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Tough Topics, Great Books

Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words to talk about difficult subjects. Luckily, there are some amazing books out there that can help you start the conversation. Here are a few of my favorites that I have come across for issues we have dealt with at the Maher house:

Zero by Kathryn Otoshi: This is a wonderful book that deals with self-esteem, comparing yourself to others and finding your worth in being yourself.

One by Kathryn Otoshi: Yes, two by Kathryn Otoshi, but she writes such good books I can’t help it. One is a great book about standing up for yourself and for your friends. It also uses numbers, like Zero, which is great for some additional math learning.

The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld: What a great book about dealing with loss and also showing how to be a good friend. I feel like there are a few lessons in this book that kids and parents can learn from.

Julie Blackbelt by Oliver Chil and illustrated by Charlene Chua: This is a fun book about not giving up. It is also useful in the Maher house to show that you need to practice in order to develop a new skill and that no one expects you to get it right on your first try.

Just Ask by Sonia Sotomayor and illustrated by Rafael López: I like this book because it introduces the concept of inclusivity to your children. It helps them learn graceful ways to talk to and learn about someone who may look different from them.

The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken: This is a great book about making mistakes and how to not only embrace them, but make something amazing out of them.

What Should Danny Do? by Ganit and Adir Levy and illustrated by Mat Sadler: This is a really fun way to talk about actions and consequences. It is a “choose your own adventure” book where we see what happens when Danny makes good choices and when he makes bad ones. You can talk through the choices and why Danny might choose different responses depending on the day.

My Body Belongs to Me From My Head to My Toes by Dagmar Geisler: This is a great book to talk about safe touches and how your child has the right to protect their body. This is such an important topic, but one that can be so hard to navigate. I really liked this book because it shows the nuances of how it may be OK if your mom tickles you, but not OK if someone else wants to. Most importantly, it teaches kids that it is OK to voice their feelings about what feels comfortable and what does not.

I’d Choose You! by John Trent, Ph.D., and illustrated by Judy Love: Everyone knows what it’s like to have a terrible day and think they just don’t measure up. This book talks about that and how even if you don’t feel special, you are still loved.

Be Where Your Feet Are by Julia Cook, illustrated by Jon Davis: Sometimes I feel like I need this book more than my kids do, but that can be true about a lot of stories I read. Be Where Your Feet Are is a great book about mindfulness and being fully present in the moment you are in. The silly illustrations are a really great way to show a complicated concept.

Hi! It’s Me I Have ADHD by Katelyn Mabry, illustrated by Charles J. Friedel: This is a book I just recently discovered. It is a great book to explain what it’s like to live with ADHD. I really like it because it helps parents and other kids understand the perspective of someone with ADHD. It also is great for kids with ADHD, because it lets them know they are not alone and that there is so much greatness, creativity and fun that can come with ADHD.

Brick by Brick by Giuliano Ferri: My kids reviewed this book on Instagram a while ago. I love that this picture book tells such a strong story. I also like that because it’s just pictures, you can really shape how the story goes. You and your child have a lot of room and freedom to talk about what the wall is and why it’s so important to use the bricks to build a bridge instead of rebuilding the wall.

These are just a few of my favorites that we have read at the Maher house. We are still working through a few more, especially on the topic of racism, but I would love to know what books you have found to be especially helpful. Comment below or send me a message!

p.s. While uploading all the videos for this blog look what I stumbled on! Now I should mention that we do read The Awfulizer in our house when we need to deal with shame issues, but I feel like I talk about that a lot on this blog. I am just so excited someone wanted to share the book that I wanted to share with all of you. I don't mind being silly this time.

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