We have so many wonderful children's books in our house, but these books stand out because they are picked so frequently and because of their deep and touching message. These books encourage meaningful discussion in our family and they teach lessons that go beyond childhood.
1. The Little Bit Scary People - by Emily Jenkins
The little girl in this book notices "scary" people throughout her day, but also realizes that they are more than what she sees. They have lives, loves and interests just like her. This book can open conversations about people who look a little different or act a little different, and it demonstrates that people are not one dimensional.
Favorite quote, "The girl in my science class eats bits of her pencil and mutters to herself as if no one was listening. She's a little bit scary. But I bet she is learning to ride a bike after school and her mom runs beside her in case she loses her balance."
2. Incredible You and Unstoppable Me - by Wayne Dyer
Both of these books offer easy to understand and beautifully illustrated examples of Dr. Dyer's positive message and life lessons. The books remind children that they are exactly who they are supposed to be and that they have the ability to deal with any situation. They remind parents, too.
Favorite quote - "Rely on yourself and be true to who you are. What's unique about you is what will take you far. Don't look to others to say you're okay. You know it - so believe it! Show your own self the way."
3. Red is Best - by Kathy Stinson
Kelly loves red because it makes her feel good. She is not worried about what matches or what other people think, she loves red because of the way it makes her feel. I think about Kelly whenever my daughters insist on an outfit that doesn't match or plead for a specific bowl or cup. It can be frustrating, but the book reminds me that they are chasing a feeling.
Favorite quote - "I like my red barrettes the best. My mom says you wear pink barrettes with a pink dress. But my red barrettes make my hair laugh. I like my red barrettes the best."
4. Ferdinand - by Munro Leaf
Ferdinand doesn't want to be like the other bulls and fight. He would rather sit under the tree and enjoy the smell of the flowers. Ferdinand knows who he is and finds joy in the simple pleasures. And his wise mother steps back, loves, and allows.
Favorite quote - "Ferdinand's mother saw that he was not lonesome, and because she was an understanding mother, she let him just sit there and be happy."
5. Hush Little Baby - by Sylvia Long
Different than the original song, this book is not about mama buying baby things, it's about showing baby all the beautiful things in the world. She teaches baby that everything we need is already in nature, inside of us, or within a loving relationship. My husband knows this one by heart - it's a common request before bedtime.
Favorite quote - "….mama's going to search for a shooting star, and if that star should drop from view, mama's going to read a book with you, and if that story has been read, mama's going to bring your warm bedspread…."
Click here to find these books (and many others) on the recommended reading page of my website.
Do you have a favorite children's book with a great message? Feel free to comment.
Cathy Adams is a certified parenting coach, yoga instructor and mother to three girls.
See more of Cathy's stories here.