It’s seems like it’s been a year of taking deep breaths! We’ve been working to carve out even more mindfulness moments in each day both in self are for ourselves and also ensuring that both in the classroom and at home, our kids have the tools to find their calm.
Right from the end pages I love this book. The children’s faces made me smile simply because they are so relatable.
The illustrations are perfect for the intended age range of 2-6 and there’s an interesting little cat in each scene that invites lots of projecting and open ended conversations such as “What do you think that cat is planning?!”
The easy to follow message on each page invites children to try each of the actions of the different breathing exercises and that all of those actions are perfect for circle times or places where you are sitting with a child. No getting up and having to move around, just focusing on the different breathing techniques.
In the end everyone is ready to try again and that’s a great message too: That waiting and taking your time doesn’t mean that you give up, just that you need a break.
I am a Peaceful Goldfish releases on April 13th and will be one to have on hand to help children build emotional regulation especially in these uncertain times.
Quentin carried this into the bedroom in the early hours this morning and asked if I would read it to him.
It’s a book I took out of the school library to celebrate his birthday with back in April but I thought it was pretty timely he chose it today.
It has all the messages we want him and all other children but especially masculine of center presenting children to be told over and over again.
“There’s so much more than sports.” This one in particular has to be driven home time and time again in our house with a ballet loving boy.
Having books on your bookshelves whether at home or in the classroom featuring Black folks and other People of Colour is an incredibly important first step. However there is still a long way to go towards being anti-racist. Having regular age appropriate conversations with children about race is an ongoing work that involves many steps.
If you find it hard to know where to start, simply search “diverse children’s books” or “conversations about race with children”. Seek out leaders in Anti Biased Anti Racist education and listen without asking for resources or time from them. They are already doing the work. It’s your turn to get involved.
Listening and learning go a long way to furthering the Prepared Adult and thus the Prepared Environment.
It’s been a quiet few weeks for us here. We, like the vast majority of the world are together, safe at home, watching and waiting to see what will come. But it is also Spring.
Spring for our family has so much to celebrate. The end of the rainy season, our wedding anniversary, and Quentin’s birthday. It’s a time we look forward and make plans and that’s all changed a little bit with this new “normal” around the world.
So, to capture some of the feelings we and our children may be experiencing, I wanted to showcase this beautiful new book sent over from Grey Stone Kids.
It’s a beautiful, simple and easily relatable story of a parent tree, covered in seeds who are small and silent but will one day be big trees of their own.
It touches on the feelings of worry we as parents and caregivers have about the children we love. Will they be okay? Am I protecting them enough, and above all, maybe I could keep them little for just a little bit longer.
It shows us that we can care for them and love them and even fuss needlessly over them, but one day they will grow up and that our confidence in them and their abilities will be one of the defining factors in their own self confidence.
“Stay Little Seed” releases on April 7 just as gardens are warming and trees are waking up here.
I’ve shared before how much we have loved This is How We Do it. You can read all about our review of it here. So when the author Matt La Mothe contacted us and asked to send us the new workbook we were thrilled.
We love that just like the picture book, the workbook gives information about families around the world, and that families can look many different ways.
Quentin loves that new regions are featured in the workbook and the illustrations are gorgeously detailed.
One of the most important features of this book is its showcasing of how much similarity we have with people in different cultures and regions even on the other side of the world. We love picking out commonalities in games we play, food we eat, and how we live.
This addition of favourite books fascinated both Quentin and I and we have been looking for copies to read here.
Montessori education has at its heart Peace Education. The easiest way to foster that is to showcase the similarities found amongst perfect strangers, and spark interest in wanting to know more about different cultures. This workbook is perfect for that.
This new book has quickly become a favourite. We have paired it with our nature based crafts, baking and slow living days curled up next to the fire under a cosy blanket.
Of course we love Carson Ellis artwork and this new book is no exception. The muted tones are perfect for Winter Solstice.
It tells a simple story of the history of the Winter Solstice, one that is easy for the youngest for readers to understand. It also connects the traditions of the past, with the traditions found in other celebrations like Christmas.
There are so few good Yule books out there for kids and we couldn’t be more please with this one. I’ll post our December bookshelf in its entirety on our Instagram page, later this week.
The seasons are changing here. Autumn is definitely fleeting and Winter has crept in. It is the perfect time for family and friends and reflection.
This new book Birdsong from Greystone Books is a beautiful story of a child that moves to their new home with their mother and meets their new neighbour, an elderly woman who loves nature and art as much as they do.
It highlights each season beginning with their arrival at the new house and how things are different.
We loved how the complexity of the intergenerational friendship is highlighted but in a gentle way focusing on how the child must navigate this and ultimately finds a connection with their elderly neighbour in art.
We absolutely love this book and were thrilled that it made the Globe and Mail’s “100 Books of 2019”! If you are looking for a beautiful “own voices” story this will definitely be a favourite for years to come.
“If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein
This book has been on our wish list for a while as its such an important topic to explore with children. The idea that everyone has something important to contribute and that unfortunately, the world does not often recognize all the different gifts and abilities of people.
We love the retro colours and overall look of it. But mostly we love the message it brings to the small people being read to.
“Smart is kindness when there’s crying.” Was one that we as a Montessori family hovered over for a while because this is something that is so often overlooked.
I also appreciate that the pages reflect a variety of children without drawing attention to it. It’s so very important at all children see themselves represented in the books that they are reading, without the book specificallytouching on their differences (although books that do that are incredibly important too).
When I was looking for books to bring to Africa to show the classrooms I would be teaching in my own home, the animals I see everyday and the general landscape, these two gorgeous ones immediately sold me.
A Whale’s World showcases the amazing ocean we find our tiny island home in. The photographs are stunning.
The story follows a local pod of orcas on their journey in search of food. Quentin loved showing the children here in Africa the different aspects of orca life and the many other Pacific Northwest sea animals featured.
The underwater pictures are rich and colourful and the text gives a clear and concise story filled with facts.
A Bear’s Life showcases our same beautiful part of the world but from the perspective of the forest.
The same rich beautiful pictures and engaging text take the reader on a journey through the temperate rainforest and along the beaches that border it.
The section of the Spirit Bear was particularly fascinating to the students.
These books have been a beautiful link between the classroom here in Nigeria and our home. They are perfect for children 3yrs+ who love animals or geography. For older students, they offer endless possibilities for extended self directed research projects.