Picture Books for Bibliophiles

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Share your love of reading with a child in your life.

Bibliophiles - or book worms - of every age will be delighted by these creative stories. They explore reading as a superpower, reading as magic, and reading as a grand adventure. Then use our discussion questions to make the most of story time.


Conversation Starters

  • What is a bibliophile?

  • What do you love most about reading?

  • Can you name a favorite book or two? A favorite character or two?

  • How could you persuade someone who doesn't love to read to try your favorite book?

  • Do you like to visit the public library?

  • Do you think it's important to make books available, for free, to everyone? Why or why not

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce
This whimsical, reality-bending book is full of food for thought. It even inspired an Academy Award-winning short film.

The Old Woman Who Loved to Read by John Winch
This lovely lady moves to the country for a quieter life, with the hope that she’ll have time to read. Alas, she finds that country life brings with it new and hilarious demands on her time, one of which lands her in a bathtub with her ever-present animal pals.

Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Creek Dam Affair by Patricia Palocco
If you are looking for an adventure story celebrating books and reading, this is the one. Master story-teller Palocco introduces us to Aunt Chip and her quest to unplug a generation of tech-crazy kids in a tale that will stick with readers long after the last page.

A Quiet Place by Douglas Wood
This beautiful book empowers children to discover the quiet places that feed their spirits, including the many adventures that await between the covers of a good book.

Library Lil by Suzanne Williams
Can a librarian take on a motorcycle gang to protect her precious books? Find out in this exceptional tall tale!

Back to Read Together for more book lists...

Haven't found what you're looking for?
Visit our Complete Resource List.

Or check out these projects and book lists to inspire your family to share kindness with your own creativity.

Disclaimer:  Doing Good Together™ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.

 

 

Picture Books for Your Thanksgiving Table

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Deepen your holiday experience through story.

Thanksgiving can seem like a very self-conflicted holiday.

On one hand, this national day of feast has grown into a wonderful ritual of coming together to celebrate our blessings. On the other hand, it is still rooted in deeply problematic representations of native peoples and our national history.

Here’s another contradiction. As its title implies, Thanksgiving is a spirited, ready-made opportunity to celebrate the abundance in our lives. Unfortunately, this holiday also marks the unofficial kick-off to holiday shopping, wish lists, and a nationwide plague of “the gimmes.”

Don't let tired stereotypes and holiday greed overshadow your family’s Thanksgiving. Explore this growing list of picture books with your children, and take time to deepen your holiday experience.


Conversation Starters

  • Why is it so easy to forget the many things we are grateful for when we discover something new that we desperately want?

  • How can we remind ourselves to be satisfied with the good things already in our lives?

  • What if we woke up tomorrow and only had the things we expressed gratitude for today?

  • How can we tell the difference between what we need and what we want?

  • Is it wrong to want something more when you have so much?

  • Is it hard to feel grateful when you’ve had a difficult day? What can we do to remind ourselves of gratitude even when we’re not feeling very happy or grateful?

Featured Title

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Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message by Chief Jake Swamp
This is a special children’s version of the Thanksgiving Address, a message of gratitude that originated with the Native people of upstate New York and Canada and that is still spoken at ceremonial gatherings held by the Iroquois, or Six Nations. Its celebration of so many things we universally cherish – love, nature, gratitude – make this a wonderful book to revisit throughout the year or read around the Thanksgiving table.


Additional DGT Favorites

The Circle of Thanks: Native American Poems and Songs of Thanksgiving by Joseph Bruchac
This collection features works by Native American tribes including Cherokee, Kwakiutl, Pawnee, Navajo, and Papago. The assorted poems and songs offer wonderful food for thought on the topic of gratitude, family, and the rituals of celebration.

Grateful: A Song of Giving Things by Jon Bucchino
Including sheet music and a CD, this song-in-a-book invites readers to consider all they are thankful for in a peaceful, meditative way.

Gracias/Thanks by Pat Mora
This poetic and joyful story introduces us to a young biracial boy as he celebrates the many reasons he feels thankful.

How Many Days to America? A Thanksgiving Story by Eve Bunting
A family is forced to flee their Caribbean island and set sail for America in a small fishing boat. They arrive on Thanksgiving Day, having experienced fears and hardships very similar to those faced by those who celebrated the first Thanksgiving. This is a very moving story sure to open a conversation about compassion and courage.

The Secret of Saying Thanks by Douglas Wood
In the soothing, inspirational style Douglas Wood is famous for, this book unlocks the secret of gratitude. Parents will look forward to spending time with this gentle book.

Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving by Joseph Bruchac
Learn about the Pokanoket tribe, in Squanto’s Journey by Joseph Bruchac, an author of Native descent. This exceptional biography is perfect for thoughtful grade-schoolers. The overarching tone is both tender and realistic, as it introduces aspects of the history that are too often glossed over or misrepresented. This book will help ground your holiday celebration in a nuanced and respectful historical context.

The Table Where Rich People Sit by Bryd Baylor
A young girl learns from her family that being rich is not just about material wealth.

Thanking the Moon: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon by Grace Lin
Expand your conversation from American history to a similar fall tradition: the Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. Grace Lin’s story is simple and wonderful to read aloud.  The Moon Festival is one of the most important holidays of the year, and though it usually falls in September, this book’s theme of thankfulness, togetherness, and harvest celebrations fits nicely with the other books on this list.

Thanks a Million by Nikki Grimes
Explore gratitude through 16 beautiful poems sure to illuminate the power of saying thanks.

The Very First Americans by Cara Ashrose
This classic picture book introduces children to some of the hundreds of groups that made their homes in America long before Columbus set sail. Learn more about the traditions and lives of a variety of native peoples across the continent.

Back to Read Together for more book lists...

Haven't found what you're looking for?
Visit our Complete Resource List.

Or check adopt your next big-hearted holiday tradition
with one of these projects.

Disclaimer:  Doing Good Together™ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.

 

 

Chapter Books About Bullies, Bystanders, and Being Kind

A growing list of chapter books dealing with bullies

Empower your tween or teen to be an "upstander."

This growing collection of resources is provides the perfect starting place for a conversation about challenging social conflicts. Pick a book that interests your family. Read it together. Then, use the discussion questions to take the concepts further.

Also check out our collection of picture books about bullying.


Talk about the issue.

  • What are some other ways the main character could have dealt the main challenge? How would you have acted differently than the character in the story?

  • What do you think is the difference between bullying and teasing?

  • Do you ever feel lonely or left out? What do you do to feel better? What else can you do?

  • Do you ever see other kids at your school being bullied? How does it make you feel?

  • How do you think you could help a friend who is being bullied?

  • Let's make a list of great qualities about each of us. Why do you think it is important to think positive thoughts about yourself?

  • Check out this popular edition of the DGT™ Newsletter on "Raising Upstanders" for more strategies to prevent bullying.

    Featured Titles

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
Looking for a great read-aloud chapter book? Wishtree - by the same award-winning author who brought us The One and Only Ivan - is a thought-provoking story told from the perspective of an ancient oak tree. The tree is horrified when a bully abuses the long-time tradition of attaching wishes to the tree, instead spreading hateful messages to Samar, a recent Muslim refugee. Who will step and stand up to the bully? The heart-warming conclusion is fantastic!

Posted by John David Anderson
The charming cast of misfits at the heart of this story is sure to draw middle school readers in quickly. In a school where cell phones have been banned, post it notes become the preferred, and highly ironic, method of communication. It’s all in good fun, until the notes take a turn for the nasty.


Additional DGT Favorites

Blubber by Judy Blume
This classic gives readers a clear picture of both the pain bullying can cause and the speed with which teasing can transform into bullying.

The Boy in the Dress by David Walliams
This delightful, laugh-out-loud story elegantly teaches older readers lessons in kindness and tolerance. Twelve-year-old Dennis is learning to cope with a stressful home life by finding his own passions and making his own choices, however unorthodox they may be.

Blue Cheese Breath and Stinky Feet by Catherine DePino
This is a simple chapter book, perfect for younger readers. Steve is determined to stand up to his bully. He turns to his parents to help him formulate a plan, but will it work?

Confessions of a Former Bully by Trudy Ludwig
Trudy Ludwig is an expert storyteller on the subject of bullying, and this sweet book is no exception. By giving readers the perspective of an engaging bully, Ludwig's book gives readers much to discuss, along with an excellent story.

Drita My Homegirl by Jenny Lombard
Ten-year-old Drita and her family have fled war-torn Kosovo to find safety in America. When Maxie is assigned to show Drita around the new school, the two struggle to find common ground. Sometimes friendship blossoms when you least expect it. And when you need it most.

El Deafo by Cece Bell
This amazing book is sure to be a favorite. The inspiring, autobiographical story of one young girl’s superpowered and super-relatable effort to make a pace for herself at school lends itself to conversations about different abilities, inclusivity, and friendship.

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
Sudden tragedy during the great depression forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California and settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn’t ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance and bullying she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances. It’s a powerful, award-winning and much-loved story.

Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson
Readers will instantly love Frannie, an 11-year-old who strives to be good and "be the one" who stands up for others, in spite of so many challenges. Some days the whole world seems to bully us, but if we learn to stand up and have hope, we can turn things around.

Fish in a Tree by Linda Mullaly Hunt
This is the perfect book for everyone struggling with the sense that they don't fit in. “Everybody is smart in different ways. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing it is stupid.”

Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick
Two boys, a tough guy with a learning disability and genius in leg braces, forge a friendship and overcome a bully.

Ghost by Jason Reynolds
Ghost is on his way to becoming a track star, but can he run fast enough to put his past behind. This book is full of complicated characters, difficult decisions, and opportunities to ask, "What is the right thing to do when you're being bullied?"

Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Teens will be fascinated by the unique situation explored in this eloquent book. When Valerie and her boyfriend Nick created the list of everyone and everything they hate, she had no idea he intended to open fire on their school. Though Valerie is wounded in the attack while attempting to protect another student, she is also implicated in the shootings when the hate list is discovered. Bullying, guilt, regret, and overcoming hard mistakes are just some of the issues that arise in this poignant story.

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Looking for one more thing to love about this enchanting series? Emerging research demonstrates that Rowling’s work is an incredible tool for teaching empathy and tolerance. Harry is the subject of significant bullying and badgering at the hands of his nemesis Draco Malfoy. Explore this series together and discuss the many-faceted issues of justice, bullying, and courage found in each of the books.

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
Wanda is teased by her classmates for wearing the same tattered dress to school each day. They don't believe her when she tells them of her collection of one hundred beautiful dresses at home. The bullying escalates until Wanda is pulled out of school, and one girl realizes she missed her chance to stand up for Wanda.

If You Believe in Mermaids…. Don’t Tell by A.A. Philips
Especially if your a boy, Todd Winslow knows there are some things you just can do, say, or be in front of others. He tries so hard to fit in at summer camp. He tries so hard to hide his love of mermaids and dressing up. Will he find the courage to overcome expectations and be himself?

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
This stunning story is drawn from the author's own experience as a refugee. Told through poetic verse, this novel is known for its illumination of the immigrant experience, but watch for heart-wrenching lessons in the importance of treating people well even when they speak, look, and act differently.

Jake Drake Bully Buster by Andrew Clements
This edition of the popular Jake Drake series reminds us that sometimes even bullies need a little kindness and understanding.

The Liberation of Gabriel King by K. L. Going
Gabe needs liberation from his fears, fears of spiders, corpses, cows, and fifth grade. Gabe's new friend Frita makes it her mission to rid him - and incidentally herself - of fear. This exceptional story covers a lot of ground, including race relations, bullying, politics, and integrity.

Loser by Jerry Spinelli
Newbery-winning author Spinelli gives readers a beautifully written reminder that sometimes being different is exactly what it takes to be spectacular.

The Loser List (series) by H. N. Kowitt
Watch the trailer then read the book to discover how quickly one kid can move from being bullied to being one of the bullies and back again.

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
Winner of the Newbery Award in 1990, this is a modern myth featuring a homeless boy struggling with a sense of belonging. When Jeffrey Lionel “Maniac” Magee begins running, his myth really begins. Big conversations about racism, bullying and homelessness are sure to come out of this amazing story.

The Misfits by James Howe
Discover what happens when a group of bullied misfits decides to speak out, stand up, and be themselves.

My Secret Bully by Trudy Ludwig
Bullying hurts most when it comes from a former friend. This book depicts an all-too-common scenario and offers discussion ideas at the end.

Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger
This newly updated edition illuminates the transgender experience, and the pain the comes with being shamed for your very identity.

Playground: The Mostly True Story of a Former Bully by 50 Cent
How does a kid become a bully? And what really happened on the playground that day that landed one student in the hospital and another in therapy? This story is sure to get teen readers talking.

The Saturday Boy by David Flemming
Engaging and funny, this story captures the spirit of life as a 10-year-old boy, when the right thing to do or say is never very clear.

A Smart Girl's Guide: Drama, Rumors & Secrets: Staying True to Yourself in Changing Times by Nancy Holyoke
Full of quotes, tips, quizzes, and great advice, this straightforward manual is a great book tohave on hand before bullying is a problem.

Smile by Raina Telgemeir
When Raina trips and smashes her two front teeth, she embarks on a long, embarrassing journey of dental treatments. Fitting in in sixth grade is hard enough, but this sweet, funny book will encourage kids to believe they can get through troubled times.

The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo.
From the moment he is born Despereaux is distrusted for being different. Who's ever heard of a mouse who doesn't scamper, who reads books, and who falls in love with a human princess? This Newbery winner is a great read-aloud book, and an essential to any big-hearted book collection!

Twerp by Mark Goldblatt
This vivid, often-funny, coming of age story shows us how hard it is to know and do the right thing. Can this sixth grader come to terms with his unmentionable act of bullying?

Wonder and Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories  by R. J. Palacio
The story of Auggie Pullman captured the attention of the world when it was first published in 2012. Auggie's unusual face and charming personality inspires an entire community to discuss what compassion, empathy, and kindness means in practice.  Auggie & Me tells the same story from three other perspectives, including that of Julian, the bully who let's his fear of Auggie's difference rule his behavior. These books are essential reading material for all who practice kindness.

Back to Read Together for more book lists.

Haven't found what you're looking for?
Visit our Complete Resource List.

Or check out these projects to start big-hearted conversations with your family.


Disclaimer:  Doing Good Together™ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.

Inspire Nature Lovers with This Growing List of Picture Books

a growing list of picture books io inspire recycling, protection of wlderness areas, and environmental advocacy

Encourage the next generation of outdoor adventurers with these fun stories.

Nothing inspires wonder, cultivates mindfulness, and relieves stress as effectively and enjoyably as time spent in nature. Inspire the wilderness enthusiast in your child with this growing list of stories.


Talk about the issue.

  • Name three things that you love to do outside?

  • Where are your favorite outdoor spaces?

  • Are their any outdoor adventures you hope to have some time in the future?

  • What creature do you wish you could see in the wild?

  • What can your family do to help take care of your favorite natural areas?

  • What can your family do to reduce waste in your home?

Featured Title

The Littlest Gardener by Emily Hughes
Through gorgeous illustrations and elegant text, Hughes introduces us to the hopes and frustrations of the littlest gardener. There is so much to love in this little story and it's fairy-tale-style celebration of persistence, team work, and - of course - tending nature.


Additional DGT Favorites

A Place to Grow by Stephanie Bloom
Destined to be your next favorite book, and favorite book to give others, A Place to Grow reminds us all to appreciate our unique gifts. The joyous illustrations by Kelly Murphy will inspire your inner gardener to get planting!

Brother Eagle, Sister Sky by Susan Jeffers.
Adapted from a speech supposedly made by the American Indian Chief Seattle, Brother Eagle, Sister Sky encourages reverence for the land and environment.

Canoe Days by Gary Paulsen.  
Enjoy the peace and pleasure of a summer day in this poetic, beautifully illustrated, and fully transportable canoe trip.

Everglades by Jean Craighead George and Wendell Mior.
A storyteller describes the Florida Everglades as he guides children though this one-of-a-kind ecosystem. Minor’s paintings depict the beauty of this home to alligators and egrets.

Fairy House by Tracy Kane.
Bring the joy of imaginative play to your outdoor experiences with this wonderful story. Join Kristin as she builds a fairy house in the woods, and follow her dream-like adventures with the fairies. Then build  your own fairy houses using the instructions in the book, and adding to them with your own imagination and natural treasures. It's a great alternative to screen time!

Feathers by Eileen Spinelli
This collection is as lyrical and charming as its subject matter. Explore the bird world with creative, funny, and beautiful poems that just might inspire your to burst into song. This book is perfect for anyone creating and sharing homemade bird feeders.

Fire Flies! by Julie Brinkloe.
Discover the magic of fireflies on a summer night, and learn to respect the freedom wild things deserve. This is a perfect companion for a summer camping trip, along with a bug net!

The Forest Has Eyes by Elise Maclay.
Have fun with this lushly drawn “camouflage art,” with pictures hidden within. Learn about Native American culture, their reverence for the land and the animals that inhabit the forests.

Fun with Nature and More Fun with Nature (Take Along Guides) both by Mel Boring, Diane Burns, and Leslie Dendy.
Kids will love learning about the most common creatures, tracks, and trees they're likely to encounter in North America. These books will turn every trip to the park into a scavenger hunt!

The Garden of Happiness by Erika Tamar
Marisol learns the beauty of having a community garden in her New York City neighborhood.

John Muir Wrestles a Waterfall by Julie Danneberg.
This exciting story from the life of renowned naturalist and environmental advocate John Muir is rich with history as well as natural wonders.

Maxwell's Mountain by Sheri Becker.
This story is perfect for young readers who want to lead their own nature expedition. Maxwell learns the rules that keep hikers safe as he trains to tackle the "mountain" at his local park.

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen. 
With few words and magical illustrations, this book places you in the chilled quiet of a winter night and the magical intimacy with nature that's possible in this silent world.

Old Elm Speaks: Tree Poems by Kristine O'Connell George.
This inspiring collection of tree poems is one part meditation and one part playful exploration of our stately neighbors.

The Raft by Jim LaMarche.
Follow along with Nicky's adventure in the Wisconsin woods. Nicky's summer with his raft, and his grandmother, opens him up to the natural world as well as his own artistic inclinations. The tone and the illustrations pull you in to this mesmerizing tale.

Two Old Potatoes and Me by John Coy
Discover the wonder of a first-time gardener in this charming story about family, patience, and change. Can two old, sprouted potatoes really turn into something new?

The Tree that Time Built: A Celebration of Nature, Science, and Imagination (A Poetry Speaks Experience) by Linda Winston, Mary Ann Hoberman, and Barbara Fortin.
This anthology of nature inspired poems is sure to inspire and engage your child with the outdoors in unexpected ways.

The Story of the Blue Planet by Andri Snaer Magneson.
This delightfully unique story is sure to spur conversations with your child and challenge your whole family to enjoy the simple pleasures of nature to the fullest.

Back to Read Together for more book lists.

Haven't found what you're looking for?
Visit our Complete Resource List.

Or check out these simple projects to protect the Earth.

Disclaimer:  Doing Good Together™ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.

 

 

 

 

Picture Books that Nurture Emotional Awareness

An evolving list of picture books teaching emotional awareness and empathy, including books about anger, fear, anxiety, jealousy, resilliance, and more!

Explore strong emotions through story.

Research tells us that children who understand emotions are more likely to act kindly toward others. Encourage this by reading these amazing stories and completing the unique workbooks listed below.


Conversation Starters

  • Why is it helpful to recognize and talk about our feelings?

  • How can talking about feelings help us be more understanding of others?

  • Can you tell about a time when you’ve felt surprised, happy, angry, nervous, etc.?

  • Make a list of the emotions each family member experienced throughout the day, along with the events that accompanied them. Discuss what you have learned from your list.

  • How do you think you would feel if [a character's experience or a classmate's experience] happened to you?

  • What helps you calm down when you are experiencing strong emotions? Put together a "calm down box" by filling a shoe box with a few things that make you feel better (a special book, a small stuffed animal, your favorite figurine etc).

Featured Title

Small Things by Mel Tregonning
This powerful graphic picture book helps us all recognize and overcome the little everyday worries that can sap our energy and rob us of happiness. When a young boy is overcome by his inner demons, he beings to do poorly in school, lashes out at his family, and feels utterly alone. Discussion opportunities arise naturally throughout the story, especially as the boy discovers that people everywhere cope with various worries, and that help is never far away.


More DGT Favorites

Books about General Emotions

The Feelings Book by Todd Parr
These simple, colorful illustrations of basic emotions will have your child exploring nuanced feelings through mimicry.

Glad Monster, Sad Monster: A Book About Feelings by Ed Emberly
Let Ed Emberly's brightly illustrated monsters help your young child explore strong emotions. You'll enjoy the cut-out masks that allow your child to "try on" different emotions.

In My heart: A Book of Feelings by Jo Witek
This book is the perfect introduction to a the big feelings we all experience. It is beautiful, lively, and fun to read aloud again and again.

My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss
This book describes the moods of our days in true Dr. Seuss fashion – silly, simple and imaginative.

Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods that Make My Day by Jamie Lee Curtis
Like Dr. Seuss's My Many Colored Days, this story is as enjoyable to read as it is emotionally enlightening.

There Are No Animals in This Book (Only Feelings) by Chani Sanchez
Remarkable contemporary artwork is paired with charming, highly-re-readable language to create a one-of-a-kind gem of a book.

Understanding Myself: A Kid's Guide to Intense Emotions ad Strong Feelings by Mary C. Lamia
The stories, quizzes, and fact boxes in this book help older kids understand and develop coping skills for strong emotions.

You are Your Strong by Danielle Dufayet
This sweet, empowering book is perfect for starting a conversation about coping with strong emotions. We love the gentle way it helps children notice the skills adults use to address their emotional needs, and how it inspires kids to develop their own strategies to cope with everyday aggravations and disappointments.


Books about Anger

Crabby Pants by Julie Gassman
This hilarious story will have young readers laughing out loud even as they discover how shallow, fleeting, and silly crabbiness can be.

Curious George (assorted titles) by H. A. Ray
George's adventures inevitably lead to a bit of trouble. These classic stories provide the perfect opportunity to discuss why adults sometimes get angry - often because we worry about the safety of our children when they break important rules.

The Grumpy Goat by Brett Helquist
Grumpy Goat has a difficult time making friends at the new farm. But his somehow, he learns to stop and smell the flowers.

Harriet, You'll Drive Me Wild by Mem Fox
Children and parents alike will recognize themselves is Mem Fox's classic story. The well-meaning but accident-prone child. The parent straining to be remain calm. The all-too-human boiling point. And the loving conclusion that provides an elegant reminder: even when family members are angry or embarrassed or sorry, we still love each other.

Sometimes I'm a Bombaloo by Rachel Vail
Let's be honest, tantrums sometimes happen. This book offers smart, funny insight into what happens when one child becomes – as she puts it – a bombaloo.

What to Do When Your Temper Flares: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anger by Dawn Heubner
This creative workbook teaches children and their parents practical tools for managing, redirecting, and diffusing strong feelings of anger.


Books about Jealousy

Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts
Have you ever longed for the latest trend? Have you ever been told they are too expensive. This story will help families discuss the difference between want and need. Plus this powerful story of friendship and family is sure to inspire compassion.

Percy and Tum Tum: A Tale of Two Dogs by Jen Hill
When the new dog moves to town, launches new trends, and enchants the neighborhood, Percy can't help but feel jealous. The colorful illustrations and clever humor are sure to make this story a family classic.

Red Cat, Blue Cat by Jenni Desmond
This vibrant, funny, simple story gently teaches the trouble caused by jealousy and the joys of self-acceptance and friendship.

Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss
The second story in this classic collection features Gertrude McFuzz, of Seussical the Musical fame. Gertrude desperately wants a glamorous tail, bigger even than La-La Lee Lou. Though she goes through great lengths to enhance her own tail, in the end she comes to appreciate her own.


Books about Fear & Anxiety

A Flicker of Hope by Julia Cook
This creative story from the best-selling author of My Mouth is a Volcano!, reminds children that dark clouds can be temporary and asking for help is always okay. We all have times when we need to borrow a little hope from someone else.

Lilly's Purple Purse by Keven Henkes
The clever author of Chrysanthemum and other childhood classics gives children a dose of calming perspective: "Today was a hard day. Tomorrow will be better."

Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears by Emily Gravett
Using humor, multi-media design, and grandiose language, this little book does an elegant job of encouraging young readers to face their fears through storytelling and journaling.

"The Old Woman Who Was Not Afraid." Grandmother Stories:  Wise Woman Stories from Around the World by Burleigh Muten
This story, tucked inside a beautiful anthology of "wise woman" fairy tales, gives children a mantra: "I will not be afraid. I will think of something." Though her tale is somewhat frightening, her bravery and self-reliance will inspire readers of every age.

The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm by LaVar Burton and Susan Schaefer Bernardo
This tale within a tale helps children - especially children who have experienced a traumatic storm or loss - cope with big fears. The rhyming verse and engaging illustrations draws readers right into rhinos world, where a storm has upended his home. The description of the Rhino's inner turmoil after "swallowing the storm" is recognizable to every child who has experienced fear and worry. In the end, focusing on the helpers and on hope helps the rhino release his storm.

Pilar’s Worries by Victoria Sanchez
Pilar loves to dance. But the prospect of upcoming tryouts fills her with fear. Thankfully, she’s learned some helpful coping strategies that help her stand up to her worries and put her ballet skills on full display.

The Scariest Thing of All by by Debi Gliori
Little Pip the rabbit keeps a list of the things he's afraid of, and that list is unbelievably long. When he gets lost in the woods, Pip must confront the scariest thing of all, and he finds an inner fierceness he never knew he had.

What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety by Dawn Hueber.
Techniques, examples and activities to get kids thinking about how to handle their worrying.

Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
The clever author of Chrysanthemum and other childhood classics brings his talent to the challenging issue of childhood anxiety over the first days of school.

Wilma Jean, Worry Machine by Juila Cook
This humorous book offers practical tools for helping children understand the source of anxiety and how to cope with it.


Books about Loneliness

An Angel for Solomon Singer by Cynthia Rylant
Lonely Solomon wanders into "The Westway Cafe - Where All Your Dreams Come True" and finds himself sharing his wishes, along with his orders, with the waitress - Angel.

The Invisible Boy by Tracy Ludwig
This charming story will inspire every reader who has ever felt invisible (hint: that's everyone at some time or another!).

The Gardener by Sarah Stewart
Moving to a new city can be a lonely experience, but Lydia hasn't come alone. She's packed a suitcase full of garden seeds and enough grit to make the best of a tough transition.

The Old Woman Who Named Things by Cynthia Rylant
She names her car, her house, her big, comfy chair, but she will not name the shy, brown puppy that visits her front gate each day. This beautiful tale gives us insight into how lonely aging friends and family members might feel, and it just might inspire your family to reach out to a senior in your life.

The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
This story about a sweet country cottage consumed by the big city is surprisingly good at conveying loneliness and nostalgia. This is a heart-warming classic you won't want to miss.


Books about Resilience and Grit

After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Dan Santat
This charming story will captivate your whole family, even as it soothes anxieties and reminds us all that we have the ability to overcome whatever obstacles we face. This book is sure to be an award-winner this year!

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
This incredible, modern fable features a young hero named Liam who is just curious and adventurous enough to change the world.

Flight School  by Lita Judge
A young penguin believes he has "the soul of an eagle," but he's having trouble getting off the ground. His plucky perseverance, and a little help make his dreams a reality.

Growing up with a Bucket Full of Happiness: Three Rules for a Happier Life by Carol McCloud
From the brilliant author of Have You Filled a Bucket Today, this book takes the bucket-filling concept one step further. Did you know your bucket has a lid? And you can use your lid to protect yourself from bucket dippers, to preserve your reservoir of good thoughts and feelings, and to nurture your own resilience?

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Have you ever set out to make something magnificent? Have you ever had a vision, but wondered how to make it a reality? Have you ever been so frustrated by a project that - vision or no vision - you decided to quit right then and there? This charming book may help you look at your project from a whole new angle.

Papa's Mechanical Fish by Candice Flemming
An avid but imperfect inventor is in search of a great idea. Who could have guessed that a family fishing trip and his inquisitive daughter would give him just the inspiration he needs.

Back to Read Together for more book lists...

Haven't found what you're looking for?
Visit our Complete Resource List.

Or check out these projects and book lists to help raise your family's emotional awareness.

Disclaimer:  Doing Good Together™ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.

A Growing List of Picture Books about Bullies, Bystanders, and Being Kind

Inspire big-hearted conversations

Teach your child to be an "upstander."

Give your child the tools to take a stand with this growing collection of books, conversation starters, and links.

You may also want to browse our collection of Chapter Books about Bullies, Bystanders, and Being Kind for your older child or your next family read-aloud title. 


Talk about the issue.

  • What do you think is the difference between bullying and teasing? (Hint:  One of these is more intentionally mean, recurring, and involves a difference in power between two or more people.)

  • Do you ever feel lonely or left out? What do you do to feel better? What else can you do?

  • Do you ever see other kids at your school being bullied? How does it make you feel to be a bystander to such behavior?

  • How do you think you could help a friend or classmate who is being bullied? (At DGT™ we proudly call these helpers "Upstanders!")

  • Let's make a list of great qualities about each of us. Why do you think it is important to think positive thoughts about yourself?

  • Check out this popular edition of the DGT™ Newsletter on "Raising Upstanders" for more strategies to prevent bullying.

Featured Title

The Big Umbrella by June Bates
This is a beautiful, open-ended book shows helps kids see that there’s always room to include others. Young readers may enjoying knowing that this book was cowritten by a mother-daughter team that imagined the story on their way to school in the rain.


Additional DGT Favorites

Big Red and The Little Bitty Wolf: A Story About Bullying by Jeanie Franz Ransom
This modern twist on a classic fairy tale is an excellent starting point for any conversation about bullying.

Bully on the Bus by Kathryn Apel
Young readers will be empowered by this story's fun use of fairy tales as inspiration to stand up to a bully. Seven-year-old Leroy sure is!

Bully on the Bus (The Decision is Yours Series) by Carl W. Bosch
Nostalgic fans of choose-your-own-adventure books will love this format. And young readers will be empowered to make meaningful decisions about bullying in this compelling, if somewhat dated book.

Chrysanthemum by Keven Henkes
Too often our most unique feature becomes a target for bullies. Chrysanthemum must learn to love her name, and herself, enough to overcome her classmates negativity in this childhood classic.

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
Fall in love with the latest picture book from the incomparable Jacqueline Woodson. This book is a beautiful reminder to take pride in our own stories, watch for what we have in common with others, and delight in our fabulous differences.

Desmond and the Very Mean Word by Desmond Tutu and A. G. Ford
What should you do if someone calls you a very mean word? How do you know when to forgive someone? This compassionate story, inspired by Desmond Tutu's childhood in South Africa, is sure to inspire big conversations.

Enemy Pie by Derek Munson
This funny, sweet story features the sort of neighborhood conflict all kids experience. The secret recipe the only cure for conflict, enemy pie, may just inspire your kids to make a few new friends of their own.

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
When Chloe and her friends reject new girl Maya, she learns a valuable lesson about accepting people. And the regret of missing an opportunity to share kindness.

The Juice Box Bully: Empowering Kids to Stand up for Others by Rob Sornson and Maria Dismondy
Teach your kids how not to be a bystander with this story. One classroom has pledged to stand up for one another and to earnestly live by the golden rule. When the new kid starts to cause trouble, these classmates challenge one another to stay true to their pledge, ultimately teaching their new classmate what it means to be part of their community.

Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McLoud
I know this book pops up on every list. If you are wondering why, then perhaps you haven't read it in a while. The message is so clear and so motivating, even the youngest children will set out at once to fill buckets. Perhaps even more remarkable, even the oldest readers find it inspiring too!

The Invisible Boy by Tracy Ludwig
This charming story will inspire every reader who has ever felt invisible (hint: that's everyone at some time or another!).

My Secret Bully by Trudy Ludwig
Girls can be mean in particularly fierce but subtle ways. This book is perfect for any family coping with a "mean girl" scenario.

My Name is Bilal by Asma Mobin-Uddin, Ph.D. and Barbara Kiwak
Bilal and his sister Ayeesha are the only two Muslim students in their school. When other students tease Ayeesha about her headscarf, Bilal finds the courage to stand up for her.

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
What's in a name, Shakespeare asked. For a child whose whole world is changing, the continuity of her own name may mean an awful lot. And friends who are willing to take the time to learn her name may mean even more. This is a great book about acceptance, friendship, and change.

Nerdy Birdy by Aaron Reynolds
Differences are no reason to treat people poorly, but being different - or feeling different - can make for a pretty lonely life. Readers will empathize with Nerdy Birdy’s as he struggles to find his flock.

One by Kathryn Otoshi
This story may seem sweet and simple, but at it’s core is an important lesson about embracing differences, the power of standing up for others, and empathy.

The Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neil
I'm a big fan of this book, because my instinct has always been to turn to humor in tight situations. It's fun, it rhymes, and best of all, this book gives you ample opportunity to discuss how bullying begins and how to shut it down.

Stand in My Shoes: Kids Learning About Empathy by Bob Soronson, Ph.D.
The big idea of empathy is boiled down to the simple act of noticing the lives, experiences, and emotions of others. One part mindfulness, one part social skills lesson, and one part sweet story, this book is a helpful tool for your home library.

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by David Catrow
Teach your children (and remind yourself) to be true to their own idiosyncrasies, in spite of teasing. This book will have your whole family cheering one another on for much-loved quirks.

Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry
This funny story about kindness and friendship is certain to be an on-demand favorite for parents and kids alike.

Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev
This delightful story of acceptance, friendship, and empathy is sure to become a family favorite. When one young boy’s tiny pet elephant isn’t allowed at the local Pet Club, he gets creative and finds an adorable solution. The overall message is that all are welcome, and it is delivered in the most entertaining, delightful way possible.

One by Katheryn Otoshi
The simple text and calming watercolors in this book disguise a complicated story about friendship and standing up for others.

Tease Monster by Julia Cook
Discover the difference between laughing at someone and laughing with someone in this silly story.

Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Palacco
Master storyteller Palacco shares her own childhood experience with a learning disability, bullies, the teacher that made a difference.

The Weird Series by Erin Frankel (Weird, Tough, and Dare)
Featuring three books from the perspective of three different third graders, this series is touching, thoughtful, and a certain conversation starter!

 

Back to Read Together for more book lists!

Haven't found what you're looking for?
Visit our Complete Resource List.

Or check out these projects to practice kindness with your family.

 


Disclaimer:  Doing Good Together™ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.

Picture Books to Celebrate Winter Holidays

An evolving list of picture books celebrating winter holidays

Cozy up with compassionate holiday tales.

The spirit of wonder, hope, and generosity in each story below helps us see clearly that people everywhere have so much in common, even amid our beautiful differences.


Conversation Starters

  • What did the holidays look like in your grandparents' homes when they were children?

  • What did the holidays look like in your parents' homes when they were children?

  • How did some of the favorite holiday traditions get started in your family?

  • What would your holiday be like if you didn’t receive any presents?

  • What would it feel like to receive holiday gifts from a stranger instead of family and friends?

  • What kind gestures have others done for you over the holidays?

  • What are some ways you can show others you care during the holidays? Or what are some ways you have shared comfort and cheer with others?

  • Snag our free printable count down to the New Year for holiday kindness ideas!

    Featured Title

The Wish Tree by Kyo Maclear
This mesmerizing story beautifully captures the magical spirit of the holiday season. Its soothing, serene pace is a nice break from the frenzy of year-end traditions. And its inclusive, expansive message of hope and inspiration make this book perfect for everyone on your list.


A Hanukkah with Mazel Joel Edward Stein
Misha, a lonely artist, befriends a cat, Mazel. He works to make Hanukkah special for his new friend. Though they have very little, young readers will learn that holidays can be very special with the simplest gifts and a little creativity. Ages 3 to 8.

 

A World of Christmas Cookies: Follow Santa's Tasty Trip Around the World by M. E. Furman
Featuring delicious recipes from around the world, this creative story will add flavor and global appreciation to your holiday. Ages 4 to 8.

 

A Winter Candle by Jeron Ashford
Residents of one apartment building are each celebrating family traditions during the holidays. One by one, each family discovers they are missing an important part of their holiday - a candle. This lovely story follows the candle as it is passed from family to family, lighting a gatherings for the Sabbath, Saint Lucia Day, Kwanzaa, and others. Ages 5 to 11.

 

December by Eve Bunting
Simon and his mom don’t have much–the cardboard house they built for themselves, a tiny Christmas tree, and a picture of an angel on the wall. On Christmas Eve they take in a frail stranger who needs a place to keep warm, and the next morning Simon wakes early to find that the woman has vanished. Instead, he sees the angel from the picture, with her wings fanned out over their cardboard house. Could she be real?

 

Oskar and the Eight Blessings by Rich Simon and Tanya Simon
Set in 1938, Oskar is a Jewish immigrant new to the U.S. Follow him as he walks through New York City on the seventh day of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve. Along the way, he takes in New York landmarks and experiences small acts of kindness from many strangers, making him feel welcome in his new home. Ages 4 to 8.

 

The Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell
What do you get for the friend who has everything? Nothing, of course! Patrick McDonnell’s The Gift of Nothing is the light-hearted tale of one dog’s quest to find just the right nothing to give his special friend. Ages 4 to 8.

 

The Quiltmaker's Gift by Jeff Brumbeau
A talented seamstress makes beautiful quilts for the poor and the homeless. When the king who has everything decides he must have one of her creations, she tells him he must give away everything; then she will give him a quilt. In the process of shedding his many possessions, the king finds true happiness. No summary can do justice to the mesmerizing, fairy-tale quality of this beautifully illustrated tale. Ages 4 to 8.

 

The Trees of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Polacco
This story featuring the joy of giving is told with the incomparable sensitivity and bewitching style of all Polacco's books. Young Trisha and her family are preparing for Hanukkah when they learn that their Christian neighbors are coping with a scarlet fever epidemic. Unable to celebrate while their neighbors are suffering, Trisha’s family reaches out to help. Ages 5 to 10.

 

Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo
This is one of the sweetest, most elegant books of the season. Great Joy is the tale of an organ grinder, his monkey, and the little girl who worries over whether he has a place to go in the storm. Ages 4 to 8.

 

Gus and Grandpa and the Christmas Cookies by Claudia Mills
When Gus goes to Grandpa’s house to bake Christmas cookies, they discover that they don’t have any sprinkles. On the way to the store, they pass a Santa collecting money for the poor. Gus contributes two quarters and is rewarded with a “God bless you.” Returning home, Gus and Grandpa are visited by three neighbors, each bringing two dozen cookies. What are they to do with so many cookies? Gus knows! Ages 5 to 8.

 

Hanukkah Haiku by Harriet Ziefert
Celebrate the eight nights of Hanukkah with a haiku for each night and a clever, beautifully design book that is lovely to read again and again. Ages 4 to 8.

 

Lights for Gita by Rachna Gilmore
Young Gita is excited to celebrate her favorite holiday for the first time after her family immigrated from India: Divali, a festival of lights. But when Gita's plans fall apart, Gita gets very homesick. With the help of family and friends, Gita discovers that she carries the light of Diwali inside her wherever she goes. Ages 5 to 8.

 

Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story by Angela Shelf Medearis
This charming fable introduces readers to the seven principles of Kwazaa and life lessons everyone can appreciate.

 

The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice by Wendy Pfeffer
Learn about the way various cultures throughout history have observed the Winter Solstice.

 

Walk this World at Christmastime by Big Picture Press & Debbie Powell
This beautifully illustrated lift-the-flap book takes children on a tour of Christmastime around the world, as well as other winter holidays that bring families together.

 

Haven't found what you're looking for?
Visit our Complete Resource List.

Or check out these ideas for sharing kindness this holiday season.

Disclaimer:  Doing Good Together™ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.

Discuss Every Story with Printable Conversation Cards

cover image conversation cards for every story.jpg

Turn story time into a family book club!

Making time and space to read together is the simplest, most effective way to nurture compassion.

A good book invites you to see the world from another point of view, which is key to strengthening your whole family's empathy muscles. You can  deepen this impact by asking a question or two after each story. If you follow your children's lead and encourage them to think deeply - at every age - about the world in your story, a beautiful thing will happen.

You'll find almost any book will start a big-hearted, empathy-building conversation.

 Some days, this may lead to a super-silly “what if” conversation. Other days, you may find yourself answering big questions about hunger or hurt or loneliness. 

Encourage this reflection. Follow their lead. And enjoy these thoughtful, mindful family moments.


Make it a habit to ask a question or two after every story time. If you follow your child’s lead and encourage them to think deeply - at every age - about the world in your story, a beautiful thing will happen. You’ll find almost any book will start a big-hearted, empathy-building conversation.
— Sarah Aadland, Doing Good Together™

Conversation Starters

  • Did you enjoy this book? Why or why not?

  • What challenge was the main character facing? How would you have reacted in that situation?

  • How did the main character(s) feel at key moments throughout the book? How would you have felt at each of those moments?

  • What do you think about how the main character faced the main conflict? What else could he or she have done?

  • Imagine how this story might be different if it were set in a different culture or time?

  • Do you know anyone in real life who reminds you of a character in this story? Who and in what way?

  • What would you change about this story if you were the author? Let's take a moment to imagine that story. 

  • Does this story remind you of any other stories you've read? How are they the same? Which story did you enjoy more? Why?

Browse Doing Good Together's most recent favorites.

Browse Doing Good Together's picture book collections.

Browse Doing Good Together's chapter book collections.

Haven't found what you're looking for?
Go back to Read Together for more book lists.
Or visit our Complete Resource List.

Or check adopt your next big-hearted holiday tradition
with one of these projects.

Disclaimer:  Doing Good Together™ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.

 

 

Picture Books To Inspire Gratitude

A growing list of picture books to inspire gratitude.

Be mindful of your treasures with this growing collection.

Research shows that people who regularly express gratitude are happier and healthier than their counterparts, regardless of measurable wealth. Plus, regularly practicing gratitude shines a spotlight on the abundance of gifts in our lives, gifts we might otherwise overlook.

You may also want to browse our list of Chapter Books about Mindfulness and Gratitude.


Conversation Starters

  • Why is it so easy to forget the many things we are grateful for when we discover something new that we desperately want?

  • How can we remind ourselves to be satisfied with the good things already in our lives?

  • What if we woke up tomorrow and only had the things we expressed gratitude for today?

  • What is the difference between what you need and what you want?

  • Is it wrong to want something more when you have so much?

  • Is it hard to feel grateful when you’ve had a difficult day? What can we do to remind ourselves of gratitude even when we’re not feeling very happy or grateful?

  • What would you do with a money tree if one appeared on your doorstep?

Featured Title

The Secret of Saying Thanks by Douglas Wood
In the soothing, inspirational style Douglas Wood is famous for, this book unlocks the secret of gratitude. Parents will look forward to spending time with this gentle book.


Additional DGT Favorites

All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon
This Caldecott Honor book is the perfect tool to help young readers see the beautify and gifts in everyday life. Follow a small group of family and friends through their day and discover the importance of all things great and small, from the tiniest shell on the beach, to the warmth of family connections, to the widest sunset sky.

An Awesome Book of Thanks by Dallas Clayton
This whimsical book for any age child or adult reminds us of all we have to be grateful for. Wonderful illustrations.

Grateful: A Song of Giving Things by Jon Bucchino
Including sheet music and a CD, this song-in-a-book invites readers to consider all they are thankful for in a peaceful, meditative way.

Gracias/Thanks by Pat Mora
This poetic and joyful story introduces us to a young biracial boy as he celebrates the many reasons he feels thankful.

Members, visit our  Exclusive Downloads Collection  to print conversation cards for this story.

Members, visit our Exclusive Downloads Collection to print conversation cards for this story.

The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns
Follow the greedy triangle to learn how wanting more and more and more can change your life in ways you might never expect. And reinforce those basic geometry skills along the way.

The Money Tree by Sarah Stewart
Miss McGillicuddy’s simple country routine continues throughout the year in spite of a very unusual tree growing in her yard.

No One But You by Douglas Wood
Take a close look at the astonishing, everyday wonders that make life beautiful. And consider how your own personal experiences, great and small, combine to make you absolutely unique.

The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau
A talented seamstress makes beautiful quilts for the poor and the homeless When the king who has everything decides he must have one of her creations, she tells him he must give away everything; then she will give him a quilt. In the process of shedding his many possessions, the king finds true happiness. No summary can do justice to the mesmerizing, fairy-tale quality of this beautiful tale.

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
“Want what you have” is the important lesson, brought to life by the magical, and somewhat alarming, adventures of Sylvester.

The Table Where Rich People Sit by Bryd Baylor
A young girl learns from her family that being rich is not just about material wealth.

The Thankful Book by Todd Parr
Especially great for your youngest readers, Todd Parr's bright and simple style gives kids a practical, and sometimes silly, way of talking about gratitude.

Thanks a Million by Nikki Grimes
Explore gratitude through 16 beautiful poems sure to illuminate the power of saying thanks.

Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts.
This book, about a boy who wants to fit in by owning a pair of trendy shoes, contains a powerful lesson about differentiating between wants and needs.

Too Much Noise by Ann McGovern
Gratitude versus “I want more” is simply a matter of perspective. This exceptionally simple story makes that clear. When the old man searching for silence is told to bring home a variety of barnyard animals, even the youngest child can see the folly in his quest

Under the Lemon Moon by Edith Hope Fine
In this multicultural picture book, young Rosalinda sets out on a quest to heal her broken lemon tree and find the thief who hurt it. During her magical adventure, she learns the power of empathy, forgiveness, generosity, and gratitude.

Back to Read Together for more book lists...

Haven't found what you're looking for?
Visit our Complete Resource List.

Or check adopt your next big-hearted holiday tradition
with one of these projects.

Disclaimer:  Doing Good Together™ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.

 

 

Picture Boooks to Celebrate Halloween

death and grief chapter books.jpg

Add heart to this spooky holiday.

What child (or child at heart) doesn't love the imaginative aspects of Halloween, a celebration of candy and costumes?

Of course, this Holiday lends itself to some difficult conversations, when young children observe costumes, advertisements, and television previews that may be beyond their emotional readiness. Some are just downright yucky. These books will help your child navigate this tricky season.


Conversation Starters

  • What is courage?

  • Does everyone get scared?

  • What should you do when you are afraid?

  • Can you imagine a situation when you could be very brave, like the character in your story? Color a picture or tell a story about your brave moment.

  • Why is it fun to dress up as someone or something else?

  • How can we help others during this fun, creative holiday?

Miss Hazeltine's Home for Shy and Fearful Cats by Alicia Potter
There is nothing wrong with being shy or fearful. But even the most timid among us have the capacity for great bravery. Full of hilarious illustrations, this book is perfect for any cat lover or any kid looking to unlock his inner courage.

Zen Ghosts by Jon Muth
Reconnect with Addy, Michael, and Karl from Zen Shorts as they celebrate Halloween with their good friend Stillwater. A ghostly tale and Muth’s signature poetic prose set a wonderful tone in this story.

Tuesday by David Weisener
If you haven’t had a chance to fall in love with David Weisener’s work, now is the time, and this is the book! Though it may not be a Halloween book explicitly, the unexpected nocturnal flight of frogs sets a perfectly eerie, charmingly fantastical tone for the holiday. 

Stellaluna by Janel Cannon
Nothing sets a Halloween mood quite like bats. But this little tale of a lost baby bat and her attempt to fit in with a kindly bird family is fun in any season. Stellaluna’s adventures teach kids all about bats, and, even more importantly, all about how good friends can appreciate their differences.

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
A witch and her cat are off on a moonlit broom ride when her hat is blown off into the darkness.  As they attempt to recover the witchy hat, they wind up taking on passengers, dodging a dragon, and solving their space conundrum with style! Axel Scheffler’s illustrations make the whole thing incredibly fun!

Beneath the Ghost Moon by Jane Yolen
This powerful lesson in forgiveness and courage is also a delightfully fanciful story. The dreaded creepie-crawlies nearly ruin the Halloween ball for all the excited mice. This adventure may inspire your own little mice to stage a Halloween dance party!

Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley
Page by page the monster grows, until your little one is ready to show him who is boss. Then page by page, watch that monster disappear. This book is sure to vanish Halloween fears.

Zombie in Love by Kelly DiPuchio
Full of silliness and heart, this book is sure to put a positive spin on your Halloween antics.

Looking for a chapter book? Older children might also enjoy this:

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
In one of his few books for children, Bradbury brings kids on a ghostly time travel adventure to search for their lost friend and the meaning of Halloween. In the end, the boys in the story are courageous enough to make an important sacrifice to save their friend and get home again.

Back to Read Together for more book lists...

Haven't found what you're looking for?
Visit our Complete Resource List.

Or check adopt your next big-hearted holiday tradition
with one of these projects.

Disclaimer:  Doing Good Together™ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.

 

 

Chapter Books about Death & Grief

death and grief chapter books.jpg

Understand grief through great stories.

Stepping into a fictional world can have profound effects on our ability to understand and articulate our own emotions, fears, and hopes. The titles below will help your family approach the issue of death and grief with greater understanding.

You may also want to explore our collection of Picture Books about Death & Grief. This growing list is full of compassionate books that speak to people of every age.


Wondering how to approach a conversation about death and grief?

More titles coming soon!

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
This Newbery Medal-winning classic is filled with imagination as well as the untimely loss of a best friend. This exceptional story has guided readers through this painful experience of loss, grief, and acceptance for generations. 

Charlotte's Web by E. B. White
Here's another long-standing classic. Charlotte teaches Wilber, and us, so much about friendship, hope, persistence, and ultimately, life and death.

The Five Lives of My Cat Zook by Joanne Rocklin
This deceptively light-heated book features Oona, her brother Fred, and their ailing cat Zook. Oona and Fred are grieving for their father, who passed away a year before the action opens in the story. Laugh and cry with them on their journey to come to terms with the tumultuous cycles of life and death. 

Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Aliso McGhee
This fantastical, epic story will captivate your whole family.  The story is told in alternate voices, one of Jules who is coming to terms with the loss of her sister, the other the shadow fox in the shadow land who is fast, just like Jules' sister.

Missing May by Cynthia Rylant
Rylant's book is a must-read gem, beautifully and painfully exploring the pain of missing someone. You'll join Summer and her Uncle Ob shortly after Aunt May has died. When Ob becomes obsessed with the idea that May's spirit is coming back to him, Summer and her oddball classmate Cletus go on a spiritual mission that changes all of them.