I asked myself the other day why lately have I been intensively thinking about the books I am about to share. Just then I realized, my son is soon to be a teenager and I am getting nostalgic for the time that has passed so fast. The road has been bumpy at some points and I guess more bumps are on the road that follows but we will go over them when we get there. In this post, I would like to share three books that helped me as a parent to better understand my child and as teacher to better understand my students.
by Michael Hall
This is a story about a crayon who “wears” a red label but he is actually blue on the inside. Everyone around him including his parents, teachers and friends expect him to color red. It always “disappoints” or “shocks” them by coloring in blue. So crayons, scissors, tape, eraser try to help him unsuccessfully until one day, a friend changes everyone's perspective especially the one of the "red" crayon. It is such a powerful story that can encourage both children, adults even to just believe in themselves and walk the path they choose with pride and confidence. This story has many layers. The one I benefited the most from is the one that made me acutely aware and helped me understand my child better, change my mindset, encouraged me to stop trying to fix things because he didn’t fit the expectations of the environment. It helped me see and respect my child’s true colors.
by Trudy Ludwig , Illustrated by Patrice Barton
This is a heartwarming story touching on the strong impact of acts of kindness as well as open mindedness towards cultural differences. It’s a story about Brian, the “invisible” boy. Brian is a quiet boy, constantly left out in the classroom, in the cafeteria or on the playground until Justin, a new student from Korea joins the class one day. Brian sees hope in his new friend. He quietly welcomes him in the class by leaving a note in his cubby. Justin replies to Brian’s note with simple acts of kindness. He makes Brian feel included and visible again. I loved the way the illustrator played with the colors and making Brian’s feelings visible for the reader.
My son isn’t quiet or shy but he did feel left out in the first years when we moved to Asia. He was simply sticking out in his class because he looked different and was coming from a different cultural background. This story illustrates his struggles and the struggles of many children I have had the opportunity to teach in my years overseas. I highly recommend the story to any parent or teacher who needs to address social inclusion and kindness.
By Kelly DiPucchio
I am sharing this story because my son and I had many laughs although we might have read it 65 times:).
The main character in the story is a dragon who is very naughty. He just can’t help it. The king and the villagers are unsuccessful in taming him by using force. Every time they try to fight him he becomes even more terrible. And then one day, a young boy had had enough but he chose a different method to tame the terrible dragon. He writes a story about a brave dragon who saves a princess. Who would have thought that the story would wake up the gentle and calm side of the dragon. A beautiful message for young and adults. The solution to conflict resolution is not force or punishment but rather an act and words of kindness.
There are stories out there for everyone's heart. These are my three favorites. What's your favorite? I would love to hear from you.