Book Corner, Empathy

Books For Empathy

Books

 

61IlThKnBgLYou, Me and Empathy by Jayneen Sanders is a great book for introducing young children to the concept of empathy.  This simple and sweet story follows Quinn as he models empathy in many ways for the readers. This book The back of the book contains discussion questions and two pages of activities that you can do with your children to promote empathy, kindness and compassion.   This sweet book would be great for ages 3 and up.

 

51eRyqDHk0L._SX418_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgMy Two Blankets by Irena Kobald and Freya Blackwood–This is the sweet story about an immigrant girl who feels lost in her new country.  A girl in the park is kind to her and despite their language barrier they become friends.  Slowly she learns the language with the help of her new friend and her new home does not seem as cold and scary.

81CDZxMMR2L.jpgSomeone New by Anne Sibley O’Brien–This book is the story of 3 new children immigrating to America from 3 different countries.  They come to school and  do not speak English and the children in their class work to find ways to reach out to them.  It is a beautiful story about even though we may seem very different on the outside, we have so much connecting us as humans on the inside.

A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams is a great example that you can make a BIG difference right in your own home if you work hard and make sacrifices.  The main character does come home with her mother to a house fire.  This may be scary for some young children but is done in a gentle way and shows the love of the community and neighborhood and how they rallied around the family after they lost everything.  This book is about family, love, kindness and hard work.  I would recommend this book to ages 5 and up.

51Ib1uey6CL._AC_US436_QL65_The Invisible Boy was written by Trudy Ludwig and illustrated by Patrice Barton.  The Illustrations in this book are wonderful.  Life is very gray and dull for Brian because nobody seems to notice him or include him.  When a new child arrives in class, that all changes for Brian and slowly the illustrations change to full color as more and people start to notice him.  This book is a wonderful example of how one simple act of kindness and a little empathy can make such a big impact on another person.  I’d recommend this book to children ages 4 and up.

71L8YiEAL0LI am Human is another TREASURE written by Susan Verde and illustrated by Peter Reynolds.  I LOVE this writer/illustrator team and have ALL of their books.  Their books do such a great job of packing in a powerful message for kids while entertaining them with fun illustrations. I am Human focuses on all of the ways that make us human (the good and the bad).  It touches on feelings, dreams, making mistakes, compassion, forgiveness and making good choices.  This book would be great to share with ages 4 and up.

 

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The Lorax is my FAVORITE Dr. Seuss book and one of my top 10 FAVORITE children’s books (I also love the original movie from the 70s).  The story has an important environmental message told in a child friendly way.  This book is a wonderful way to spark rich discussions about empathy with your kids. This book is wonderful for ages 3+.

 

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This timeless tale about bullying is perfect for ages 6 and up and is a book EVERY child should hear. From the publisher: Eleanor Estes’s The Hundred Dresses won a Newbery Honor in 1945 and has never been out of print since. At the heart of the story is Wanda Petronski, a Polish girl in a Connecticut school who is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing the same faded blue dress every day. Wanda claims she has one hundred dresses at home, but everyone knows she doesn’t and bullies her mercilessly. The class feels terrible when Wanda is pulled out of the school, but by that time it’s too late for apologies. Maddie, one of Wanda’s classmates, ultimately decides that she is “never going to stand by and say nothing again.” 

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My children and I DEVOURED the book Wonder by RJ Palcio!!  It is a fictional story based on a real life experience that happened to the author, R.J. Palacio.  This book has endearing characters and the book shifts from one character to the next so that you get the different perspectives.  This BEAUTIFUL book is filled with powerful messages of kindness, acceptance and being yourself.  I believe this book is for EVERYONE ages 7 and up.

 

41v1b8WP1qL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Fish in a Tree follows 6th grade Ally as she struggles in class to fit in and hide the fact that she can not read. Ally’s dad is deployed and their military life has led her to be enrolled in 6 schools in 6 years.  It is easy to fall in love with the characters in this book and your heart struggles right along with Ally as she tries so hard to be like everyone else.   If you enjoyed Wonder, you will definitely like this beautiful story about celebrating who you are and the gifts that make us all different. This book would be great for ages 8 and up.

 

41l+Ug74d7L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgThe kids and I are currently reading The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden.  This is a tough book and will inspire a lot of rich discussion about empathy, courage and kindness.  The book is about a seventh grade girl named Zoey who has a lot of responsibilities and worries for such a young girl.  As Zoey tries to navigate her unstable home life and the challenges of middle school her teacher forces her to join the debate club.  This will change her life in more ways than she ever imagined.  This book heartbreaking and challenging book would be great for ages 10 and up.

 

 

Book Corner, Bravery and Courage

Books for Courage and Bravery

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When You are Brave by Pat Zietlow Miller is the story of a young girl who is moving away from the home that she knows and loves.  The illustrations in this book are beautiful and the colors reflect the feelings and emotions that the young girl feels as she is on the journey to her new home.  This book encourages readers to remember those times when they showed courage and call on those memories when facing new and scary situations.  I LOVED this book (a new favorite) and would recommend it for ages 4 and up.

 

 

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After the Fall-How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Dan Sanat is the tale fo Humpty Dumpty after he fell from the wall.  It is a story of perseverance, bravery and taking one step at a time to overcome your fears.  This book is a family favorite and great for ages 6 and up.  Please Note–At first many people think that this book ends badly for Humpty Dumpty…pay close attention.

 

 

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Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun by Maria Dismandy is about a girl named Lucy who is being made fun of for being different.  In the story she finds courage inside and uses advice from her grandfather to help her overcome this challenging situation.  This book would be great for ages 5 and up.

 

 

 

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Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall is the story of a young boy who sets a goal of jumping off the diving board at the community pool.  He starts off the story very brave and excited to take on this goal but as his time to jump comes closer, he becomes more and more unsure and scared.  Will Jabari find the courage to jump off the diving board?  This book is wonderful for ages 3 and up.

 

 

 

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Brave Enough for Two by Jonathan D. Voss is the story about Olive and her very best stuffed friend, Hoot.  Hoot loves brave adventures and Olive prefers a quiet time and reading about adventures in books.  Throughout the story, Hoot encourages Olive to be brave and step out of her comfort zone and onto some wild adventures.  In the end Olive ends up being brave enough for both friends. This fantasy story would be great for ages 3 and up.

 

 

 

download-2Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909 by Michelle Markel is the true story of Clara Lemlich who is a young immigrant in America at the turn of the century.  When her father can’t find work, she finds a job at a factory making shirts.  Working in the factory is hard work and unsafe due to the poor working conditions.  Brave Clara becomes a young activist and inspiration as she organizes others to fight for better rights at the factory.  This story is the true story of a BRAVE and COURAGEOUS girl who did not stop fighting for what she believed was right.  This book would be great for ages 6 and up.

 

 

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The Little Yellow Leaf
  by Carin Berger is the perfect book for autumn.  This story illustrates that sometimes all you need to be brave, is someone by your side.  I LOVE the illustrations in this story and think it would be a great read aloud for ages 3 and up.

 

 

 

 

contentMirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully is the story of a young girl who’s mother runs a boarding house.  A famous wire-walker comes to stay at the boarding house and Mirette’s life changes forever.  This beautiful story is about perseverance, facing fears and finding our own courage from within.  My daughter LOVES this book and we’d recommend it for ages 5 and up.

 

 

 

imageThe Ordinary People Change the World books by Brad Meltzer are well LOVED in our house.  I think my daughter has almost every one of them (she may be missing 2 or 3) and reads them daily.  I love them because they show that famous people who have changed the world are still people after all.  Most have have had to overcome a lot of adversity and challenges to make change happen. Brad makes the world of biographies so much fun and the illustrations by Christoper Eliopoulos are wonderful.  They always hide the next famous person they are planning to write a biography for at the end of the book and it so much fun to hunt for them.  The Harriet Tubman book is my daughters favorite in the series.  She loved learning about how brave Harriet was and how many people she helped to escape slavery. This series also has books about Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Helen Keller and so many more.  Ages 5 and up

Books that Will Inspire Bravery in Older Children

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  • Green Ember Series (ages 9 and up)-This series is jam-packed with adventure!  It can be a bit dark at times but my sensitive 9-year-old is just fine with it.  She even named her pet bunny after one of the lead characters.
  • The Land of Stories Series (ages 8 and up)-This series of stories was an ABSOLUTE family favorite.  We devoured these stories and loved the way the fairytale world and our world collided.  These creative stories are read by the author and so much fun to listen to aloud.
  • The Tuesdays at the Castle Series (ages 8 and up)-This fantasy series is about a royal family who lives in a magical castle and the many challenges they face.  This book is filled with adventure, magic and friendship and each book will leave you running to the next to see what happens.  We truly loved this series and hope that there will be a few more in the series.

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  • The How to Train Your Dragon Series (ages 8 and up)-This series is very different from the movie (we like the books better) and read by the amazing David Tennant.  My son and I devoured this series but it was too much for my daughter who was 7 and 8 at the time.
  • The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates Series (ages 6 and up)-This book series is so much fun! The main character is the young daughter of the admiral and her dream is to sail the seas as a PIRATE.  Her companion is a magical gargoyle and their adventures will keep you laughing and saying, “ARGH”.  This is such a fun series.
  • The Peter Nimble Series by Jonathan Auxier (ages 9 and up)–The Peter Nimble books will keep you guessing until the end.  Jonathan Auxier is a gifted story-teller and his characters are like no others.  These stories are filled with humor, adventure and will leave you on the edge of your couch.
Book Corner, Making a Difference

Books to Inspire Action and Service

The books below are meant to inspire your children to make a difference in their community.  These books are filled with characters (many of them real) who looked at problems in their own homes, communities and in the greater world and decided to take action and serve.  We hope that you will enjoy these stories and that they will lead you to your own service projects this month (this post contains affiliate links, see info below).

CLICK HERE for our FREE Kids in Service Printable Booklist.  Happy Reading!

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Grandpa’s Corner Store by Dyanne DiSalvo-Ryan is a story about the struggle that small businesses have with larger box stores coming in to town.  The box stores have cheaper prices and more variety and this makes it hard for the smaller stores to compete. In this story, Lucy is determined to help her grandpa’s store to survive once the big new grocery store comes to town.  She rallies the neighborhood in this feel-good story.  This book would be great for ages 5 and up.

 

 

 

 

 

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena is one of my favorite stories!  The little boy is not happy about having to make the long weekly journey on the bus with his grandmother and spends his time looking out the window thinking about all of the things that he doesn’t have.  Grandma helps him to see all that he does have during there ride.  In the end he is grateful that they made the long journey to to the soup kitchen to help others!  This book would be great for ages 5 and up.

 

 

 

 

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Can a Cookie Change the World? by Rhonda Boiling –This is a new book to me and I absolutely LOVED it.  What a great message for children that they CAN make a big difference in their community (and the world).  Tessa at age 7, wanted to help the local homeless population and decided to raise money at the local Christmas Bazaar by baking cookies.  This small idea turned into a cause that the community has rallied behind and Kids Cookie’s for a Cause has raised thousands of dollars for many different charities and causes. Tessa is an INCREDIBLE kid!  This book would be perfect or ages 5 and up and 70% of the proceeds of this book, go to charity!

 

 

 

 

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Shaking Things Up by Susan Hood–This book of poems highlights 14 women of history who shook things up and helped to make a difference in this world.  Each page has a beautiful illustration, a different type of poem about a little blurb of history about the woman’s contribution to our world.  This book would be great for ages 5 and up.

 

 

 

 

 

Marvelous Cornelius by Phil Bildner is the story of a real-life hero, Cornelius Washington.  Cornelius was a street sweeper in New Orleans and was always spreading joy wherever he worked with his fun tricks and large smile.  When Hurricane Katrina hit, Cornelius was determined to clean up his beautiful city.  He quickly became overwhelmed by the amount of work that needed to be done.  That is when the neighborhood rallies together and volunteers come from around the globe to help him clean up New Orleans.  This book is a heartwarming story about a man who made the world a better place by not only keeping the streets clean but also with his loving heart and kind soul.  I would recommend this book to ages 4 and up.

 

 

A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams is a great example that you can make a BIG difference right in your own home if you work hard and make sacrifices.  The main character does come home with her mother to a house fire.  This may be scary for some young children but is done in a gentle way and shows the love of the community and neighborhood and how they rallied around the family after they lost everything.  This book is about family, love, kindness and hard work.  I would recommend this book to ages 5 and up.

 

 

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Come with Me by Holly M. McGhee–The world can be a scary place and the news is filled with sad and upsetting stories.  This simple book is about how one family chooses to put aside their fears, live their life and spread kindness along the way.  This book would be good for children ages 5 and up.

 

 

 

 

If You’re Going to a March by Martha Freeman is a sweet and simple book to introduce young children to the idea of being part of a march/protest.  This book will not only explain what it means to protest peacefully but will answer any questions they may have about the process (where do we park? where do we go to the bathroom etc.).  Best of all this book will put aside any worries or fears that they may have about being part of the event. I would recommend this book to budding activists age 5 and up 🙂

 

 

 

 

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As I have said before, we are HUGE Brad Meltzer fans in our house.  We love the Ordinary People series and we have read almost all of them.  I am Jane Goodall is a kid friendly biography of scientist and environmental activist Jane Goodall.  Jane did not follow a straight and narrow path to becoming a scientist.  She followed her passion and love of animals and learned so much about the importance of patience and perseverance in her work with chimpanzees.  Jane has made a big difference in this world and she continues to inspire generations to take care of our planet and the creatures that share the earth with us.   I recommend this book to children ages 5+.

 

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The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind picture book by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer is the true story of 14 year old William Kamkwamba and his effort to help his village during a terrible drought.  William spent all of his free time trying to figure out how to bring electricity to his village and using junk scraps, built a windmill.  This book would be great for ages 6 and up.

 

 

 

 

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One Plastic Bag by Miranda Paul  is the true story of a woman named Isatou Ceesay who took on the growing problem of trash in her village in Gambia.  The trash littering the streets was killing goats (who ate plastic bags), caused malaria outbreaks and created a terrible smell.  Isatou decided she could no longer ignore this problem and gathered a group of women to recycle the trash and turn it into treasure. I love the beautiful illustrations in this book and the powerful message is one that all people over age 3 should hear.  You can learn how to make your own plastic bag purse by clicking HERE.

 

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Love by Matt De La Pena—This BEAUTIFUL book is on my list of FAVORITE  CHILDREN’S BOOKS OF ALL TIME.  This story illustrates the many versions of love found through out this world.  Love knows no boundaries and can be found all around us.  The beautiful text and illustrations in this book show just that.  This would be a great book for ages 3 and up.

 

 

 

 

(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on the image of the books above you will be taken to Amazon.  20% of all profits made through this site will be donated to our charity of the season.  You can see the current charity on our Book Corner page.  Thank you for supporting our site and a very noble charity.)  

 

 

 

Book Corner, Earth Day

Books for Earth Day

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Here are some of our favorite books for Earth Day.  These books are filled with positive Earth Day messages, beautiful illustrations and heroes your kids can look up to.  We’d love to know what your favorite Earth Day books are, please comment below (this post contains affiliate links, see info below).

CLICK HERE for our FREE Kids in Service Printable Booklist.  Happy Reading!

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The Wump World by Bill Peet is a fun read for kids with a powerful message about how important it is to care for our planet.  The book reminds my family of both the Lorax by Dr. Seuss and the Disney movie WALL-E.  I would recommend this book to children ages 4 and up.

 

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The Lorax is my FAVORITE Dr. Seuss book and one of my top 10 FAVORITE children’s books (I also love the original movie from the 70s).  The story has an important environmental message told in a child friendly way.  I LOVE the characters in this book and the illustrations are so much fun.  This book is wonderful for ages 3+.

 

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Just a Dream by Chris Van Allsburg (author of the Polar Express) is the story of Walter.  Walter is a litterbug and would rather watch TV than do his part to save the planet.  After a dream of what the future will look like, he beings to change his tune.  This book is great for children ages 4 and up.

 

 

image.pngThe Wartville Wizard by Don Madden is another one of our favorite stories for Earth Day.  It delivers a powerful message with humor and in a kid friendly manner.  It is the story about a man who spends his whole life cleaning up after the messy people in his town.  One day he is tired of cleaning up their trash and is granted a power over trash.  What happens next is comical and your kids will love it. I recommend this book to ages 3 and up.

 

image.pngAs I have said before, we are HUGE Brad Meltzer fans in our house.  We love the Ordinary People series and we have read almost all of them.  I am Jane Goodall is a kid friendly biography of scientist and environmental activist Jane Goodall.  Jane did not follow a straight and narrow path to becoming a scientist.  She followed her passion and love of animals and learned so much about the importance of patience and perseverance in her work with chimpanzees.  I recommend this book to children ages 5+.

 

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Compost Stew by Mary McKenna is a simple and fun way to introduce kids to the concept of composting.  It is an alphabet book of all of the items that can be composted and how it is done.  The illustrations are so much fun and done with collage.  I recommend this book to ages 2 and up.

 

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 The Little Gardener by Jan Gerardi is a board book meant for little hands.  It has flaps to lift and discover pictures hidden below.  In this book small children will learn all they need to start a garden.  It is the perfect Earth Day book for small children ages 0-5.

 

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Thank You, Earth by April Pulley Sayre is a beautiful book of photographs.  This book is a love letter to the earth and is filled with gratitude and beauty.  In the back they have resources for how you can take action to help our planet.  I’d recommend this book to ages 2 and up.

 

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We LOVE Gail Gibbons books in this house.  She always packs a lot of good science into these short, kid friendly books.  In this book she shares the reasons why we should recycle and how to go about doing it. I would recommend this book for children ages 5 and up.

 

 

image.pngThis book is the children’s biography of one of my heroes.  Rachel Carson wrote a book in the early 60’s, called Silent Spring.  This book alerted the world to the harmful effects of DDT and other pesticides that they were using and started an environmental movement.  This book is the story of her life and how she came to write that important book .  I would recommend this book for ages 6 and up.

 

image.pngBecause of an Acorn by Lola and Adam Schaefer is a simple story that explains the connection between all living things.  So many living things depend upon that one little acorn.  The illustrations are beautiful and in the back there are tips on how your family can help save forests.  If you get the scholastic book orders, this book can be found in there for much cheaper.  This story would be wonderful for ages 2 and up.

 

image.png One Plastic Bag by Miranda Paul  is the true story of a woman named Isatou Ceesay who took on the growing problem of trash in her village in Gambia.  The trash littering the streets was killing goats (who ate plastic bags), caused malaria outbreaks and created a terrible smell.  Isatou decided she could no longer ignore this problem and gathered a group of women to recycle the trash and turn it into treasure. I love the beautiful illustrations in this book and the powerful message is one that all people over age 3 should hear.  You can learn how to make your own plastic bag purse by clicking HERE.

 

image.pngThe Bee Book by Charlotte Milner is filled with facts and information about bees.  You will learn the different species of bees, how they make honey and why they are so important.  My daughter is so afraid of bees (as are many people) and this book shares how important bees are to our planet and what the world would look like without them.  This book is jam packed with information but I think younger kids would still benefit from the pictures and if a simplified version of the text.  I would recommend this book to ages 3 and up.

 

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The Tree Lady by H Joseph Hopkins tells the true story of Katherine Olivia Sessions and her love of nature and trees.  Katherine grew up in the late 1800s and was the first woman to graduate form the University of California with a degree in science!  Taking a job in San Diego, she could not believe the barren landscape.   She followed her heart and dreams and led a movement that transformed the city into the lush place it is today.  This book would be great for ages 5 and up.

 

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If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams is a wonderful visual for just how fragile the web of life is.  Sharks misunderstood and often create a lot of fear for humans.  This fear has caused many species to become endangered.  This story shows what life would be like without sharks and how it would affect all creatures on earth (including humans).  I would recommend this book for ages 3 and up.

 

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 The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind picture book by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer is the true story of 14 year old William Kamkwamba and his effort to help his village during a terrible drought.  William spent all of his free time trying to figure out how to bring electricity to his village and using junk scraps, built a windmill.  This book would be great for ages 6 and up.

 

 

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This is the original book written by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer.  This book would be great for middle school and above. If you have Netflix, they created a heartfelt family movie (TV-PG) based on this story.

 

 

 

 

(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on the image of the books above you will be taken to Amazon.  20% of all profits made through this site will be donated to our charity of the season.  You can see the current charity on our Book Corner page.  Thank you for supporting our site and a very noble charity.)  

 

 

Book Corner, Earth Day Projects

One Plastic Bag

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This book is the true story of a woman named Isatou Ceesay who took on the growing problem of trash in her village in Gambia.  The trash littering the streets was killing goats (who ate plastic bags), causing malaria outbreaks and creating a terrible smell.  Isatou decided she could no longer ignore this problem and gathered a group of women to recycle the trash and turn it into treasure.

You can learn more about her story by reading the beautiful children’s book, One Plastic Bag (pictured above) or by visiting oneplasticbag.com.  Below there is a video where Isatou teaches you how to make your own purses out of plastic bags.  This is a very important story to share with your children of all ages.

 

 

The books in this post contain Amazon Affiliate Links.  If you click on one of the pictures of the books and choose to purchase a book through this site, 20% of all proceeds will be donated to the Kids in Service charity of the season.  This season the charity is Sole Hope.  You can learn more about Sole Hope HERE.

Book Corner, Growth Mindset, Mindfulness

Mindfulness Books and Resources

CLICK HERE for our FREE Printable Booklist.

CLICK HERE for Yoga books and games.

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Breathe Like a Bear is a sweet way to teach children breathing techniques.  The are 30 breathing techniques in 5 different categories (calm, focus, imagine, make some energy and relax).  Each breath has a child friendly name and illustration to help them remember them.  After reading this book, I made up cards for each breath and put them into a jar.  We pick a new one each morning to try out. We LOVE this book and think it would be great for ages 3 and up.

 

 

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We are HUGE Peter Reynolds fans in this house.  We have EVERY book he has ever illustrated/written.  This book I am Peace by Susan Verde is the PERFECT introduction to Mindfulness.  The fun illustrations will take you on a mindful journey and teach people of all ages, what it means to be mindful.  I would recommend this book to EVERYONE ages 3 and up.  This powerful writer/illustrator team also has a book called I am Yoga!

 

 

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This book is another great way to introduce the concept of mindfulness to children.  This book starts with AWARENESS and ends with ZEN. I love the bright and colorful  illustrations and the kid friendly language in this book.  It is a quick read and a great way to inspire your family to be more mindful.  I’d recommend this book for ages 3 and up.  This series also has an ABC of Yoga book.

 

 

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This book walks children through what it means to live in the present moment.  It talks about listening, noticing, focus, gratitude, patience, growth mindset and realizing that today is a gift.  This book has fun illustrations and kid friendly language and would be perfect for ages 4 and up.

 

 

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This mindful tale is about a crab who leads a mindful life and a whale who washes up on the shore.  The crab offers to stay with the whale while they wait for the tide to come back in.  While they wait, crab teaches whale ways to stay calm and mindful.  At the end of this sweet book they have breathing exercises to try.  This book is free on Kindle Unlimited would be perfect for ages 3 and up.

 

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Sitting meditations are not for everybody, especially when you are just starting out.  Mindful Movements is a great book to help guide you and your family, through moving mediations.  This wonderful book was written by Thich Nhat Hanh and includes a DVD to help you.  The book presents 10 routines for people of all ages and abilities.  We have this book and we really enjoy the routines.

 

 

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We have this beautiful deck from Barefoot Books and use it almost EVERY day. The card deck is made up of 50 sturdy, high quality cards that are color coded and divided into 5 categories (Start Your Day, Find Calm, Focus, Open Your Heart and Rest and Relax).  The activities are easy to do and involve little to no prep.  This product is for ages 3 and up.

 

 

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I do not have these cards but they had good reviews on Amazon.  Here is what the publisher says: “Be Mindful cards offer you 50 ways to be present to your life as it is actually taking place. These cards help you be in the here and now with less thinking about the past or worrying about the future. You can use these daily mindfulness strategies when you re feeling anxious, moody, angry, or just need to relax. Perfect to manage your everyday stressors: School demands, worry, sadness, problems with relationships and difficulties paying attention and focusing.”

 

 

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This book, written for teens, is in my wishlist for Amazon.  It has great reviews and here is what the publisher had to say: “Being a teen is stressful! Whether it’s school, friends, or dating, the teen years are full of difficult changes―both mentally and physically. If you’re like many teens, you may have difficulty dealing with stress in effective ways. You aren’t alone, and there are things you can do to stay calm, no matter how stressful life becomes. All you need to do is stop, breathe, and be mindful and aware in the present moment. The Mindful Teen offers a unique program based in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) to help you deal with stress. The simple, practical, and easy-to-remember tips in this book can be used every day to help you handle any difficult situation more effectively―whether it’s taking a test at school, having a disagreement with your parents, or a problem you are having with friends.”

 

Big Life Journals

UnknownOne of my favorite resources for helping my kids to DREAM BIG and to set goals is our Big Life Journals.  We have had our Big Life Journals since the very beginning when they launched as a Kick Starter Campaign.

The Big Life Journal is a journal your child fills out with an older buddy.  My son picked myself as his buddy and my daughter picked my husband.  Kids can pick ANYONE and have weekly, bi-weekly or monthly Skype or phone calls with their buddy.  The idea is that the buddy and the child read the journal together and the buddy helps the child to respond to the prompts. Just this year they came out with a version for teens and I am so excited to get our copy for my son.

The Big Life Journal website also have lots of resources (many FREE) about helping your kids to develop their growth mindset, set goals, build self-esteem and practice mindfulness.  Click HERE for their post on 5 Mindful Activities and a FREE printable.

 

(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on the image of the books above you will be taken to Amazon.  20% of all profits made through this site will be donated to our charity of the season.  You can see the current charity on our Book Corner page.  Thank you for supporting our site and a very noble charity.)  

 

Animal Service Projects, Animals, Book Corner, Kindness, Seasonal

The Iditarod with Kids

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March is one of my family’s favorite months of the year.  This is because we LOVE to follow the Iditarod.  What is the Iditarod you ask? The Iditarod is a 938 mile, Alaskan sled dog race from Anchorage to Nome.  Mushers take teams of 16 dogs on an 8-15 day race through the Alaskan wilderness.  This race commemorates Balto and the great Serum Race that happened in 1925.  The Great Serum Race involved many mushers and dog teams in a relay to deliver medicine to Nome to battle a diphtheria outbreak.

The Iditarod started in 1973 to keep the sport of sled dog racing alive.  Dogs and mushers  all test their strength and ability during the race and try to be the first to cross through the arch in Nome. Animal safety is of the utmost importance during the Iditarod and all animals are checked carefully at each checkpoint by veterinarians.  Mushers develop such tight bonds with their teams of dogs and most of them treat their dogs like family.

This year over 50 teams will leave on March 2nd for the Ceremonial Start from Anchorage.  This part of the race is broadcast for FREE on the Iditarod website.  The official start happens on March 3rd.  My children and I will be glued to the GPS tracker on the Iditarod website, as we follow our favorite Mushers through the race.

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In honor of the Iditarod, we wanted to share some of our favorite Animal Service Projects (click on the picture above) and our family’s favorite Iditarod books.  Click on the book pictures below to learn more.

Iditarod Books

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This is my FAVORITE Iditarod book of all time.  I have read this book so many times and still cry at the end.  This book is about a teamwork, determination and the love and trust between animals and humans.  This story is sure to have you cheering on Akiak and would be perfect for children ages 3 and up.

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This book was written by Libby Riddles, the first woman to win the Iditarod in 1985.  This book is the true, historic story of that race and includes photographs and beautiful illustrations.  Storm Run is an inspirational story of a determined woman and her beloved dog team, who fought their way to victory.  I would recommend this book for anyone ages 4 and up.

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This is another great Iditarod story that puts you on the trail with the dogs and musher.  This book was written by Shelly Gill, who was the fifth woman to ever complete the Iditarod.  This book is based off of her experience and is filled with the action that these teams face on the trail.  This book would be great for children ages 3 and up.


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The Iditarod race commemorates the Great Serum Race from 1925 where mushers and dog teams set up a relay to get medicine to Nome for a diphtheria outbreak.  The hero of the Great Race is Balto.  You can learn more about his brave story and of the Great Serum Race is in this book.  This book would be great for ages 5 and up.

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Jack and Annie fans will love this tale of Balto, the famous sled dog.  We are BIG Magic Treehouse fans in this house and this book was exciting from start to end.  Magic Treehouse books are fun and engaging ways for children to learn about historic times.  This book and the rest of the series would be great for children ages 5 and up.

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This great book will bring you behind the scenes of the life of an Iditarod sled dog.  You will learn about their training, their care, their determined spirits and the love and trust they share with their human mushers.  These dogs are some of the most athletic animals in the world and this book is filled with dog facts and beautiful photographs.  This book would be great for ages 3 and up.  Younger listeners will enjoy the pictures and a brief summary of the text.

(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on the image of the books above you will be taken to Amazon.  20% of all profits made through this site will be donated to our charity of the season.  You can see the current charity on our Book Corner page.  Thank you for supporting our site and a very noble charity.)  

 

 

Book Corner, Holiday, Kindness, Uncategorized

Black History Month

“Even though we may have the different skin color, we’re still the same type of people, no matter what.” -Simsola 6th Grade–Global Citizen Video

February is a month of KINDNESS here at Kids in Service and also a time to celebrate our differences.  As part of this celebration we wanted to take a moment and recognize Black History Month.  So many people have dedicated their lives to making sure that all people in our country have a voice.  They have fought (and continue to fight) for a world where everyone is respected and treated with kindness no matter their beliefs, the color of their skin, their gender, or their place in society.

As part of Black History MonthKids in Service would like to celebrate the people who have fought for civil rights in this country.  We have a lot of resources below that you can share with your children.  These books and movies are meant to be a springboard to have a conversation with your children about acceptance, bravery, respect, celebrating our differences and KINDNESS.

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CLICK HERE for a FREE Printable Book list for the library or local bookstore.

Click on the picture of each book to learn more.

Books

image.pngThe Ordinary People Change the World books by Brad Meltzer are well LOVED in our house.  I think my daughter has almost every one of them (she may be missing 2 or 3) and reads them daily.  I love them because they show that famous people who have changed the world are still people after all.  Most have have had to overcome a lot of adversity and challenges to make change happen.   Brad makes the world of biographies so much fun and the illustrations by Christoper Eliopoulos are wonderful.  They always hide the next famous person they are planning to write a biography for at the end of the book and it so much fun to hunt for them.  The Harriet Tubman book is my daughters favorite in the series.  She loved learning about how brave Harriet was and how many people she helped to escape slavery. This series also has books about Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln and Jackie Robinson for Black History Month.  Ages 5 and up

 

image.pngI use to read this book every February in my 2nd and 3rd grade class.  It is a wonderful story of Rosa Parks life and how her one courageous act started a civil rights movement.  This book would be great to share with children ages 6 and up.  There is a lot of information in this book and it is a great springboard to a rich conversation about segregation and prejudice.  I am a strong believer that a good picture book can be used for children in ANY grade (even high school) and I believe that this is one of them.

 

image.pngThis beautiful book tells the tale of Peg Leg Joe, an old white sailor, and the song he use to teach slaves about the Underground Railroad.  This book tells the tale of one family as they follow the words to Peg Leg Joe’s song and escape their life of slavery.    The Drinking Gourd is a gentle book about this difficult subject and would be great  for children ages 6 and up.

 

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This is another wonderful biography that I use to read to my 2nd and 3rd grade class every year.  Martin’s Big Words is the biography of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and was written for children ages 5 and up.  This beautiful biography is easy for children to understand,  has beautiful illustrations and weaves Dr. King’s famous words throughout it.

 

 

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This book celebrates the lives of 40 African American women.  These brave and inspirational women have made a difference in our world. Each woman has a page long biography and a full page sweet illustration of them.  This is part of the Little Leaders and Dreamers series by Vashti Harrison.  This is a wonderful resource and would be great for ages 8 and up.

 

 

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Here’s a book for the little ones.  This board book is a younger version of Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History.  This shorter and simpler book celebrates the lives of 18 African American woman.  The sweet illustrations and language in this book make it a wonderful story to share with young children.  It is never to early to encourage children to be brave and follow their dreams.

 

Movies

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  1. Garretts Gift-This 17 minute movie can be found FREE on Netflix.  The movie tells the story of African American inventor Garrett Morgan’s life.  Garrett Morgan is responsible for inventing the traffic signal, the gas mask, chemical hair straightening solution and many other things. This movie teaches that we all have gifts to share with this world.  All we need is a little support, encouragement and the right tools.  The story is told by Queen Latifah and the animation is simple but fun and would be great for ages 4 and up.
  2. Dancing in the Light the story of Janet Collins–This 17 minute movie can be found on NETFLIX.  It is the story of Janet Collins an African American ballerina in the 1930s.  She was the first African American to dance at the Metropolitan Opera house but dealt with a lot of racism in her career (the Ballet Rouse asked her to paint her face white in order to perform).  This uplifting story is narrated by Chris Rock and is great for ages 4 and up.
  3. Follow the Drinking Gourd–My kids and I rented this 26 minute movie on Amazon.  Morgan Freeman narrates the story of the Drinking Gourd by Bernardine Connelly while the beautiful illustrations from Yvonne Buchanan are shown on the screen.  We really enjoyed this historical fiction tale and learned a lot about Peg Leg Joe, the Drinking Gourd and the Underground Railroad. This movie is listed for ages 6 and up but I would think it would be better for 7 and up.
  4. Ruby Bridges–This Disney move is not rated and unfortunately not reviewed on Common Sense Media.  It is on our list of movies to watch this month as we continue our study of the Civil Rights Movement.  From what I have read, people recommend it to children ages 7 and up.
  5. Remember the Titans–I LOVE sports films and this is one of my favorites.  This movie is the based on a true story of two high schools integrating after segregation has ended. The story follows the integration of the football team and is a powerful story of racism, acceptance, respect and teamwork.   This movie is rated PG and recommended for ages 10 and up.
  6. Hidden Figures–This was one case where I loved the movie as much as the book (that rarely happens).  This is the true story of the unsung heroes behind the mathematics of the space program.  The story follows the lives of three strong and brilliant African American women (Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson) and their struggle to find acceptance and respect at NASA while they work to put John Glenn into orbit.  This movie is rated PG and recommended for ages 10 and up.

(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on the image of the books above you will be taken to Amazon.  20% of all profits made through this site will be donated to our charity of the season.  You can see the current charity on our Book Corner page.  Thank you for supporting our site and a very noble charity.)  

 

Book Corner, Uncategorized

Kids in Service FREE Printable Book List

Kids in Service Printable Booklist

We have compiled all of our book recommendations from the Kids in Service site into one handy, printable list.  This way you can grab it when you are headed to the library or download it to your phone so that you always have it.  It is organized by category and has age recommendations for each book. The best part is, it’s FREE!

This list is updated each month when we add new book recommendations to the site. We hope that this list will inspire you to share some good stories with the little guys in your life today!

Click on any of the icons to download our list.  

 

 

 

 

Book Corner, Holiday, Holiday Books, Kindness, Seasonal

Chinese New Year

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Happy New Year: 新年快乐 (xīn nián kuài lè)

This year Chinese New Year (or Lunar New Year) begins on February 5th.  Chinese New Year is the beginning of the Chinese calendar and is also known as the Spring Festival.   2019 is the Year of the Pig and pigs symbolize wealth and fortune in China.

This 15 day festival can be a great time for your family to learn about the Chinese culture, the traditions associated with this festival and have a little bit of fun.  Here are some fun things you and your family can do to learn about and celebrate Chinese New Year.

  1.  CLICK Here to find out what your Chinese Zodiac symbol is (we are snakes, a dog and ox over here)
  2. CLICK HERE for ideas for a craft projects for Chinese New Year.  You can make some fun decorations together and plan a Chinese New Year Feast.  Red is the color of Chinese New Year and it is thought to bring luck.
  3. Make Chinese food together or order take-out from your favorite restaurant.  Dumplings are eaten every day during the festival.
  4. Find a local Chinese New Year celebration.  People from all over the world celebrate this festival and there are many events here in the USA.  Check out your local art museum or go to your closest China Town.  We went to a dragon dance a few years ago at our local art museum and it was beautiful.

Books for Chinese New Year

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From the publisher: “When her Chinese grandmother comes to visit, a young Chinese-American girl learns of and participates in the customs and beliefs celebrating an authentic Chinese New Year.”

 

 

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From the publisher: “In this picture book celebrating Chinese New Year, animals from the Chinese zodiac help a little girl deliver a gift to her grandmother.Ruby has a special card to give to her grandmother for Chinese New Year. But who will help her get to grandmother’s house to deliver it? Will it be clever Rat, strong Ox, or cautious Rabbit? Ruby meets each of the twelve zodiac animals on her journey. This picture book includes back matter with a focus on the animals of the Chinese zodiac.”

 

unknown-2From the publisher: “When a boy goes to the market to buy food and comes home with an old wok instead, his parents wonder what they’ll eat for dinner. But then the wok rolls out of the poor family’s house with a skippity-hoppity-ho! and returns from the rich man’s home with a feast in tow! With spirited text and lively illustrations, this story reminds readers about the importance of generosity.”

 

(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on the image of the books above you will be taken to Amazon.  20% of all profits made through this site will be donated to our charity of the season.  You can see the current charity on our Book Corner page.  Thank you for supporting our site and a very noble charity.)