It’s almost World Book Day and the kids are bouncing up and down with new costume excitement! But this year, I wanted to inspire my Mini-Mumblers in a different way; with a book that will teach them to be kind, to reach for the stars and show them that they are loved, no matter what they decide to be.
Here are some inspiring children’s reads that have been recommended to me by others, and some that we have enjoyed ourselves.
What Do You Do With A Problem – Kobi Yamada: It’s easy to be scared of problems when you don’t know how to deal with them. This book both diffuses the fear factor and helps children find the confidence to deal with their worries. The “problem” in the story follows the main character around, growing bigger and bigger until the child finally gets the courage to face it. Then, of course, it’s not as bad as they feared.
The Wonderful Things You Will Be – Emily Martin: This one’s a bit emotional (especially if you’ve just had a baby or a feeling hormonal) and shows children how amazing they are through their parents’ eyes.
The Most Magnificent Thing – Ashley Spires: A lovely picture book about a girl struggling to make “a most magnificent thing”. As well as inspiring children not to give up, it teaches hard work and perseverance and that actually, it’s okay to make mistakes.
Iggy Peck Architect – Andrea Beaty: A fun book about a boy who builds fabulous and often funny (a tower out of nappies, anyone?) creations. Shows children why building things is wonderful and encourage an interest in STEM.
Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World – Kate Pankhurst: This is a favourite at bedtime in our house and has my six-year-old absolutely intent on becoming a secret agent. Wonderfully inspiring, it introduces children to women such as Marie Curie, Amelia Earhart and Anne Frank.
The Good Guys: 50 Heroes Who Changed The World With Kindness – Rob Kemp: We discovered this when looking for something for our son that wasn’t focussed on superheroes or violence. We liked the message in this book, exploring 50 wonderful men from all walks of life who used kindness and compassion to make the world a better place.
I am Enough – Grace Byers: An important lesson for all children and beautifully told here, helping children to build confidence, love themselves and be kind to others.
I can Do Hard Things – Gabi Garcia & Charity Russell: It’s not always easy for children to cope with difficult situations, but this book teaches mindful affirmations as a technique to help them tune into their quiet voice inside and manage what is bothering them.
How Full is Your Bucket – Tom Rath & Mary Reckmeyer: My daughter learned about this at school (and the song that goes with it, which is very catchy). It carries a sweet message about how building others up, being thoughtful and doing kind things are much better choices than being unkind or rude. It’s sweet to see them trying to fill other people’s invisible buckets in the weeks after reading it.
A Bad Case of Stripes – D Shanin: Helpful for children who feel different, and as though they don’t fit in. This book uses humour, creativity and lovely pictures to help kids celebrate who they are and not follow the crowd.
You Are Special – Max Lucado: This one is a religious story, gently teaching kids that no matter how different they are, God loves everyone the same.
Blue Ethel – Jennifer Black Reinhardt: Another book teaching children that being different can be a wonderful thing.
The Dot – Peter H Reynolds: A story about a girl who thinks she can’t draw but is surprised where her creativity takes her, showing her what she is truly capable of.
Ish- Peter H Reynolds: Another one by Peter H Reynolds, this time about a little boy who loves to draw, but loses his joy after an unkind remark.
Beautiful Oops – Barney Salzberg: This one is lots of fun to read, with pop-ups and pull-the-flaps and an underlying message that it’s okay to make mistakes – they can lead to something wonderful!