Children in between the ages of 4-8 are learning and growing everyday. Not only are they beginning to develop academic skill such as reading and math, but they are also figuring out life. Books are powerful teaching tools. While many deal with concepts such as letters, numbers and colors, few cover topics such as diversity, self-care, kindness, feelings and conflict resolution. For this reason, we are big fans of Free Spirit Publishing's Learning to Get Along series. These colorful books, beautifully illustrated by Meredith Johnson and written by Cheri Meiners, M.Ed., encourage social-emotional skills and self-regulation.
Each book is told in the first person, with sensitive and empowering language. There is an element of comfort in the writing that lets children know that their feelings are ok. Better yet,each book ends with a special "parent section" which outlines how to support children through that particular topic. So you're really getting two books in one. An empowering children's book and a helpful parenting book. Some of the books even include game ideas to help reinforce the concept with your child. Books that reinforce social and emotional skills are also setting your child up for success in school and in life. They may be the most important books you own.
Today's book review is timely. If you have read the news, you know how vital it is to teach your child to value others, especially if they're different from you. Today's book...
Accept and Value Each Person (click to buy from publisher)
First Line: "Each person in the world is different from everyone else. I'm the only one just like me."
From the Author: "The world is becoming more diverse, and so are the daily lives of our children. Accepting and valuing people and groups who are different from oneself and one's family is an important social skill. In simple words and warm, colorful illustrations, this book introduces diversity and related concepts: respecting differences, finding similarities, being inclusive, and appreciating people just the way they are."
Our Thoughts: In light of all that is happening in our country right now, we would say that this is a pretty important book. The illustrations on the cover not only represent a variety of skin colors, but also depict a child wearing a hijab and a child in a wheelchair. The main messages are that everyone is alike and everyone is different. Regardless, we all want to be accepted for who we are. Even though we may not understand or agree which some things that another person does, we can listen and try to see their viewpoint. We can help others, just as we appreciate it when others help us. As with all of the books in the Learning to Get Along series, this book is written in first person, as if the reader is speaking to a friend. The parent portion in the back of the book includes important discussion questions, such as "What is something about you that is different from everyone else?" and "What are some ways that people speak (eat, dress) differently?" There are also suggestions for games and art activities that reinforce the message of the book.
If you are looking for positive ways to discuss race, differences, or disability awareness with your child, this is a great starting point. As with all the books in this series, this could be one of the most important that you read your child.
Let Them Fly!0