The Little Red Hen’s friends are lazy and don’t want to do any work to make the bread they want to eat…kind of like children sometimes! Books are a great way to help children understand what it means to help out and be part of a team that gets things done. Sometimes, the thing that needs done is keeping the toys picked up and the house clean. Sometimes, the thing is setting the table so the family can eat or simply saying, “thank you!”
Girls are Girls, Boys are Boys, Kids are Kids, In all their different and marvelous ways! Boys and girls can do anything! Here are some books that celebrate each kid in their own way.
Listen Right Now!
Listen to Amazing Grace – Grace loves stories, whether they’re in books or in movies or the kind her grandmother tells. She acts out the most exciting parts of all sorts of tales…sometimes Hiawatha, or Aladdin, of Joan of Arc…There’s nothing that Grace enjoys more. Determined to play Peter Pan in the school play, African-American Grace meets opposition in her classmates, who insist that Peter Pan is a boy and white.
Like a lot of kids, Laszlo is afraid of the dark. The dark is a hard thing to be afraid of because it lives right where kids are. You can have a night light, of course, but the dark, the dark still lurks in the corners.
The dark lived in the same house as Laszlo, a big place with a creaky roof, smooth, cold windows, and several sets of stairs. Sometimes the dark hid in the closet. Sometimes it sat behind the shower curtain. But mostly it spent its time in the basement.
In this story, The Dark is a character, just like Laszlo. It hangs out in all the places you would expect The Dark to like; the closet, behind doors, under the bed. Laszlo is a smart kid. He decides to face his fear. Armed with a flashlight, he goes to visit The Dark. When he does, he finds out that like a lot of unknown things, The Dark isn’t so bad. In fact, The Dark is pretty nice. It is especially nice when you close your eyes to go to sleep. A great book for re-imagining The Dark as a friend instead of something scary. Author: Lemony Snicket
One of the best things about the dark is stars…and also meteors! Watching meteor showers is a great way to appreciate the dark and there is a good one coming up that peaks in a few days. It is the Perseid Meteor Shower.
From NASA: Perseids
Peak Activity: Aug 11 – Aug 13, 2015
Peak Activity Meteor Count: Up to 100 meteors per hour
More books about facing up to fears from big bears to nightmares to monsters:
Sam doesn’t talk much. He likes trucks and dogs but none of the kids in his class know that. The thought of show-and-tell at school sends Sam into a panic fueled tummy ache. What if he says something dumb? What if he says the wrong words? What if he cries, or worse, throws up?!!
Other kids take turns before Sam. None of them cry or throw up. No one laughs at them either, so Sam works up the courage to try show-and-tell himself. The illustration of Sam’s friends sitting on the rug eagerly waiting to hear what he has to say is priceless. Mostly, friends just want to be your friends. No one is waiting for Sam to mess up – they want to know what his cool show-and-tell thing is!
Next time, show-and-tell is easier for Sam because that’s how shy works…practice helps make handling it easier. I should know. I routinely threw up in the morning in elementary school during the first fear fueled weeks of school. Getting used to school can be hard! I did not like at all being expected to speak in front of the class. Show-and-tell? No, thank-you! All of that lasted until about fifth grade. I guess that was finally enough practice! If Sam and I can practice, your child can too! Author: Beth Bracken
Here are some more books like Sam’s; stories about other kids who are also shy. Knowing a friend understands, even an imaginary book friend, helps too!
Disappearing Desmond – Desmond is so skilled at disappearing that sometimes even his teacher cannot find him but when he meets Gloria, a new student at school, his attitude slowly changes.
Shrinking Violet – Violet, who is very shy and hates for anyone to look at her in school, finally comes out of her shell when she is cast in a play about the solar system and saves the production from disaster.
Louder Lili – Lili is so shy that her voice is never heard in class until the day a good friend needs her help.
The Boys – A shy boy, seeking the courage to play baseball with the other children in a park, is coaxed out of his shell by some “old timers” sitting nearby who, in turn, discover they are still in the game.
Envy turns to admiration and finally to friendship for Goat and Unicorn.
Have you ever been jealous of someone? Or thought they were better than you? That’s how Goat feels about Unicorn. Goat can ride his bike, but Unicorn can fly. Goat can do simple magic tricks, but Unicorn can turn things into gold. How can you compete with someone who can make it rain cupcakes?
Then one day, Unicorn actually talks to Goat. Goat finds out that Unicorn likes all sorts of things about him! He loves goat cheese, adores cloven hooves, and is completely jealous that Goat can eat anything he wants. Who knew?
So the two become friends and learn to celebrate their differences. Hooray! They even imagine themselves as crime fighting superheroes. Taste their cloven justice!
In Monster Be Good! readers can take charge of the naughty little monsters who are crabby, wild and selfish. They are loud and have terrible manners. Kids will recognize their own bad behavior when they see it in these unruly little beasts.
“Don’t be scared! You are in charge of the monsters. If you tell them how to behave, they will listen.”
Even small children will be able to tell you exactly what the monsters are doing wrong. Kids will have a lot of fun taking charge by letting the monsters know how to be GOOD!
Most kid friendships start with one kid asking: “Want to play?” When the other kid is a robot, the answer is “Affirmative!” Boy and Bot have a great day until Bot’s power switch gets bumped and he turns off. The boy asks, “Are you sick?” When Bot doesn’t answer the Boy takes Bot home and does the things humans do to help each other feel better – a snack, a story, and a nap!
Boy takes a nap too. While he does, Bot’s switch gets turned back on. Bot talks to Boy but Boy doesn’t answer. “Did-you-malfunction?” Bot asks. And Bot does what robots do to fix each other – oil, reading the instruction manual, and a new battery!
FINALLY, Boy wakes up and Bot is powered up at the same time! Good times! Author: Ame Dyckman
“But I’m not tired!” I know you’ve heard this. Many nights. Maybe every night! It’s so hard for kids to stop when playing is so much fun. The trick is winding them down for a good sleep while they are still having fun. We are all familiar with the “stayed up too late” meltdown!
In this story a little girl really doesn’t want to go to bed. She protests all the while her parents are gently moving her through the rituals of bedtime: putting on pajamas, washing her face, brushing her teeth.
When she is finally tucked in she wants to know if everything in the whole world has to go to sleep. What follows is a listing of several animals and how they sleep ending with the tiger…because yes, even energetic ferocious tigers need to go to sleep. Sleep! It’s good for you! Author: Mary Logue
While on a picnic, Rabbit and Mouse look at everything that happens in a different way–Rabbit produces an apple, Good news!, Mouse finds a worm in it, Bad news! Rabbit produces a piece of cake, Good news!, Mouse sees a bee on it, Bad news!. Rabbit sees only the glass half full, Mouse sees only the glass half empty. Rabbit is Spongebob Squarepants and only sees every situation as something WONDERFUL! Mouse is Squidward and only finds something TERRIBLE.
When their adventures take a hair raising turn Mouse finally loses it…and subsequently makes Rabbit cry…leading him to make an effort to see the good and cheer Rabbit up. A great story for Findng happiness in the simple things and for keeping disappointments in the proper perspective. You can complain…or you can find the bright side!
Farm animals and their babies appear in over-sized, colorful pictures giving each other goodnight snuggles and kisses. Perfect for bedtime sharing, each kiss is coupled with an animal noise – cheep kisses, peep kisses, maaaa kisses and moo kisses to make the story fun to share. Goodnight kisses are more fun if you can imagine what a moo kiss is and what it might sound like! Author: Nancy Tafuri