For the past several years I’ve been working as a paraeducator, helping children with special needs. I love how our school supports all students in their social and emotional wellbeing, something I’m learning more about every day! It’s such an important part of their development! I was so excited that Candlewick Press sent me some children’s books that were written to support this type of learning.
Sometimes All I Need is Me by Julian Perdomo is for ages 2-5
“Meet a young girl who loves her cozy home. It smells like cinnamon tea and feels like warm pajamas. But even when she’s away from home, and everything is different, she finds a way to become her own home, where she feels calm. At night, when it’s too dark and her feet are cold, her room can be a little scary. But she creates her own light when she closes her eyes and thinks of the sun. With friendliness and charm, Juliana Perdomo, in her debut as author-illustrator, shows young readers how to find comfort and confidence within. Her heartwarming picture book reassures children that sometimes, everything we need—courage, joy, peace, and love—is already inside us.”
I really love the message in this book as well as the colorful and whimsical illustrations! This book is also available in spanish.
Thisha and the Blossoms by Wendy Meddour was written for ages 2-5.
“Tisha has spent the entire day rushing. She has to hustle for the bus in the morning, though she wants to stop and listen to the sounds around her. She has to quickly put her crayons away at school, though she’s not finished with her drawing. She even has to speed through recess so she doesn’t miss lunch. So when Mommy picks her up, Tisha asks if they can please “have a little slowdown.” What if they walked instead of taking the bus? What if they counted cars and seagulls, umbrellas and hats? What if they simply sat on a bench in the sunshine and gave names to the pigeons in the park?
Even though this book was written for the littles, everyone can take the message from this book to really slow down and enjoy the little things in life, to really listen to one another and fully experience our surroudings! It’s such a good reminder for all of us!.
The Boy With Flowers in His Hair by Jarvis was written for ages 3-7.
“Everyone likes David, the boy with flowers in his hair. He’s sweet and gentle, just like his colorful petals. David and his best friend have a great time together, finding the good puddles, making up songs, and running away from the bees. But one day David comes to school wearing a hat, and he is quiet. When he takes off the hat, his bright petals flutter down like butterflies. Now, where his flowers were looks twiggy and prickly, causing the other children to stay away. But David’s best friend has an idea—a way to help David get his color back, wielding paintbrushes and plenty of love. Sensitively told and simply illustrated, Jarvis’s story invites even the youngest children to talk about difficult subjects in an age-appropriate way—and feel inspired to support others when they face trying times.”
To me, this book was very touching. I loved message of true friendship and acceptance and the unique way that differences are depicted in the story and illustrations. Beautiful book!
The Bad Day by Frann Preston-Gannon was written for ages 2-7.
“Squirrel is left hanging when a search for a tasty nut goes wrong. Meanwhile, Bird has his beak buried in a tree trunk, Snake is tied in a knot, Tortoise is upside-down, and Fox? Well, Fox has a suspicious stomachache. These animals are all having a VERY BAD DAY!
But soon it becomes clear that little Mouse is having the worst day of all, and his friends can only help him—and one another—if they work together.”
This book is a more traditional children’s story in my opinion and very well done. Everyone loves a good animal story and we can all relate to having a bad day.
Nervous Nigel by Bethany Christou was written for ages 3-7
“Nigel loves swimming. The water is his favorite place to be, and he comes from a long line of swimming champions. His mother is the fastest swimmer in crocodile history, and his sister was the first crocodile to get a perfect diving score. But Nigel doesn’t like competitions. His heart hammers when the whistle blows, and his tail trembles when he hears the shouting from the sidelines. But he doesn’t want to disappoint his family, so he never tells them how he really feels. And when they enter him in his first real competition, Nigel doesn’t know what to do. Will he ever find the courage to tell his family the truth?”
I’m sure all of us have felt like Nigel at some time or another, not wanting to disappoint someone. I’ve found that kids really love when I replace the character’s name with their own name. It might even help them feel a deeper connection to the story and get a little giggle out of it at the same time.
Everywhere with You by Carlie Sorosiak was written for ages 4-8.
“Two houses stand side by side: one is home to a dog, the other to a young girl. Though a fence divides them, girl and dog build a sweet and sturdy friendship rooted in make-believe . . . and are lonely no more. Paired with moving illustrations and based on a true story, this endearing tale from the author of I, Cosmo testifies to the transformative power of creativity and inter-species friendship.”
This is a very sweet and touching book that will give you the warm fuzzies!
Take off Your Brave by Nadim was written for ages 4-8.
“Four-year-old Nadim puts his words on paper and gives us a glimpse of how he sees the world: one filled with glitter, magical boxes, and cuddles with Mom. A place where school smells like daffodils and honey (and sometimes dirty socks), where Wednesdays are rainbow-colored, where fish in the sea make a shhhh sound, and where everyone has love, even baddies. The poems in this anthology make for joyful reading and are paired with vibrant, child-friendly artwork by Yasmeen Ismail that invites us to full-heartedly enter Nadim’s world. At once funny and sweet, gentle and zany, this anthology may just entice readers young and old to release the poet within.”
This book offers a unique perspective on the world, straight from the eyes for a four year old! Amazing!
John’s Turn by Mac Barnett was written for ages 4 to 8.
“It’s John’s big day at school today—a performance for Sharing Gifts time. His bag is carefully packed and prepared, his classmates are ready, and the curtain is waiting to open. John is nervous, looking out at all the other children staring back at him. But he takes a big breath and begins. Mac Barnett’s compassionate text and Kate Berube’s understated and expressive art tell the story of a kid who finds the courage to show others his talent for dancing.”
Anything that can encourage more courage in kids and instill self-confience is a win in my book! This book is perfect for showing kids how to find courage to be themselves.
All of these beautiful books come in hardback from Candlewick Press.
Complimentary products were provided for this review, however, all opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated in any other way. See Mommies With Cents disclosure policy for more details.
Feeling lucky? Enter to win a product from Seaav by filling out the form below. Also, be sure to check out all of our other giveaways. NOTE: If you don’t leave your address, I won’t have a way to get your prize to you. If you need more guidance filling out this form, you can watch this video on how to enter Rafflecopter giveaways.
This giveaway is open until October 6, 2022 at 12:01 am EST to U.S residents.a Rafflecopter giveaway