Sometimes our children need encouragement—especially when they’re feeling a little shy in a new environment. Let’s face it; sometimes we all need a little bolstering to confront new experiences. The following books may help your children do so with grace and boost their confidence. After all, offering gentle words of support can go a long way. Just ask Mr. Bear.
The Next Door Bear is the perfect book for a child who is just starting a new school or moving to a new neighborhood. When the playful children outside Emma’s new apartment are less than welcoming, she feels terribly lonely. Everything is blue in Yelchin’s painted illustrations, until Emma meets a debonair bear on the elevator. After Mr. Bear invites her to tea, Emma’s world becomes a technicolored rainbow of trees and flowers and she feels encouraged enough to try and make new friends. Together talented husband-and-wife duo Eugene Yelchin and Mary Kuryla have created a balm for children who must learn to overcome their fears. (Ages 5-8)
Dan Yaccarino recounts his big Italian family’s true immigration story in All The Way to America. His great-grandfather embarks on the great journey from Sorrento to Ellis Island with a handy shovel and these parting words of wisdom, “Work hard, but remember to enjoy life, and never forget your family.” Through four generations the shovel is industriously used in food stands and bakeries, for gardening and even to pour rock salt over snowy sidewalks. Now it resides safely perched on Yaccarino’s shelf, a proud reminder of how far his family has come and what they have achieved in their adopted home. (Ages 5-8)
Ida Lewis was known as The Bravest Woman in America when she became the first woman to receive the American Cross of Honor. Determined to become a lighthouse keeper like her father, Ida learns “to pull her weight” by observing and following his careful instructions and courageous feats. Keeping watch over the harbor, young Ida rescues a boatload of boys whose sailboat capsizes. This beautifully written (by Marissa Moss) and illustrated (by Andrea U’Ren) book will light the way for brave girls to face their fears and reach for their aspirations. (Ages 5-8)
Add these books to your collection by clicking on the book cover images.
Nicki Richesin is the editor of four anthologies,”What I Would Tell Her: 28 Devoted Dads on Bringing Up, Holding On To, and Letting Go of Their Daughters;” “Because I Love Her: 34 Women Writers Reflect on the Mother-Daughter Bond;” “Crush: 26 Real-Life Tales of First Love;” and “The May Queen: Women on Life, Work, and Pulling it all Together in your Thirties.” Her anthologies have been excerpted and praised in The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle,The Boston Globe, Redbook, Parenting, Cosmopolitan, Bust, Daily Candy, and Babble.