Have you ever had a children’s book speak to you deeply? One where the illustrations and message grab you and immediately you want to put that book into the hands of everyone you know?
That’s this book for us.
The first time I saw the cover I immediately knew it was that type of book and so when Compendium offered to send one I over I was thrilled.
“Your life is yours” it begins. If that was all of the message, mixed with the illustrations that would be enough for me to love it forever, but there was more.
“Wherever you go, take your hopes, pack your dreams and never forget – it is on journeys that discoveries are made”.
“Do everything with love. Follow your heart and see where it leads you.”
“Maybe you will speak up for those who can’t speak up for themselves.”
And of course because this book melds so seamlessly with the Montessori pedagogy it saves its most sage wisdom for last:
“You already have everything it takes to do big things.”
This book belongs in the hands of every child and most likely a great many adults.
This the perfect gift for new babies, children facing life changes and should be on every Montessori school’s bookshelf’s under the category of Peace Education.
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.
This is a gorgeous new book from the best selling author of The Word Collector.
Say Something by Peter H. Reynolds was released at the end of February and it has become one of our most valuable books I use in my classroom.
It’s pages are done in the same simple style that showcase a number of powerful ways children can make their voice heard.
We love that it is easy to read and can be shared with the youngest preschooler although this is an excellent book for opening dialogue with elementary students.
This is a book that can be used both at home and in schools or communities with young children to empower those who may have trouble expressing themselves or don’t feel they belong or fit in. We especially need to show these children that they are loved, their voices matter but most importantly that they can make a difference.
We have been waiting for this book for what seems like forever!
If you have never explored this series you ought to. Based on an amazing and diverse group of powerful, world changing women the latest book in the series showcases the woman who’s teachings we have built our own lives around.
The pictures are done in the same style as the rest of the series and the text is perfect to share with children 3 years and up.
It follows Maria’s life timeline and although we wish it showcased more, we think it’s perfect for the age group it was intended for.
Perhaps the best part of the book is this time line in the back with more facts for the adult or older child reader. This timeline pairs perfectly with this set from Diamond Montessori!
This week as we prepare to partake in Canada’s Pink Shirt Day, we are continuing our book list of anti-bullying books that we love!
My Secret Bully by Trudy Ludwig is an important book for not only elementary children but also their caregivers.
Often we recognize bullying as loud, in your face, and clearly mean. But this isn’t always the case. Far too often relational aggression is at play with the consequences being just as harmful for the target.
This book is perfect for reading at home or with students in the classroom. The watercolour illustrations compliment the story without taking over. The text is clear, easy to understand and empathize with for children beginning at 6 years of age.
It focuses on the emotions felt by the target and the importance of a child listening to their body. It also touches on the importance of a target seeking help from a trusted caregiver and the important role the caregiver plays in ending the bullying.
Books like this are perhaps difficult for an adult to read to a child, but children will often enjoy listening to them and love forming discussion groups about the topics portrayed in the pages. These are often the easiest way to reach out to children on both sides of bullying. The conversations that can be built on after reading these kinds of books hold within them a value that will last a lifetime.
Listed in the end pages of this book are some excellent American organizations, global websites, and recommended readings for adults and children that all focus on relational aggression.
During this upcoming week of Anti-Bullying we will continue to showcase books and activities that focus on empathy, acceptance and friendship.
If you have a particular favourite resource please share it in the comments. We would love to feature it here or on our social media.
February in Canada holds Valentine’s Day, Family Day and also Anti-Bullying Day. So many opportunities to continue conversations with children about empathy and continue our work in Peace Education.
We’ve written about some of these titles before but today we wanted to focus on one we discovered by chance at our local library.
This book was a delightful surprise. It is absolutely perfect for the 3-6 year old crowd.
It’s simple text hides big conversation starters.
We love the diversity within its pages and its powerful message.
It’s the perfect sharing book for a group of children in a classroom or just simply with our own children at home. It explains that we are who we are, it’s ok to be who you are and that the feelings we feel are also what other people feel. This is an important first step in fostering empathy with young children.
What books are you sharing with children in this month of love and kindness?
When this book was featured to be released I knew we simply had to have it. So much so that when I found it wasn’t going to released here for a while I ordered it from overseas.
We are big Shirley Hughes fans and I can remember being read her books as a child. This one didn’t disappoint.
The end pages say it all. Her beautiful realistic artwork and simple yet rich text grab the reader right away. This book has the perfect mix of interesting ideas to make, as well as some lovely stories and poems.
We used to make these simple paper lanterns when I was very young.
As with all Shirley Hughes books they have a distinct British feel with simplicity at the heart of the text. This book can easily be lovingly tucked away each year, ready to bring out the next year to awaiting little ones.
We hope you are enjoying a peaceful and restful weekend.
November for us is a time to settle in to the coming months of grey drizzly days. There’s no better way to do that for us than to curl up under a cosy blanket with a warm mug and a stack of books.
This one has been on our wish list for a while and I’m so glad we finally picked it up.
Winter is Coming is perfect for us and any family or school that loves nature journaling. We love that it begins in the early Autumn and follows the passage of time at a treehouse.
The illustrations are beautiful and invite children to take a closer look.
The text is so wonderfully geared to Montessori as it’s richly descriptive and realistic which also makes it the perfect read aloud book.
The end pages give the reader a peek at the child’s drawings and observations.
This is definitely a gift worthy book for people who are looking for something special to give this holiday season.
We are rotating our home Montessori bookshelves this week. Look for more Winter related Montessori compatible book reviews and gift ideas to come.
Our summer time is about to come to an end and we are slowly gathering matching socks and finding pants that aren’t too short.
We are also rotating our bookshelves to include our favourite school related Montessori compatible books. We’ve written about some of our favourites before and you can find them here.
This year we are adding a new favourite.
A beautiful simple story of a day at school. Some look a little worried, others look excited, but no one looks exactly like anyone else and all are welcome.
The illustrations are bright and colourful and leave so much opportunity for child led further discussion.
We love that this book showcases so much diversity and yet doesn’t specifically touch on it because that’s not the point. Children reading this book can see themselves in the pages and point out the things they have in common and that’s the point.
That though we are all slightly different, we are very much the same and that classrooms and schools have the opportunity to bring people closer together and welcome everyone in.
We wanted to start the new year of our Book Club off with a good one and so when The Book Report sent this over we new it would be the one.
The sweet and tear jerking story of a boy and an elephant who are in need of a friend. It’s about putting on your best red scarf to go to the party only to have your friend turned away.
And it’s the story of making those hard decisions when the time comes to be a friend, and stand up for those that are different, alone and excluded.
While some in the Montessori world may raise a fuss at the lack of realism in this book due to the miniature main character, we would like to suggest that the message of Peace Education is far greater than worrying about whether or not a child will be confused by the tiny pachyderm.
This is the message that is so very needed in today’s world. It is a must have book for any classroom and home and the discussions it starts will last through a lifetime.