5 Kids Books to Make You Feel Better About the World
This has been a tough month to say the least. I think it took me about a week post-election to not be bursting into tears at any given moment. Grief has been an apt description for my feelings. In the past, after the death of someone close to me, I’ve found myself walking around in a daze. The world is going on, but inside my head I feel this voice screaming, “DO YOU KNOW WHAT JUST HAPPENED? HOW CAN YOU BE GOING ON WITH LIFE?”. That was similar to my sentiments on November 9, and in the days since, I’ve certainly found myself holding close to family and friends.
Much has been said about the election aftermath and “What now?”, and better said then by me. I will say that while I do not plan to block out the world for the next four years (although it did cross my mind), I have needed to take a bit of a media hiatus, at least from political news. I’ve taken comfort in binging “Gilmore Girls” episodes and have welcomed the distraction of the end-of-semester crunch time.
Throughout my life, books have been a refuge for me during tough times. In the days after the election, with emotions still raw, these children’s books were a consolation and reminded me that there was still good in the world. Hope these suggestions help you when you need a source of comfort.
1. Its Okay To Be Different by Todd Parr
A colorful story of love and acceptance, regardless of what you look like or where you come from.
2. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst, illustrated by Ray Cruz
No joke, I read this when I have an exceptionally bad day or am really down in the dumps. I always feel like poor Alexander would definitely understand, after the day he’s had of gum in his hair, disappointing shoe shopping, and toy-free bowls of cereal.
3. Ishi: Simple Tips from a Solid Friend by Akiko Yabuki
This book was a new discovery for me. While it’s often shelved in the children’s book section, it is just as much a book for adults. The simple pictures and wisdom are poignant and peaceful.
4. Whoever You Are by Mem Fox, illustrated by Leslie Staub
A touching reminder that we’re all connected regardless of our differences.
5. Best Friends for Frances by Russell Hoban, illustrated by Lillian Hoban
One of my favorite books from childhood. I dug out the well-loved copy that my preschool teacher gave me when my youngest sister was born. I love the illustrations; I love the story. It reminds me how important your friends and family are, even if you have to be patient with them sometimes.
BONUS: All American Boys by Jason Reynolds
Not a picture book, but I’m including it here because it was the best book I read this year and also the most important. Required reading for everyone and it could not be a more timely.