With the all changes and current events happening in the first half of 2020, we as parents can overwhelmed and worry about how we can raise our children to be resilient and learn from what's going on in the world around them. Sometimes we don't have the words, and that's o.k.  We're learning too. Here's a curated selection of books that can help both parents and children learn together about our feelings, diversity and current events.  
 

Cool Cuts by Mechal Renee Roe 

Boys and their cool, natural hair are celebrated in this bright, joyful read-together picture book that will have kids everywhere chanting the book’s chorus: “I am born to be awesome!” 
 
When the stars shine, the world is mine! I am born to be awesome! My hair is free, just like me! I am born to be awesome! 
 
Boys will love seeing strong, happy reflections of themselves in this vibrant, rhythmic picture book celebrating a diversity of hip black hairstyles. From a ‘fro-hawk to mini-twists and crisp cornrows, adorable illustrations of boys with cool curls, waves, and afros grace each page, accompanied by a positive call-and-response affirmation that will make kids cheer. It’s a great read-aloud to promote positive self-esteem to boys of all ages, building and growing the foundation of self-love (and hair love!) and letting every boy know that “You are born to be awesome!” 
 
And look for the companion book for girls, Happy Hair. 

 

What the World Needs Now Is Love. by Burt Bacharach and Hal David 

For anyone who needs to be reminded of the power of love, this beautiful book is the perfect gift! 
 
With its soothing lyrics and calming tones, “What the World Needs Now Is Love” has become a beloved song worldwide since its release in 1965. Now, for the first time ever, these captivating lyrics are in book form accompanied by gorgeous illustrations, and perfectly packaged with a ribbon enclosure. 
 
Both a reminder of the importance of love and a call to make the world a better place, this book is the perfect gift for anyone you care about—or for yourself when you need some gentle comfort.   

 

True Colors. By Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly 

Based on the hit song, this beautiful book is the perfect gift for anyone who needs to be reminded of the importance of being their true selves. 
 
Through reassuring lyrics that encourage us to be our true selves, “True Colors” has become a beloved song worldwide since its release in 1986. Now, for the first time ever, this inspiring and iconic song is in book form accompanied by gorgeous illustrations, and perfectly packaged with a ribbon enclosure. 
 
Ideal for any age–and as a gift anytime during the year–this book about having confidence in yourself is sure to be a huge comfort. 

 

Kindness Counts. by R.A Strong 

Young readers can count down from 10 while discovering the many ways to make the world a kinder place. 
 
Thoughtful illustrations of children showing kindness and generosity will help kids learn the important concepts of empathy and compassion while counting down the many ways to be kind. Whether it be delivering cookies to a new neighbor, sharing toys, or saying “I love you” to Grandma and Grandpa, here is the perfect book to read aloud at home or in the classroom to spark conversations about simple acts of kindness. With durable cardstock pages and approachable language, this book will encourage children to be their best selves wherever they go. 

 

When Sadness Is at Your Door. By Eva Eland 

A comforting primer in emotional literacy and mindfulness that suggests we approach the feeling of sadness as if it is our guest. 
 
Sadness can be scary and confusing at any age! When we feel sad, especially for long periods of time, it can seem as if the sadness is a part of who we are–an overwhelming, invisible, and scary sensation. 
 
In When Sadness Is at Your Door, Eva Eland brilliantly approaches this feeling as if it is a visitor. She gives it a shape and a face, and encourages the reader to give it a name, all of which helps to demystify it and distinguish it from ourselves. She suggests activities to do with it, like sitting quietly, drawing, and going outside for a walk. The beauty of this approach is in the respect the book has for the feeling, and the absence of a narrative that encourages the reader to “get over” it or indicates that it’s “bad,” both of which are anxiety-producing notions. 
 
Simple illustrations that recall the classic style of Crockett Johnson (Harold and the Purple Crayon) invite readers to add their own impressions. 
 
Eva Eland’s debut picture book is a great primer in mindfulness and emotional literacy, perfect for kids navigating these new feelings–and for adult readers tackling the feelings themselves! 

 

Don’t Let Them Disappear by Chelsea Clinton 

From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted comes a beautiful book about the animals who share our planet–and what we can do to help them survive. 
 
Did you know that blue whales are the largest animals in the world? Or that sea otters wash their paws after every meal? The world is filled with millions of animal species, and all of them are unique and special. Many are on the path to extinction. 
 
In this book, Chelsea Clinton introduces young readers to a selection of endangered animals, sharing what makes them special, and also what threatens them. Taking readers through the course of a day, Don’t Let Them Disappear talks about rhinos, tigers, whales, pandas and more, and provides helpful tips on what we all can do to help prevent these animals from disappearing from our world entirely. 
 
With warm and engaging art by Gianna Marino, this book is the perfect read for animal-lovers and anyone who cares about our planet. 
 

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders 

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Rainbow Pride Flag with the very first picture book to tell its remarkable and inspiring history! 
In this deeply moving and empowering true story, young readers will trace the life of the Gay Pride Flag, from its beginnings in 1978 with social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker to its spanning of the globe and its role in today’s world. Award-winning author Rob Sanders’s stirring text, and acclaimed illustrator Steven Salerno’s evocative images, combine to tell this remarkable – and undertold – story. A story of love, hope, equality, and pride. 
 
PRAISE FOR PRIDE! 

 

All books above are available for order! 

 

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June 02, 2020 by Journal Contributor