Learning about our differences can be a powerful way for children to see from another person’s point of view. I encourage all parents to introduce some of these books or others like these to their children and use these stories as a reference when children bring up differences in school, particularly with special needs classmates. Because how great would it be if it were OUR child who can reach out like MacKenzie in The Friendship Puzzle?! The Friendship Puzzle and My Brother Charlie are a particularly powerful combination for anyone who has a sibling or classmate with autism and would be a great pair of books for any child starting kindergarten.
For the first time it occurred to me that my fear of the blank page might be just that—a needless fear. So I began to read up on the teaching of drawing, and to experiment with my children. I discovered a lengthy list of worthy resources for parents and children alike.
Please welcome my Mom Friend and yoga teacher’s daughter Ajani who is a voracious reader, reading secretly in bed with a flashlight under the covers, way past her bedtime. She reviews four books that she borrowed from me this past summer and returns them to me along with her book reviews. Thanks Ajani!
My middle child, and her entire third grade class it seems, loved Roald Dahl. She worked her way through most of his books before moving on to new authors. There is something about quirky characters, children who are single parented or orphaned, and a seemingly impossible challenge that is central to a Dahl book. These books that those qualities plus that je ne sais qois of a select group of unusual children who, as fate would have it, must find a way to work together in order to do something monumentally important. It’s nice to see more books in the spirit of Roald Dahl!
The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. I really like how these books let kids walk in the shoes of another and I find the themes of “trying to fit in versus accepting themselves and their family members” to be universal for all children.
These are my Top 10 Booklists. Did you know that I actually put my favorite book as #1 and my second favorite book as #10? I wasn’t sure if people would read the lists as a countdown from 10 to 1 or as a list from 1 to 10. The #10 spot also is the first book that you see, so I wanted to make sure it was an enticing one.
There is something special about each of these books beyond an award winning author/illustrator or just an enjoyable story. Some of the books bid us to stop and smell the roses; others make us ask ourselves what really IS important in life? As my career coach often tells me when I am complaining, “Is there another way to view this? Can you see this thing that you are complaining about as a gift?!” Please enjoy these ten small gifts of stories. These are gifts that keep on giving.
The Girls’ Book of Excellence Makes for an Excellent 4th Grade Girls’ Book Club! And I found a boys’ version: Science on the Loose: Amazing Activities and Science Facts You’ll Never Believe by Helaine Becker.
I was combing the bookshelves to clean them out and ran across our little pile of Christmas books that I’ve save through the years. I read them last night to my youngest but my oldest, now 11, read her favorite, Auntie Claus, and returned it the pronouncement, “That is a good book.” This is a particularly good book for responsible older sisters, particularly the self sacrificing type, which might explain why she loved it when we read picture books exclusively. It will always be on our shelves at Christmas for her because that is the power and magic of picture books: You Never Out Grown Them!