books to learn more about this holiday. Here’s what I learned after reading a dozen books:
Ramandan is the ninth month in the calendar used for Muslim holidays. When it is near, they watch for a new crescent moon. (Now I understand why many Ramadan books reference the moon in the title!)
The calendar for Muslim holidays follows the moon which means Ramadan starts on a different day every year, and can happen in any season. This year Ramadan falls during summer which is the most challenging season to fast during. The days are very long and hot.
Caring for the poor is important to Muslims which is one reason why they fast. Fasting helps them understand how people feel when they go hungry.
The festival of Girgian which comes in the middle of Ramadan reminds me of Halloween. Kids get dressed in traditional costumes and collect treats from their neighbors.
The new crescent moon marks the end of Ramadan and that day is called Eid al-Fitr. Muslims clean and decorate their homes and they have a big feast.
My husband and I delighted in reading a picture book to our kids about a shy man named Halibut Jackson who made specially crafted outfits designed to blend into his environment.
Halibut Jackson by David Lucas
Halibut Jackson is shy and doesn’t want to be noticed so he makes special outfits designed to blend into the background. He has a flowered suit for the park, a book-patterned suit for the library, and a fruit-adorned suit for the shops. When he gets invited to a party with the king and queen, he’s excited to go. But how was he to know it’s a garden party?! Everyone notices Halibut Jackson. And everyone notices his marvelous suit. They all want one too. Now Halibut Jackson has a new profession, and he’s a little less shy! [picture book, ages 4 and up]
It surprises me that only a few of the Nobel Peace Prize recipients are represented in picture books for children. I was able to find these nine people who changed the world and, in doing so, received the Nobel Peace Prize.
Some the picture books are biographies, others are their own books reflecting their philosophies but presented to children. Perfect, right? I hope it inspires a new generation of activists who believe they can change the world. Because I know that they can.
9 People Who Changed The World:
Great Picture Book Biographies of Nobel Peace Prize Winners
You wouldn’t guess that it’s spring here in Boston given the snow we’ve been getting in April! Still, I am dreaming of spring and getting my little garden going.
These are my favorite picture books for garden inspiration. These books demonstrate that gardens can transform an environment, bring neighbors closer, and even become a political touchpoint. Ideas for Earth Day include starting a compost pile, planting a tree, or even just germinate seeds.
What are your favorite spring picture books? Are you planting a garden this year of any size? Please share! Read more…
I have to say that I got my money’s worth out of the pattern blocks toy manipulative that I’ve had for ages. All my kids loved playing with them. I kept them in an old diaper wipes box, decorated with stickers and I found that my son, now 11 years old, will still occasionally pull them out!
Pattern blocks are a great math toy; math is the science of finding patterns! There are also patterns in language too! You could say that finding and understanding patterns is the secret to unlocking the world around us. Read more…
Hi! I'm Mia Wenjen. I blog excessively about children's books. I am also the co-founder of Multicultural Children's Book Day on Jan 27th.
I'd love to chat with you. Let's connect! PragmaticMomBlog (at) gmail (dot) com.
Monthly Newsletter with Subscriber Only Giveaways in your Inbox