Books can be a world of discovery for children, but did you ever consider that they can be a teachable tool for life and moral messages? Raising intelligent children is important, but do you know what is EVEN MORE NECESSARY? A world of children with empathy, character and purpose.
I want to share a little secret of mine with all you EXCEPTIONAL mommies out there!
I strive to choose books with meaningful messages for my boys.
It is a powerful way to engage purposeful lessons in emotional/social and cognitive development.
Here are 8 of my favorite!
1. THE SNATCHABOOK
In Burrow Town there is grand mystery of bedtime books being stolen. A rabbit named Eliza Brown, discovers it is a little creature who does not have a mom or dad to read to him, that is causing all the trouble. She hatches up a great plan to fix the problem and help the sad creature who just feels all alone.
This book teaches a profound lesson in not judging others. It helps children to see a bigger picture when it comes to compassion. We should help others even when they appear to be making the wrong choice, because you never know what that person is going through.
2. The Rainbow Fish
The Rainbow Fish is the most beautiful fish in the sea. He has scales with shades of blue, green, purple and sparkling silver ones among them. The other fish in the sea all want to play with him, but Rainbow Fish is proud and refuses. One day, a little blue fish asks for just one of his scales and this makes Rainbow Fish angry. Since he was very mean to the little blue fish, the other fish no longer admired him. He is then faced with a dilemma to sacrifice his beauty for happiness. A wise Octopus helps him by giving some much needed advice. At the end, he decides to give out all but one of his shimmering scales to the other fish.
This book is a magnificent lesson in helping children to understand selflessness. By giving and bringing others joy, we find the true meaning of happiness and love within ourselves.
3. How Full is Your Bucket? For Kids
Felix was being mean to his younger sister because he didn’t want her to knock over the blocks that he was playing with. He made her cry, and Felix’s grandpa explained to him that we all have an invisible bucket over our heads. When it is empty we feel sad, and when it is full we feel great. The next morning Felix wakes up and notices the invisible bucket over his head. Throughout the day he faces various situations that cause his bucket to go empty. Through a turn of events, he learned that for every drop he helped to put in someone else’s invisible bucket, it magically filled his as well.
Children are ego centric, especially at a young age. This is completely normal in childhood development, but we should help them to empathize. This book is excellent in teaching children awareness for the feelings of others. It is a great lesson in how we should all be bucket fillers! By helping others we are also helping ourselves. Children learn to see how empathy changes everything for the greater good.
4. The Invisible String
Liza and Jeremy are twins who were unable to sleep one night because there was loud thunder and very hard rain. They become scared and rush to find their mom who tells them the story about how they will always be connected through a special invisible string made of love. She explains that even though you can’t see it with your eyes, you can feel it with your heart and know that you are always connected to everyone you love. She gives a scenario of when the twins are at school and miss her, all they have to do is tug on the invisible string. Then the love will travel all the way to her heart and she will tug on it right back so they can feel her love as well. The twins then are curious about who and what the string can reach. The scenarios are heart felt. Especially the one where they ask if it can reach their Uncle Brian, who is is heaven.
I read this book to my oldest son Ethan before he started school for the first time. We even practiced by going into different rooms and tugging on the “invisible string”. It is a wonderful book that is written to comfort a child’s fear of being apart from the people they love. The message is reassuring for a child in times of uncertainty. It conveys how strong the power of love is and how easily it transcends.
5. The Kissing Hand
Chester Raccoon did not want to go to school. He wanted to stay home with his mommy, toys, and books. He would miss everything. Mrs. Raccoon, his mom, softly explained that we all have to do things that we don’t want to do, even if they seem strange and scary at first. She tries to help him understand that he will make new friends, play with new toys, and read new books, but she sees the tear in his eye.
She then tells him a special secret called the kissing hand. She kisses Chester right in the middle of his palm, and tells him that whenever he feels lonely and needs a little loving from home, all he has to do is press on his cheek and think “Mommy loves you”.
When Chester Raccoon is about to go to school, he takes his mother’s hand, and kisses the center of her hand. He tells her that now she has a kissing hand too. He then says goodbye and as she watches him run into school, she takes her hand, places it against her cheek, and the warmth fills her heart with these words. “Chester loves you”.
This book is awe-inspiring and one of my favorites. A flood of memories are rushing through my mind of the night before my Ethan started Kindergarten. The many tears that were shed as he feared what being apart from mommy would be like. This book truly helped us both because it was just as equally painful for me to let him go.
The Kissing Hand transmits a strong message of comfort, reassurance, and leaves a powerful imprint of love. It will affirm children how a mother’s love will always remain. It teaches us how being brave is not easy, but we carry the strength within.
When I picked up Ethan after his first day of school, all he talked about was how much he would look at his kissing hand, and remember my love. Ok, now exuse me while I go drown myself in a box tissues!
6. Baby on the Way
This book is superb in detailing what mommy is going through when she is growing a baby. I read this book to Ethan quite often when I was pregnant with Joshua.
It helps a child to understand by providing relatable examples. Sometimes mommy will feel very hungry, like how you feel right before you take your first bite of your peanut butter sandwich. Sometimes mommy will feel tired, like when you have been jumping and playing all day at the park and can barely keep your eyes open. It encourages the child to hug and talk to mommy’s belly because baby brother or sister can hear them. When you hug mommy’s belly, baby also feels your love.
I loved the What You Can Do sections that prompt questions for you little one. One example they give is to ask mommy what it felt like when YOU were in her belly. Or draw a picture of what you think the baby will look like.
They also have a Answers For The Very Curious section. These are open ended questions for your little one. An example they give is, how do you think the baby will get out?
*The Answers For The Very Curious section uses the correct name for the anatomical body parts of a woman. For example, uterus, cervix, vagina, and breasts.
7. Mister Sea Horse
Mister Sea Horse is a vividly brilliantly illustrated book about the journey of a daddy seahorse who watches over his eggs, and meets other daddy fishes along the way who are also taking care of their eggs. Even though it is the female fish who lays the eggs, the male fish is the one responsible to care and look after the eggs until they hatch.
This book is wonderful in teaching children about differences in families and roles. Daddies are just as important and can take care of babies too. Both my boys love this book!
8. Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
This Dr. Seuss book captures what the journey of life and it’s struggle consists of. Life is full of ups, downs, sadness, happiness, choices you have to make, and this book is honestly compelling in detailing all of it.
I especially love the part about not just sitting around and waiting for life to happen. We should get out there, conquer the world and always believe in ourselves.
It is incomparable and captivating in every way!
Fill your child’s mind with endless knowledge, but don’t forget to ignite his/her heart with great purpose.