Youngsters’s books cowl vital life classes | leisure
Children are fed up with being told what to do. When you think about it, adults don’t like that either. Instead of lecturing, giving full-blown lectures, and constantly correcting children, there is another way you can get the messages you want to convey in a much more subtle way: read books to children.
Children’s books are packed with all sorts of important life lessons without being frank. In the sentences, paragraphs and chapters of good books there are references to correct behavior, messages of friendliness and empathy, what it means to be brave and courageous, concepts about friendship, family and what it means to be a good person. Often times, these life lessons are contrasted with their opposite, which helps make the point clear.
There is no better time to empower children: read to them.
Books to borrow
The following book is available in many public libraries.
“Matilda” by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake, Puffin Books, 240 pages
Reading: from 8 years
Read for yourself: from 10 years
Matilda is a genius, but her family doesn’t recognize it. Her father is a loud, disgusting shy guy who rips off townspeople by selling dingy used cars. He thinks Matilda is an idiotic troublemaker. Her mother is addicted to bingo and doesn’t care about Matilda or anything else.
Then there’s Miss Trunchbull, the headmistress at Crunchem Hall, where Matilda just started school. Miss Trunchbull is an Olympic hammer thrower and a living nightmare. She is unspeakably cruel to the students and has described Matilda as not good. Matilda’s teacher, sweet Miss Honey, recognizes Matilda’s incredible intelligence and innocence. When she takes Matilda under her wing, Miss Trunchbull goes into a tailspin. But it doesn’t take long for Trunchbull to look for cover.
One of his best accomplishments, Dahl did it again. Although “Matilda” was made into a movie, read the book first. If your children have seen the film, read the book anyway, because “Matilda” is without a doubt tremendously entertaining, page after cheeky page!
Choice of librarian
Library: Reading Public Library, 100 S. Fifth St., Reading
Senior Library Director: Bronwen Gamble
Childcare supervisor: Nancy Maurer
Youth Service Supervisor: Ashly Roman
This week’s selection: “The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle” by Avi; “Scaredy Squirrel” series by Melanie Watt; “Stranger in the Forest” by Carl Sam
Books to buy
The following books are available from popular bookstores.
“Lena, the Sea, and Me” by Maria Parr, translated from Norwegian by Guy Puzey, illustrated by Lara Paulussen, Candlewick, 2021, 284 pages
Reading aloud: 7-10 years.
Read for yourself: 9-10 years.
Trille and his best friend Lena live in Mathildewick Cove, Norway. The two of them are about to finish their final year in elementary school and are looking for adventure. These die-hard friends soon discover more adventures than they thought possible in their small coastal community.
Message in a bottle, foiled (and almost catastrophic) raft adventures on the fjord, Trille’s crush on the new girl at school, an unexpected winter storm, Lena’s new soccer coach trying to destroy her goalkeeping dream, Trille saves his grandfather from an accident at sea, the Everyday dynamics from family and friends and much more awaits the readers / listeners.
Charming, often amusing, sometimes exciting and overall delightful, “Lena, the sea and me” is first class.
“The Foodie Flamingo” by Vanessa Howl, illustrated by Pablo Pino, Running Press Kids, 2021, 32 pages, $ 17.99 hardcover
Reading: 4 – 8 years old.
Read for yourself: 7 – 8 years old.
When Frankie the Flamingo learned the word gourmet, and that it meant eating all kinds of foods, she wondered why she had always only eaten shrimp. She decided to mess up her diet, going to the grocery store every week, buying an abundance of a new food, and trying several recipes with it.
Frankie’s friends were confused and alarmed when they saw that Frankie had turned green one week, yellow the next, then blue, and finally purple. What happened? They decided to find out what they discovered was an adventurous Frankie and decided to join in.
“The Foodie Flamingo” is a clever, funny story that not only encourages picky eaters to branch out and try different foods, but also conveys subtle messages of courage to accept others for who they are and not give in to peer pressure .
Kendal Rautzhan is nationally syndicated and writes and lectures on children’s literature. She can be reached at [email protected]