Please welcome my guest author today, Marsha Diane Arnold. She has a new picture book, One Small Thing, that celebrates how one person can truly make a difference.
We are giving away a copy of One Small Thing. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom.
Thank you, Mia, for inviting me to share picture books that show how one person and little things can make a big difference.
Calamities, catastrophes, disasters! Oh, my! All of us, especially children, can feel helpless when we experience natural disasters or when a calamity happens to someone in our community.
Any act of kindness, big or small, makes a difference. Picture books can teach children that compassion and understanding create positive outcomes for themselves and for others. Here are six books that help parents and educators begin conversations with children, to help everyone through difficult times.
How One Person/Child Can Make A Difference
One Small Thing by Marsha Diane Arnold, illustrated by Laura Watkins
In One Small Thing, Raccoon’s home is destroyed by a lightning strike. Mouse says, “It’s such a BIG catastrophe! And we’re so small.” The animals of Brightly Wood don’t know how to help. One Small Thing offers examples of how each of us can use our energy and talent to spread kindness. Eventually, Mouse realizes he can make an herb balm for burned feet, Squirrel remembers Raccoon’s favorite tea is chamomile, and so on.
It’s important to spread kindness during difficult times, but it’s also important to spread kindness daily. Teaching children to do “one small thing” consistently helps them understand their feelings and others’ feelings, and helps them make empathetic decisions. It will also help them be ready to act if a big calamity comes. One Small Thing will help educators teach social-emotional learning and will help children realize their small actions can make a difference, as the final sentence of One Small Thing expresses: “And suddenly, all their small things didn’t seem small at all.” Each one can make a difference! [picture book, ages 3 and up]
Wombat, the Reluctant Hero by Christian Trimmer, illustrated by Rachel Gyan
I’m happy to include this book as it was inspired by the same thing that inspired my One Small Thing. Wombat, the Reluctant Hero was inspired by real-life events during the Australian wildfires in 2019, as was my book One Small Thing. Wombat digs down to cool shelter and water and saves his neighbors who gather in his burrow. Also inspiring are real-life wombats, who, because they dig large, deep burrows, have helped other creatures survive droughts and wildfires. One Wombat can make a difference! [picture book, ages 3 and up]
The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld
One of my favorite books about kindness and empathy is The Rabbit Listened because it’s about listening quietly rather than talking, talking, talking. Taylor’s animal friends all try to make her feel less sad, suggesting this and that, trying to fix things. Then Rabbit arrives. The Rabbit sits quietly with Taylor, not talking, not suggesting, not trying to fix matters. Rabbit shows empathy. Only then does Taylor begin to experience her feelings. One Rabbit can make a difference! [picture book, ages 3 and up]
The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig, illustrated by Patrice Barton
This sweet book shows that a single small action, just a kind word or encouragement, can make a big difference to someone. Brian is so quiet that he is almost invisible to everyone else. Everyone ignores him. But when other students make fun of a new child’s lunch, Brian steps in with a kind note, and in turn, makes a friend. One child can make a difference! [picture book, ages 5 and up]
The Forest Keeper: The True Story of Jadav Payeng by Rina Singh, illustrated by Ishta Jain
When the monsoons caused the river near his home to sweep away the plants and leave hundreds of river snakes dead, sixteen-year-old Jadav begged elders to help him. In the end, Jadav had to plant bamboo seedlings by himself, on a sandbar in northeast India. He was one person, but he was determined and he had a vision. Eventually, he planted different species – tamarind, banana, star fruit, and more. As trees grew, animals came and the forest grew to the size of Central Park. One person can make a difference! [non-fiction picture book, ages 5 and up]
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon
Nothing could stop fourteen-year-old William’s learning, nor cloud his vision, when a drought came to his village in Malawi, Africa. He studied science books in the library gifted by Americans and eventually learned how to build a windmill from junkyard scraps, saving his village from famine. I first learned about this inspiring book because the real boy who harnessed the wind graduated from the same college as my son – the respected Ivy League college, Dartmouth. No, nothing could stop William’s learning. A movie has been made of William’s story. Just one can make a difference! [non-fiction picture book, ages 9 and up]
One Small Thing picture book GIVEAWAY!
We are giving away a copy of One Small Thing. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter below. We can only mail to U.S. and A.F.O. addresses.
Called a “born storyteller” by the media, Marsha Diane Arnold is a picture book author of twenty-four books, with over one million books sold.
Her books have garnered honors like Best First Book by a New Author (Heart of a Tiger), Smithsonian Notable (The Pumpkin Runner), and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (Roar of a Snore). Her bilingual Galápagos Girl won the Green Prize for Sustainable Literature. Lights Out, about light pollution, has been praised by the Dark Sky community as well as the children’s lit community and was a finalist for the SCBWI Golden Kite Award for Picture Book Text.
Marsha enjoys sharing her love of stories through school visits, manuscript consultations, her Writing Wonderful Character-Driven Picture Books e-course, and especially, by reading to her four grandchildren.
Marsha grew up on the Kansas prairies but lived in Northern California for most of her life. Now she lives with her husband in southwest Florida, near the Caloosahatchee River and her daughter’s family, only a short flight from her son’s family. Besides creating stories, her favorite activities are snorkeling, hiking, traveling, gardening, and climbing trees. To learn more, check out her website and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
p.s. Related posts:
6 Books on Light Pollution and the Night Sky!
10 Books on Helping Endangered Animals
The Kids Will Save Us: Youth Activists Children’s Books!
New MCBD Classroom Kit: Activists & Activism!
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.
7 thoughts on “How One Person/Child Can Make A Difference & GIVEAWAY!”
I have always appreciated that Jane Goodall helped introduce the world to helping animals. That has been my cause all my life.
Horton, who heard a Who, if he didn’t their entire civilization would’ve been destroyed, lol.
Sofia Valdez, Future Prez by Andrea Beaty is a good read!
can’t think of any
Just read and loved Dear Mr. Dickens by Nancy Churnin, illustrated by Bethany Stancliffe.
I Am Amelia Earhart is a 2014 children’s book written by Brad Meltzer
I loved box car children!