Ever so often we talk of finding books to read with our little ones that help them address big and small emotions. Express them. Name them. But sometimes it’s the books that show them those feelings, books that weave their way into their subconscious, that let them know that it’s absolutely alright to feel ‘not right’. And there’s always a rainbow at the end of that feeling.
Here are our 4.5 year old’s favourites that make his heart just a little bit warmer on a blue day.
Kevin is a reserved little koala who clings to his tree, even as his friends (all the different animals down under) call him to play. He imagines the worst, worries for it, and simply thinks it’s safer to be right where he is, up on his tree. But then one day, unknowingly, a noisy little woodpecker threatens his very plan. And suddenly when Kevin lands on the ground he realizes, he’s down with his friends, and yes he absolutely can!
This is the hilarious story of a stern Miss Kirby and a sprightly young Bobby. When they meet outside the classroom, all by chance, Bobby discovers how Miss Kirby looks to him is how he is choosing to see her. When she’s kind, she’s really quite wonderful!
Dragons protect princesses, but Marmaduke, a very different dragon, has no princess to save. While the others are grand and wonderfully purple, this orange dragon with big ears refuses to fly because his wings are just too different. And then one day he finds himself a princess as different as him who doesn’t want protecting but wants Marmaduke as a friend, showing him just how special he is. A wonderful book about embracing your own uniqueness.
Even little ones feel mad, and when Ravi gets mad, he turns into an angry little tiger. But as slowly as his loneliness made him mad, it is only that quickly that he goes back to being a sweet little boy when surrounded by love. Sometimes a big hug is all one needs. A lovely book for parents too!
Arthur is a chronically worried penguin, who wakes Papa Penguin each night with a new little worry. Will Santa find him? Will Santa be able to read his list (because his handwriting is absolutely terrible)? Will Santa make it with some presents (because the South Pole is really the furthermost place in the world from him isn’t it)? Papa Penguin assuages his worries with great kindness and a bit of fun, making Arthur and our little ones see, everything really will find a way to be okay.
Elmer’s Walk is one of the few books from the series that doesn’t really focus on Elmer being a different looking elephant, but instead a different ‘feeling’ elephant. On a leisurely walk one day, Elmer stops to notice the small little things around him. But when he tries to share them with other animals they always seem far too busy and rushed. Only when he sees the night sky dotted with a million stars does he realize he may not have enough time to count them. A beautiful read to show our littles that even when everyone’s too busy, it’s okay for them to slow down and have a breath, enjoy themselves, for that is their time for as long as they have it.
A personal favourite, this heartwarming book tells the story of CJ, a young boy, out on a special journey with his Nana. Sulking over the lack of what they have, CJ encounters special experiences on his bus ride making him appreciate the beauty and kindness of life. And when his journey ends with feeding others at a soup kitchen, you know that your own little one has just been served a beautiful life lesson in a bowl. It’s okay to feel like you want more, but it’s nicer to feel the love around you when sharing what you do have.
Our most recent read, Have You Filled a Bucket Today is all about the invisible bucket we all carry. One reserved only for kindness. To give and to get. A simple thought that the way to feeling happy is by popping some smiles, hugs and kind words in someone else’s bucket and receiving a little more in your own. Don’t be surprised if you spend the rest of the week after reading this book getting a lot of I Love Yous!
We read the Dot when my little one was 2 years old and revisited it more recently. I can see how much more the story resonates with him now. Vashti doesn’t think she can draw. Infact she’s quite sure she can’t. So she jabs a dot on her paper when her wonderful teacher encourages her to give it a go. But that dot is only the beginning of Vashti’s creative journey, and she slowly begins her exploration of dots and more dots, an expression of her very own creativity. All it took, was giving it a try.
Leo the lion is a different lion. He doesn’t want to hunt, growl or fight. He’d much rather be friends! A hug is so much nicer. Leo bravely ventures away from his pride, one wonders what will become of him. But Leo is all heart and he befriends all the animals of jungle with his love and kindness. It’s okay to be different and a hug really is so much nicer.
Which heart-warming books have you read recently? I would love to add them to our reading list as well!
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