Reading books with kids is important for a number of reasons. Books can teach kids valuable lessons, expose them to new ideas, and entertain them to no end. On top of all this, you can also strengthen your bond with kids by reading to (or with) them. Simply by reading with your kid for 20 or 30 minutes a day, you’ll help to shape their attitude toward books, broaden their perspective on ideas, and spark interest in all sorts of subjects. You can also enhance these benefits by mixing up your material and trying out different types of books –– which is why we wanted to look at a diverse list of some of the best options out there as of this writing, from kids’ books to memoirs that teach valuable lessons.
DADDY AND ME AND THE RHYME TO BE by Halcyon Person and Chris Bridges
DADDY AND ME AND THE RHYME TO BE is a fun book about the special bond between a father and daughter who love to make music together. The daughter, Karma, begins a rhyme, and her daddy completes it. The book is full of humour and heart-warming pictures. It is a touching story that will surely bond any parent and young child closer. The book also teaches that a parent and child can make a perfect team, which –– we’re sure parents will agree –– is a lovely lesson to instill in any kid while they’re still young enough to be receptive to it!
BECOMING by Michelle Obama
Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s BECOMING tells her personal story. But it is also written largely for a young generation, with the honesty and candour that are Mrs. Obama’s trademarks. She shares her happy moments and triumphs, along with hardships and challenges she had to endure (from struggles in kindergarten to anxiety over shaking hands with the Queen!). And in sharing her life story, she asks readers: Who are you, and what do you want to become?
Mrs. Obama points out that no one is perfect, and the process of becoming is what matters most. That’s a lovely lesson for kids of any age, and a good one for you to walk your kids through as a parent. Also of note is that Puffin released a “young readers” edition of BECOMING just last year –– complete with a new introduction and photographic inserts.
REAL FRIENDS by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham
Taking a bit of a different approach, REAL FRIENDS is a graphic memoir about two girls named Shannon and Adrienne who have been best friends since childhood. Adrienne eventually meets another friend named Jen, who is the most popular girl in class. But when Adrienne starts to socialise with Jen, Shannon is left out of a new circle of friends. Other girls begin to bully and cause problems for Shannon, leading to a number of other problems.
This book has many realistic parallels to real-life situations countless children face while attending school. It captures friendships, popularity, betrayal, tests of character and bullying. Some of the situations in the book are difficult, but the subject matter is presented in such a way as to convey valuable and age-appropriate life lessons.
ADA TWIST, SCIENTIST: THE WHY FILES #1: EXPLORING FLIGHT! by Andrea Beaty, Dr. Theanne Griffith and David Roberts
EXPLORING FLIGHT! is a perfect book for the young future scientist. It will light up any child’s mind by posing rational but fascinating questions, like Why do airplanes look the way they do? or Why can’t birds fly when they’re first born? By asking these questions, the book teaches children to explore the world around them and look for explanations. It fuels imaginative thinking and scientific reasoning simultaneously.
Any kid who loves science –– or frankly any kids who’s just inquisitive –– will be excited to read this book. And as an added bonus, there’s an accompanying Netflix series as well!
SHE PERSISTED: OPRAH WINFREY by Renée Watson and Chelsea Clinton
Another selection concerning an enormously influential modern woman, SHE PERSISTED is an inspiring book that reveals the challenges Oprah Winfrey had to endure on her way to success. It covers how her family wanted her to become a maid (like her grandmother), but how Winfrey chose on her own to pursue a different dream. She chased that dream, became a superstar in multiple senses of the word, and helped countless others along the way.
This book is filled with valuable life lessons, inspiring real-life drama and a one of the most powerful examples in modern history of the power of persistence.
Reading books can be one of the best ways to spend time with your kids, especially given how much they can learn in the process. Needless to say there are countless options available to you. But this year, we see these five as particularly valuable selections covering a range of styles, subjects, and lessons.
Article was specially written for https://www.parents-news.co.uk/ by Abby Conner