Book Corner

Books that Celebrate Women

There are so many WONDERFUL books celebrating women who have changed the world.  Here are some of our favorites.  Many of the books below have read aloud links to YouTube.

 

This is book one of a three book series by Chelsea Clinton.  In this first book you learn the stories of 13 American women who persisted and changed the world.  This book includes the stories of: “Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Virginia Apgar, Maria Tallchief, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor”.  This book is a wonderful collection of inspirational stories and would be perfect to share with children ages 5 and up.

The 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 and reads them all the time.  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 Meltzer 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.  This series has books about lots of famous women like: Sonia Sotomayor, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Billie Jean King, Jane Goodall, Anne Frank, Marie Curie, Sacagawea, Lucille Ball and Amelia Earhart.  Frida Kahlo and Oprah Winfrey books are coming soon. 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.

 

This book, written by Malala Yousafzai, is an autobiographical story of her life done for young children.  The story begins with Malala watching a show about a boy with a magic pencil and all he does with it.  She then takes this idea of a magic pencil and shares all of the wonderful things she would do if she had one.  The story tells, in a gentle manor, the story of how Malala took her own real life pencil and became a voice that stood up for herself and others in her home of Pakistan.  This book is recommended for grades 3 and up.

 

Hidden Figures (both book and movie) are a favorite in this house. This beautiful picture book is a wonderful overview of the lives of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden and how they helped to launch a man into space.  In a time of segregation and gender inequality, these four women of color showed that their genius minds were of great value to the space program.  The read aloud link below is read by Laura Freeman, who is the illustrator of this book! This book is recommended for ages 4 and up.

This is the story of Maya Lin, who designed the famous Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC.  Maya Lin was a senior in college when she submitted her design for the memorial.  There were 1,421 entries into the contest and many objected to her winning the contest because of her age and inexperience. This story shares her childhood, all that inspired her to become an artist and architect, the story of how she envisioned the memorial and her bravery to stand up for herself when people objected to her design being the winner.  This book would be great for ages 5 and up.

My children love this beautiful book about Jane Goodall’s life.  We would recommend it for children ages 4 and up. From the publisher: “Acclaimed picture book biographer Jeanette Winter has found her perfect subject: Jane Goodall, the great observer of chimpanzees. Follow Jane from her childhood in London watching a robin on her windowsill, to her years in the African forests of Gombe, Tanzania, invited by brilliant scientist Louis Leakey to observe chimps, to her worldwide crusade to save these primates who are now in danger of extinction, and their habitat. Young animal lovers and Winter’s many fans will welcome this fascinating and moving portrait of an extraordinary person and the animals to whom she has dedicated her life.”

This is the story of tennis stars and sisters, Venus and Serena Williams.  This book shares their life story, their bond and the dedication and hard work they had to put in to make their dream a reality.  The book is illustrated in beautiful collages.  This is a longer picture book and we’d recommend it for children ages 5 and up.

From the publisher: The Cambodian Dancer, a Cambodian book for children, is the true story of a Cambodian refugee — a dancer and teacher — who built a life in the U.S. after fleeing the Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge. She then became a counselor to other Cambodian refugees and created a school of dance for children. Her gift of hope was to teach children in the Cambodian community the traditional dances of their country, so young people growing up far away from the land of their ancestors would know about Cambodian culture and customs. Through straightforward language and colorful illustrations, this multicultural children’s story communicates to children a sense of the joy, sadness, injustice, and triumph that lives on in young Cambodian Americans. It shows that it is possible to overcome great hardship and that a single decision can do much to heal oneself and others. This touching multicultural children’s book brings a message of positivity to a true story of human hope and resilience.” This book is for ages 4 and up.

From the publisher: “Sylvia Earle first lost her heart to the ocean as a young girl when she discovered the wonders of the Gulf of Mexico in her backyard. As an adult, she dives even deeper. Whether she’s designing submersibles, swimming with the whales, or taking deep-water walks, Sylvia Earle has dedicated her life to learning more about what she calls “the blue heart of the planet.” With stunningly detailed pictures of the wonders of the sea, Life in the Ocean tells the story of Sylvia’s growing passion and how her ocean exploration and advocacy have made her known around the world. This picture book biography also includes an informative author’s note that will motivate young environmentalists.” This book is for ages 5 and up.

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I 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.

From the publisher: “This stunning picture book is the perfect gift for art enthusiasts of all ages. When her mother was worn out from caring for her five sisters, her father gave her lessons in brushwork and color. When polio kept her bedridden for nine months, drawing saved her from boredom. When a bus accident left her in unimaginable agony, her paintings expressed her pain and depression – and eventually, her joys and her loves. Over and over again, Frida Kahlo turned the challenges of her life into art. Now Jonah Winter and Ana Juan have drawn on both the art and the life to create a playful, insightful tribute to one of the twentieth century’s most influential artists. Viva Frida!” This book is for ages 4 and up.

From the publisher:As a child in Oklahoma, Wilma Mankiller experienced the Cherokee practice of Gadugi, helping each other, even when times were hard for everyone. But in 1956, the federal government uprooted her family and moved them to California, wrenching them from their home, friends, and traditions. Separated from her community and everything she knew, Wilma felt utterly lost until she found refuge in the Indian Center in San Francisco. There, she worked to build and develop the local Native community and championed Native political activists. She took her two children to visit tribal communities in the state, and as she introduced them to the traditions of their heritage, she felt a longing for home.

Returning to Oklahoma with her daughters, Wilma took part in Cherokee government. Despite many obstacles, from resistance to female leadership to a life-threatening accident, Wilma’s courageous dedication to serving her people led to her election as the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation. As leader and advocate, she reinvigorated her constituency by empowering them to identify and solve community problems.

This beautiful addition to the Big Words series will inspire future leaders to persevere in empathy and thoughtful problem-solving, reaching beyond themselves to help those around them. Moving prose by award-winning author Doreen Rappaport is interwoven with Wilma’s own words in this expertly researched biography, illustrated with warmth and vivacity by Linda Kukuk.” This book is recommended for ages 4 and up.

The Little People, Big Dreams biographical series has over 60 books.  Some of the notable women are Anne Frank, Michelle Obama, Greta Thunberg, Aretha Franklin, Mother Theresa, Coco Chanel, Dolly Parton, Zaha Hadid and many more. These books are meant for young readers and great for ages 4 and up. From the publisher: “Anne Frank was born in Germany to a loving family. But when World War II broke out, Anne and her family had to hide in a secret annex in Amsterdam. Here, Anne wrote her famous diary, describing her belief in people’s goodness and her hopes for peace. After the war, her diary captured the hearts of the public and she became one of the most important diarists of the 20th century. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of Anne’s life.”

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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.

 

This beautiful picture book tells the story of how Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life. Ruth was a trailblazer for much of her life as she worked hard to make sure that all people were represented fairly.  I love the lesson at the end of the book that says just because you disagree with someone, does not mean you are disagreeable and can’t be friends.  I’d recommend this book for children ages 5 and up.

From the publisher: “Eugenie Clark fell in love with sharks from the first moment she saw them at the aquarium. She couldn’t imagine anything more exciting than studying these graceful creatures. But Eugenie quickly discovered that many people believed sharks to be ugly and scary—and they didn’t think women should be scientists.

Determined to prove them wrong, Eugenie devoted her life to learning about sharks. After earning several college degrees and making countless discoveries, Eugenie wrote herself into the history of science, earning the nickname “Shark Lady.” Through her accomplishments, she taught the world that sharks were to be admired rather than feared and that women can do anything they set their minds to.

An inspiring story by critically acclaimed zoologist Jess Keating about finding the strength to discover truths that others aren’t daring enough to see. Includes a timeline of Eugenie’s life and many fin-tastic shark facts!”

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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.

My children love this book!  They love reading all of the fun facts about the first ladies and their families.  This book is recommended for age 5 and up.

From the Publisher: For every president, there has been a first lady, sometimes two. Who were these women? How has the job of First Lady (unpaid and unelected) changed over time? The Smart About format proves just right for covering history in an easy, appealing way.

 

This is the second book of a three book series from Vashti Harrison.  This book features inspiring stories from 35 creative women around the world.  Stories include: (from the publisher) “Mary Blair, an American modernist painter who had a major influence on how color was used in early animated films, actor/inventor Hedy Lamarr, environmental activist Wangari Maathai, architect Zaha Hadid, filmmaker Maya Deren, and physicist Chien-Shiung Wu. Some names are known, some are not, but all of the women had a lasting effect on the fields they worked in.” This book is recommended for ages 8 and up.

From the publisher: “Kate Pankhurst, descendent of Emmeline Pankhurst, has created this wildly wonderful and accessible book about women who really changed the world. Discover fascinating facts about some of the most amazing women who changed the world we live in. Fly through the sky with the incredible explorer Amelia Earhart, and read all about the Wonderful Adventures of Mary Seacole with this fantastic full colour book. Bursting full of beautiful illustrations and astounding facts, Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World is the perfect introduction to just a few of the most incredible women who helped shaped the world we live in. List of women featured: Jane Austen, Gertrude Ederle, Coco Chanel, Frida Kahlo, Marie Curie, Mary Anning, Mary Seacole, Amelia Earhart, Agent Fifi, Sacagawa, Emmeline Pankhurst, Rosa Parks, Anne Frank”

This is the story of 15 black women who made big advancements in science.  This book includes inspiring biographies of astronaut Mae Jemison, mathematician Katherine Johnson, cancer researcher Dr.Jane C. Wright and 12 others. This book is recommended for ages 9 and up.

From the publisher: “Throughout history, Black women have blazed trails across the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Black Women in Science brings something special to black history books for kids, celebrating incredible Black women in STEM who have used their brains, bravery, and ambition to beat the odds.”

 

 

Book Corner, Holiday Books

Books for Presidents’ Day

It’s almost Presidents’ Day and we have some great books to help your kids celebrate the leaders from our past and present. Many of the books listed below have YouTube read aloud links for you to enjoy the books right now.  Happy Reading!

 

From the publisherToday at school we celebrated Presidents’ Day by putting on a play. Mrs. Madoff said I could be George Washington because his birthday is the same as mine. Charlie was Abraham Lincoln because he’s the tallest kid in our class. Everyone else had very important parts to play, too. At the end of the day we voted for class president, and you’ll never guess who won!

 

From the publisher: When Grace’s teacher reveals that the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides she wants to be the nation’s first and immediately jumpstarts her political career by running in her school’s mock election! The race is tougher than she expected: her popular opponent declares that he’s the “best man for the job” and seems to have captured the votes of all of the class’s boys. But Grace is more determined than ever. Even if she can’t be the best man for the job, she can certainly try to be the best person!

This timely story not only gives readers a fun introduction to the American electoral system but also teaches the value of hard work, courage, independent thought — and offers an inspiring example of how to choose our leaders.

 

From the publisher: Imagine living in the White House, a mansion where you wouldn’t have to leave home to go bowling or see a movie! Imagine a chef to cook anything you like. “Two desserts tonight, Madam President? No problem!” A multicultural cast of children imagines what it would be like to be president. Readers will be so caught up in the fun they won’t realize that the book is also an ingenious teaching device and discussion starter. A note about the presidency accompanies the story.

From the publisher: In this reverentially funny tale from Deborah Chandra written in verse and based on Washington’s letters, diaries, and other historical records, readers will find out what really happened as they follow the trail of lost teeth to complete tooflessness.

From battling toothaches while fighting the British, to having rotten teeth removed by his dentists, the Father of His Country suffered all his life with tooth problems. Yet, contrary to popular belief, he never had a set of wooden teeth. Starting at the age of twenty-four, George Washington lost on average a tooth a year, and by the time he was elected president, he had only two left!

From the publisher: “Kids always search for heroes, so we might as well have a say in it,” Brad Meltzer realized, and so he envisioned this friendly, fun approach to biography – for his own kids, and for yours. Each book tells the story of one of America’s icons in an entertaining, conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers, those who aren’t quite ready for the Who Was series. Each book focuses on a particular character trait that made that role model heroic. For example, Abraham Lincoln always spoke up about fairness, and thus he led the country to abolish slavery. This book follows him from childhood to the presidency, including the Civil War and his legendary Gettysburg Address.
 
This engaging series is the perfect way to bring American history to life for young children, and to inspire them to strive and dream.

 

From the publisher: George Washington crossed the Delaware in the dead of night. Abraham Lincoln saved the Union. And President William Howard Taft, a man of great stature . . . well, he got stuck in a bathtub. Now how did he get unstuck?

 

From the Publisher: For every president, there has been a first lady, sometimes two. Who were these women? How has the job of First Lady (unpaid and unelected) changed over time? The Smart About format proves just right for covering history in an easy, appealing way.

 

 

 

 

 

From the publisher: Kids will love discovering the floor plan of the White House, a list of presidential perks, and lots of interesting info about all the presidents, from George Washington to Barack Obama. (Did you know he is the only president born in Hawaii?) Each page is jam-packed with trivia, fun facts, and information on the historical events of each presidency.

 

 

 

From the Publisher: Did you know that John Quincy Adams kept an alligator in the bathtub, while Thomas Jefferson’s pride and joy was his pair of bear cubs? Andrew Jackson had a potty-mouthed parrot, and Martin Van Buren got into a fight with Congress over his two baby tigers. Find out all about the weird, wacky, little, big, scary, strange animals that have lived in the White House.
Perfect for election year collections and displays. This rollicking, rhyming look at the animal residents of the White House introduces each set of pets with a funny verse along with cool facts and presidential stats. This trek through history will delight any animal-loving kid.

 

 

From the publisher: Welcome to the White House! Go behind the scenes to get a 360-degree view of America’s most famous president’s residence, from how it was built in 1792 and the fire of 1812, to today’s state dinners, celebrations, celebrity pets, and more. Discover through 1,000 fun-to-read facts what it’s like to live and work at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the quirky rules of the house and how the Secret Service keeps it safe. Find out how the kids who have lived there play, watch movies, and entertain friends. With a treasure trove of material from the White House Historical Association, this book presents a fascinating story of the building and the many people who have shaped its 225-year history.

Book Corner, Empathy

Books to Deal with Aging and Death

Kids in SErvice Junior

This booklist has been compiled over the years as my children have lost loved ones and have started relationships with the seniors at our local nursing home.  If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, I am so very sorry.  I hope that you and your children will find books in here that will bring some comfort and peace as you learn to live this new life without that special person.

Books that deal with Aging and Friendships with the Elderly

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The Tide by Clare Helen Welsh (ages 4 and up) is a book that deals with dementia.  The grandad in the book is starting to forget things and it causes some emotions in his granddaughter.  This is a beautiful story is about how the people we love will always love us, even if they start to lose their memory. Below you can listen to the author read her story in her beautiful accent.

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Mr. George Baker by Amy Hest (ages 5 and up) is a book about a special friendship between a 100 year old man and a young neighbor boy.  The boy describes how wonderful his friend George is and shares that he is 100 but never learned to read.  The two go to school together on the bus and George goes to a special adult classroom to learn how to read. This book is just beautiful and a favorite of mine!

 

Screen Shot 2020-08-13 at 5.43.59 PMSunshine Home by Eve Bunting (ages 4 and up) is the story of a boy going to see his grandmother in the nursing home for the first time.  She has fallen and can no longer live at home and he is scared about visiting her in the nursing home and worried that she has changed.  The boy finds out that his grandmother is still the same wonderful person she always has been. This book does a great job of describing what nursing homes are like to ease nervous feelings that little ones may be experiencing.  

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Miss Tizzy by Libba Moore Gray (ages 3 and up) is the story about a wonderful elderly neighbor named Miss Tizzy.  Miss Tizzy is so loved by the children in her neighborhood and she leads them in daily activities, games and projects.  When Miss Tizzy gets sick, the children are very sad.  They come together to show her the same love she has shown them with daily acts of kindness.  This is such a beautiful book about friendship.  

 

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The Patchwork Quilt by Valerie Flournoy (ages 4 and up) is the story about the relationship between a child and her grandmother who lives with her.  Her grandmother starts a patchwork quilt and her granddaughter, Tanya, offers to help. They collect scraps from all over the place, each scrap a reminder of something special in their life.  When grandma gets sick, Tanya is determined to keep the quilt going.  When grandma is feeling better, she is able to finish the quilt and they are left with a beautiful keepsake.  

 

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The Old Woman Who Named Things by Cynthia Rylant (ages 4 and up) is a beautiful book about a lonely older woman who loves to name things.  She has outlived all of her friends and so she is very much alone and names only things that can outlive her (her car, chair etc.).  A puppy comes into her life one day and things begin to change. This book will inspire your and your children to reach out to the elderly people in their life who may be lonely.  

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Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox (ages 4 and up) is the story about a boy who lives next door to a nursing home.  He knows all of the people who live there and runs errands for them. He has a very special relationship with one resident, Miss Nancy, who has lost her memory.  Wilfrid does not know what a memory is, so he goes on a quest through the nursing home to find out so that he can help Miss Nancy.  I LOVE this sweet story so much.

Books for Children Dealing with Death and Grief

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The Dragonfly Story by Kelly Owen (ages 3 and up) is a beautiful book for ALL ages.  This book is based on a well shared short story by an unknown author (Click Here for one version). I found this short story when I lost my sister in-law to breast cancer 10 years ago.  My son was 3 at the time and this story brought all of us so much comfort and peace at the time.

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The Goodbye Book by Todd Parr (ages 2 and up) is a great book to explain loss to young children.  It is simple, easy to understand and yet so powerful.  The book goes through the different emotions that your child might be feeling as they go through the grieving process. It is such a great book!

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God Gave us Heaven by Laura J. Bryant and Lisa Tawn Bergren (ages 3-7) is a sweet story and does a great job of explaining the concept of heaven for little ones.  It is a Christian book, so that may not be appropriate for your family.

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Something Sad Happened: A Toddler’s Guide to Understanding Death by Bonnie Zucker (ages 2-4) is a very simple and sweet book about losing a loved one.  In this book the child looses his grandmother and the mother explains death in terms that a child can understand and also explains the feelings of grief that may be felt with the loss.  

This book is on YouTube but the video creator would not let me post it here.  A quick search will help you to find the video.  

 

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The Invisible String by Patrice Karst (ages 4 and up) is a wonderful story about the invisible string that connects you to the people you love, even if they are not physically with you.  This book can be used to not only deal with death but for children who have anxiety about thunderstorms or being separated from their parents.  This is a book we have on our bookshelf.  

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Life is Like the Wind by Shona Innes (ages 4 and up) is a simple story about what it means to be alive.  The book was written by a child psychologist and compares life to the wind.  It deals with feelings of grief in ways that children can understand. This book is for all faiths in that it discusses in simple terms the different beliefs of what happens when someone dies.

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Memory Box: A Book About Grief by Joanna Rowland (ages 4 and up) is a beautiful book that follows a little girl through her grief.  She creates a memory box of mementos that remind her of the loved one she has lost.  This book is a great conversation starter to discuss grief and the beauty of the memories we keep.  The end contains pages to help parents guild their children through the grief process. This is a book we have on our bookshelf.  

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Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children by Bryan Mellonie (ages 5 and up) explains the concept of death as a cycle of beginnings, endings and the life in between.  The book begins by using examples from nature to help explain this difficult concept to children.  The book ends with gently discussing the life cycle of people. This is a book we have on our bookshelf.  

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Anna’s Big Wish by Tracy Harding–I have not read this book but it was recommended to me a few weeks ago as a good resource to help children with loss.  100% of the proceeds of the book go to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.  Visit the website to learn more about the book and check out the bereavement resources for children on their site.  https://annasbigwish.com/

Book Corner, Pay it Forward Summer

Pay it Forward Summer Book List

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Screen Shot 2020-05-20 at 7.48.17 AMFrom the Publisher: “Fifth-grader Javon has the big responsibility of being a Book Buddy to a kindergartner named Richard. But when he meets Richard for the first time, he isn’t so sure he’s up for the challenge. Richard won’t talk to Javon or even look at him. He seems sad, but Javon quickly realizes that Richard reminds him a whole lot of himself at that age, and Javon is determined to help his new friend.Both boys learn a lot that year, but what Javon learns from Richard is the most important lesson of all: that helping someone find their happiness can make your own heart happy, too.”

 

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This book is one of my ABSOLUTE favorites and is a great illustration of what paying it forward means.  Mary starts a revolution by secretly leaving blueberries on her neighbors front porch.  This kind deed spreads like wildfire and before you know it kindness is EVERYWHERE.  I recommend this book for ages 3 and up.

From the Publisher: “Can one child’s good deed change the world? It can when she’s Ordinary Mary―an ordinary girl from an ordinary school, on her way to her ordinary house―who stumbles upon ordinary blueberries. When she decides to pick them for her neighbor, Mrs. Bishop, she starts a chain reaction that multiplies around the world.”

 

Screen Shot 2020-05-20 at 7.46.10 AMOrdinary Mary is back and she is ready to change the world again!  Mary’s bravery and kind words on the school bus lead to ripple effect of kind words and kind deeds throughout the school day. This book would be great for children ages 3 and up.

From the publisher: “Follow Mary in this feel-good story as she once again inspires others with positivity and kindness through a variety of ordinary deeds! Including examples that happened at schools as a result of using the first book, this book focuses on the ability kindness has to change an entire school. Can one child’s good deed change the world? It can when she’s Ordinary Mary―an ordinary girl on her way to her an ordinary bus stop and an ordinary school―when with one act of kindness she makes a friend. Through her school day, Mary’s courage and kindness spreads, reaching farther than could ever be imagined.”

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One Good Deed by Terri Fields is the story of a boy who changed his neighborhood with one kind deed.  Jake’s kind deed of sharing berries with his neighbor led to a chain of kindness that spread throughout the day and the neighborhood.  This is a great illustration of how one kind deed can cause a ripple effect of kindness and joy.  This book would be great for ages 3 and up.

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As you know we are HUGE Peter Reynolds fans in this house and this new book is another winner.  Be You is a beautiful book that encourages all of us to BE OURSELVES.  It reminds us of the unique qualities that make us who we are.  It is a celebration of being different, kind, persistent, a good listener and not afraid to ask for help when we need it.  This book is perfect for children ages 3 and up.

 

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Miles of Smiles by Karen Kaufman Orloff is a sweet story of how a simple smile can spread from person.  It is fun to watch the smile of a baby spread around the land and thus spread joy and kindness.  This book is perfect for children ages 3 and up.

 

 

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Pass it On by Sophy Henn is a simple and sweet story of sharing joy and passing it on to others.  This book shows that you can pass on love, smiles, joy and laughter to everyone you meet.  I would recommend this book for ages 3 and up.

 

 

 

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Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney is a favorite in our house.  This is the story of how one woman changed her neighborhood by planting seeds.  I would recommend this story to ages 5 and up.

From the publisher: “Alice made a promise to make the world a more beautiful place, then a seed of an idea is planted and blossoms into a beautiful plan.  This beloved classic and celebration of nature—written by a beloved Caldecott winner—is lovelier than ever! Barbara Cooney’s story of Alice Rumphius, who longed to travel the world, live in a house by the sea, and do something to make the world more beautiful, has a timeless quality that resonates with each new generation. The countless lupines that bloom along the coast of Maine are the legacy of the real Miss Rumphius, the Lupine Lady, who scattered lupine seeds everywhere she went. Miss Rumphius received the American Book Award in the year of publication.”

 

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Because Brian Hugged His Mother is out of print but I was lucky to find it read on YouTube.  This book is a sweet and simple story about the ripple effect that can happen when one person does a kind thing.  I’d recommend this book for ages 3 and up.

 

Screen Shot 2020-05-20 at 6.53.26 AMI read this book a few years ago and found it so inspiring.  This is the middle grade version of the original story and so it is appropriate for grades 3-7.  In this story a boy named Trevor takes on an extra credit project to change the world.  He does 3 kind deeds and asks that the people who received his kindness to pay it forward by doing 3 more kind deeds for others.  He believes that this ripple effect will change the world.

From the Publisher: “Pay It Forward is a moving, uplifting novel about Trevor McKinney, a twelve-year-old boy in a small California town who accepts his teacher’s challenge to earn extra credit by coming up with a plan to change the world. Trevor’s idea is simple: do a good deed for three people, and instead of asking them to return the favor, ask them to “pay it forward” to three others who need help. He envisions a vast movement of kindness and goodwill spreading across the world, and in this “quiet, steady masterpiece with an incandescent ending” (Kirkus Reviews), Trevor’s actions change his community forever.
This middle grade edition of Pay It Forward is extensively revised, making it an appropriate and invaluable complement to lesson plans and an ideal pick for book clubs, classroom use, and summer reading. Includes an author’s note and curriculum guide.”

 

Books for the Adults

 

Screen Shot 2020-05-20 at 7.01.39 AMFrom the publisher: “As the obituary writer in a spectacularly beautiful but often dangerous spit of land in Alaska, Heather Lende knows something about last words and lives well lived. Now she’s distilled what she’s learned about how to live a more exhilarating and meaningful life into three words: find the good. It’s that simple–and that hard.”

 

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From the publisher: “What if everyone started performing good deeds every day? This inspiring collection presents many true stories of people who’ve committed, received, and observed voluntary acts of kindness—and seen for themselves how small acts of goodness can make a big difference in people’s lives.”

 

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From the Publisher: “Kindness Boomerang contains 365 daily acts, one for each day of the year, accompanied by inspirational quotes, personal stories on the power of paying it forward, and tangible steps to change your outlook on life. This book empowers you to bring positivity into your everyday life and the lives of those around you. Wahba invites you to practice kindness in relationships, kindness with yourself, kindness with nature and kindness in many more forms. This book is a call to action for anyone who wants to live a more connected and fulfilling life.”

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From the publisher: “The best way to make yourself feel great? Do a random act of kindness for someone! These 101 stories will make you smile and get you excited about what you can do, too. Make miracles happen for yourself and others. It’s easy. Just think outside the box and look around. There are so many ways that you can help—and it turns out the biggest beneficiary may be you! Scientific studies have shown that “doing good” is not only good for the recipient of the good deed, but also for the person doing it, making that person happier and healthier.”

 

Book Corner

Books to Spark Creativity

Rhythm vs. Schedule-13

CLICK HERE for our FREE Printable Booklist.

It is impossible for most folks to get to the library right now, so I have included YouTube links for all of the books below.  Happy listening!

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Ish by Peter Reynolds is a favorite story in our house.  We have some perfectionists who live here and this story helped them to look at their artwork and writing in a whole new way.  I would recommend this book to kids ages 3 and up.

 

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The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires is a book about determination and not giving up.  A girl and her dog work to create an invention that they both can enjoy but there are bumps in the road and frustration ensues.  I would recommend this book to kids ages 4 and up.

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What Do You Do With an Idea? by Kobi Yamada a book about nurturing those ideas that come our way.  Throughout the story the child gains confidence in their ability to bring their idea into the world.  I would recommend this book to kids ages 4 and up.

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Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg is such a cute book and great for the littles who may struggle with perfectionism.  It is interactive and the kids who read it below are super cute!  I would recommend this book for ages 2 and up.

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Not sure what to do with all of those delivery boxes?  Read Not a Box by Antoinette Portis to your kids and watch their imaginations take flight.  The Read Aloud below is animated and lots of fun.  I would recommend this book to children ages 2 and up.

 

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We are huge Mo Willems fans in this house and his book Because is one of our favorites.  This beautiful story shows that “because” one thing happens, another happens and so on and so forth.  This book is filled with the magic and wonder of music is sure to inspire your children.  The read aloud version below is a lot of fun. I’d recommend this book to children 3 and up.

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Beyond the Pond by Joseph Kuefler is sure to inspire your child’s imagination and leave them wanting to explore their own backyards.  This book has wonderful illustrations and the woman who reads the book below starts you off with a little clapping song.  I’d recommend this book to children 3 and up.

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Weslandia by Paul Fleischman is sure to inspire your children to start their own civilizations.  This is a fun book about a child who does not fit in with the other kids in his school.  As his summer project he starts his own civilization and slowly the other kids take notice.  I’d recommend this book for children ages 5 and up.

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Maybe Something Beautiful by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell is based on the artistic transformation of a California neighborhood.  In this story, a little girl named Mira starts an art revolution when she passes out her artwork to her neighbors.  It is a beautiful story that I would recommend to ages 4 and up.

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What If…by Samantha Berger is a story about using your imagination in creative ways.  The young girl in this story will stop at nothing to find ways to express herself and share the creative ideas that she has inside of her.  I’d recommend this book to children ages 3 and up.

Book Corner, Empathy

Books For Empathy

Books

 

 

In My Heart, A Book of Feelings by Jo Witek is a FUN book about the different feelings that we humans have.  Learning about feelings is the first step in learning about empathy.  When kids can understand the different emotions and how they make them feel, then they can start to observe the feelings of other people.  This book is great for ages 3 and up.

 

 

Everyone by Christopher Silas Neal is a wonderful book to start teaching the concept of empathy to young children.  In this book the boy explores his different feelings and observes that everyone around him also has feelings.  By learning to identify these feelings in others, kids can start to empathize by remembering what they felt while having that emotion. f\ This book is great for ages 3 and up.

 

 

Stand in My Shoes by Dr. Bob Sornson is a great book to teach children about empathy.  At the start of the book Emily asks her older sister what EMPATHY means.  Emily spends the next day observing others and how they are feeling and this leads to a great lesson in empathy for her. This book is a great springboard for discussions with your child about each situation and how Emily shows empathy to that person.  This book would be great for ages 5 and up.

 

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You, 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.

 

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My 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.

 

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Someone 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 BartonThe 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+.

 

Books for Older Kids

 

Save Me a Seat by Sara Weeks is a story told from two perspectives.  Joe and Ravi are two students in the same class and on the outside their lives look very different. Joe is a kind and observant student who struggles in school and is picked on by the other kids. Ravi’s is a new student who just moved from India.  He is very intelligent but his accent leaves his teacher and classmates believing he needs special help and this frustrates Ravi.  These two kids are brought together by a common bully and they learn to be empathetic towards each other. This book would be great for ages 9 and up.

 

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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.

 

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The 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.

 

 

the dot by Peter H. Reynolds is a favorite book in our house.  In this story Vashti is afraid to draw in art class.  Her art teacher inspires creativity, courage and bravery by telling her to just make a mark and see where it takes her.  That first dot takes Vashti on a journey of self discovery.

After the Fall-How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Dan Sanat is the tale of 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.

 

 

I am Enough by Grace Byers (ages 3 and up) is an award winning book that is all about believing in yourself. This book encourages kindness, loving others and self-respect.  “We are all here for a purpose. We are more than enough. We just need to believe it.”  Grace Byers has also written a book called I Believe I Can.  This book is for ALL children and it is to inspire them to love and believe in themselves.

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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.

 

 

 

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Mirette 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.

 

Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman (ages 4 and up) is the story about a little girl named Grace who loves stories and using her imagination.  When her class is going to put on the play of Peter Pan, she wants to play the role of Peter.  The children in her class tell her that girls and black children can not play Peter.  Grace’s grandmother teachers Grace a valuable lesson.

 

 

Be Brave Little One  by Marianne Richmond (ages 3 and up) is a book that will help inspire children to be brave. This sweet book will help them to understand what bravery looks and feels like.  The author/illustrator reads her book in the video below.  Marianne’s website has FREE printables that go along with the book!  Check them out here!

 

I Can Do Hard Things by Gabi Garcia (ages 4 and up) is a book filled with positive and mindful affirmations.  This book is one that should be shared with people of all ages.  The power of our mind is incredible and it is important to teach our children these positive affirmations so that they can use them as they navigate difficult situations.  I LOVE the illustrations in this book and that EVERY child will find someone who looks like them in its pages.

 

 

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell (ages 4 and up) is the story of a little girl named Molly Lou Melon.  Molly Lou Melon’s grandmother teaches her to stand up be proud of who she is.  When she moves to a new school and meets a bully, she uses her grandmother’s advice and stands up for herself!

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, featured, 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.

 

The reading of this book really begins at the 1 minute 51 second mark 🙂

 

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.

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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.

 

 

 

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 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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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.

The Earth Book by Todd Parr is a great book to share with young children (ages 2-6).  This book gives simple suggestions of things that kids can do to help protect our earth.  From the publisher: “With his signature blend of playfulness and sensitiviy, Todd Parr explores the important, timely subject of environmental protection and conservation in this eco-friendly picture book. Featuing a circular die-cut Earth on the cover, and printed entirely with recycled materials and nontoxic soy inks, this book includes lots of easy, smart ideas on how we can all work together to make the Earth feel good – from planting a tree and using both sides of the paper, to saving energy and reusing old things in new ways. Best of all, the book includes an interior gatefold with a poster with tips/reminders on how kids can “go green” everyday. Equally whimsical and heartfelt, this sweet homage to our beautiful planet is sure to inspire readers of all ages to do their part in keeping the Earth happy and healthy.”

From the publisher: “Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm and corruption―a bold and lyrical picture book written by Carole Lindstrom and vibrantly illustrated by Michaela Goade. When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth
And poison her people’s water, one young water protector
Takes a stand to defend Earth’s most sacred resource.”

From the publisher: “Why is there so much plastic in the world? How does it help us? What’s the problem and how can we solve it? These are just some of the 60+ questions answered in this timely and topical book. The facts are presented in a friendly and quirky way, helping kids to understand this global predicament and inspiring them to be part of the solution.”

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.