We are all shaped to a large extent by the actions of those around us. If people show us kindness, we are likely to show kindness ourselves. It doesn’t take much to be kind to others, as author Morgan Harper Nichols points out when she writes:
Empathy: / “Let me hold / the door for you. / I may / never / have walked / in your shoes, / but I can see / your soles are worn / your strength is torn / under the weight of a story / I’ve never lived before./ Let me stand the door for you./ After all you’ve been through, / It’s the least I can do.
We can also teach children about kindness and empathy by reading books that push readers in that direction. This is the case with the books reviewed today.
Teach children to be kind and empathetic. Our world surely needs greater measures of both.
Books to borrow
The following book is available in many public libraries.
“Thunder of the Sea” by Joan Hiatt Harlow, McElderry Books, 256 pages
Reading aloud: from 8 years old.
Read for yourself: ages 8-9 and over.
In 1929, 13-year-old Tom Campbell had spent the last 10 years of his life in an orphanage in Newfoundland. When fisherman Enoch Murray and his wife, Fiona, ask the orphanage for a boy to come live with them on Back o ‘the Moon Island and work with Enoch, the orphanage sends Tom.
Tom has always wanted a family and a dog, and Enoch and Fiona are very kind and kind to Tom. Tom thinks he may have found the family he was dreaming of and, adding to his good fortune, Tom rescues a Newfoundland dog from the sea, names him Thunder, and the two become best friends. But when Fiona gets pregnant and word comes that Thunder’s owner has been found, Tom is disheartened. Will the Murrays still want Tom after their baby is born, and will Thunder be taken away from him as well?
Beautifully written, “Thunder from the Sea” strongly echoes themes of kindness, empathy, what it means to be a family and what it’s like to love and be loved in return.
The librarian’s choice
Library: Womelsdorf Community Library, 203 W. High St., Womelsdorf
Director of the library: Nina Meister
Children’s Program Coordinator: Jennifer Harris
Pick this week: “Daisy Comes Home” by Jan Brett; Ellen Raskin’s “Westing Game”; “Little Yau: A Fuzzhead Tale” by Janell Cannon
Books to buy
The following books are available at favorite bookstores.
“Big Ideas for Little Philosophers: Kindness with Confucius” by Duane Armitage and Maureen McQuerry, illustrated by Robin Rosenthal, Putnam, 2021, 20 pages, hardback at $ 8.99
Reading aloud: ages 3 to 7.
Read for yourself: 6 – 7 years.
One of the many books in the “Big Ideas for Little Philosophers” series, “Kindness with Confucius” is a thoughtful reflection for young children on treating others with kindness and respect and how to do so easily. By using your own feelings as a guide to how other people are feeling, and to “… do nothing to others that you wouldn’t want them to do to you,” children can become wise and happy when their lives are built around them. kindness.
On sale July 20, “Kindness with Confucius” and the other books in this new series ask deep questions in a simple way, helping to create young philosophers from an early age.
“Bird Boy” by Matthew Burgess, illustrated by Shahrzad Maydani, Alfred A. Knopf, 2021, 28 pages, $ 17.99 hardcover
Reading aloud: ages 4 to 8.
Read it yourself: 7 – 8 years old.
Nico was the new kid at school and that made him nervous and a little lost. While everyone knew what to do and where to go, Nico had to find his own things to do, alone.
Nico decided to watch the insects as they walked. While Nico was quiet, birds began to surround him. The other children laughed and called Nico “Bird Boy”. Nico knew the kids made fun of him, but the more Nico thought about being “Bird Boy” the more he liked the idea and imagined all the different birds he could be and the things he could do as a different birds. Over time, the children noticed Nico’s cuteness and were drawn to him, and they also learned to appreciate “… the way he could be both a bird and completely, delightfully himself”.
On sale July 20, “Bird Boy” is a beautiful tribute to the joy of friendship and how kindness and self-loyalty deliver the greatest rewards.
Nationally, Kendal Rautzhan writes and lectures on children’s literature. She can be contacted at [email protected]