Raising “Good” Kids

kindnessWe all want to raise “good” kids – kids who look out for others, develop and exhibit empathy, exude kindness and goodwill… the list could go on and on. Mostly, we want kids who are learning to be respectful, accepting, and contributing citizens of their communities (however small those communities are at the moment). We can help our kids learn to value and embrace these attributes in many ways, but books, in particular, can be a great vehicle.

Here are few of my favorite new-ish picture books that lend themselves to conversation about the kind of people we do (or don’t) want to be:

most magnificent thing Ashley Spires wrote this wonderful picture book about a girl who is going to make the “most magnificent thing” along with her very best friend, a dog. It’s a story that highlights and shows the value of persistence, creativity, inventiveness.

teacher is a monsterPeter Brown, author and illustrator of The Curious Garden, wrote this funny story of a child who assumed his teacher was a monster before getting to know her. As he gets to know his teacher, as a person, his notion of his teacher, shifts. A great story to help us think about what it means to know someone and why it’s important to take time to get to know others.

gastonGaston is a dog who isn’t sure what it means to belong or fit in – is it about appearances or about feeling connected. This dog story is about a dog getting to know himself but also about a dog getting to know more about family and that a family is about love not appearances.

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