People often struggle to find their purpose and place in the world. This is especially true for children who discover themselves, the people around them and the world in general. There are a variety of conflicting messages from a variety of sources about what each of us should believe, do, and feel.
Reading stories can help children develop a better and broader perspective about people and, ultimately, themselves. Stories can teach children how to face their fears and have the courage to face them. And stories can also help children develop broader, more empathetic attitudes. Ultimately, such stories expand a child’s perception and, with the help of you, can steer their personal compass in the right direction. Read.
Books to borrow
The following book is available in many public libraries.
“Be Who You Are” written and illustrated by Todd Parr, Little, Brown, 32 pages
Reading: 3 – 6 years.
Read for yourself: Ages 6-7.
In Parr’s signature style, he encourages children to “just be who you are” and be proud of it. The color of your skin; the clothes you wear that express who you are; the language you speak; your family members. Parr also tells the children to try new things, be silly, be brave, stand up for themselves and a variety of other important life lessons.
“Be who you are” promotes self-acceptance and at the same time promotes the same attitude towards others. The net result of this book? Pure brilliance!
Choice of librarian
Library: Sinking Spring Public Library, 3940 Penn Ave., Sinking Spring
Library Director: John Nelka
Librarian for youth welfare: Christine Weida
This week’s pick: “The moon goes to Addy’s house” by Ida Pearle; “The Wonderful Things” by Emily Martin; “Shiloh” by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Books to buy
The following books are available from favorite bookstores.
“Sunshine” by Marion Dane Bauer, Candlewick, 2021, 193 pages, $ 16.99 hardcover
Reading: 8-12 years.
Read for yourself: Ages 8-12.
When Ben was only 3 years old, his mother left him and his father and moved from their home in St. Paul to a remote island in northern Minnesota. She never came back and Ben hasn’t spoken to her since. He doesn’t know why she left and always wondered if maybe it was something that made her leave. Ben has always known that his father loved him, and he also knows that his imaginary dog, Sunshine, loves him too. Now, many years later, Ben longs to know if his mother still loves him, and if she does, maybe she could love Dad again and finally get home.
Ben decides to get answers to his questions and implement his plan by visiting his mother for a week so they can get to know each other. Ben knows reconnecting with his mother won’t be easy, and living this far from civilization for a whole week will be a challenge. As the week and events unfold, Ben and his mother discover much about each other, about the truth, and about courage and love, and heal them both in important ways.
“Sunshine” is a moving portrayal of the self-discovery and self-acceptance of an award-winning author.
“All of Us” by Kathryn Erskine, illustrated by Alexandra Boiger, Philomel, 2021, 32 pages, $ 17.99 hardcover
Reading: 4 – 8 years.
Read for yourself: Ages 6-8.
The world is a troubled place where there are many divisions, but this beautiful book is leading young readers to a more global, accepting attitude. “All of Us” gently reminds young and old that our world is a better place if we respect each other, other cultures, languages and lifestyles, and that people everywhere are much more alike than we are different.
“All of Us”, which is on sale Tuesday, is both beautifully written and illustrated, and ultimately a love song for humanity about how better we are together than apart.
Kendal Rautzhan writes and gives lectures on children’s literature. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.