We’re longing for Spring–and planning for two of the Spring time holidays. Easter and Passover are high holy days for many, and are cherished time with family and friends. We have the playful side–playing “find the afikomen” with the youngest child, easter egg hunts, visits to see the baby bunnies. And we have the serious lessons–kindness, love & compassion, remembering historical enslavement, protecting those who are vulnerable in these times.
If you’re looking for some generous-spirited books to read with the little ones this times of year, books that emphasize these essential messages in a secular way–please consider the following great reads:
Strictly No Elephants, Lisa Mantchev and Taeeun Yoo
After a little boy and his tiny elephant are barred from the Pet Club, they befriend other children with unusual pets. The first-person narrative has a quiet, contemplative feel: “The trouble with having a tiny elephant for a pet is that you never quite fit in. / No one else has an elephant”… Yoo’s concluding scenes depict a treehouse occupation (its restrictive message changed to “ALL ARE WELCOME”) and multiethnic, multispecies harmony. Sweet and affirming. (Review: Kirkus)
Love from the Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
Celebrate love with #1 New York Times Best-Selling Title!
“You are the cherry on my cake; you make the sun shine brighter; you make my heart flutter.” Using a range of images from the World of Eric Carle, and featuring the Very Hungry Caterpillar, this special gift book gives all the reasons why someone special makes the world a better and brighter place. Perfect for that someone special any day of the year!
Simon & Sedef: A Seal’s First Adventure, Sheree Jeanes
I loved this heart warming story about a family of harbor seals on the east coast! You get so absorbed in the life of Simon, the baby seal, that you can see the waves, smell the salty air and feel his emotions as he struggles through new experiences. As all children learn from watching their parents, he uses that knowledge to bring him back to the security of his family group. Children will not only learn about seals, they will learn respect for nature, and about love, trust and devotion. (Review: Amazon Customer)
Wonder, R.J. Palacio
August, nicknamed Auggie, is a 10-year-old with a facial deformity that causes others to avoid and even shun him. When he enters a mainstream school, Auggie must learn to cope with difficult new situations and new people. (Review: School Library Journal)
The Want Monsters: And How They Stopped Ruling My World, Chelo Manchego
This book is just delightful. It’s a about a boy who wants too much and is learning how to manage his cravings. It’s something relatable across all ages because we all have those Want Monsters, many in fact, that worsen through adulthood. It’s a good book to start a conversation. (Review: Amazon Customer)