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 January 25th.  Chinese New Year is the beginning of the Chinese calendar and is also known as the Spring Festival.   2020 is the Year of the Rat and rats symbolize wealth and surplus 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.)  

 

Book Corner, Holiday Books, Kindness

Valentine’s Day Books

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These are some of our favorite LOVE and Valentine’s Day Books.  We hope that you will check them out and share them with a child you love.

CLICK HERE for a Kids in Service Book List printable that you can take with you to the local library or bookstore.

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Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch is my FAVORITE book for Valentine’s Day. Watch as one small event can turn Mr. Hatch’s lonely life from dull and ordinary to one of love, friendship and joy.  This book is great for ages 5 and up.  I hope you will share this book with someone you care about this Valentine’s Day.

 

 

 

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We are BIG fans of Peter H. Reynolds in this house and had to put this book on the list.  This is a sweet story of the power of love.  The illustrations are so sweet and there is a surprise illustration at the end.  We recommend this book for ages 3 and up.

 

 

 

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This sweet and short book by Eric Carle teaches all about love and the many expressions used to explain love.  The illustrations are great as you follow the very hungry caterpillar through the story.  This is a book for ALL ages!

 

 

 

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This is one of my new favorite poetry books.  We are big fans of haikus in this house and this sweet book is full of them.  The illustrations are so sweet and we think that this book would be great to share with ages 3 and up.  This book is no longer in print but should be in your local library.

 

 

 

unknown-5This is not a new book but it was new to us this year.  This book is written and illustrated by Felicia Bond who illustrated all of the If you Give a Mouse a Cookie books.  This sweet story follows a little girls journey as she collects the hearts that rain from the sky and turns them into beautiful Valentine’s Day cards for those she cares about.  This would be a great book to read before you make your own Valentine’s Day cards.  This is a great book for ages 3 and up.

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

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This is such a FUN book that is done to the tune of Clementine.  I LOVE to sing this book to my children (despite my terrible voice) and suggest you do the same.  The illustrations make this book such a joy to share as this poor man tries to share his love with his sweet Valentine.  We recommend this book for all ages if you are singing the text 🙂

 

 

 

Book Corner, Seasonal

Hygge Books

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Winter is a time for snuggling up together on the couch with a good book.  Family read aloud time should happen all year but our family does a lot more of it during the winter months.  We spend one hygge evening each week listening to an audio book while we each draw in our sketch pads or color in adult coloring books.  The library, Audible, Sparkle Stories and Scribd are great places to find quality audio books and stories for the whole family.

There is lots of research about how important Family Read Aloud time is for teens (here is a great podcast about this).  Reading aloud books with teens allows everyone to slow down and for the teens to experience difficult topics without leaving the comfort of their home.  This can then lead to rich family discussions about the challenges brought up in the stories.

Here are some of our favorite stories to read aloud during the winter time. We also have read aloud suggestions for older children and have included some adult selections about the topic of hygge. Happy Reading!  

Click HERE for a Kids in Service Reading List for the library or bookstore.

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This book does a beautiful job demonstrating the theme of kindness for young children (ages 3 and up).  The Hedgehog’s nest blows away in a storm and he bundles up to go to Badgers house.  Along the way he meets friends who are very cold and one by one gives them pieces of his own warm clothing. This book looks like it is no longer in print but see if your local library has it or find a used copy.  It is a sweet story of friendship and kindness!

From the Publisher: “When a fierce windstorm blows away Little Hedgehog’s nest, he puts on his winter clothes and sets off for Badger’s warm house. On his way, Hedgehog meets his friends, all shivering in the wind and snow. One by one, Hedgehog gives away his cozy mittens, hat, and scarf. But will Little Hedgehog make it through the storm to safety without his warm clothes? A delightful story about sharing with others, with soft flocking wherever Little Hedgehog’s mittens, hat and scarf appear.”

 

This is our ABSOLUTE favorite winter book.  In this beautiful story, a little girl finally gets her chance to go owling with her father.  This book is about patience, adventure and quality time together. I would recommend this book for ages 3 and up.

From the publisher: “Distinguished author Jane Yolen has created a gentle, poetic story that lovingly depicts the special companionship of a young child and her father as well as humankind’s close relationship to the natural world. Wonderfully complemented by John Schoenherr’s soft, exquisite watercolor illustrations, this is a verbal and visual treasure, perfect for reading around and sharing at bedtime.”

 

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This beautiful book of photographs might just inspire a kindness project for the animals near your home.  I would recommend this book for children 3 and up.

From the publisher: “Forest animals, awakened by the birds’ warning that there is a stranger in the woods, set out to discover if there is danger and find, instead, a wonderful surprise.”

 

 

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett is the story of a young girl named Annabelle and her magical box of yarn.  This story starts with dull, mono chrome illustrations and a melancholy community.  As Annabelle knits sweaters for the people and critters in her town, the colors start to become more vivid and the mood becomes more positive.  When a duke tries to steal the magical box of yarn, a wonderous thing happens.  This book is about joy, kindness and the spirit of giving.

From the publisher: “From bestselling and award-winning author Mac Barnett and illustrator Jon Klassen comes Extra Yarn, a Caldecott Honor Book, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner, and a New York Times bestseller.
A young girl and her box of magical yarn transform a community in this stunning picture book. With spare, gently humorous illustrations and a palette that moves from black-and-white to a range of color, this modern fairy tale has the feel of a new classic.”

 

image.pngThis classic book tells the tale of Peter and all of his adventures during a snow day.  This is one of our family favorites and it is a great hygge read to inspire snow fun while snuggling on the couch.    This is a book for all ages.

From the publisher: “No book has captured the magic and sense of possibility of the first snowfall better than The Snowy Day. Universal in its appeal, the story has become a favorite of millions, as it reveals a child’s wonder at a new world, and the hope of capturing and keeping that wonder forever. The adventures of a little boy in the city on a very snowy day.”

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This is a sweet story about the power of a kind deed and how some good deeds are better done anonymously.  I would recommend this book to children ages 3 and up.

From the publisher: “One snowy day an elderly woman, Sarah, watches children gathering at the bus stop. While they never seem to notice her, she notices them, especially one little boy who has no mittens. That night, Sarah knits the boy a pair of cozy mittens and places them on the blue spruce tree for him to discover. It soon becomes a game, with the children looking for new mittens on the mysterious tree every morning, and Sarah joyfully knitting new ones each night. With its touching message and delightful illustrations, adults and children will enjoy this intergenerational tale for years to come.”

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This is a great non-fiction book to give children a glimpse of who is sleeping and moving underneath that layer of winter snow.  This book would be great for children ages 3 and up.

From the publisher: “Over the snow, the world is hushed and white. But under the snow lies a secret world of squirrels and snow hares, bears and bullfrogs, and many other animals making their winter home under the snow. This beloved nonfiction picture book exploring the subnivean zone reveals the tunnels and caves formed beneath the snow but over the ground, where many kinds of animals live through the winter, safe and warm, awake and busy, but hidden beneath the snow.”

 

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This sweet book would be nice for children 4 and up.  Jojo learns all about friendship from her magical snowman, Puddles.  This is a Kindle Unlimited book and can be read for free with a subscription.

From the publisher: “Jojo looks around and everyone seems to have friends but her. She feels sad and lonely. Then, Jojo meets Puddles, the snowman made with magic friendship snow.  Jojo will reassure children that friendship can be learned. Discover how Jojo makes a forever friend by reading this book.”

 

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This is such a sweet story and another family favorite.  It is a holiday story but we feel it can be read anytime.  I would recommend this story for ages 3 and up.

From the publisher: “Charles wants to find a wish tree. His brother and sister don’t believe there is such a thing, but his trusty companion Boggan is ready to join Charles on a journey to find out. And along the way, they discover that wishes can come true in the most unexpected ways.
The poetic text and heartwarming illustrations evoke the true essence of the holiday season and will inspire wishers everywhere. This gem of a book deserves center stage year round.”

 

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I know my kids are hoping for Big Snow right now and this is one of their favorite books.  Johnathan Bean is a wonderful author/illustrator and the pictures in this book are wonderful.  I’d recommend this book for all ages.

From the publisher: “While “helping” his mother with holiday housecleaning, a boy keeps a watchful eye on the progress of a winter storm. He’s hoping for a big snow. A really big snow. Inside, he is underfoot, turning sheet-changing and tub-scrubbing into imaginary whiteouts. Outside, flakes are flying. But over the course of a long day (for Mom) the clouds seem slow on delivering a serious snowfall. Then comes a dreamy naptime adventure, marking just the beginning of high hopes coming true in this irresistible seasonal story.”

 

Our Favorite Read Aloud Books for Older Kids 

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We have listened to each of these stories on audio and we ALL LOVED them.  The narrators are all great if you listen to them on audio book.  My children are now 9 and 12 but many of these stories can be enjoyed as a family with younger and older children.   We have a subscription to both Audible and Scribd but also use our local library.  I only included stories that I loved as much (or more) than my children.  I find a good story is loved by people of all ages.  Please share your favorite read aloud books below.

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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 Penderwick Series (ages 8 and up)-This is my daughter (and maybe my) favorite series of all time. She has listened to these books DOZENS of times.  My son also enjoyed them and has listened to them more than once.  The four main characters are girls but there are lots of male characters to even out the stories.  They are about family, friendship and the trials and joys of growing up.
  • 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 Saturday’s Series (ages 6 and up)-This series is about a single father raising his four children.  The first book starts out in NYC and the kids pool their money together so that they can take turns spending a Saturday doing what they would like to do.  This is such a fun series, set in simpler times with LOVABLE characters.  It is sure to be a family favorite.
  • Snicker of Magic and The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd (ages 8 and up)–Natilie Lloyds book are pure magic.  She is a fantastic story-teller and both books contain lovable characters, beautiful imagery and a twist that you won’t see coming.  We all LOVED these two books in our house.
  • Fablehaven (ages 10 and up, was too scary for my 9-year-old)–This is an imaginative series that brings a brother and sister duo to their grandparents nature preserve for mythical creatures.  This series was way too scary for my sensitive 9 year old but my 12-year-old LOVED it.

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  • 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.
  • Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Series by Chris Grabenstein (ages 8 and up)–If you like to read, then you will love this series.  It is filled with puzzles, references to great children’s literature and adventure.  These books are NOTHING like the movie, in fact we did not like the movie at all.  If you are looking for a fun literary adventure as a family, we recommend these books.
  • 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.

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Hygge Books for Adults

I have read all of the books below except for the bottom one (that is on my Read Next List) .  I have found that many of the books contain similar messages and you really only need to read one book (or do some internet research) to gain a better understanding of what hygge is all about.

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This beautiful little book is one that I have given away as gifts many times.  It has beautiful photographs to SHOW you what a hygge lifestyle is all about and how to implement it into your life.  This book is pretty enough to leave out in your home to inspire others to hygge.

 

 

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If you want some stats and graphs about how important hygge is, then this is the book for you.  This book not only explains the concept of hygge, it also gives you statistics that will convince you that hygge is something that should be incorporated in your life.

From the publisher:“Embrace Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) and become happier with this definitive guide to the Danish philosophy of comfort, togetherness, and well-being. From picking the right lighting to organizing a Hygge get-together to dressing hygge, Wiking shows you how to experience more joy and contentment the Danish way.”

 

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I own this book and refer to it often.  It is simple and so easy to read and will give you plenty of ideas of how to incorporate hygge into your daily life.

From the publisher: “This was the first book ever written about hygge in the world. A classic treasure that feels like an old book from times forgotten, with cream coloured pages and hand drawn illustrations. Not only is this book about Hygge, it ‘feels’ Hygge. This is the original and first published book about Hygge that started it all…”

 

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This is the book on my list to read this year.  It is a memoir from a journalist who moved to Denmark for a year.  She spent that year investigating the secrets to why the Danish are such a happy group.  I am looking forward to reading this one!

 

 

 

(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.)  

If you missed our other posts on hygge you can click on the images below to check them out.

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Book Corner, Holiday, Holiday Books

Holiday Books of Kindness

Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won't make it 'white.' -Bing Crosby-8

Here are some great holiday books to share with children you love. CLICK HERE for a Kids in Service Book List printable that you can take with you to the library or local bookstore.

For the Kids

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Every now and again a picture book will surprise me and blow me away.  In 2018 my kids and I were doing an author study of Kate DiCamillo and were loving all of her humorous books.  This beautiful book was a big surprise and did bring “GREAT JOY”.  This is the sweet Christmas story of a little girl and her caring heart for the man who lives on her street corner.  This story of kindness and hope is perfect for EVERYONE ages 5 and up.

 

 

Every year I find a new holiday book that touches my heart and for 2019, it was Gracie’s Night.  This is so much more than a book about Hanukkah.  This is a book about kindness, love, giving and thinking of others.  I LOVED this book and feel EVERY child (person for that matter) should hear it.  I recommend it for ages 4 and up. From the Publisher: “THERE’S LOTS OF LOVE in Gracie’s and Papa’s lives, but not much money. Gracie finds a resourceful way to buy Papa some well-deserved Hanukkah gifts, but an encounter on a bitterly cold night opens her eyes and alters her plans. When we are brave enough to reach out instead of looking away, each of us can bring someone a miracle.”

 

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This picture book is a simpler version of the New York Times best seller, the Invisible Thread.  Both are the true story of a woman named Laura who builds a friendship with a boy named Maurice who she met on a NYC street while asking for money.  I LOVED the adult book and was so excited when I found this book last year for my children.  It is a heartwarming tale about their first Christmas together and the start of their life-long friendship.  I recommend it for ages 5+ and highly recommend the adult book as well.

 

From the publisher: “A refugee seeking sanctuary from the horrors of Kristallnacht, Oskar arrives by ship in New York City with only a photograph and an address for an aunt he has never met. It is both the seventh day of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve, 1938. As Oskar walks the length of Manhattan, from the Battery to his new home in the north of the city, he passes experiences the city’s many holiday sights, and encounters it various residents. Each offers Oskar a small act of kindness, welcoming him to the city and helping him on his way to a new life in the new world. This is a heartwarming, timeless picture book.”

 

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This is my FAVORITE Berenstain Bears book and it is a wonderful lesson for children about the importance of giving  and serving others in their community.  I recommend this for children ages 4+.  From the Publisher: “Brother and Sister Bear can’t wait for Christmas and all the presents they’ll open. But during the Christmas Eve pageant, something special happens! The Bear cubs learn a very valuable lesson about the joy of giving to others.”

 

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If this book does not make you smile, I do not know what will?  The illustrations are so vivid and expressive.  This beautiful story about giving will be come a family favorite for kids 3 and over.  From the Publisher: “We’ve all heard the story of the three wise men who brought their gifts to Baby Jesus. But what about the camels who carried them? Here is the story of Humphrey the camel and his long, cold journey to Bethlehem.”

 

This is a great book to teach the story of Hanukkah and why it is celebrated.  Children as young as 4 can hear this story and learn about the miracle long ago that is celebrated during Hanukkah.  From the Publisher: “Hanukkah is a wonderful time filled with games, food, family, and fun. It’s also the celebration of an ancient miracle, and retelling and remembering the story of that miracle is an essential part of the holiday, for young and old. The story of the courageous Maccabees is retold in simple yet dramatic text, accompanied by vibrant paintings of the battle, the Temple of Jerusalem, and the oil which miraculously burned for eight long nights.”

 

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From the Publisher: “A family of adorable pigs decides that this year they will make their gifts to each other for Christmas rather than buy gifts. Each family member is excited to try. Momma makes breakfast, Dad makes a blanket, and sister Rosie sings a song. But the littlest pig struggles to come up with an idea. What can he make?”

 

The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden and illustrated by Barbara Cooney is a beautiful picture book to share with children ages 5 and up.  Please don’t let the length of the book scare you away, treat it more like a chapter book and read over a couple of days. From the publisher: “Ivy, Holly, and Mr. and Mrs. Jones all have one Christmas wish. Ivy, an orphan, wishes for a real home and sets out in search of the grandmother she’s sure she can find. Holly, a doll, wishes for a child to bring her to life. And the Joneses wish more than anything for a son or daughter to share their holiday. Can all three wishes come true? This festive tale is perfectly complemented by beloved Barbara Cooney’s luminous illustrations, filled with the warm glow of the Christmas spirit.”

 

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From the Publisher: “Kwanzaa is Kayla’s favorite time of year. But this year, it looks as if a heavy snowstorm will keep her big brother, Khari, from getting home in time for the festivities! Will Khari miss the celebration completely? Or will Kayla and her brother somehow find a way to be together for Kwanzaa? A perfect introduction to Kwanzaa, this book will teach children all about the traditions and practices that make it a special winter holiday.”

 

 

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This favorite book has become part of a Winter Solstice tradition in our family.  You can read more about that HERE.  From the Publisher: “By moonlight in the quiet forest, a young boy and his family decorate their favorite tree with popcorn, apples, tangerines, and sunflower-seed balls as a gift for the animals of the woods.”

 

 

 

From the Publisher: “Jonathan Toomey is the best woodcarver in the valley, but he is always alone and never smiles. No one knows about the mementos of his lost wife and child that he keeps in an unopened drawer. But one early winter’s day, a widow and her young son approach him with a gentle request that leads to a joyful miracle. The moving, lyrical tale, gloriously illustrated by P.J. Lynch, has been widely hailed as a true Christmas classic.”

 

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This is our FAVORITE Hanukkah story but it can be a bit frightening for young children.  This is a story about a traveler who comes upon a small village where they are not celebrating Hanukkah because goblins have taken over the synagogue.  The traveler sets out to defeat the goblins using his wit.  A wonderful story about staying strong, being brave and standing up for what you believe in.  I think this book is wonderful for children ages 6 and up.  Maybe younger if your child is okay with the ideas of monsters.

 

 

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This short and sweet book brought tears to my eyes.  The illustrations are bold and fun and the story is simple and so sweet.  This story is sure to put you in the Christmas spirit and is great for ages 3+!  From the Publisher: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and a mother and daughter are enjoying the sights and sounds of the holiday season. She spreads the spirit of giving wherever she goes. And when she reaches Santa, she tells him her Christmas wish–for peace and love everywhere, all the days of the year.”

 

 

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From the Publisher: “The beginning of winter is marked by the solstice, the shortest day of the year. Long ago, people grew afraid when each day had fewer hours of sunshine than the day before. Over time, they realized that one day each year the sun started moving toward them again. In lyrical prose and cozy illustrations, this book explains what the winter solstice is and how it has been observed by various cultures throughout history.”

 

From the Publisher: “Li’l Rabbit is not having a very good Kwanzaa. Granna Rabbit is sick, and so his family won’t celebrate his favorite part of Kwanzaa this year: a big feast called Karamu. Li’l Rabbit knows what to do! He’ll find Granna Rabbit a special treat for Karamu so she can celebrate anyway. Inspired by Brer Rabbit, a trickster character from the African-American folklore tradition, the story of Li’l Rabbit captures the true meaning of Kwanzaa—coming together to help others.”

 

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From the Publisher: “Armand, an old Parisian living on the streets of Paris, relished his solitary life. He begged and did odd jobs for money to keep himself warm and fed, and he liked his carefree life. Then one day just before Christmas, a struggling mother and her three children walked into his life. Though he tried to ignore their troubles, Armand soon found himself caring for the family and sharing his unusual home under the bridge with them. It did not take Armand very long to realize that he had gotten himself ready-made family; one that he loved with all his heart, and one for whom he would have to find a better home than the bridge.”

 

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From the Publisher: “Sadie and her four little brothers are very poor and always hungry. On the first night of Chanukah, Sadie performs a generous act, and in turn receives a frying pan that cooks up sizzling hot, golden latkes on command. Sadie tells her brothers never to use the magic pan, but when she goes out one afternoon, the mischievous boys can’t resist. They remember the words to start the pan cooking . . . but what were the words to make it stop?”

 

517EVTWGW5L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_This book is no longer in print but you may be able to get it at your local library. This is a sweet story of kindness is all about Imani learning about Kwanzaa and her family traditions from her grandmother.  In this story it is the sixth night of Kwanzaa and time for the Karamu (the big feast of Kwanzaa) on New Year’s Eve.  It is Imani’s turn to light the Kinara on this special night and she is nervous.  What will the gift for Imani be?

 

 

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From the Publisher: “Based on her bestseller Unwrapping the Greatest Gift, Ann Voskamp expands her presentation of the timeless Advent tradition of the Jesse Tree with this beautiful keepsake. Each December, families can celebrate the coming of Jesus by opening the book to see a stunning 13-inch, three-dimensional Jesse Tree pop up from the page. At its foot are 25 doors, one for each day of Advent, which hide meaningful, beautifully detailed ornaments that are ready to be hung on the tree. Also inside is a simple devotional book with a reading for each ornament.”

 

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From the Publisher: “Based on the overwhelming success of The Greatest Gift, Ann Voskamp has expanded her presentation of the timeless Advent tradition of the Jesse Tree so families can celebrate together. Each day, families can read the provided Scripture passage (in connection with the original book), engage with a specially written devotion to help children of all ages understand the Advent theme for the day, and participate in suggested activities to apply the theme. This special edition is beautifully illustrated.”

 

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This is a nice alphabet book that helps to understand all of the Swahili words and customs associated with Kwanzaa.  This is a great book for your family if you have never celebrated Kwanzaa before and would like to learn more about this festival of light and family. From the publisher: “A unique alphabet book for children and a wonderful introduction to Kwanzaa, the holiday that celebrates African American heritage.
 For example:A is for Africa — Africa is the second largest continent. It has many countries. African Americans’ ancestors came from Africa. Kwanzaa is a holiday that celebrates the rich heritage of Africa.”

 

 

For the Adults

 

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From the Publisher: Beginning with Jesse, the father of David, The Greatest Gift retraces the epic pageantry of mankind, from Adam to the Messiah, with each day’s profound reading pointing to the coming promise of Christ, so that come Christmas morning you find that the season hasn’t blurred past you but your heart’s fully unwrapped the greatest gift you’ve always yearned for. Sure to become a holiday staple in every Christian home, The Greatest Gift, a New York Times bestseller, is the perfect gift for the holidays and a timeless invitation into the richness of the true meaning of Christmas.”

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This book started a new tradition in my family a few years ago.    This is a heartwarming, fictional story about a family who saves their change all year long in a jar to pass on anonymously to someone in need at Christmas time.  This story has gone on to create a whole movement of real life Christmas Jars.  Thanks to this book, people are changing many lives and spreading hope and love with a jar of loose change.

 

 

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This book is about a family who is grieving the loss of their husband/father at Christmas time.  Anonymous gifts begin to appear daily on their door step and with each gift, they are given a little more hope and healing.  This beautiful book inspired a friend and I to do something similar a few Christmas’ ago when another friend lost her husband.  This is a wonderful tale to read at Christmas time to inspire you to spread some love and kindness to someone in need.

 

This story is on my reading list this month.  From the Publisher: “Celebrate the season of miracles with this collection of short stories about the lives of ordinary people and the lessons they learn during an extraordinary time of year.

As Moore’s protagonists face adversity and sadness, they learn important lessons, gain hope, and experience powerful transformations.”

 

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This is a fun book filled with joy, love, hope and holiday spirit!  You will fall in love with Joy, Miranda and the characters they meet along the way on their road trip from Chicago to Phoenix. This is a light read that is sure to put you into the holiday spirit.

 

 

 

Richard Paul Evans is the king of short Christmas novels and The Christmas Box was his debut.  I read this last Christmas and was touched by it’s important message.  Here is what the publisher says: “So begins The Christmas Box, the touching story of a widow and the young family who moves in with her. Rick, Keri, and their 4-year-old daughter, Jenna, are hired as caretakers and are welcomed into the Victorian home of Mary Parkins, an elderly widow, just before the holiday season. As the relationship between Mary and the family develops we learn that Mary’s past sorrows are compelling her to share an important message with Richard. But will he understand her message in time? A heartwarming story of parental love, healing, and Christmas.

 

 

 

Book Corner, Kindness

Kindness Books

CLICK HERE for a Kids in Service Book List printable that you can take with you to the local library or bookstore.

Here are some books that center around the theme of Kindness.

Stories for All Ages

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This book does a beautiful job demonstrating the theme of kindness for young children (ages 3 and up).  The Hedgehog’s nest blows away in a storm and he bundles up to go to Badgers house.  Along the way he meets friends who are very cold and one by one gives them pieces of his own warm clothing. This book looks like it is no longer in print but see if your local library has it or find a used copy.  It is a sweet story of friendship and kindness!

From the Publisher: “When a fierce windstorm blows away Little Hedgehog’s nest, he puts on his winter clothes and sets off for Badger’s warm house. On his way, Hedgehog meets his friends, all shivering in the wind and snow. One by one, Hedgehog gives away his cozy mittens, hat, and scarf. But will Little Hedgehog make it through the storm to safety without his warm clothes? A delightful story about sharing with others, with soft flocking wherever Little Hedgehog’s mittens, hat and scarf appear.”

 

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This book is a very sweet story about kindness, friendship and accepting others despite their differences.  When the boy is not allowed to bring his unique pet to Pet Club, he meets up with others who were also not accepted and they join their own club where EVERYONE is accepted.  This book is great for ages 3 and up.

From the Publisher: “When the local Pet Club won’t admit a boy’s tiny pet elephant, he finds a solution—one that involves all kinds of unusual animals in this sweet and adorable picture book. Today is Pet Club day. There will be cats and dogs and fish, but strictly no elephants are allowed. The Pet Club doesn’t understand that pets come in all shapes and sizes, just like friends. Now it is time for a boy and his tiny pet elephant to show them what it means to be a true friend. Imaginative and lyrical, this sweet story captures the magic of friendship and the joy of having a pet.”

 

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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 can make such a big impact on another person.  I’d recommend this book to children ages 4 and up.

From the Publisher: “A simple act of kindness can transform an invisible boy into a friend…Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party . . . until, that is, a new kid comes to class. When Justin, the new boy, arrives, Brian is the first to make him feel welcome. And when Brian and Justin team up to work on a class project together, Brian finds a way to shine.”

 

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.”

 

 

Stories for Ages 8 and Up

81TdKijWwWLMy children and I DEVOURED this book!!  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.

From the Publisher: “August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.”

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We could not wait to get our hands on this book after finishing Wonder.  This book is not a sequel but takes place at the same time as Wonder.  This book is told from three different points of view from three lesser known characters in the original story.  These powerful stories help you to remember that there are always two sides to every story.

From the Publisher: “Auggie & Me gives readers a special look at Auggie’s world through three new points of view. These stories are an extra peek at Auggie before he started at Beecher Prep and during his first year there. Readers get to see him through the eyes of Julian, the bully; Christopher, Auggie’s oldest friend; and Charlotte, Auggie’s new friend at school. Together, these three stories are a treasure for readers who don’t want to leave Auggie behind when they finish Wonder.”

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This story 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.

From the Publisher: Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions.  She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike.

Book Corner

Books For Parents

Reading is one of my favorite activities.  I love to read non-fiction, fiction, self-help, listen to books on audio, read to my children…I love to READ.  I wanted to include a list of books that parents can read to help their own service journey.  I’ve read every book on here and they have all had a big impact on me.

Check back often as the list will be ever evolving. CLICK HERE for a Kids in Service Book List printable that you can take with you to the local library or bookstore.

Non-Fiction Books

 

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This book is like a daily hug for parents!  This book is divided into 4 seasons with 37 readings for each season.  Each reading takes about 2-4 minutes to read and because there are only 37 entries each season, you read them when you can.  Rachel has a gift for the word and the ability to lift you up when you are weary and help to remind you of what really matters in life.  I have given this book to many of the moms I love and I highly recommend it to YOU.

From the Publisher: “With a flexible, non-dated structure, Only Love Today is perfect to pick up at any time of the year and find hope and encouragement to address your current challenge or need – family, parenting, relationships, finding peace in a stressed out world. Stafford offers you strength and vision for a new and more connected way to live. This is a timeless book of inspiration to remember and live for what really matters.”

Screen Shot 2020-04-23 at 3.58.42 PM“The pages of this book have been like a life line for my family.  They have not only helped me to better parent my son but have made me look long and hard about some of the parenting choices I have made with my ten year old daughter.  This book has prompted dinner time discussions around internet safety, the importance of human connection, fear and the things we are not willing to trade away when it comes to technology use.  My son and I have had long talks about what is not working in our current situation and we are working to fix those things.  I have taken pages and pages of notes for my husband and have spent many late nights sharing the words from this book. We have discussed how we can better support our children and show them that we love them for who they are and not what they accomplish.” You can read the rest of the review I wrote  for this book HERE.

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Once in awhile you come across a book that changes your life, this is one of those books for me.  This story is filled with CRAZY, true stories from the authors life and how love helped to make a big impact on how the story turned out.  Bob Goff is LOVE and this book is a must read.  This book is even more magical if you are able to listen to the author, Bob Goff, read it to you on the audio book.

From the Publisher: “Bob Goff has become something of a legend, and his friends consider him the world’s best-kept secret. Those same friends have long insisted he write a book. What follows are paradigm shifts, musings, and stories from one of the world’s most delightfully engaging and winsome people. What fuels his impact? Love. But it’s not the kind of love that stops at thoughts and feelings. Bob’s love takes action. Bob believes Love Does.”

 

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I often underline parts in books that I want to return to again and again, this book has sooooo many parts underlined.  I am trying so hard to raise my children to be kind and this book reinforced all of the concepts that I am trying to teach them and need to remember for myself.  Such a gem of a book!

From the Publisher: “When The Power of Kindness first appeared in 2006 it thrilled and challenged readers with one audacious promise: Your acts of generosity and decency are the secret to a fuller, more satisfying life. Kindness is not some squishy virtue but the very key to your own happiness.

 

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I bought this book the MINUTE it came out.  I am a huge fan of the entire Goff family and this book did not disappoint.  This book is the second from Bob Goff and it is just as good as his first.  Once again, I listened to Bob narrate the book on audio and it was so fun to spend time with him once again and listen to these INCREDIBLE stories from his life and people he knows.  This book is jam packed with lessons in love, empathy and compassion.  I highly recommend you get your hands on this book!

From the Publisher: “Driven by Bob’s trademark storytelling, Everybody, Always reveals the lessons Bob learned–often the hard way–about what it means to love without inhibition, insecurity, or restriction. From finding the right friends to discovering the upside of failure, Everybody, Always points the way to embodying love by doing the unexpected, the intimidating, the seemingly impossible. Whether losing his shoes while skydiving solo or befriending a Ugandan witch doctor, Bob steps into life with a no-limits embrace of others that is as infectious as it is extraordinarily ordinary. Everybody, Always reveals how we can do the same.”

 

This is a journal unlike any other.  Leon Logothetis is the KINDNESS GUY and je has gone around the entire world relying only on the kindness of strangers!  He has written a few books about his experiences and has a wonderful series on Netflix and Amazon (perfect for the whole family). This journal is inspiring and will get you out in the community, spreading kindness from day 1.  Leon recommends having a journal buddy and I think that it would be a wonderful experience for adults and teens to go through together.

From the publisher: “Go Be Kind isn’t just a journal or another how-to guide to creating the life you want. It’s a series of daily adventures that will help you rediscover the greatest human gift—kindness, which inspires interpersonal connection and is the most rewarding way to lead a more magnificent life.

Created by Leon Logothetis, host of The Kindness Diaries on Netflix, this life-changing book is filled with highly classified missions, treasure hunts, dream dates, awkward moments, and daily adventures that are guaranteed to change your life.”

Fiction Books With a Theme of Gratitude, Service and/or Kindness

 

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What a fun and inspirational story!  I plan to have my kids listen to this book on audio this spring.  It is a book that can be revisited again and again because the message is so timeless.

From the Publisher: “Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago’s journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.”

 

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This book started a new tradition in my family a few years ago.    This is a heartwarming, fictional story about a family who saves their change all year long in a jar to pass on anonymously to someone in need at Christmas time.  This story has gone on to create a whole movement of real life Christmas Jars.  Thanks to this book, people are changing many lives and spreading hope and love with a jar of loose change.

From the Publisher: After journalist Holly Jensen’s apartment is robbed on Christmas Eve, someone leaves her a jar full of money labeled “Christmas jar,” and she sets out on a quest to discover the origins of these mysterious jars.

 

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This book is about a family who is grieving the loss of their husband/father at Christmas time.  Anonymous gifts begin to appear daily on their door step and with each gift, they are given a little more hope and healing.  This beautiful book inspired a friend and I to do something similar a few Christmas’ ago when another friend lost her husband.  This is a wonderful tale to read at Christmas time to inspire you to spread some love and kindness to someone in need.

From the Publisher: “After the unexpected death of her husband, Joanne Huist Smith had no idea how she would keep herself together and be strong for her three children–especially with the holiday season approaching. But 12 days before Christmas, presents begin appearing on her doorstep with notes from their “True Friends.” As the Smiths came together to solve the mystery of who the gifts were from, they began to thaw out from their grief and come together again as a family. This true story about the power of random acts of kindness will warm the heart, a beautiful reminder of the miracles of Christmas and the gift of family during the holiday season.”

 

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This is a fun book filled with joy, love, hope and holiday spirit!  You will fall in love with Joy, Miranda and the characters they meet along the way on their road trip from Chicago to Phoenix.  This is a light read that is sure to put you into the holiday spirit.

From the Publisher: “Miranda did not put adventure on her Christmas list, but thanks to her eighty-five-year-old neighbor Joy, that’s exactly what she’s getting this year. When Joy tells Miranda that she plans to drive an old RV decked out in Christmas decorations from their Chicago neighborhood to her new retirement digs in Phoenix–in the dead of winter, no less–the much younger Miranda insists that Joy cannot make such a trip by herself. Besides, a crazy trip with Joy would be more interesting than another Christmas home alone. Unemployed and facing foreclosure, Miranda feels she has nothing to lose by packing a bag and heading off to Route 66. But Joy has a hidden agenda for their Christmas joyride–and a hidden problem that could derail the whole venture.”

Fiction Books That I Read This Year and LOVED

 

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This was one of my favorite books I read this year.  Anthony is the Keeper of Lost Things and catalogs them all in his study.  This characters in this book are so endearing and the flashbacks are beautifully woven in to make this story so unique.  The book is filled with messages of kindness, hope, love and perseverance.  I HIGHLY recommend this book.

From the Publisher: “A charming, clever, and quietly moving debut novel of of endless possibilities and joyful discoveries that explores the promises we make and break, losing and finding ourselves, the objects that hold magic and meaning for our lives, and the surprising connections that bind us.”

 

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This was another favorite story of 2018 for me. The characters in this book are lovable and the unexpected twists and turns in the story make it unable to put down (I devoured it in 2 days).  This book is filled with love, loss, hope, kindness, books and more books!

From the Publisher: “A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over–and see everything anew.”

Book Corner, Gratitude, Holiday Books

Thanksgiving Books

(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Read our policy below.)

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Here are some of our FAVORITE Thanksgiving books.  These books are about gratitude, family, friendship and tradition. Click on the picture of the book to be taken to Amazon for more information. Enjoy!

 

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This is a sweet book for children ages 4 and up.  Mrs. Moose wants a Turkey for Thanksgiving and Mr. Moose is determined to go out and find one.  Along the way  Mr. Moose meets up with all of their Thanksgiving guests and they join him to find a turkey.   This book is about friendship and gratitude and is a wonderful tale for Thanksgiving.

From the Publisher: “Mr. and Mrs. Moose invite all their animal friends for Thanksgiving dinner and the only one missing is Turkey. When they set out to find him, Turkey is quaking with fear because he doesn’t realize that his hosts want him at their table, not on it.

 

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This is a sweet book of a family preparing for their Thanksgiving feast.  While they prepare, they give thanks for the many blessings in their life.  The book is told in rhyme from the perspective of the little boy and it is a great story for children ages 5 and up.

From the Publisher: “Little P.K. spends Thanksgiving Day playing with his friends and taking stock of just how much they all mean to him. From breakfast with his family, to playing football with his pals, to spending time with relatives and neighbors, this is a day to count his blessings, and “mostly I’m thankful for all of my friends!” Bright and colorful illustratations make this seasonal book pop off the shelves.”

 

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This book involves another tale of Bear and his friends.  This time Bear decides he wants to thank his friends with a feast but realizes he doesn’t have food to offer.  Bears friends arrive one by one and each bring a food to share.  Soon there is a feast for all but Bear feels very badly that he has nothing to share!  This is a story of friendship and gratitude and perfect for ages three and up.

From the Publisher: “What better way for Bear to say thanks, than to have a big dinner with all his friends! Bear has come up with the perfect way to say thanks—a nice big dinner! When Bear decides to throw a feast, his friends show up one by one with different platters of delicious food to share. There’s just one problem: Bear’s cupboards are bare! What is he to do?
     Karma Wilson’s playful text and Jane Chapman’s charming illustrations bring to life this celebration of family and friendship. Young readers will delight in discovering the special gift Bear has to share.”

 

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This fun Thanksgiving tale has the turkey running for his life through the barnyard.  This fun tale about friendship and gratitude is sure to delight ages 2 and up.

From the Publisher: “With Thanksgiving only one day away, can Turkey find a place to hide from the farmer who’s looking for a plump bird for his family feast?
Maybe he can hide with the pigs . . . or the ducks . . . or the horses . . .Uh-oh! Here comes the farmer! Run, Turkey, run!”

 

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I have LOVED this book for years. One of the teachers I use to work with had her Kindergartners and 1st graders put on a play based on this book.  This funny and silly book is about friendship and giving thanks.  This is one of my favorites and perfect for children ages 3 and up.

From the Publisher: “On the night before Thanksgiving, a group of children visit a turkey farm and meet Farmer Mack Nuggett and his coop of cockerels: Ollie, Stanley, Larry, Moe, Wally, Beaver, Shemp, and Groucho. The children and turkeys giggle and gobble, and everything is gravy. As the trip comes to an end, the children leave the farm with full hearts — and bulging bellies — reminding people and poultry alike that there is much to be thankful for.”

(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, Gratitude, Holiday Books

Books for Gratitude and Thanksgiving

“Begin each day with a grateful heart.”

-unknown

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Here are some books that center around the theme of Gratitude and at the bottom of this post you will find our favorite Thanksgiving books. Click on the picture of the book to be taken to Amazon for more information. CLICK HERE for a Kids in Service Book List printable that you can take with you to the local library or bookstore.

Books for Teaching Gratitude

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In a world that often focuses on all of the bad going on, this book focuses on all of the good people who are doing good things every day.  This book looks at the people we encounter everyday and why we should be grateful for all of the good things that they do.  This book is wonderful for ages 3 and up!

From the publisher: “A colorful picture book that will warm the hearts of children and adults alike, each of its pages contain endearing examples and vibrant illustrations to inspire children to grow into grateful, caring, and giving people. It provides a wonderful way to calm children before sleep, ease their fears, and help them develop an appreciation for good work.”

 

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This 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 and in the end he is grateful that they made the long journey to help others! Great for ages 5 and up

From the publisher: “Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them. This energetic ride through a bustling city highlights the wonderful perspective only grandparent and grandchild can share, and comes to life through Matt de la Pena’s vibrant text and Christian Robinson’s radiant illustrations.”

 

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We are Grateful, Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell is a beautiful book about the Cherokee nation and the gratitude that they have throughout every season.  It starts with autumn and ends with summer and throughout each season you learn new Cherokee words and all of the gifts and blessings they experience.  There is even a Cherokee alphabet on the back page.  This book would be great for ages 4 and up.

 

61eMAtyHtxL._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgGrateful, A Song of Giving Thanks by John Bucchino.  This beautiful book illustrated by Lilsa Hakkarainen is a song about all of the things we have in our lives to be grateful for, we just have to open our eyes to see them.  This book comes with a CD of the song being sung by Art Garfunkel.  This book would be great for children of all ages.

From the Publisher: “Once in a while, a perfect union of words and music creates a transcendent song that soars from the heart and speaks to every soul…Grateful is such an anthem—a loving reminder of the gifts available to us when we approach life with gratitude. It is a song that inspires courage, compassion, and hope. In this exquisite picture book and accompanying CD recorded by Art Garfunkel, Anna-Lisa Hakkarainen’s radiant paintings bring John Bucchino’s words to life. A joyous celebration of the beauty of the seasons, the wonders of nature, and the blessings of faith, here is a gift to be treasured by children and adults of all ages.”

 

51EoTyN89OL._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgThe Thankful Book by Todd Parr is a simple and fun way to explain the concept of gratitude to very young children.  They will LOVE the bright and fun pictures in this book and the concrete examples of what to be grateful for will have them saying, “ME TOO”.  I recommend this book to children ages 0-7.

From the Publisher: “Todd Parr’s bestselling books have taught kids about unconditional love, respecting the earth, facing fears, and more, all with his signature blend of playfulness and sensitivity. Now, The Thankful Book celebrates all the little things children can give thanks for. From everyday activities like reading and bath time to big family meals together and special alone time between parent and child, Todd inspires readers to remember all of life’s special moments. The perfect book to treasure and share, around the holidays and throughout the year.”

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This sweet poem book would be great for children 6 and up.  This book has a variety of poems and sweet illustrations that all focus around gratitude.

From the publisher: “What makes you thankful? In sixteen extraordinary poems that range in form from a haiku to a rebus to a riddle, Nikki Grimes reminds us how wonderful it is to feel thankful, and how powerful a simple “thank you” can be.

 

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This book is the perfect way to explain the concept of gratitude to young children.  It is done as a poem and in simple language that young children can understand.  The pictures are adorable and this would be great for anyone over the age of 3 years old.

From the publisher: “Thankful, written by beloved children’s author Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Archie Preston, combines charming rhymes and whimsical illustrations to convey the importance of being thankful for everyday blessings. Like the gardener thankful for every green sprout, and the firefighter, for putting the fire out, children are encouraged to be thankful for the many blessings they find in their lives. Spinelli exhibits her endearing gift for storytelling with this engaging poem, reminding children how blessed and special they are. Meant to be read aloud, this heartwarming board book will be a treasured keepsake for parents and children alike.”

 

51eN1MB6WQL.jpgFirenze’s Light by Jessica Callaco is a new favorite of mine.  This is the sweet story of a little firefly named Firenze, who does not like the fact that she is a firefly.  Her friends don’t light up the way she does and she wants to be more like they are.  Throughout the story, she discovers the gift of being yourself and learns to be grateful for all that makes her unique.  I’d recommend this beautifully illustrated book for ages 3 and up.

From the Publisher: Follow Firenze, a feisty firefly, as she discovers the power of her light in this fun and encouraging story of friendship and self-appreciation. Firenze’s friends love her light, but Firenze doesn’t think it’s so great. How can she when it’s nearly impossible to play a good game of hide-and-seek?!! When Firenze’s light and a new friend’s artwork unexpectedly combine, she must decide whether she will keep her light hidden or find the courage to let it shine.

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This book involves another tale of Bear and his friends.  This time Bear decides he wants to thank his friends with a feast but realizes he doesn’t have food to offer.  Bears friends arrive one by one and each bring a food to share.  Soon there is a feast for all but Bear feels very badly that he has nothing to share!  This is a story of friendship and gratitude and perfect for ages three and up.

From the Publisher: “What better way for Bear to say thanks, than to have a big dinner with all his friends! Bear has come up with the perfect way to say thanks—a nice big dinner! When Bear decides to throw a feast, his friends show up one by one with different platters of delicious food to share. There’s just one problem: Bear’s cupboards are bare! What is he to do?
     Karma Wilson’s playful text and Jane Chapman’s charming illustrations bring to life this celebration of family and friendship. Young readers will delight in discovering the special gift Bear has to share.”

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Tomie dePaola is a favorite in this house and this sweet and simple book about gratitude is perfect for young children (or older children who need to be reminded to look for the blessings all around them.

From the Publisher: “A young boy awakens with the dawn, opens his eyes and looks closely at his world. He admires all that surrounds him, large and small, from the radiant sun to a tiny, but exquisite, ladybug. “Today is today, and it is a gift,” writes Tomie dePaola in this meditative and joyful book. Simply and beautifully told, and illustrated with jewel-like paintings, this picture book encourages each one of us to be thankful.”

Our Favorite Thanksgiving Stories

Here are some of our FAVORITE Thanksgiving books.  These books are about gratitude, family, friendship and tradition. Click on the picture of the book to be taken to Amazon for more information. Enjoy!

 

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This is a sweet book for children ages 4 and up.  Mrs. Moose wants a Turkey for Thanksgiving and Mr. Moose is determined to go out and find one.  Along the way  Mr. Moose meets up with all of their Thanksgiving guests and they join him to find a turkey.   This book is about friendship and gratitude and is a wonderful tale for Thanksgiving.

From the Publisher: “Mr. and Mrs. Moose invite all their animal friends for Thanksgiving dinner and the only one missing is Turkey. When they set out to find him, Turkey is quaking with fear because he doesn’t realize that his hosts want him at their table, not on it.

 

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This is a sweet book of a family preparing for their Thanksgiving feast.  While they prepare, they give thanks for the many blessings in their life.  The book is told in rhyme from the perspective of the little boy and it is a great story for children ages 5 and up.

From the Publisher: “Little P.K. spends Thanksgiving Day playing with his friends and taking stock of just how much they all mean to him. From breakfast with his family, to playing football with his pals, to spending time with relatives and neighbors, this is a day to count his blessings, and “mostly I’m thankful for all of my friends!” Bright and colorful illustrations make this seasonal book pop off the shelves.”

 

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This fun Thanksgiving tale has the turkey running for his life through the barnyard.  This fun tale about friendship and gratitude is sure to delight ages 2 and up.

From the Publisher: “With Thanksgiving only one day away, can Turkey find a place to hide from the farmer who’s looking for a plump bird for his family feast?
Maybe he can hide with the pigs . . . or the ducks . . . or the horses . . .Uh-oh! Here comes the farmer! Run, Turkey, run!”

 

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I have LOVED this book for years. One of the teachers I use to work with had her Kindergartners and 1st graders put on a play based on this book.  This funny and silly book is about friendship and giving thanks.  This is one of my favorites and perfect for children ages 3 and up.

From the Publisher: “On the night before Thanksgiving, a group of children visit a turkey farm and meet Farmer Mack Nuggett and his coop of cockerels: Ollie, Stanley, Larry, Moe, Wally, Beaver, Shemp, and Groucho. The children and turkeys giggle and gobble, and everything is gravy. As the trip comes to an end, the children leave the farm with full hearts — and bulging bellies — reminding people and poultry alike that there is much to be thankful for.”