The Great Big Book of Families by Mary Hoffman and Illustrated by Ros Asquith is one of my all time favorite books for kids. This book demonstrates that families comes in all shapes, sizes, and configurations. Families live in all kinds of situations. Families come from all kinds of cultures and backgrounds. Families experience all kinds of feelings, and do all sorts of things. If you are looking for a book that shows the diversity of people and families while still holding a thread of commonality and unity look no further. I recommend this book for toddlers on up. My almost 4 year old loves this book and it has sparked many interesting and fruitful curiosities and conversations. She can look at the detailed pictures for long stretches of time.
Personal Space Camp by Julia Cook (one of my favorite children's authors) is an adorable story meant for elementary aged children. Louis is a rambunctious "space expert" who often intrudes on other's personal space. He gets to go to "space camp" and learn better personal boundaries. I highly recommend this book for children struggling with social skills related to personal space. Teachers, therapists, parents... get this book!
Standing On My Own Two Feet: A child's affirmation of love in the midst of divorce by Tamara Schmitz is a lovely book for a young child that has divorced parents (I'd recommend to children under the age of 6). The story very matter of factly shows how the child, Addison, has two homes, and sometimes misses the parent he isn't with. It reinforces that the reason the parents don't live together anymore isn't Addison's fault. And empathically states that Addison is loved, no matter what. It is a very upbeat and positive take on a young child's experience with divorce.
Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud and illustrated by David Messing is a unique book that teaches children about the abstract concepts of happiness, love, and self esteem. In my opinion this book would be enjoyed most by young school aged children. The concepts might not be fully understandable for children under 4 or 5, but the book is colorful and engaging enough that younger listeners would like it. I know my two year old enjoys having it read to her.
The basic idea of the book is that happiness and self esteem grow as we give and receive love and kindness. They become depleted when we bully, and treat others in unkind ways. The book gives some good suggestions for showing love and kindness too.
This is a very upbeat and positive book to add to your child's collection!
I Said No! A kid-to-kid guide to keeping private parts private by Zack and Kimberly King is a book designed to help parents discuss with their young child appropriate and inappropriate sexual encounters and curiosities. It is designed to help a child know what to do if they are violated or threatened. It explains who safe people are to tell, and provides resources for kids and parents seeking help. The book emphasizes that the child did nothing wrong, it is not their fault, and a safe adult will help them. It also presents situations as either being "red flag" (danger) and "green flag" (safe) situations to help a child know when to get out or act. This book will help you and your child develop a safety plan in the event that something terrible happens. The book also shares Zach's story of a bad experience at a sleepover which is very child friendly to read. The book has additional information and recommendations in the book for parents.
I recommend this book for parents with children ages 3 and up. I recommend it be read to children 5 and up. This book is for children that have never had inappropriate experiences. It is meant to be a proactive step to help them stay safe. It is also meant for children who have been violated, and need to talk about it with a trusted adult.
I highly recommend that you, the parent, read it first before ever reading it with your child. When you do read it to your child, the book will guide you through a discussion, making sure you hit the important points in an age appropriate way. Don't expect to get through the whole book in one sitting (although it is short) with your child. Go through section by section, allowing for the information to sink in, and questions to be asked and answered. This is a great book on a difficult to talk about subject, but a subject that is SO important to talk about with your growing child.
This is a "read together" book by Vicki Lansky. This is an extremely helpful book both for the children and the parents involved in a divorce. I'd recommend it be read to children ages 4-10.
As a parent, read the book to yourself first. There are many wonderful tips and information geared toward helping you understand what your child's experience of the divorce may be like, and how you can help him/her transition. This story is a great story for explaining to your child that you are getting divorced from the other parent, and/or can be used as a tool to help a child process their experience of the divorce.
In this story there are two parents, and one child (Koko). The parents explain to Koko that they are getting a divorce and why. They emphasize the divorce is NOT Koko's fault, and that both parents will always love Koko. Koko explores his feelings and expresses his discontent of the situation, and struggles through the transition. The parents are comforting and help him know what to expect as his life changes. Both parents are careful to keep Koko's routines, and sensitive about when and who they inform of the divorce. Koko feels very sad and sometimes mad, but one day, he starts to feel better. He wishes his parents would get back together, but knows that is not what is best for them.
This is a must read for the divorced family.
This is a very colorful book about feelings. In my opinion it is great for ages 2-6/7. Each page turn is dedicated to a different feeling with an emotive picture and a rhymey couple of sentences that describe the emotion and circumstance. The end of the book has suggestions for parents as to how they might use this book to teach and talk about feelings with their young child. I highly recommend this book.