Children’s picture books can be a great way to introduce young ones to the concepts of emotional regulation and inclusion, and generally demonstrate the importance of being a good person and friend. This spring and summer, in particular, there are plenty of new books that are entertaining and colourful, but also thoughtful teaching tools for parents and caregivers.
That’s Not My Name, written and illustrated by Anoosha Syed, clarifies the importance of names. It helps kids learn to talk about names, their importance, how to graciously learn to pronounce names, and that it’s not okay to bestow unwanted nicknames. It also stresses the importance of creating boundaries and standing up for yourself.
On the topic of standing up for yourself, there’s also This Book is Not for You by Shannon Hale. When a bookmobile librarian refuses to lend Stanley the story he wants, he learns the importance of advocating for the book of his choosing, and in doing so teaches the librarian the virtue in allowing everyone to select the stories they enjoy.
Pink is for Everybody by Ella Russell offers a similar message. A group is stuck inside on a rainy day, and they’re feeling gloomy… until they discover a pink treasure chest! In a parade of exuberance that celebrates all things pink, one surly cat stands apart and teaches the kids a gentle lesson about choosing what you love, no matter who you are, while respecting the unique preferences of everybody around you.
Be a Good Ancestor by Leona Prince and Gabrielle Prince encourages readers of all ages to consider the ways in which they live in connection to the world around them and to think deeply about their behaviours. It addresses environmental issues, animal welfare, self-esteem and self-respect, and the importance of community. The message here is simple: be a good ancestor to the world around you and consider how your decisions may affect future generations.
In the uplifting All Are Neighbors by Alexandra Penfold, a whole neighbourhood comes together to celebrate what makes their community diverse and special when a new family moves in. It acknowledges the challenges of moving to a new place and the importance of making others feel welcome and included.
Don’t Worry, Murray by David Ezra Stein is a tender and reassuring story about facing your fears, whatever they may be. Murray, our adorable puppy protagonist, is overwhelmed by the world around him and ultimately celebrated for being brave and trying new things.
Our Playground Rules by K. George explores what it means to share space and have fun on the playground. This sweetly funny story offers a variety of “playground rules” based in social-emotional learning.
I Forgive Alex by Kerascoët is a wordless picture book that serves as a good reminder that it’s important to take responsibility for a mistake but that it’s equally important to be ready to forgive. It deftly captures the difficult feelings that come with apologies and forgiveness.
While not all of the titles above have been released yet, they can be reserved from your branch of the County of L&A Libraries or online at CountyLibrary.ca.