• Books We Love

    The Giving Tree

    Shel Silverstein

    “Once there was a tree … and she loved a little boy”, starts out this beautiful story about a boy and a tree. First published in 1964, this classic story by Shel Silverstein  introduces us to a boy who would come to the tree and provide so much happiness to the tree by eating from her apples, springing from her branches or sliding down her trunk.   But as the boy grew older, the tree could not keep up with his needs, once serving as a leafy playground, shade provider, and apple bearer, the boy begins to want more and more from the tree, and the tree continues to give, give and give.  This book is ingenious in that it provides readers of all ages the opportunity to identify and understand emotion, from sadness to consolation.  It also provides such a great opportunity for readers of all ages to understand the true gift of giving and an understanding of another’s capacity to love in return.

    The Heart and the Bottle

    Oliver Jeffers

    This is a great book about a little girl whose life was filled with all the wonder of the world around her. This little girl whose head was filled with all the curiosities of the world and with wonder at the sea. Then one day something occurs that causes the girl to take her heart and put it in a safe place. However, after that it seemed that more things were empty than before. Would she know when and how to get her heart back?

    One

    Kathryn Otoshi

    The simplicity of this book is great, with respect to the colors and counting that it provides, but it’s actually a great book on bullying in a format that children can relate to and be engaged by, all at once. Whenever the characters meet, Blue is picked on by Red: “Red is HOT. Blue is NOT.” The other colors like Blue but are intimidated by Red, so they say nothing, and eventually Red is bossing everyone around, up until One comes along. Blue is funny and brave and finally confronts Red: “If someone is mean and picks on me, I, for One, stand up and say, No.” Soon all the other colors follow One’s lead and become numbers too. Yellow is two, Green, three, etc. Red begins to feel left out and tries to bully Blue, but Blue ignores him and changes to Six: “Red can be really HOT,’ he says, but Blue can be super COOL.’” All the numbers stick up for Blue, but also offer Red the chance to join in the counting, and eventually all the numbers become friends. Another very simple and easily related book for children, but one that offers so much meaning and serves as a great conversation starter. I love how the color Red is not ostracized by all the numbers, but rather included in the game. The book ends with “Sometimes it just takes One” and it truly does!

    Harold and the Purple

    Crockett Johnson

    First published in 1955, this classic book by Crockett Johnson is a great book for encouraging us to be imaginative! Harold and his oversized purple crayon show us Young Harold drawing landmarks to ensure he doesn’t get lost, sketching a boat when he finds himself in deep water and showing us the most delicious purple pie picnic! A great picture story book for all ages to enjoy with or without a purple crayon of our own!

    The Nose That Didn’t Fit

    Andi Green

    This is a great story about a character named Rue, who is perfect exactly as he is, even though he doesn’t think so himself.  Rue does not think his nose fits in and so he sets about spending most of his time and energy trying to come up with ways to shrink his nose to the size of a pea to covering it up, because this physical feature of his does not fit, as he sees it.  Andi Green does a great job of describing the concept of self-acceptance in a way that children will understand, and he shows us that beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.

    The Biggest Job Of All

    Harried Ziefert/Lauren Browne

    This story is about a little girl named Lulu.  Lulu wants a really, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY big job when she grows up. Her Mommy offers some suggestions, but Lulu wants a really big job that is bigger than being a teacher, bigger than being a doctor, bigger even than driving a big rig.  What possibly can that job be? This is a great book for children filled with great illustrations, and especially as children go through that stage of playing grown-up.  The  book reminds children and adults of another  BIG job, being a mommy!

    The Falling Raindrop

    Neil Johnson/Joel Chin

    This is a great book for children ages 4 to 8 and is done in such a simple manner that children will understand the story within the story.  As a storm rumbles and flashes, something wonderful begins to happen.  A Raindrop beings his journey to earth.  The raindrop is thrilled and delighted to be flying for the first time. The raindrop can’t really enjoy the journey or experience, because the flying begins to feel like falling to him.  The book explains the science behind the water cycle and how raindrops come to be.  The book is a great conversation starter for change and how we feel when big changes are coming.