The best children’s books are those that are both written and illustrated to communicate a cultural issue that allows children to think about what’s being presented to them. These books often display humor or assign human characteristics to animal characters to make children laugh and encourage communication since kids don’t always know how to verbalize what they are feeling. Read more
Each Kindness is a beautiful picture book with a powerful message about how we treat people and the regrets we may have. Written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis, Each Kindness is told from the perspective of a young girl named Chloe who tells the story of what happened when a new girl named Maya joined her class in primary school (the book does not specify the grade but it appears to be about second or third grade).
Chloe recounts with brutal honesty how she shunned the new girl, made fun of her, and refused all attempts at friendship throughout the school year. When Ms. Albert, their teacher gives a lesson on kindness, Chloe wonders how much better the year could have been if she had shown Maya a little kindness and opened her heart to friendship. Read more
The battle lines have been drawn.
Every office in the country should have a copy of The Day the Crayons Quit lying around. People may scoff, roll their eyes, and even think that someone left their kid’s book at the office or the waiting room by mistake, but don’t turn away. Pick up the book and read it. Maybe it’s been a few years since you’ve read a children’s book (if you’re not the proud parental unit of a child under the age of 10, then it’s probably been a while). This one’s worth it. Read more
I too find it hard to believe there is a connection across time and space, linking me to a race of ill-mannered clowns.
In 2012, The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate was awarded the Newberry Medal for children’s literature. Ivan, a 400 pound Silverback gorilla has been living in a large cage at the Exit 8 (off I-95) Big Top Mall and Video Arcade for the past 9,855 days (27 years). Trapped as a baby and transported to the US, Ivan was raised like a human by Mack, his owner. When Ivan got too big to handle, Mack put him in the cage at the local mall and used him to attract shoppers. Read more
Last month my 15-year old daughter asked me if we could update the playroom in our home. She told me she had outgrown the room and wants it to be more mature….”like for teenagers” is how she phrased it. I knew this day was coming but still it’s hard to believe the games, toys, and books that defined her childhood are no longer relevant: the classic wooden blocks that haven’t been used in years, or the “Pretty Pretty Princess” game which was more than likely last used in 2004 when she convinced her three male cousins (ages 9,7, and 6) to play; or the books that I’ve spent thousands of hours reading to her. They are as much a part of my journey as hers. She’s just ready to move on while I’m still holding on. Read more