Your kids are smart, funny, creative, and have bright ideas. But perhaps the greater challenge in using their gifts is learning how to work together with others to accomplish a goal, play a game, or simply coexist. These books offer perspectives to help them work and play well together with people in their life.
by Ilene Cooper; illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska (Abrams, 2019)
In the forward, author John Green tells readers: “If you listen to other people and treat them how you would wish to be treated, your life will also become better. Your kindness and generosity will ripple through the whole world.” This book is a reminder that if all people lived by the Golden Rule—“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”—they would be kinder and work together a little more easily.
by Bob Shea; illustrated by Zachariah Ohora (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2019)
In this book that is sure to leave kids giggling, Reuben the bear asks his group of friends “Who wet my pants?” He tries to place blame for an embarrassing accident on anyone but the real culprit: himself. His friends, though, show compassion for the accident without embarrassing Reuben further. In the end, Reuben learns about forgiveness and the value of his friends.
by Susan Hood and Pathana Sornhiran; illustrated by Dow Phumiruk (HarperCollins, 2019)
Young “Titan” was one of 12 boys on the Wild Boars soccer team that was trapped in a cave in Thailand in late June 2018. The story details the power of the people working together to rescue the boys and their coach, and all the different people who helped make the rescue successful. The book includes a tribute to Saman Kunan, the former Thai Navy SEAL diver who died during the rescue.
by Jason Gruhl; illustrated by Ignasi Font (Bala Kids, 2019)
In his 20 years working in education, author Jason Gruhl’s students frequently asked why they should care about situations going on somewhere else in the world. He wrote this book to show that we should care because we are all connected. And when kids learn there is a little bit of them in everything, they might just be more willing to work together for a common goal.
by Ani Castillo (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2019)
“My friend, in this life we can only PING. The PONG belongs to the other,” begins this simple picture book with sparse text and a profound message of how to respond to and work with others. The book suggests all the ways that one can “ping” in a positive way—with your voice, a smile, a small gesture, or by creating something—but reminds readers that the “pong”—the response to the action—is never up to you. The author asks in the end: “What will your next ping be?”
by Kate Hannigan (Aladdin/Simon and Schuster, 2019)
World War II history comes together with comic book superheroes in this fast-paced book, recommended by children’s librarians at the Denver Public Library. Three tweens find out they have superpowers, which are invoked when they are all together. The girls’ new abilities prove to be crucial in thwarting a shapeshifting henchman of Hitler and solving an even larger mystery.
Librarians and book experts also recommend:
- Kindness Makes Us Strong by Sophie Beer
- Bear Came Along by Richard T. Morris; illustrated by LeUyen Pham
- Book Uncle and Me by Uma Krishnaswami
- Elbow Grease Vs. Motozilla by John Cena; illustrated by Howard McWilliam
- Everyone Counts by Judy Sierra; illustrated by Marc Brown
- Fairy Science by Ashley Spires
- Lumberjanes: Ghost Cabin by Mariko Tamaki; illustrated by Brooklyn Allen
- The Invisible String Workbook by Patrice Karst and Dana Wyss, Ph.D.
- Junior Monster Scouts: The Monster Squad by Joe McGee
- Annie and Simon: Banana Muffins and Other Stories by Catharine O’Neill
- We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler by Russell Freedman
- This Is the Construction Worker by Laura Godwin; illustrated by Julian Hector
- If I Was the Sunshine by Julie Fogliano; illustrated by Loren Long
- Max Explains Everything: Soccer Expert by Stacy McAnulty; illustrated by Deborah Hocking
- How to Two by David Soman
Covers: The Golden Rule: Abrams Books. Who Wet My Pants and Ping: Little, Brown. Titan: HarperCollins. Everything is Connected: Shambhala Publications. Cape: Simon and Schuster.