Thursday, August 13, 2009


Finally - time to get back to Blogging about children's books. The extended break was due to our move from Texas to Massachusetts. I believe we are finally feeling settled in and ready to start our lives in New England. Now it's time to tackle the stack of books that I am looking forward to sharing with everyone!

First of all for all you parents and teachers out there - if you haven't read the book Parenting for a Peaceful World yet, I highly recommend it. This book brought an understanding of children that I just never recognized before. It made me stop and think about how I was parented and how my childhood experiences created the person/parent that I am today. What I found out is that I have a lot of work to do! This work has to do with ME - emotionally and spiritually. As this work is being done, my parenting style emerges as one that is much more emotionally connected to my child. To quote the author of this important piece of work, Robin Grille, "The way we bring up our children is what determines the kind of society we live in. Since the health of any society is dependent upon the emotional health of its children, children's wellbeing should be our top priority." To give you a brief overview of the work our society needs to continue to do, here's a video to view written by Robin Grille.

With that here are two books that you can share with your child to initiate conversations about the importance of treating others with kindness. We Are All Born Free contains the universal declaration of human rights adopted by the United Nations in 1948. Each of these rights, in simplified form by Amnesty International, is beautifully illustrated by 28 award winning illustrators from around the world. Emmy's favorite page is the one showing a classroom full of interesting characters, "We all have the right to make up our own minds, to think what we like, to say what we think, and to share our ideas with other people." Keep in mind that you do not have to read every one of the rights listed. Choose one or two to focus on and use them as a conversation starter. As Emmy would say, "Can we have a conversation?" By the way, royalties from the sale of this book go to Amnesty International.

If you're looking for a more subtle way to talk about treating others with kindness, try this book focused on good deeds. What Can I Do Today? is written by Allison Stoutland and illustrated by Cathy Hofner and shows a chain reaction of good deeds beginning with a lemonade stand and ending with a 'Happy Cake.' This would be a wonderful book to read to students of all ages at the beginning of the school year. A surprise is attached to the back cover - the recipe for happy cake as well as beautiful stationary to write a letter to a friend. We haven't tried the recipe yet, but it is on my list of things to do!

These three books are an inspiration to me to live my life with the utmost respect and kindness to others. This will serve as a model to Emmy as she continues to interact with others. I hope that you will feel inspired as well.

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched.
They must be felt with the heart."
Helen Keller

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