It’s the season to talk about and celebrate thankfulness, but how can we help instill a grateful attitude in our young children when our culture often promotes self satisfaction and instant gratification? The Zero to Three website is an excellent resource for knowledge and advice. Their article on Raising a Thankful Child has some good tips, such as not giving a child too many gifts at birthday parties and holidays, and helping others within your community to encourage empathy and giving with hands on experiences. Reading books about the topic can help children understand the concept of thankfulness beyond the usual prompting they get from parents to have good manners (“And what do we say when someone gives us something? That’s right, thank you.”) Some from our collection that I like are The Most Thankful Thing by Lisa McCourt, The Thankful Book by Todd Parr, and Thank You, World by Alice McGinty. Some books to spark discussion about gratefulness or generosity include A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams, Stone Soup (multiple authors), The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, A Castle on Viola Street by DyAnne DiSalvo, or All the World by Elizabeth Scanlon.
Identifying and describing emotions can be hard even for grown-ups, but for a child without necessary vocabulary it can be really difficult. The Way-I-Feel books by Cornelia Maude Spelman feature small animals who describe their emotions and the way that it effects their behavior. In each story the character also tells the reader how they manage that particular emotion. The Way-I-Feel books have clear, simple prose that will help a child understand it is okay to feel sad, scared or to miss someone, but will also help children see there are ways to cope with unpleasant feelings.
The Way I Feel Books:
When I Feel Good About Myself
When I Feel Sad
When I Feel Scared
When I Feel Jealous
Reviewed by Grace
The ultimate guide to kids’ comics has arrived: “A Parent’s Guide to the Best Kids Comics” divides graphic novels into genres and loose grade levels. For each series or title reviewed the book includes a summary, a list of educational tie-ins, a note about content to help you make informed choices for your child, as well as recommendations for similar titles. Also included are lists of books about understanding, creating, and teaching graphic novels, some informational websites, and graphic novels that parents may enjoy reading themselves.
If your kids love comics and graphic novels, this book is a must-read.
Reviewed by Grace