Do you ever feel like your children tire of hearing you yammering on about things like manners, good behavior, contributing to the household, being kind to others, and such? There have been a time or two when I have seen my sons' eyes glaze over when I thought I was just getting started on imparting the wisdom of the world.
I have found that reading my kids picture books with targeted messages can be a great way for me to reign in my tendency to run on at the mouth while still exposing them to story lines that introduce themes like being a good friend (as in "My Friend is Sad" by Mo Willems), overcoming fear (as in Horsefly by Alice Hoffman), or determination and passion (as in "Brontorina" by James Howe. I like this approach because it lets the kids sip from the fountain rather than the fire hose and hopefully plants a seed somewhere in their developing minds. Now, I have to say, they are kinda on to me and books with messages don't always garner high marks from my young reviewers when read in rapid succession, so I try to use them sparingly, but I do intentionally weave them into the good night reading repertoire nonetheless.
So what other lessons are there that parents might want to address with their children via picture books? Well, they abound of course, but on the heels of the Parent Education program a few weeks back about bullying, I thought that it might be nice to point to some reading resources that take on that topic. Over at Books That Heal, elementary school counselor Roxanne, has a strong affinity for bibliotherapy and includes books as part of her work with the children she counsels. Over the past few weeks, she has been reviewing a book for adults about bullying, "Little Girls Can Be Mean: Four Steps to Bully-proof Girls in the Early Grades" by Michelle Anthony and Reyna Lindert, and she has also been tagging her reviews about bullying-related books as part of her blog for some time. Her book reviews are fantastic and like those nuggets of wisdom I hope to impart on my kids ... they are short and sweet. For each review, she tells you "Why it is on my Bookshelf," which is a helpful resource for parents wondering why or how a school counselor might use a particular book.
A few bullying-themed books that Roxanne recommends are Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun, The Juice Box Bully, Just Kidding, Confessions of a Former Bully, One of Us, Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon, The Hundred Dresses, Sorry, and of course, no good children's book list would be complete without one from Patricia Polacco -- Thank you, Mr. Falker.
Have you come across a good children's book about bullying or other topics of interest? Let us know