I'm baaaaaaaack! Summer season came and went, and as my calendar so eloquently states: "Peace, Love & Pumpkin Spice!" Fall is here, my kids are back in school and I'm embracing a new chapter. New projects on the horizon and a mindset shift that is leading the way. But first...books (and coffee, always coffee!)
I'm so excited to share my October children's book round-up. They pass the engagement test with my kids, and more importantly, spark thoughtful conversations beyond story-time. I recommend these children books for ages 4-7, but of course, never too young or old to enjoy a great picture book!
First up, What Do You Do With a Problem?, written by Kobi Yamada & illustrated by Mae Besom. I love Yamada's series of books because they encourage the reader to really think through every page.
The book follows a young boy who walks through his day with a cloud that envelops him with worry. His worry seems to grow and keep him from enjoying a colourful day, as created by the beautifully crafted grey-scale illustrations in the first half of the book. The reader is brought into the character's emotions, while also trying to make sense of how to problem-solve when worry takes over. By facing the "cloud" head-on, the main character (and readers, alike) discover the power of courage and resilience. Readers watch the character's transformation as the illustrations turn into colourful art pieces at the end of the story. A story about facing our fears, and realizing that problems give us the opportunity to learn something about the world and ourselves. A pertinent and thoughtful addition to any bookshelf.
Next up, Friends for Real written by Ted Staunton & illustrated by Ruth Ohi. This book was gifted to us recently and quickly became a story-time favourite; especially relevant as my littles prepared to go back to school.
This heart-warming story follows a young girl on her search for her beloved stuffie, "Squeezy." In her attempts at finding Squeezy, she goes on a journey of what it feels like to experience new bonds and friendships. The story-telling and illustrative style are fun, endearing and relatable to young readers. As summarized by the author, little readers will discover that sometimes when we "lose something good, we find something even better." A story about friendship and inclusivity that is sure to put a smile on your littles' face!
Another new addition to our bookshelf is Ocean Meets Sky by Terry & Eric Fan. I bought this book purely based on first impressions of the whimsical cover, and later discovered the fantastic story-telling inside the pages.
The magical story of Ocean Meets Sky dives into the imagination of a little boy, Finn, as he honours his late grandfather on his ninetieth birthday. Little readers are immediately transported into Finn's wondrous imagination as he voyages through the ocean, exploring different parts of the sea, and remembering the stories his grandfather once told him. Beautifully illustrated and thoughtfully written, this story takes you on an adventure from start to finish, and ends with a sentimental discovery. This makes a stunning addition to any bookshelf, and opens up thoughtful conversations with littles about those who are no longer here on Earth, but always with us in our hearts and memories.
As I continue to diversify our bookshelf at home, I was thrilled to recently add
The Sharing Circle: Stories about First Nations Culture. Written by Theresa Meuse Dallien & illustrated by Arthur Stevens, this inspiring book captures the First Nations beliefs and culture through seven different traditions.
Little readers are introduced to Matthew, a young boy who loves to share his toys with his friends, some of which are special treasures that remind him of his First Nations culture. Seven unique stories are told that help educate and engage readers, like, "The Eagle Feather", "The Talking Circle" and "The Medicine Pouch", to name a few. Each story is beautifully written and illustrated, and more importantly, helps open up conversations around Indigenous traditions and history. I highly recommend this book as a learning tool and conversation-starter.
Lastly, I always have A Little Thankful Spot in my October story-time rotation as Canadian Thanksgiving approaches. Written & illustrated by Diane Alber, the Spot series is one of our household favourites.
Spot is always fun and imparts wisdom everywhere they go. In this version, little readers are reminded of all the special things and people in their lives. Spot makes a gratitude list that goes on and on and on, teaching readers that appreciation goes a long way! Spot's gratitude list is the backbone of this story, with each word and illustration serving as a teachable moment. Alber includes a template at the end of the book to help create your own gratitude list. A story that inspires gratitude practice and dialogue beyond story-time.
There you have it! Nothing says Fall like curling up in a cozy blanket with your favourite book, and these October children's book picks truly make story-time extra special.
Peace, Love, Pumpkin Spice...and as always, happy reading!