Not Too Little To Help! Raising Socially Conscious Kids

Can We Help?“Can I help?” is one of the most often repeated sentences of small children. Toddlers and preschoolers are typically curious and eager to learn, willing volunteers to be included in the projects and jobs they see going on around them.

Young children understand the concept of support, assistance, and teamwork. When everyone helps out, “many hands make light work.” To help within their own family, kids can pick up toys, select items from a low shelf to add to a shopping cart, or feed the dog. The books listed below will help you take helping out to a new level. Even small children can contribute to their community, the bigger world outside their own home. “Can I help?” Yes, you CAN!

You can find more books & activities about helping out at home at Read Right Right Now! Helping.

Your family can get started helping in the community by donating to the Gleaners Food Bank right here in Indianapolis. Donate non-perishable food items at any Library branch and earn 20 points for the Read It and Eat Summer Reading Program. (Limit 20 points per point card.)


Use your indyPL Library Card number and PIN to check out FREE Online eBooks. Click on a book jacket & enter your Library Card number and PIN to borrow. What’s My PIN?
Just Critters Who CareMiss Fox's Class Goes GreenThe Berenstain Bears Get InvolvedCurious George Plants a TreeOne LoveThese Seas Count

Print Books:

How Can I Help? A Book About CaringA is for ActivistJoey and the Giant BoxMr. Tweed's Good DeedsMy Heart Will Not Sit DownOk GoRaising a HeroThe Berenstain Bears Go GreenThe Can Do ThanksgivingSomething BeautifulGood Deed Scouts Help Their NeighborsGood Deed Scounts to the RescueOlivia Helps Mother Nature

Read Right Now: Robots

The Bot That Scott BuiltIn The Bot That Scott Built, Scott discovers the dangers of unleashing his artificially intelligent creation in his classroom. The bot seems set on destruction until Scott can tweak the bot’s settings and put things right. Told in a similar fashion as the traditional rhyming story, The House That Jack Built,  follow along as the cumulative mess is reversed one step at a time until order prevails again.

Do you have a little engineer like Scott? Have fun together watching the video read aloud Robot Rumpus read by Ross Collins. Listed below are even MORE robot eBooks and printed books you can check out with your indyPL library card. School-age kids can join us at the Library this summer for our Beginning Circuitry and Robots Class for kids too!

Circuitry & Robots Class: School-age children and teens are invited to join the Art Lab and learn about basic circuitry and create a moving robot from various parts.

FREE Video Read Aloud:

More FREE Online Reading:

Printables, Crafts & More:

My Robot's Name Is Tracertracing alphabet


Use your indyPL Library Card number and PIN to check out FREE Online eBooks. Click on a book jacket & enter your Library Card number and PIN to borrow. What’s My PIN?
Boy + BotRobot KittiesThree Little Aliens and the Big Bad RobotDoug UnpluggedDoug Unplugged on the FarmRobot Go BotRobots, Robots Everywhere!The Bear Scouts and the Run-Amuck RobotThe Wild Robot

Print Books:

Robot DreamsGo Otto GoRabbit and RobotThe Adventures of BB8Beep Beep Go to SleepLittle RobotNanobotsNorton and AlphaPower Down Little RobotRaybotRobo PeteRobot SmashSpare PartsStar Wars ABC C3POI Am a DroidTrainbotsBitty BotBlip


Read Right Now! Eat Dessert First!

Go ahead, spoil their dinner! Here are some stories for your sweet little foodie starring cookies, cakes, candy, doughnuts and more. Start the day with this story about the power of pie. In Enemy Pie, a little boy hopes that the enemy pie which his father makes will help him get rid of his enemy. Instead, it helps him make a new friend. Read to you by Camryn Manheim. More stories follow that will keep them coming back for seconds. “Read it again!” sounds pretty sweet!

More FREE Online Reading:

Maisy Makes GingerbreadThe Gingerbread ManThe Gingerbread BabyViolet Counts Cookies

Printables, Crafts & More:


Use your indyPL Library Card number and PIN to check out FREE Online eBooks. Click on a book jacket & enter your Library Card number and PIN to borrow. What’s My PIN?Overdrive
Bunny CakesCandy 1 to 20Curious George Goes to an Ice Cream ShopFlat Stanley and the Very Big CookieFroggy Bakes a CakeThe Biggest Cookie in the WorldThe Donut ChefThe Gingerbread Boy


Use your indyPL Library Card number and PIN to check out FREE Online eAudio. Click on a book jacket below & enter your Library Card number and PIN to borrow. What’s My PIN?Overdrive
Amelia Bedelia Takes the CakeSplat the Cat Ice Scream for Ice CreamSplat the Cat Takes the CakeThe Duckling Gets a Cookie


Use your indyPL Library Card number and PIN to check out FREE Online eVideo. Click on a movie below & enter your Library Card number and PIN to borrow. What’s My PIN?Overdrive
Arnie the Doughnut


Ella Takes the CakeHow to Make a Cherry Pie and See the USAtea-cakes-for-toshIf You Give a Cat a CupcakeIf You Give a Dog a DonutIf You Give a Mouse a CookieIf You Give a Mouse a BrowniePete the Cat and the Missing CupcakesThe Cookie FiascoThe Story of the DoughnutAmelia Bedelia's First Apple PieApple Pie ABCIce Cream Grow Your Own IngredientsThe Apple Pie That Papa BakedOlivia Sells CookiesA Piece of CakeFive Little Monkeys Bake a Birthday CakeSo You Want to Grow a Pie

Read Right Now! Noodles

Strega Nona, or “Grandma Witch,” is the Italian town of Calabria’s source for cures and secret potions. One of her magical skills is operating a magic pot which produces delicious pasta on her command. One day while she is away, hungry Big Anthony remembers the magic words Strega Nona uses to fill the pot up…but realizes too late he does not know how to turn it off!  Listen to the story’s author, Tomie de Paola read, Strega Nona: an Old Tale…a story that gives “all you can eat” a whole new meaning!

Have fun together reading these free eBooks & trying online activities about pasta/noodles. Listed below are even MORE eBooks and printed books you can check out with your indyPL library card.

More FREE Online Reading:

Printables, Crafts & More:


Use your indyPL Library Card number and PIN to check out FREE Online eBooks. Click on a book jacket & enter your Library Card number and PIN to borrow. What’s My PIN?Overdrive
NoodlemaniaBoy DumplingsThe Story of NoodlesMei Mei's Lucky Birthday NoodlesMonster Max's Shark Spaghetti


Spaghetti SmilesCora Cooks PancitGrow Your Own Garden Pasta SauceOodles of NoodlesNoodle MagicTony Baroni Loves MacaroniTyler Makes SpaghettiABC PastaWhat's In Your Macaroni and Cheese?Let's Cook with NoodlesOn Top of SpaghettiThe Ugly Dumpling


Celebrating Families

A family is a group of people brought together by birth, by marriage or other relationship or by living in the same space. Kids grow up in all kinds of different family situations. In A Family is a Family is a Family, a teacher asks the children in her class to think about what makes their families special. One child is afraid to share about her family because it seems so different from other families. Other children in the class do share; about being raised by a grandmother, or by two dads, or having a family of step-siblings. One child wants to share about a new baby. This book is a great look at the many kinds of families children live in.

Children love books that mirror their own day-to-day lives. They also like books that give them a look at someone else’s life. In these stories, children will see themselves as well as their friends. The family stories are different, but the same in the way that matters most of all. Children thrive living with adults who care looking out for them every day.

And Tango Makes Three And Tango Makes Three – At New York City’s Central Park Zoo, two male penguins fall in love and start a family by taking turns sitting on an abandoned egg until it hatches. Based on a true story.

Annie and Snowball and the Wedding Day Annie and Snowball and the Wedding Day – Annie loves living with her dad and her bunny, Snowball. But she wants her dad to find someone to love. Then he meets a woman named Martha. Soon it is time for a wedding!

Black is Brown is Tan Black is Brown is Tan – Describes in verse a family with a brown-skinned mother, white-skinned father, two children, and their various relatives.

The Different Dragon The Different Dragon – For a bedtime story, one of Noah’s two mothers tells him a story about a brave boy in a boat with his cat and and his encounter with a fire-breathing dragon, following Noah’s suggestions along the way.

Do You Sing Twinkle? Do You Sing Twinkle? – A boy’s parents help him adjust to his new stepfamily when his mother remarries after a divorce.

Elliot Elliot – Elliot’s parents do not know how to take care of him. As Elliot moves from one foster home to another, his visits with his real parents leave him anxious and conflicted about where he wants to be. At last he finds stability with a new adoptive family.

Families Families Families Families Families Families – A host of animals portray all kinds of families–any combination of people who love each other.

The Family Book The Family Book – Represents a variety of families, some big and some small, some with only one parent and some with two moms or dads, some quiet and some noisy, but all alike in some ways and special no matter what.

Fred Stays with Me Fred Stays with Me – A child describes how she lives sometimes with her mother and sometimes with her father, but her dog is her constant companion. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2009-2010, K-3 Nominee.

The Great Big Book of Families The Great Big Book of Families – Features illustrations and descriptions of different types of families and how their lives are similar and different.

Heather has Two Mommies Heather Has Two Mommies – Heather’s favorite number is two. She has two arms, two legs, and two pets. And she also has two mommies. When Heather goes to school for the first time, someone asks her about her daddy, but Heather doesn’t have a daddy. Then something interesting happens. When Heather and her classmates all draw pictures of their families, not one drawing is the same. It doesn’t matter who makes up a family, the teacher says, because “the most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love one another.

I Love You Like Crazy Cakes I Love You Like Crazy Cakes – This story of a woman who travels to China to adopt a baby girl, based on the author’s own experiences, is a celebration of the love and joy a baby brings into the home.

I Love You Near and Far I Love You Near and Far – A reassuring rhyming story, written from a child’s point of view, stands as a love letter to family members who are far away because of divorce, military service or simply because they live in different places around country or world.

I Wished for You I Wished for You – Follows a conversation between a little bear named Barley and his Mama as they curl up in their favorite cuddle spot and talk about how they became a family. Barley asks Mama the kinds of questions many adopted children have, and Mama lovingly answers them all.

In Our Mothers' House In Our Mothers’ House – Three young children experience the joys and challenges of being raised by two mothers.

Introducing Teddy : a gentle story about gender and friendship Introducing Teddy: a Gentle Story about Gender and Friendship – Errol and his teddy, Thomas, are best friends who do everything together. Whether it’s riding a bike, playing in the tree house, having a tea party, or all of the above, every day holds something fun to do. One sunny day, Errol finds that Thomas is sad, even when they are playing in their favorite ways. Errol can’t figure out why, until Thomas finally tells Errol what the teddy has been afraid to say: “In my heart, I’ve always known that I’m a girl teddy, not a boy teddy. I wish my name was Tilly, not Thomas.” And Errol says, “I don’t care if you’re a girl teddy or a boy teddy! What matters is that you are my friend.”

A Mother for Choco A Mother for Choco – Choco, a little bird living alone, sets out to find a mother, but he has no luck until he meets the warm-hearted, generous Mrs. Bear and her other children.

My New Mom and Me My New Mom and Me – When the puppy comes to live with his new mom, he is nervous. His new mom has stripes and he doesn t. But his mom says she likes that they look different. The puppy’s new mom does all the things other parents do: she plays with him, takes care of him, and sometimes even makes him mad! But when he’s feeling sad, she knows just what to say.

Night Catch Night Catch – When a soldier’s work takes him halfway around the world, he enlists the help of the North Star for a nightly game of catch with his son.

One Family One Family – A family can be many things, in this story that introduces numbered groups from one to ten.

Our Gracie Aunt Our Gracie Aunt – Johsnon and his sister, Beebee, seem to be all alone in the world. Their mama has gone away many times before, but something tells them that this time she won’t be coming back. Then a social worker comes and takes them to meet their Aunt Gracie. Beebee barely remembers her, and Mama never even told Johnson about her. They wonder where she’s been all this time–and why she would want to take care of them. Warily, though, the children begin to trust Aunt Gracie. And in the process, they come to a better understanding of what it means to be a family.

Stella Brings the Family Stella Brings the Family – Stella brings her two fathers to school to celebrate Mother’s Day.

Stellaluna Stellaluna – After she falls headfirst into a bird’s nest, a baby bat is raised like a bird until she is reunited with her mother.

A Tale of Two Daddies – A young girl describes how her two daddies help her through her day, including her poppa cooking eggs and toast, her daddy fixing her knee when she is hurt, and both fathers being there for her when she needs love.

Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born – A young girl asks her parents to tell her again the cherished family story of her birth and adoption.

Two is Enough Two is Enough – From playing in the snow to a rainy-day ride, to double-scoop treats and crash-landing in leaves, two can be the perfect number for creating life’s memories. And two can definitely be enough for a warm family, full of the love, support, and comfort that every child needs.Whether a father and daughter, mother and son, or a grandparent and grandchild, two is enough to fill each season of the year with wonders, big and small. Author Janna Matthies’ soothing rhyme and Merrilee Liddiard’s warm illustrations of diverse pairs make this story perfect for encouraging a sense of acceptance, security, and community.

Visiting Day Visiting Day – A young girl and her grandmother visit the girl’s father in prison.

We Are Family – Rhyming text and illustrations of families explore how all families are different, but also the same.

We Belong Together a Book About Adoption and Families We Belong Together a Book About Adoption and Families – The joy of adoption and bringing families together is presented in this tale.

Welcome to the Family Welcome to the Family – Introduces different types of households and discusses families with children, adoption, foster parents, same-sex parents, and fertility treatments.

When Otis Courted Mama When Otis Courted Mama – While his life seems perfectly good as it is, Cardell, a young coyote, learns to tolerate–and even like–the coyote that is courting his mother.

Who's in My Family? Who’s in My Family? – Nellie and her little brother Gus discuss all kinds of families during a day at the zoo and dinner at home with their relatives afterwards.

Wolfie the Bunny – When her parents find a baby wolf on their doorstep and decide to raise him as their own, Dot is certain he will eat them all up until a surprising encounter with a bear brings them closer together.

Zak's Safari Zak’s Safari – Zak’s Safari is a book about donor-conceived kids of two-mom families. When the rain spoils Zak’s plan for a safari adventure, he invites the reader on a very special tour of his family instead. Zak shows us how his parents met, fell in love, and wanted more than anything to have a baby–so they decided to make one.