Baby Book Club – August

Some days I worry about the world we live in. It feels like we are going down a path where prejudice and meanness rule. That’s why I wanted to celebrate how much generosity of spirit is really out there and help try to encourage it in our children. So, this month I’m looking at books about being kind and helping others. I hope you’ll find some inspiration to explore with your loved ones.

Superworm
by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

superworm

Superworm is super long and super strong and uses his strengths to help others. But what happens when Superworm needs help himself? You’ve guessed it.
This is a great book for toddlers – in true Donaldson/Scheffler style, it’s an easy to read and fun to look at with a heart warming message. One of the things I like about this is that it shows that even if someone seems strong, they do sometimes need help too. Another Donaldson/Scheffler collaboration with a kindness theme is The Snail and the Whale

If You Plant a Seed
by Kadir Nelson

if you plant a seed

Plant a carrot seed and a carrot will grow. But what if you plant selfishness or kindness? Rabbit and mouse discover what happens when they don’t want to share.
This is a book that will grow with your child. There aren’t many words and the pictures are full of things to look at, so a toddler will enjoy it. However, there is so much that you can talk about with an older child.

How Kind!
by Mary Murphy

how kind!

One for the little ones, a simple message with sweet pictures. It’s a lovely story of how kindness spreads and will come back to you one way or another.

Horton hears a Who!
by Dr Seuss

Horton hears a who

Classic Dr Seuss! Horton can hear the cries of the Whos, even though they’re tiny. No-one believes him but he insists on protecting them. As he says “A person’s a person no matter how small” Thank goodness for Horton, he saves the day.
Sometimes you have to be brave to be kind. I love the rhymes and illustrations in this book. Along with the message, they make this book a must have.

Because Amelia Smiled
by David Ezra Stein

Because Amelia Smiled

Amelia smiled, which made Mrs Higgins smile too. So begins a chain of events that travel the world, with one person passing on the gift of joy to another.
This is a great book for slightly older children. You can talk about all the different places kindness can travel to and why one smile might make a big difference

Bear Feels Sick
by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman

Bear Feels Sick

When Bear feels sick, his friends rally round to take care of him. They give him medicine and tuck him up. Finally bear feels better, but who look who needs to be cared for now!
I love how Bear’s friends are so kind to him, it’s a great book to discuss how friends look after each other.

Do Nice Be Kind Spread Happy
by Bernadette Russell

Do nice be kind spread happy

If you want to do something practical to encourage kindness in your children, this is the book for you. It’s designed for older readers but I think you could carry out the acts of kindness with any age child. On each page there’s an idea of something kind you can do for someone else and space to record what you did and when. If everyone did this, we could change the world!

One for the Parents

The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak

the book thief

Set in the Germany in the second world war, The Book Thief follows the story of Liesel and the foster family she’s taken in by. The Hubermann’s family not only show this act of kindness to Liesel (whose parents have been taken to a concentration camp). They are also hiding a Jewish man in their cellar. We discover the stories of many of the townspeople and begin to understand the reasons for their actions.