Posts tagged ‘kindness’

BEING ALONE IS NO FUN

The Selfish Bear

Written and Illustrated by Bassel Elkadi

A little bear is selfish and does not like to share. One day he comes across his friends on the swings. He reflects on how he has treated each of them recently and figures out they will now not want to share with him.
The bear decides to build his own swing. He gathers material and makes a large swing. Bear did not plan well. One of the ropes breaks. Can you guess what might happen? Will Bear realize why it is important to share and be kind to your friends?

This is a rather short book. The illustrations are appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers. I was puzzled about the fact the Bear was not given a name to help personalize the character. Recommended especially for children ages three to six.

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BE OF GENTLE HEART

Our Wounded Little Chickadee

Written by Pamela Tomlin

Illustrated by Tamar Piper

This book is part of a series that features a girl named Emma and her menagerie of personified stuffed animals. Each of these has a distinct personality and a kind heart.

In this volume, Emma and her fluffy friends are playing in the living room when they hear a loud crash outside. After looking out the window, they discover a small bird lying still on the grass. When they investigate, they discover a chickadee who has been seriously injured. Emma gets a box and lines it with a doll blanket. She and her friends bring the box inside and patiently wait for hours to see if the bird will recover.

After what seems an interminable amount of time, Emma picks up the box and places it under a tree outside in the yard. They are happy to see the bird sitting up. A few minutes later, the chickadee flaps its wings and flies up into the tree.

Emma and her friends demonstrate patience, kindness and a love of nature. Children learn what and what not to do to help an injured animal. The illustrations are bright and effective. My only suggestion would be to vary the color of the text to make it a bit easier to read. Recommended for preschoolers and early elementary grade school readers.

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SEEDS AND TREES

STRONG WORDS

SEEDS AND TREES: A Children’s Book About the Power of Words

WRITTEN BY BRANDON WALDON

ILLUSTRATED BY KRISTEN AND KEVIN HOWDESHELL

 

This book features a young prince as the protagonist. He lives in a castle by the sea. Every day he goes out to collect seeds. The prince soon realizes that some of these seeds become dark seeds, while others remain green. As the trees he plants grow, the dark seeds develop thistles and thorns. The green seeds blossom into beautiful shade trees. The reader comes to understand that the green seeds represent good words that are beautiful and true, while the dark seeds represent harmful, cruel words. As the prince becomes older, he notices that the dark trees are overshadowing the others. One day he meets a young girl who always speaks true and kind words. She carries with her the tools to remove the dark trees. She helps him take care of and nourish the green trees while removing the dark trees.

This tale is a beautiful way to teach children the importance of the type of words they use. Harsh words lead to hurt, bullying, and the destruction of good relationships. I would highly recommend this book to parents and teachers of children in elementary and middle school. It provides lots of material for a variety of discussions on behavior and developing good, strong relationships with peers and adults. The illustrations complement the text beautifully.

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WHO DOESN’T NEED A HUG

Who Needs a Hug?: Everybody Needs a Hug

Written and Illustrated by Sally Huss

 

One morning a koala bear wakes up in an exceptionally good mood. He shouts out, “Who needs a hug?” A hippo passing by thinks a catch might be attached so he asks if it is free. The koala scampers down from his eucalyptus tree and hugs the hippo with all his might. Feeling satisfied, the hippo wanders off. The koala renews his offer, hugging any animal that responds to his request. Before long, he has added a giraffe, a porcupine, a brown bear, a snake, a badger, and a tiger to his hugging list. Eventually, the koala comes to a pond for a drink and repeats his question, “Who needs a hug?” This time the answer surprises him.

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but children and adults can use a hug any time of the year. The illustrations in this book are whimsical and charming. They need not all be realistic, I enjoyed seeing a blue koala and a purple hippo. This book reminds preschoolers and primary grade children that expressing affection and kindness without expecting anything in return is a valuable reward in itself. Recommended as a bedtime story or read aloud discussion book.

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RIGHT OR WRONG?

E is for Ethics: How to Talk to Kids About What Matters Most

Written by Ian James Corlett

Illustrated by R.A. Holt

 

The author is a Children’s TV writer and animator by trade. Distressed by the fact that schools no longer include ethics and civics teaching in their curriculum, he decided that he and his wife must assume that responsibility. Many years ago when his children were young, he and his wife decided to set one night a week as a family discussion time. Corlett developed a series of twenty-six stories that exemplified different aspects of moral behavior. Following each story, the children engaged in interactive questions for discussion as well as suggested activities.

The following is a list of the topics discussed in these stories: honesty, understanding, forgiveness, courage, perseverance, tact, politeness, loyalty, gratitude, truthfulness, sincerity, integrity, citizenship, responsibility, kindness, generosity, helpfulness, empathy, charity, trust, willingness, respect, fairness, acceptance, patience, and effort. There are simple colorful illustrations of a young child like the character of Lucy or Eliot featured in each story. A few famous quotations are sprinkled throughout.

This book provides a wonderful opportunity for parents to spend time getting to know what their children are thinking as well as fulfilling a necessary parental responsibility to guide and form a child’s character and values. Recommended for all ages in the family to enjoy and share.

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AN UNEXPECTED REWARD

Hazelita And The Magic Broom

Written and illustrated by Hope Finning

Hazelita is a destitute, lonely old woman. Every day she wanders from village to village with her only valuable possession, an old broom passed down to her from her mother. At night she knocks on the door of a local inhabitant seeking a warm meal and a place to state. In return, she promises to sweep their home in gratitude for their kindness. Hazelita cries herself to sleep each night because she has no family to care for her. After a while, word spreads around that her broom is magic and that it will grant any wish the family requests.

One evening she comes to a family headed by Thomas who goes out of their way to shower kindness upon Hazelita. The next day, they refuse to allow her to sweep as she is their honored guest. But Hazelita is horrified to discover the next day, that her broom has lost its magic. What will happen to Hazelita now that she cannot pay for her room and board? The answer lies in kindness rewarded. Read the book to find out how.

This book teaches children the value of community responsibility and the lesson that we should not expect rewards for everything we do. I would recommend the book to elementary and middle-grade students.

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IT’S ELEMENTARY….. #Read Kids Classics

Morris the Moose Goes to School

Written and Illustrated by Bernard Wiseman

MorrisMoose,pic

This classic was one of my favorite books to read to my own children or to students in my classroom at the beginning of the school year. Originally published as Morris Goes to School in hardcover in 1970, Scholastic reprinted it as a paperback in 1978 under the title, Morris the Moose Goes to School.

Morris never thought about attending school until he visited a candy store one day and was unable to count out his pennies to pay for the candy he wanted to buy. A kindly storekeeper brings Morris to the local school where Miss Fine, the teacher, warmly welcomes Morris. Poor Morris can’t fit into the desk and picks the wrong bathroom because he fails to understand the concept of letters. He can’t comprehend what a song is and does not have fingers to help him count to ten. Morris is unprepared; he doesn’t have lunch so he eats the grass outside on the lawn. Miss Fine is the epitome of a kind, patient teacher who never loses her patience and finds numerous concrete examples to elucidate and get her lessons across to Morris. At the end of the day, Morris learns his counting skills and is able to revisit the candy store.

I love the clever way Wiseman brings the plot full circle to its logical conclusion. Children proceed step by step along the story line and learn multiple lessons along the way. Wiseman uses only three colors, brown, white and blue in each of the simple but expressive illustrations peppering each page of text. The current version is marketed as an I Can Read Step 1 book, perfect for the preschool through grade three student audience. Also a good choice for parents to include in their back to school reading list. The book is still available on Amazon in multiple formats.

About the author: Bernard Wiseman wrote many books on the Morris theme. He was active from 1958 through 1995. He kept a low profile. Little biographical information is available. Amazon provides only a list of his books.

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READCLASSICS,PIC

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