Chapter 1 Making a Difference in Children`s Lives

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
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.
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
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.
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
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.