1 Chapter 1 Making a Difference in Children’s Lives (0-2 years): Asquith, Ros (2002). Babies. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. This is a delightful book with whimsical drawings of multicultural babies; few words on each page tell the different characteristics of babies. Talking with babies about differences helps them to see their own characteristics and know that they are valued. The story ends with a mirror so a baby can see his or her own image and tell which baby is loved a lot! Bauer, Marion Dane. (2002). Love song for a baby. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Realistic drawings of a happy baby draw young children into this book as they learn about how they looked and responded as a baby. This book helps Baby develop the concept of family by telling what parents did for the baby and just how much the baby was loved. Reading this book together develops a positive identity for Baby as a valued member of the family. Kajikawa, Kimiko. (2008) Close to you: how animals bond. New York: Henry Holt and Company, a division of Macmillan Publishers. A variety of baby animals experience how their parents bond with them in this book about relationships between mothers and fathers and their babies. Infants will learn how these caring relationships exist with animals and with people in the world. Learning how they bond with their own parents helps babies form their identity as a member of a family. Appelt, Kathi. (2003). Incredible me! New York: HarperCollins Publishers. A young girl celebrates her singular features and abilities as she dances through the book. Her high selfesteem models for children that they can feel good about themselves as well. Reading this book together can open the door to talk with a child about their strengths. (3-5 years): Ross, Tony. (1993). I want to be. Brooklyn, NY: Kane/Miller Book Publishers. A little princess asks the question of what she wants to be as she grows up, now that she is potty trained. She talks to different people and gets different ideas until she asks the maid who returns the question to the little girl asking her what SHE wants to be. This book helps young children with identity formation and is a perfect follow up to Ross’s other book I Want My Potty. Senning, Cindy Post and Peggy Post. (2008). Emily’s sharing and caring book. New York: Collins an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. 2 This book teaches children how to build relationships that make others happy by caring and sharing in a variety of situations. In words and pictures a toddler can understand, the book shows concrete examples of things a child can do to make others smile by sharing and caring. Talking about these areas can increase young children’s social competence. The last page of the book has ideas for parents, noting there is more to etiquette than manners; it also emphasizes building relationships. Sensi, Ellen B. (2000). Hurray for pre-k! New York: HarperCollins Publishers. Sensi’s photo-essay book shows a variety of pictures of children from many cultures coming to their preschool and through a simple highlighted word for each page demonstrates what they do there: play, pretend, help, listen, read, paint. She closes the book with the statement, “I can be myself in Pre-K,” which enables children to be successful in this new social environment. Carluccio, Maria. (2010). I’m 3! Look what I can do. New York: Henry Holt and Company. Three-year-olds celebrate all the things they can do all by themselves: sleep in their own beds, try different foods, dress themselves, go potty. Pictures show parents hiding in the background, being outof-the-way, watching and showing pride in their children’s accomplishments. All of these milestones build children’s social competence and personal skills. (6-8 years): Kroll, Virginia. (2007). Good citizen Sarah. Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman and Company. Sarah learns the importance and self-satisfaction that comes with helping neighbors. Despite impatiently waiting to play with her new video game, Sarah uses her snow day making some grown-up choices. Coming to a self-realization of how she can be of help to her elderly neighbor, developing responsibility is a common theme of this book, which is also echoed in other books part of this larger series: The Way I Act Books. Howe, James. (1987). I wish I were a butterfly. San Diego: Gulliver Books (Harcourt Brace and Company). Finding one’s identity is explored through nature’s lens. The littlest cricket believes he is ugly and cannot chirp as beautifully as the other crickets and truly wants to be any other animal at the pond. With the help of the other creatures at the pond, the littlest cricket finds his voice, discovers his self-worth, and contributes his song to add to the naturalistic harmony of the pond. Aliki. (1990). Manners. New York: Greenwillow Books. Starting with a colorful illustration of the definition of manners, this book provides a variety of different social situations, such as meeting new people, eating, playing, and even talking on the phone. The text and illustrations work together to help children learn appropriate responses to everyday situations, guiding them to making better choices and developing grown-up behaviors. 3 Parton, Dolly. (2009). I am a rainbow. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin Group). Using poetic rhyme, this book provides a focus on the normalcy of feeling a wide variety of emotions based on a variety of life situations. A positive message on how to respond to those feelings while keeping in mind your impact on others is a focus towards the end of this book. Colors are associated with feelings and specific examples from children’s lives are associated with these colors teaching them that life is about blending our emotional colors during our social interactions. (9-12 years): McCain, Becky Ray. (1998). Grandmother’s dreamcatcher. Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman and Company. Exploring the love between a Chippewa grandmother and her granddaughter, Kimmy, the merging of identity and heritage provide new inner strength. Kimmy learns to channel this strength to deal with an upcoming move and to help her act as a grown-up despite the many changes happening in her life. Instructions for making your own dreamcatcher are at the end of this book, providing a wonderful hands-on activity. Bunting, Eve. (1996). Going home. New York: Joanna Cotler Books (HarperCollins Publishers.) Having moved to California to work as farm laborers, this family travels back home to their village in Mexico to celebrate Christmas. Merging their new American way of life with their traditional Mexican customs, the children struggle to find ways to fit in back where they were born. Calling upon the importance of family and heritage, this story combines family dialogue and colorful illustrations to drive home the point of incorporating culture into forming your self-worth. Calhoun, Dia. (2005). Phoenix dance. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (Douglas & McIntyre Publishing). This chapter book touches upon mental illness and coping with a variety of life situations. Mirroring aspects of the fairytale of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, Phoenix, the main character, sets out to solve the mystery of why the 12 princesses wear through their shoes as they dance each night. In her quest to solve the shoe problem, Phoenix learns much about herself and must come to terms with balancing her new discovered self with her original self without letting the secret of the shoes escape. Langen, Annette. (2010). I won’t comb my hair! New York: NorthSouth. Tanya doesn’t like to do a lot of things, but she absolutely refuses to comb her hair. Being African American, she hates addressing the tangles. Her parents work with Tanya throughout this story to teach her how to be more graceful in saying no as well as to learn the importance and responsibility for physically caring for herself as she is growing up.