We love to read in our home, here are some of our favorites, we hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
Recommended Book List
Welcome to my first reading list of books I recommend to parents. Books should offer something of value to the child/reader and all these books I believe do just that. These books cover topics of feelings, diversity, empathy, love, compassion, developing into your “best self”, etc. I hope you and your family enjoy these books as much as mine have enjoyed them.
This list is not all of the books we have in our home, but a good place to start when building your child’s library.
LOVE this book!!! My son who is kindergarten brought this home from his school library and I instantly fell in love. This book is cleverly written using rhyming poetry…it almost feels like reading jazz to your child. The book celebrates and points out how everyone (even children) are more than one dimension. They can be brothers, writers, dreamers, sons, etc. I love the afrocentric feel of this book both with its dynamic images but also the writing style.
THE ALFIE SERIES.
The “Alfie” books are a great series by a wonderful author and artist. The stories talk about real issues children may face (accidentally locking themselves in the house, helping a neighbor get over the death of his beloved cat, working through anxiety about attending a birthday party without his “blanket”, etc). The pictures are engaging with lots of things to look at and discuss when reading to your child.
This is a heartwarming story about an imaginary friend who needs to find his “human” because he is sick and tired of waiting for “him.” He travels to the real world and discovers that sometimes the person we think we are waiting for turns out to be someone else
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF MARLON BUNDO
A wonderful story about a boy bunny who falls in love with another boy bunny but the Stink Bug tries to interfere and stop the wedding. The wilderness friends all rally around the happy couple and together they “vote out” the Stink Bug because “…it doesn’t matter if you love a girl bunny or a boy bunny, or eat your sandwich backward or forward. Stink bugs are temporary. LOVE IS FOREVER.”
ONLY ONE YOU.
The wisdom in this book is perfect for younger children to hear and learn. Things like “blend in when you need to. Stand out when you have the chance” and “Set aside some quiet time to relax and reflect everyday.” are two examples of what is taught in this book.
I WISH YOU MORE
This book is filled with wishes from the reader to the child. It’s a book about building friendships, curiosity, strength and finding joy in the simple things in life.
THE WAY I FEEL.
Often young children aren’t taught or provided appropriate language to use when labeling feelings. By using rhymes, this book cleverly provides realistic situations and emotional responses children may experience daily.
MY BODY BELONGS TO ME.
From a young age children need to be taught appropriate touches and how to respond if someone touches them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable. It’s a difficult topic for parents to talk about and I understand. Nevertheless, we need to provide our children knowledge and tools for how to handle life. This book is a great place to start.
ON A BEAM OF LIGHT.
This is the story of Albert Einstein written in a manner that inspires and encourages young children to be drawn to science and the importance of asking questions.
THE POUT-POUT FISH AND THE BULLY-BULLY SHARK.
A brilliant book about a school of fish coming together and standing up to the “bully”. They teach the bully how to be nice and follow the rules. The book rhymes and has catchy phrases throughout.
In this book a little boy who loves to wear only one color of pants and has to learn about compromise.
LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET.
This is a heartwarming story about a nana and her grandson who volunteer every sunday at a Soup Kitchen. The nana teaches the young boy life lessons as they travel to the Soup Kitchen. By the end, the boy who was initially reluctant to go soon realizes when he sees his friends at the kitchen, that “he’s glad he came.”
Windows is a story about a little boy observing relationships and connectedness in the windows he passes by on his walk home. Once he sees “his window” he sees someone who “loves him”.
DOCTOR DE SOTO.
In this cleverly written book a pair of married mice throw caution to the wind and agree to treat a “dangerous animal” (fox) when they feel sorry for his pain. Even though the couple fear for their safety they use their brains and come up with a plan for how they can “finish the job” and “out fox the fox.” A wonderful story which brings up topics of trust and compassion.
THE WORD COLLECTOR
Everyone collects something and in this book the little boy collects words. He categorizes his words into groups such as words he thinks are fun to say, look pretty, meaning of the word matches the sound of the word etc. The little boy shares words he feels are “powerful” such as “I Understand”, “I’m sorry”, “Thank you”, “You matter”. At the end of the book the little boy wants to share his words with the world and when he dumps his collection and watches his friends grabbing the words flying in the sky….. “Jermone had no words to describe how happy that made him.”
N MY HEART- A BOOK OF FEELINGS.
Children feel everything adults feel they just don’t have the language to express it yet. This book offers wonderful examples of different ways of expressing “life” in words children can understand and relate to.
HEATHER HAS TWO MOMMIES.
It is important for children to see themselves/their families represented in the books they read…as well as be exposed to other ways a family looks like. This is a great book about a little girl starting school for the first time. She realizes quickly that her family is different from others in class. As a way to point out the diversity in all families the teacher asks each child to draw a picture of their family. Heather soon finds out there is a variety of families in the world; none better than the other as long as there is love in the home.
HAVE YOU FILLED A BUCKET TODAY?
EVERY HOME NEEDS THIS BOOK!! This book teaches empathy. By using the metaphor of an invisible bucket (this represents the person’s emotional and mental health) the author provides examples of how an individual can “dump” and “fill” someone’s bucket by the things they say and do (i.e. their behaviors).
AS GOOD AS ANYBODY.
This book shares the story of a young Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel as they realize the impact discrimination had on them and their communities. It highlights their shared passion for love and equality and how that passion brought them together to help others.
TUMFORD THE TERRIBLE
Who doesn’t love a cleverly written rhyming book about a cat who struggles saying he’s “sorry”. All children find it difficult to apologize (as do many adults) and will more than likely identify with Tumford’s struggle.