Kindful Kids Book List
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Clementine's Letter

Sara Pennypacker

6/9/2014Audrey"Clementine’s only just 'getting the hang of third grade'—she hasn’t
been sent to Principal Rice’s office for a whole week—when her world
turns upside-down: Her beloved Teacher is a finalist for an Adventures
for Teachers award, and if he wins, he’ll be gone for the rest of the
year. As it is, he’s absent for a week to prepare, and life with his
substitute does not go well. Mrs. Nagel doesn’t know any of the tricks
Teacher did that helped to keep Clementine 'in sync' with the classroom,
so when Principal Rice asks the children to write letters of nomination
to the award committee, Clementine sees her opportunity to sabotage his
success. Pennypacker and Frazee have this latter-day Ramona down to a
T, her distinctive voice and unruly curls happily unblunted by
familiarity. The great success of this outing, however, lies in the
warmth of the relationship between Clementine and Teacher, whose humane
and sympathetic understanding of his admittedly difficult scholar will
strike a welcome chord with readers, especially those out-of-sync
students and their teachers." -- Kirkus Review
Double-Dip Feelings: Stories to Help Children Understand Emotions, Second Edition

Barbara S. Cain, MSW

4-8Audrey"Learning to cope with ambivalence is one of the greatest challenges in a
child's emotional development. In the second edition of this delightful
and engaging book, a series of familiar situations illustrate the
common yet uncomfortable experience of having two contrasting feelings
at the same time. The first day of school brings both pride and fear;
the arrival of a new brother or sister can trigger both joy and sadness.
These vignettes will help the young child recognize and understand the
phenomenon of mixed feelings.

In an extensive afterword,
psychologist Jane Annunziata offers children guidelines for responding
to their conflicting feelings. She also provides parents with concrete
suggestions for helping their growing children resolve their struggles
with ambivalence on the journey toward emotional maturity." -- From the
American Psychological Association/publisher's website
SiddharthaHermann Hesse ~14+Spirituality & MindfulnessChrisjohnnidi@gmail.comSurprised this wasn't on here already, as I'm sure it's inspired many ... wonderful version of a Siddhartha story (not the historical Buddha per se, though). Gets at importance of finding one's own path, or becoming a "disciple of your own experience" you might say.
Oh, The Places You'll Go!Dr. Seuss~6+Chrisjohnnidi@gmail.comTitle says it all :)
Oh No, George!Chris Haughton0 - 5Simplicity & PresenceAudrey Shojiaudreyshoji@gmail.comGeorge the dog promises his owner Harry that he will be good while Harry is out of the house. George really hopes he can fulfill his promise. What will he do when temptations abound? Each time George remembers his promise, but somehow gives in to the temptation. When Harry returns and is chagrined at the state of the house, George is so remorseful that he offers Harry his favorite toy. Harry realizes that George needs to go for a walk, and on that walk George is confronted by the same temptations, but this time resists. The book ends with George on the razor's edge of a decision of what to do when faced with a new, and very compelling temptation. Through George, children can see that everyone is faced with hard choices, and sometimes we don't do what we intend. Like George, they can make amends, learn to forgive themselves and others, and embrace each opportunity to act in a way that comports with their values.

Alison McGhee0-adultSimplicity & PresenceAudrey Shojiaudreyshoji@gmail.comOne of the most touching and poignant stories about mothers and daughters ever. In the sparest prose, the author captures the essence of an entire life cycle raising a child. A fitting tribute on the day before Mother's Day to the people who want the best and the most for us, and who understand us the best and the most, too. Read this book with a box of tissue close by.
Giraffe's Can't DanceGiles Andreae1 to 6Compassion & GenerosityTrishna"Our daughter really enjoys following the adventures of Gerald the giraffe, who won her love quite quickly. Gerald is invited to a jungle dance, but he has one slight problem -- he can't dance! He gets teased by all the other animals and ends up running away very sad. Then one butterfly turns his spirits around helps Gerald to tune into himself, and suddenly he can dance! It's a sweet story that evokes a lot of emotion and compassion from our daughter who feels so sad to watch poor Gerald get teased and run away, and then gets so excited when he can finally dance, in his own way!"1/12/2013
I'm Thankful Each DayP. K. Hallinan1-8Compassion & GenerosityTrishna"We started reading this book with your daughter when she was 18 months old and she has really taken to it! We've named the main character "Happy" and teach her that the little boy is happy because he is thankful each day for all these wonderful things in his life. This book is a classic way to help children learn to practice gratitude not only during holiday seasons, but every single day for all the small things in our lives."11/17/2012
A life like mine: How children live around the worldUNICEF10+Compassion & GenerosityMallika Tmallika.m.thoppay@gmail.comGreat book that gives kids an insight as to how other kids live around the world. Teaches them to not be wasteful of natural resources.3/29/2014
Philosophy books for kidsJostein Gaarder10+Global AwarenessRagunathragu@charityfocus.orgGaarder has a gentle way of introducing philosophical concepts to kids. His books can broaden the horizon for kids to looks within and outside.
TotochanTetsuko Kuroyanagi10+ and adultsHashmita
My Experiments with truthM. K. Gandhi15+Spirituality & MindfulnessSomiksomik.raha@gmail.comThis book had a huge influence on me. Although, I'd call the reading at 15 just a first reading. That book has never ceased to amaze me for its brutal honesty and accessibility. This was a life-changer for me. But beware, I gave my mother a lot of trouble (trying out fasts) after reading this book.
ResurrectionTucker Malarkey15+Spirituality & MindfulnessChrisjohnnidi@gmail.comI didn't read this til recently, but I think it'd be great for teens, especially those interested in Christianity. Through wonderful historical fiction, it takes the reader along on a journey to discover the "gnostic" gospels, the non-canonical gospels that were only discovered in the 1950s, having been buried by monks centuries ago. Perhaps not for the faint of heart; a powerful and potentially healing story.
Unpopular EssaysBertrand Russell15+PeaceSomikSomik.raha@gmail.comA fantastic book, demonstrates humor as an essential element of life, even when tackling very thorny problems. Helps think critically, without lying to oneself. Working through the layers of deceit we impose on ourselves is a must for getting to clarity and inner peace. For me, reading Gandhi side-by-side with Russell was fascinating - one a staunchly devotional individual, and the other an outspoken atheist. And yet, the threads of compassion that connected the two were unmistakeable.
The Power Of Kindness: the unexpected benefits of leading a compassionate life Piero Ferrucci16+Compassion & GenerosityAna Millerana@faztek.orgThis book is the dream made into words of how kindness can change the world. Piero Ferrucci is a psychotherapist and he is responsible for bringing kindness to the therapeutic world. This is a lovely, inspiring book which shows the many aspects of kindness. This is the sort of attitude towards others which can enrich the life of the person who manifests these qualities, and the sort of attitudes which deeply affect and touch other people. And there are many stories to illustrate what he means.
A Sick Day for Amos McGeeStead, Philip Christian2 to 7Compassion & GenerosityMallika Tmallika.m.thoppay@gmail.comA wonderful book about how a guy visits a zoo every day. And one day, he falls sick and the animals from the zoo come to visit him and do everything for him that he usually does for them.

Comment: Mallika, thanks so much for this recommendation, we just started reading this book with Sareena and it's immediately become her absolute favourite! She loves Amos :) -- Trishna
I Just Don't Like the Sound of No!Julia Cook2-6Simplicity & PresenceTrishna"I was surprised by how much my 5-y-o son LOVES this book. He wants us to read it over and over, and really "got" the concept and lately he isn't arguing at every single 'no" in his otherwise good life but sometimes actually says "okay, mommy!" and moves onto the next subject, smiling a knowing smile (if only all us adults had a book for us about how to take "no" so well). even better, he seems to "get" in a new way that there's a "good" way and a not-so-good way to disagree with others. It is an entertaining and cute book and I think frankly he likes it not for any embedded lessons but really because it's a cute story and appealing to a 5-y-o brain and humor. I rarely do reviews but wanted to take the time to highly recommend this book to others b/c it is very simple but a surprising little jewel." -- Amazon Reviewer
The EARTH Book
Todd"The narrator states, "I take care of the earth because I know I can do little things every day to make a BIG difference." Parr then offers a practical catalog of simple activities easily managed by even quite young children, followed by clear explanations of how those simple things can have a large impact on the health of our planet."

"Featuring a circular die-cut Earth on the cover, and printed entirely with recycled materials and nontoxic soy inks, this book includes lots of easy, smart ideas on how we can all work together to make the Earth feel good - from planting a tree and using both sides of the paper, to saving energy and reusing old things in new ways. Best of all, the book includes an interior gatefold with a poster with tips/reminders on how kids can "go green" everyday."
An Awesome Book of ThanksDallas Clayton2-8Compassion &"We started reading this book with our 2-year old recently and it only took one read-through for her to totally fall in love with it! The book reminds children of a whole world of different things, experiences and people in life that they can be thankful for in a fun, beautifully illustrated way. I've even noticed our daughter spontaneously thanking us more often since we started reading this book! We love reading it at bedtime and then thinking about what we are thankful for from our day."2/16/2013
Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to ChildrenBryan Mellonie 2-8Compassion, Empathy &"This is a book about the rhythm of life and death for all creatures, for everything that is born. One of the best parts of the book is its emphasis on what a lifetime is, and how it is framed by birth and death, and that inbetween those "markers" is what is important. It explains that different creatures have different life spans, and that this aspect of nature is neither fair nor unfair. It simply is. I do not restrict this book to times when a child is grieving, I include it in our regular reading rotation, so that the children see death as a normal part of life experiences. Death is so emotionally charged, especially for the grown ups, that having a calm book is especially worthwhile. When a child is actually grieving balancing the more "intense" books with this soothing one, does wonders." -- Amazon Review7/13/2013
Parenting Through the Power Within: Positive Affirmations for Early Childhood DevelopmentYvonne M Read & Sadye Reddick3 and upSarah Mozellesarahmozelle@hotmail.comA book of daily affirmations to encourage the expression of and support your child's innate virtues (ie respect, kindness, trustworthiness, patience). We read a page each morning and then try to be extra mindful of the virtue through-out the day and I can point it out when they are demonstrating it (or need to use it!). There are a few discussion questions that can be used for reflection at the end of the day. My kids are young, but we'll just keep rotating through it over and over as they evolve.10/20/2012
So Many DaysAlison McGhee3 and upSpirituality & MindfulnessSarah Mozellesarahmozelle@hotmail.comThis is a lyrical and spacious book that explores the possibility of being alive, the beauty of wonder. It's tone is so loving, empowering and soothing all at once. It's almost like an illustrated poem. Good for ages 3 and up - truly lovely for anyone.3/31/2012
On the Same Day in MarchMarilyn Singer3 to 6Global AwarenessSarah Mozellesarahmozelle@hotmail.comWhile technically a "tour of the world's weather", this book has folk-artish illustrations and reads as a broader message about our global village. It features a splash of various cultures and the weather that might be occuring in different places at the same time. It's unifying without being preachy
New Old ShoesCharlotte Blessing3 to 8Compassion & GenerositySarah Mozellesarahmozelle@hotmail.comThis is the story of a pair of shoes, from the shoe's perspective, of being passed along to different feet and ultimately to be re-purposed. These shoes are cherished, repaired, worn in different countries. I read this to my son's preschool and then we did a used-shoe collection and sent 77 pairs to be given away to people without shoes through soles4souls. One page really touched me where a girl is wearing the shoes so that she might attend school and get an education. Kids can grasp the lesson here since a shoe is such a basic and familiar thing.4/212012
I WonderAnnaka Harris3 to 8Simplicity &"I was very excited to hear of the content of this book before it came out. As the author mentions, we live in a world where "I don't know" seems an unacceptable answer. People tend to come to conclusions about things prematurely to avoid not knowing. My wife and I are raising three boys and I was thrilled to find a book that placed value on wonder and curiosity about the world. I read the book to my two older boys tonight (7 and 5 years old). It was awesome to see how engaged they were in this book. We talked for a long time afterwards about things that they wonder about. We discussed healthy ways to look for answers to their questions, but also about the importance of embracing wonder in the absence of answers." -- Amazon Review
Green Start: The Five SensesInnovative Kids3-6EcologyAnand Hanand.hemrajani@gmail.comWe like a lot of their books. Books printed on recycled material and are conscious of the environment. This one in particular allows us to have a conversation about nature, the cool morning breeze, the sounds of the birds, the rain, the earth, etc. While reading this to our lil one, it reminds us to pause and enjoy life and nature as well.4/14/2012
The Thankful BookTodd Parr3-6Compassion, Empathy &"Todd Parr's bestselling books have taught kids about unconditional love, respecting the earth, facing fears, and more, all with his signature blend of playfulness and sensitivity. Now, The Thankful Book celebrates all the little things children can give thanks for. From everyday activities like reading and bathtime to big family meals together and special alone time between parent and child, Todd inspires readers to remember all of life's special moments. The perfect book to treasure and share, around the holidays and throughout the year." -- From the Publishers11/30/2013
Hey, Little AntPhillip Hoose3-7Compassion, Empathy &"Based on a real-life experience the author had as he watched his toddler squishing ants one day, this book is as powerful a teaching tool as I've seen come along in a very long time. In this classic, a Kid threatens to squish the book's hero Ant and a clever dialogue ensues. Allowed to plead its case, the Ant explains to the boy that he, too, has a special reason for being. Through cleverly rhyming verse, set to musical notes if you'd rather sing it, the Ant tries to negotiate for its life, citing the "Golden Rule" to solidify its case. The beauty of this tale is that it ends with a dilemma: "what do you think that Kid should do?" Leaving it open-ended is a tremendous way to generate dialogue with children. It gives them the opportunity to think the problem through and offer problem-solving solutions; it serves to empower them by giving them a voice. " -- Amazon Reviewer2/28/2014
How Full Is Your Bucket? for KidsRath, Tom and Mary Reckmeyer3-8Compassion, Empathy & GenerosityTrishna Shahtrishna@servicespace.orgFor young children, this book visually brings to life how kindness works through a wonderful story about a little boy named Felix. My 3.5 year-old daughter immediately grasped the concept of how some of Felix's actions filled other people's buckets with kindness while others emptied their buckets. She was so delighted to learn about how her own bucket would fill up when she fills another person's bucket -- this is a somewhat counter-intuitive concept for children who naturally assume that by giving something they lose something, however the narrative of this story offers such a wonderful to way for children to learn and embrace this in their own lives." -- Trishna Shah11/8/2014
Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed

Emily Pearson3-8Compassion & GenerosityTrishna"Can one good deed from an ordinary girl change the world? It can when she's Ordinary Mary--an ordinary girl from an ordinary school, on her way to ordinary house--who stumbles upon ordinary blueberries. When she decides to pick them for her neighbor, Mrs. Bishop, she starts a chain reaction that multiplies around the world. Mrs. Bishop makes blueberry muffins and gives them to her paperboy and four others--one of whom is Mr. Stevens, who then helps five different people with their luggage--one of whom is Maria, who then helps five people--including a man named Joseph who didn't have enough money for his groceries--and so on, until the deed comes back to Mary. It's a feel-good story that inspires and celebrates a world full of ordinary deeds!" -- From the Inside Flap3/30/2013
The Most Thankful ThingLisa McCourt & Cyd Moore3-8Compassion, Empathy & GenerositySarah"My son brought home this book today from school. It's quite sweet and I think nice for a Cubs suggestion. I particularly like that it begins with the mom sitting in silence :-)"

Wherever You are, My Love Will Find YouNancy Tillman3-8Simplicity & PresenceTrishna"Tillman feels that the most important message for children to receive is simply, "You are loved." And it's that message that is the focus of this, her newest book, Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You. Once again, it is her turn of phrase that most captivates me: 'In the green of the the smell of the the clouds floating the top of a the sound crickets make at the end of the day... "You are loved. You are loved. You are loved," they all say.' Phrases encourage children to grow, to try new things, to "march to the front" of their "own parade" and assures them that, no matter how far they go or what they do, they will be loved." -- Amazon Reviewer3/9/2015
The Magic of Patience: A story about kindnessA Jataka Tale Series Illustrated Mini-book by Rosalyn White3-8 years oldAmitamit@charityfocus.orgI love this book for its simplicity and beauty of the story. I think it is great for both children and adults. I picked it up right after a 10 day retreat at a "Vipassana" friendly bookstore in North Fork. Here is the description from Amazon: This book is part of a series of Jataka Tales released in paperback for 3-8 year olds. The Jataka Tales are a group of folk stories that originated in India, each of which relays an ethical teaching. Many center around animals and magical creatures, and within Buddhist traditions are taught to be accounts of the Buddha's past lives. In Buddhist cultures these stories are performed through song and dance at festivals, and told to children as part of their morality training.

This particular tale introduces themes of patience and compassion. A monkey constantly teases a buffalo, who endures his teasing with endless patience, unlike the other animals of the area. A forest sprite sees this, and asks the buffalo how he does it. The monkey overhears the buffalo telling the forest sprite how he views the monkey as a true friend, because he is teaching him how to be patient, and the monkey himself vows to become a true friend in return.

Like all the books in this series, this book has vibrant, appealing pictures, and a coloring page at the end where one scene from the story is provided in a form that children can color themselves. It also contains a Parents' and Teachers' Corner: a 2-page spread with suggested questions and activities, as well as history, associated with the story.
31 Ways to Change the WorldWe are what we do3+Service ActivitiesTrishnatrishna@charityfocus.orgA lovely book featuring ideas by kids for kids on how they can take small steps to change the world together. It includes great practical ideas in a colourful and playful format that's very accessible for young and older children alike.9/8/2012
& 6/19/2014
Beautiful Oops!Saltzberg, Barney 3+InspirationTrishna"A life lesson that all parents want their children to learn: It’s OK to make a mistake. In fact, hooray for mistakes! A mistake is an adventure in creativity, a portal of discovery. A spill doesn’t ruin a drawing—not when it becomes the shape of a goofy animal. And an accidental tear in your paper? Don’t be upset about it when you can turn it into the roaring mouth of an alligator. Barney Saltzberg offers a one-of-a-kind interactive book that shows young readers how every mistake is an opportunity to make something beautiful." -- Workman Publishing2012
Little Blue TruckAlice Schertle and Jill McElmurry3+Compassion & GenerosityAmanda Grecoamanda.greco@yahoo.comA classic, beautifully illustrated book that we stumbled upon at the library. It's a fun read with lots of animal sounds that my two-year-old loves, and focuses on the efforts of a diverse group of animals and Blue (the truck) to help push Dump (the big dump truck) out of the mud. It emphasizes jumping in to lend a helping hand and the resulting friendships and joy in a very accessible way.

**COMMENT: Thanks for this recommendation Amanda, I got it for our 2.5 year-old daughter and it was an instant favourite! :) -Trishna
And Tango Makes ThreeJustin Richardson & Peter Parnell4 to 7Global AwarenessSarah Mozellesarahmozelle@hotmail.comA true story of male penguins in a new york zoo who adopt and raise and abandoned penguin egg. A touching way to introduce kids to gay parenting and non-traditional family building. Emphasizes the power of love. Good for ages 3-62/9/2013
On My Way to a Happy LifeDeepak Chopra4 to 7Spirituality & MindfulnessSarah Mozellesarahmozelle@hotmail.comColorful, lovely book that introduces spiritual concepts to kids. This is one of our favorite's of this genre.
The Smile That Went Around the WorldPatricia Karst4 to 8Compassion & GenerositySarah Mozellesarahmozelle@hotmail.comThis book follows the travels and impact of a smile that began with a boy named Justin and went all around the world and touched many lives en route. The smile eventually comes back to Justin when he most needs it. This book is unique because the kindness that is offered is smile, nothing more is needed (ie sharing a cookie, buying anything, "doing" anything). A portion of proceeds from this book go to Operation Smile, a nonprofit that provides free surgery to correct facial birth defects in children.6/23/2012
Wish: Wishing Traditions Around the WorldRoseanne Thong4 to 8Global AwarenessSarah Mozellesarahmozelle@hotmail.comThis is a gorgeous book, visually, that explores wishing traditions around the world. It' affirms the value of hoping, cultural traditions, and the universality of wishing. This book also has a nice legend/glossary in the back to make it appealing and more deeply engaging for older kids.
FaithMaya Ajmera, Magda Nakassis, Cynthia Pon4 to 8 Spirituality & MindfulnessSarah"Faith" is a beautiful book, full of color photos of children and simple text, that explores elements of faith no matter the tradition. It points out similarities between traditions while celebrating the uniqueness of each. It includes a wonderful kid-friendly glossary of terms in the back. Reading it with your kidscan stimulate many converstations about religion and spirituality. There are many fantastic books published by the Global Fund for Children. Good for ages 4-9.
Mister Ego and the Bubble of LoveAmber Hinton4-10Spirituality & MindfulnessShaalinishaaloo@gmail.comThis book helped my daughter learn to deal with her anger without blaming herself or others for her feelings - the book beautifully introduces the ego as Mr Ego that's inside all of us thourgh a ball grabbing incident between siblings and says that he shows up whenever we are feeling icky...he makes us shout or feel frustrated and angry. If we learn to be aware of him and put him in a bubble of love, he won't bother us:) While reading the story out, we substitute the name of the characters with our daughter's nameand her friend's name to add fun. The book brought more mindfulness to me and my husband and we catch our own egos more often now. The book has really helped us deal with tantrums in a better way where all of us tickle our Mr Egos into the buble of love and expressing gratitude. And she's quick to point out when my Mr Ego shows up! So we are all learning together.
Stand in My Shoes: Kids Learning About EmpathyBob Sornson4-10Compassion, Empathy & GenerosityTrishna"As a former third grade teacher, this book is absolutely what all children need to read or have read to them. Empathy or rather the lack of it is a major problem in our society today. If this concept can be understood by our children from early on, it could have a major impact on families and schools. THANK YOU, Bob Sornson for your insight into writing this book for our children. This is a beautiful book, from the story to the illustrations. I highly recommend it for all families and schools." - JG6/22/2013
The Wishing TreeRoseanne Thong4-10Mallika Tmallika.m.thoppay@gmail.comSet in Hong Kong and centered around the wishing tree. A boy visits the Wishing tree in his village with his grandmother every year and the tree always grants his wishes, except one important wish. The boy is then upset with the tree. But at the end of the story he realizes that the tree indeed did grant all his wishes, however he had failed to thank the tree all his life. A wonderful read for all ages. Enlightens kids culturally and teaches them about gratitude.
The DotPeter H. Reynolds4-6InspirationAudrey Shojiaudreyshoji@gmail.comVashti is convinced that she cannot draw. When her art teacher says, "just make a mark and see where it takes you," the girl stabs at the paper in fury, leaving a distinct dot. The teacher tells her to sign it and turn it in. Next day, Vashti sees her "drawing" hung on the wall in a gilded frame. She decides that she can do a better dot than that and ends up creating a whole exhibit of her dots. Her career as an artist has begun.

Focusing on perfectionism and insecurity as well as artistic process, the author shows in a humorous and kind way that getting started can be the hardest part in creative endeavor. With expressive illustrations in watercolor, ink, and tea, this elegantly designed book is profound in its simplicity. Showing the patience and detachment of a Sufi, the art teacher quietly but clearly shows the student that art (and by extension, all endeavors) can begin anywhere if a single first step is taken.

You can can talk about insecurity. Why does Vashti think she can't draw? How does her teacher help her get started? Are there things you feel you aren't any good at? How could you get started? -- Commonsense Media Review
The Tortoise and the HareMany versions available4-8Compassion & GenerosityAudrey Shojiaudreyshoji@gmail.comThe moral of the story is not just that slow and steady wins the race. Consider how that slow and steady pace gave the tortoise time to feel the ground beneath its feet, the sunshine on its back, to reflect, and to contemplate its goal. Aesop's familiar tale provides a wonderful opportunity to talk to kids about patience, perseverance, believing in themselves, and how to savor the journey. When you read to your children, use the time mindfully, be fully attentive to them and to that experience; you'll be modeling the moral.11/3/2012
Whoever You AreMem Fox4-8Global AwarenessHeather"Whoever You Are is thoughtfully written by Mem Fox and beautifully illustrated by Leslie Staub.  Countless times, my family read how hearts unify people all over the world. Joy and sorrow are universal emotions. The book is a keeper and the message is still one to spread... several years later! We still read the book." Heather Villa

Comment: Thanks for this rec Heather, our daughter Sareena really took a liking to it and enjoys learning about how people all over the world are different outside but their hearts are the same. -Trishna
Zen ShortsJon J Muth4-adultSpirituality & MindfulnessAudrey Linaudreyhopes@gmail.comI met a mother who read this book to her then 5-year-old daughter. Shortly afterwards, they were out running errands and as they were walking outside, a stranger cut them off on his bike. Some time later, the mother made a comment about the guy who cut them off. Her 5-year-old turned to her and said, "Mom, are you still carrying that?" While I haven't yet read this book (but definitely intend to!), with a response like that, I figured it must be a good book! Also, it's a Caldecott Honor Book, and 211 Amazon customers give it 5 stars:

Synopsis: "Michael," said Karl. "There's a really big bear in the backyard." This is how three children meet Stillwater, a giant panda who moves into the neighborhood and tells amazing tales. To Addy he tells a story about the value of material goods. To Michael he pushes the boundaries of good and bad. And to Karl he demonstrates what it means to hold on to frustration. With graceful art and simple stories that are filled with love and enlightenment, Jon Muth -- and Stillwater the bear -- present three ancient Zen tales that are sure to strike a chord in everyone they touch.
Have You Filled a Bucket TodayCarol McCloud4+Compassion & GenerosityLinda CommitoLinda@loveisthenewcurrency.comIt offers a "guide to daily  happiness for kids" through wonderful examples of how they can make a difference through kindness.

"Based on Linda's recommendation of this book in the Cubs Book List, we recently started reading it with our 2-year-old daughter and not only did she immediately love it and ask to have it read to her daily since then, she also initiates small acts like hugs and kisses to fill Mommy and Daddy's buckets nearly every day, and of course we do the same and remind her we're filling her bucket too! Such a beautiful, simple way to teach kids about the impact of small acts of love :)" - Trishna Shah
Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns about SportsmanshipBinkow, Howard4+Compassion & GenerosityTrishna Shahtrishna@servicespace.orgThis book introduces 4-8 year olds to concepts like respect, camaraderie, teamwork and the pleasure of playing sports and games for the fun of it. A great book to share with children before they get involved in organized sports or other competitive activities in order to help them maintain the right spirit throughout. At the back of the book parents and teachers will find helpful tips and lesson plans to educate young readers.8/12/2012
Title: Visiting FeelingsByLauren Rubenstein5 & upSpirituality & Mindfulnesslaurendrlaurenrubenstein@gmail.comMom's Choice Gold Award winner. Teaches kids mindfulness of emotions.
Sneetches and Other StoriesDr. Seuss5 and upGlobal AwarenessSharicygnet418@aol.comUnlike many of the Dr. Seuss books you know, this children's book contains a number of short stories that weave a message of tolerance and teaches kids about diversity. Through the Sneetches, Zax and two other stories, the lesson that friendship is more important than differences is delivered through Dr. Seuss's lovable way
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Judith Viorst5-7Compassion & GenerosityAudrey Shojiaudreyshoji@gmail.comAlexander has been reliving his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day for decades now, all for the benefit of his young readers and listeners. From the moment he awakes to just before he closes his eyes, nothing seems to go his way. All he can think to do is to escape to Australia. Alexander is a humorous book for kids about feelings that makes it easy for kids to feel empathy and compassion for all that Alexander endures throughout his day -- and grateful for all the good that has happened in their day! This story is a great way to open up discussion about sadness, disappointment, and frustration, with a wry tone that keeps it light.

Hope for HaitiJesse Watson5-8InspirationAudrey Shojiaudreyshoji@gmail.comSet in the aftermath of Haiti's catastrophic earthquake, this realistic picture book tells an elemental survival story through the experience of one boy who loses everything and then finds hope to carry on. Simple poetic words and generously sized acrylic paintings portray the sense of loss and desolation the boy feels as he helps his mother build a new home in the soccer stadium (One piece of tin. / Six posts. / Three sheets). He is too small to compete with other refugees when relief workers pass out limited supplies of food, and he witnesses devestating scenes of suffering. He has fun with other kids, though, kicking a soccer ball made of rags. Although a woman scolds them for their laughter, an aid worker gives them a new ball signed by a professional soccer player, and the final pictures show the boy imagining himself as a star on the field, scoring a goal in the future. Watson transcends the story's heavy messages with individual portraits that never deny the boy's anguish, as well as his hope.--Rochman, Hazel
Copyright 2010 Booklist
The Cello and Mr. OJane Cutler5-9Spirituality & MindfulnessSharicygnet418@aol.comIn a ravaged, war-torn city, where heat must come from burning furniture and even cherished books, where even the relief truck is destroyed by enemy fire, how can people find hope? In this powerfully evocative picture book, one little girl discovers the answer.Mr. O is a crotchety old man. The heroine of this story and her friends like to tease him--they run in the halls, making noise, and they pop paper bags outside his door. But every Wednesday afternoon, when the relief truck used to bring flour and other staples, Mr. O marches into the square, sits down, and begins to play his cello. It's not until the Wednesday when a bomb again hits the square that the little girl realizes what Mr. O has been trying to teach them all: that music--and courage--can sustain the spirit just as bread sustains the body. Jane Cutler has created a poignant tribute to the unnamed city of Sarajevo in a story that celebrates the kinship between generations. Greg Couch's timeless illustrations, abstract in form yet piercingly beautiful in the emotions they capture, portray at once the tragedy of war and the power of human dignity. --Publishers
Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine Laura Wallmark5-9Compassion, Empathy & GenerositySharicygnet418@aol.comWhy: Ada Lovelace, the daughter of the famous romantic poet, Lord Byron, develops her creativity through science and math. When she meets Charles Babbage, the inventor of the first mechanical computer, Ada understands the machine better than anyone else and writes the world's first computer program in order to demonstrate its capabilities. Two hundred years after her birth in 1815, the world is finally beginning to pay attention to Ada Byron Lovelace, considered by many to be the inventor of computer programming. Computer scientist and debut author Wallmark introduces her subject as a child fascinated by numbers, lucky enough to be born to a geometry-loving mother [Anne Isabella Byron] with the means and inclination to nurture her daughter's talents. She focuses on her subject's adolescence, choosing details that highlight Lovelace's development as a mathematical genius... A splendidly inspiring introduction to an unjustly overlooked woman. -- Kirkus Reviews
Asian Children's Favorite Stories5+Global AwarenessMallika Tmallika.m.thoppay@gmail.comA collection of stories from different countries in Asia. The stories and culturally rich and contain interesting plots. A book like this will keep you busy for days,since it is a lot of stories packed together.
Halmoni's dayEdna Coe Bercaw5+Global AwarenessMallika Tmallika.m.thoppay@gmail.comA lovely illustration of family values when a little girl's grandmother visits her from Korea for Grandparents' day.
Stone SoupJohn Muth5+Compassion & GenerosityMallika Tmallika.m.thoppay@gmail.comThe original stone soup rewritten with a Chinese backdrop. Wonderfully illustrated.
The Adventures of Pippi LongstockingAstrid Lindgren 5+Compassion & GenerosityIlonka Wlochilonka@positivenewsus.orgIt's a great girl empowerment book.

Pippi is raised by her pirate dad. She is homeschooled and taught how to live well by following her heart and not the rigid rules of society. Pippi shows children the value of self esteem and the power to do anything once you set your mind to it. She is so loved by everyone that the effect of her quirky personality is above everything you could imagine. There are so many "lessons" in her stories that are hidden in little bits and pieces.
Tibetan Tales for Little BuddhasRose,Naomi5+Compassion, Empathy & GenerosityMallika Tmallika.m.thoppay@gmail.comA book of 3 tales that were supposedly Tibetan folk tales. My favorite was the very first one. With wonderful illustrations, the author attempts to portray the values of showing gratitude and acceptance. Good read for kids over 5. The book is also endorsed by Dalai Lama.
Tsunamis (True Earth Science book)Chana Steifel5+ Compassion, Empathy & GenerosityMallika Tmallika.m.thoppay@gmail.comThis book explains how Tsunamis occur. Most importantly, it showcases some heroic and altruistic events that happened during the Tsunami in Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia.
Children Just Like MeBarnabas & Anabel Kindersley5th grade & upGlobal AwarenessAudrey Shojiaudreyshoji@gmail.comTadessa from Ethiopia, Suchart from Thailand, Celina from Brazil ... each has hopes and fears dreams and beliefs. Their cultures are different yet in many ways their daily lives are very similar as are their hopes for the future and their ways of looking at the world. Between 1994 and 1995, a photographer and a teacher (a husband and wife team) travelled to more than 30 different parts of the world to meet these children. Their stories are recorded in this remarkable book published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Extraordinary photographs bring to life the children's families and homes, their clothes and food, their friends and favourite
games and other aspects of their daily lives.

The children live in places as diverse as New York, Mongolia, and the Amazon Basin. There are children from both industrialised and developing nations, including children from tribal cultures. Their environments include mountains, deserts, rainforests, plains, and polar regions. Most live in extended or nuclear families but Suchart a novice monk live in a monastery and Tedasse an Ethiopian boy lives in an orphanage. Children everywhere will enjoy reading about the lives of these children who share their world.

'I'd love to travel into space because I want to see if there are any creatures on other planets' - Ji-Koo, South Korea.0

'I like living by the river - I want to live here for the rest of my life. I love the forest and it makes me sad when people chop down the trees' - Celina, Brazil. 

'I think that the best thing about being a child is that you get lots of love from your family' - Michael, Israel. 

'I see on television that there is a lot of war and fighting in the world and I wish that it would end and that the world could be peaceful' - Houda, Morocco. 

Countries include: Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, New Mexico, Alaska, Canada, Finland, Hungary, Poland, Russia, France, Greece, Egypt, Botswana, Ghana, Morocco, Tanzania, Ethiopia, China, Mongolia, Japan, South Korea, India (2x), Israel, Jordan, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, New Zealand, Australia. -- Little Acorn Books
Hungry Planet: What the World EatsPeter Menzel & Faith D'Alusio5th grade & upGlobal AwarenessAudrey Shojiaudreyshoji@gmail.comMenzel and D’Aluisio’s latest book—released in November 2005—is another around-the-world exploration of average daily life in 24 countries—this time focusing on food. Hungry Planet: What the World Eats, details each family’s weekly food purchases and average daily life. The centerpiece of each chapter is a portrait of the entire family surrounded by a week’s worth of groceries accompanied by interviews and detailed grocery lists. The book received the coveted James Beard Best Book Award in 2006 and was awarded Book of the Year from the Harry Chapin World Hunger Media Foundation. --TedMed Review
Real Kids, Real Stories, Real Change: Courageous Actions Around the WorldGarth Sundem 5th grade & upInspirationAudrey Shojiaudreyshoji@gmail.comInspire kids and teens to personal, community, and social action with this book of thirty true stories of young people overcoming adversity to achieve great things and make a difference around the world. Compelling, funny, inspiring, and poignant, the book features kids and teens who used their heads, their hearts, their character, their courage, and sometimes their stubbornness to help others and do amazing things. Inside you’ll find examples of youth volunteering, kids making a difference, and young people initiating community and social action to change their world.

What makes these kids so special? Eleven-year-old Tilly saved the lives of 100 people in Thailand because she knew the warning signs of a tsunami. Ten-year-old Jean-Dominic won a battle against pesticides—and the cancer they caused in his body. Fifteen-year-old Malika fought against segregation in her Alabama town. Six-year-old Ryan raised over one million dollars to drill water wells in Africa. And thirteen-year-old Bethany, a competitive surfer, lost her left arm (and almost her life) to a shark, but got back on her surfboard. In all, Real Kids, Real Stories, Real Change profiles 30 multicultural kid heroes in five areas:
Kids Saving the Environment
Kids Standing Up for Themselves
Kids Helping Others Kids
Overcoming Challenges
Kids Using Talents and Creativity

As young readers meet these boys and girls from around the globe, they may wonder, “What kind of hero lives inside of me?” Teachers, use this engaging resource for service learning, character education, and social studies. -- Free Spirit Publishing Review
The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from IraqJeanette Winter6-9InspirationAudrey Shojiaudreyshoji@gmail.comAlia Muhammad Baker is a librarian in Basra, Iraq. For fourteen years, her library has been a meeting place for those who love books. Until now. Now war has come, and Alia fears that the library--along with the thirty thousand books within it--will be destroyed forever.

In a war-stricken country where civilians--especially women--have little power, this true story about a librarian's struggle to save her community's priceless collection of books reminds us all how, throughout the world, the love of literature and the respect for knowledge know noboundaries. -- Google Books Review
The Three QuestionsJohn Muth6+Compassion & GenerosityMallika Tmallika.m.thoppay@gmail.comThis is a story that was originally written by Leo Tolstoy. Its about a boy who starts to do some soul searching and wants to find answers to 3 questions. He finds answers to them when he takes certain actions when certain things happen in the book. Wonderfully illustrated and geared to kids 6+.
Helen’s Big World: The Life of Helen Keller Doreen Rappaport 6+
InspirationAudrey Shojiaudreyshoji@gmail.comHelen Keller is an icon for many reasons.  It is inspiring for any reader to understand her life story.  She is an amazing example of perseverance and triumph after a childhood illness left her blind and deaf.  In this book, kids can read about her life when she was their age. Her struggle to learn Braille and writing as a child is something that will resonate with young readers, and everyone can admire her intelligence and outspoken compassion for others.  The dedication and brilliance shown by her teacher, Annie Sullivan, who also suffered from vision impairment, is also a wonderful way to reflect on and appreciate a truly extraordinary teacher.  And in quotes from Helen, we can learn her thoughts and opinions and how she relied on her inner senses to become an inspired and inspiring leader and role model for the world.  
WonderRJ Palacio8 to 12Compassion, Empathy & GenerosityElysa TarascioThis is a charming, poignant story of a child with a facial deformity who is just starting middle school. It documents the bullying and tormenting he must face but also the beautiful, brave people who befriend him and stand up for him. It is heart-warming and honest. Every child and every adult should read this book
Wee Three: A Mother's Love in VersesMarta Moran Bishop8+Simplicity & PresenceTrishna"Wee Three:A Mother's Love in Verse, began with stories and verses passed down from my grandmother and my mother to me. It covers 70 years of memories as seen through the eyes of a child -- it is meant to be read to the young or the young at heart. It was written to help me remember the innocence and joy that we all begin life with and share that with others. It is a childhood keepsake book, to be passed down between the generations, bridging the gap, between life as it was in the past and life that is yet to be. My hope is that it will bring joy, wonder, and imagination back to the world. Today, we live in such a fast paced technological society; it seems we have lost so much of life’s pleasure in just being." -- Marta Moran Bishop5/5/2012
Because of Winn Dixie
Kate DiCamillo9-12Compassion, Empathy & GenerositySharicygnet418@aol.comOne summer day, Opal goes into a supermarket and comes out with a scraggly dog that she names Winn-Dixie. Because of Winn-Dixie, her preacher father finally tells her ten things about her absentee mother, and Opal makes lots of unusual friends in her quirky Florida town. And because of Winn-Dixie, Opal grows to learn that friendship -- and forgiveness -- can sneak up on you like a sudden storm. -A Mighty review
Stella by Starlight

Sharon Draper9-13Global AwarenessSharicygnet418@aol.comWhen the Ku Klux Klan’s unwelcome reappearance rattles Stella’s segregated southern town, bravery battles prejudice in this Depression-era tour de force from Sharon Draper, the New York Times bestselling author of Out of My Mind.

Stella lives in the segregated South—in Bumblebee, North Carolina, to be exact about it. Some stores she can go into. Some stores she can’t. Some folks are right pleasant. Others are a lot less so. To Stella, it sort of evens out, and heck, the Klan hasn’t bothered them for years. But one late night, later than she should ever be up, much less wandering around outside, Stella and her little brother see something they’re never supposed to see, something that is the first flicker of change to come, unwelcome change by any stretch of the imagination. As Stella’s community—her world—is upended, she decides to fight fire with fire. And she learns that ashes don’t necessarily signify an end.
Talk with Your Kids: Conversations About Ethics -- Honesty, Friendship, Sensitivity, Fairness, Dedication, Individuality -- and 103 Other Things That Really MatterMichael ParkerAdultCompassion, Empathy &"A guide for parents to help their children better understand the world around them by helping them think through the questions they face regarding honesty, friendship, sensitivity, fairness, dedication, individuality and 103 other character-building issues" -Publisher
Media Moms & Digital Dads: A Fact-Not-Fear Approach to Parenting in the Digital Age

Yalda Uhls AdultSpirituality &"There are few hotter parenting issues today than helping our children safely navigate the digital world in which we live. It provides both immense opportunity for learning and connecting and yet great opportunity for making mistakes and harm. Knowing what the facts are and when and how to get involved is perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of parenting. Media Moms & Digital Dads offers parents reassuring and fact based guidance on how best to manage screens and media for their children." -Publisher
Max, The Shelter Dog

Nicole RiveraAges 6-10+Compassion, Empathy & GenerosityAudrey Shojiaudreyshoji@gmail.comMax, the Shelter Dog by Nicole Rivera is the heartwarming tale of one dog's journey through two homes and an animal shelter. After his first owner must adopt him out to a new family, the puppy Max enjoys much of his first two years in a happy home. However, as Max grows, his family begins to worry about his size and strength. Despite the fact that he is a loving and playful Pit Bull, Max is surrendered to an animal shelter. This is where his real journey begins: the quest for a forever home.

In Max, the Shelter Dog, the reader experiences Max's journey from a dog's perspective. Rivera introduces several other canine characters from the shelter as well. Max learns all about the new world around him, and the reader does too. As a children's book, Max, the Shelter Dog can educate future generations of dog owners about responsible dog ownership.

This story caused me to well up with tears a few times, both in sadness and happiness. To me, the book seems most ideal for children aged 6 to 10, though older children will likely enjoy it as well. I also suspect that parents reading this with their children will be moved by it. Overall, just about any dog lover can identify with Max, the Shelter Dog and be educated by its message. -- Review
Big Nate: In a Class By Himself

Lincoln PeirceAges 9-12PeaceAudrey Shojiaudreyshoji@gmail.comThis humorous book is based on the comic strip Big Nate. Illustrated in the same cartoon style as the Diary of a Wimpy Kid, it is a little milder and sweeter than that series. Although the characters are sixth-graders, the humor will appeal to younger readers and especially to boys. Nate faces challenges universal to 12-year-old boys: a test at school, the desire to be liked by his peers, and dealing with simple plans that go awry.  The humor mostly comes at the expense of Nate himself, particularly when he is trying to impress someone and fails. Nate lives in a single parent household with no mention of his mother.

The cartoon style will entertain any reader who enjoys comic books, and the slapstick humor will appeal to many boys. The core of the story is the friendship between Nate and his best friends Teddy and Francis, and the way they help each other survive the perils of middle school. Nate is a very high-energy kid with overflowing self-esteem and his ability to maintain his sense of humor may encourage kids who find the trials of adolescence something they'd like to keep laughing about for a while longer. Unrequited crushes, grouchy teachers, and feeling misunderstood is tough even for kids who still want books with a few booger jokes. -- Commonsense Media Review

Recommended by The Cubs Editors
Title: Shine

By: Lauren MyracleAges: 14 and upCompassion, Empathy & GenerositySharicygnet418@aol.comWhen her best guy friend falls victim to a vicious hate crime, sixteen-year-old Cat sets out to discover who in her small town did it. Richly atmospheric, this daring mystery mines the secrets of a tightly knit Southern community and examines the strength of will it takes to go against everyone you know in the name of justice.

Against a backdrop of poverty, clannishness, drugs, and intolerance, Myracle has crafted a harrowing coming-of-age tale couched in a deeply intelligent mystery. Smart, fearless, and compassionate, this is an unforgettable work from a beloved author.

"Cat eventually uncovers the truth in a cliffhanging climax in which she confronts fear, discovers that love is stronger than hate and truly ˜shines.' Raw, realistic and compelling." -- Kirkus Reviews
Title: Last Stop on Market Street

By: Matt de la PeñaAges: 3-5Compassion, Empathy & GenerositySharicygnet418@aol.comAfter church on Sundays, CJ and his nana wait for the bus. It's a familiar routine, but this week CJ is feeling dissatisfied. As they travel to their destination, the boy asks a series of questions: "How come we gotta wait for the bus in all this wet?" "Nana, how come we don't got a car?" "How come we always gotta go here after church?" CJ is envious of kids with cars, iPods, and more freedom than he has. With each question, Nana points out something for CJ to appreciate about his life: "Boy, what do we need a car for? We got a bus that breathes fire." These gentle admonishments are phrased as questions or observations rather than direct answers so that CJ is able to take ownership of his feelings. After they exit the bus, CJ wonders why this part of town is so run-down, prompting Nana to reply, "Sometimes when you're surrounded by dirt, CJ, you're a better witness for what's beautiful." The urban setting is truly reflective, showing people with different skin colors, body types, abilities, ages, and classes in a natural and authentic manner. Robinson's flat, blocky illustrations are simple and well composed, seemingly spare but peppered with tiny, interesting details. Ultimately, their destination is a soup kitchen, and CJ is glad to be there. This is an excellent book that highlights less popular topics such as urban life, volunteerism, and thankfulness, with people of color as the main characters. A lovely title.—School Library Journal
Title: The 20th-Century Children's Book Treasury: Picture Books and Stories to Read AloudBy: Janet SchulmanAges: 5 and upSharicygnet418@aol.comDescription: Unparalleled in scope and quality and designed for reading aloud and sharing, this splendid anthology brings together some of the most memorable and beloved children's books of our time. Here are classics such as Madeline and Curious George; contemporary bestsellers such as Guess How Much I Love You and The Stinky Cheese Man; Caldecott Medal winners such as Make Way for Ducklings and Where the Wild Things Are; and family favorites such as Goodnight Moon, The Sneetches, Winnie-the-Pooh, and Alexander & The Terrible, No Good Very Bad Day, soon to be a motion picture.

The selections range from concept books and wordless books to picture books and short read-aloud stories, and represent the complete array of childhood themes and reading needs: ABCs, number and color books, stories about going to bed and going to school; tales about growing up, siblings, parents, and grandparents; animal stories, fantasies; fables; magical stories; stories about everyday life--and more.

This beautiful edition includes a recommended list of books published in the time since this anthology's original compilation, including Caldecott Honors Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! and Olivia, with descriptive annotations intended to guide parents to these new books and new voices of the 21st century. Also included are an introduction from editor Janet Schulman, capsule biographies of the 62 writers and artists represented in the collection, color-coded running heads indicating age levels, and indexes. As a gift, a keepsake, and a companion in a child's first steps toward a lifelong love of reading, The 20th Century Children's Book Treasury belongs in every family's bookcase. -Publisher
Infinity and Me

Kate HosfordAges: 5-10Simplicity & PresenceSharicygnet418@aol.comYoung Uma grapples with the concept of infinity, asking for help from family and friends. Her questions ultimately lead her to a profound understand of love and her place in the world.
My Secret Bully
Trudy LudwigAges: 5-11Compassion, Empathy & GenerosityAudrey"A touching, inspirational story targeted for 5- to 11-year-olds, My
Secret Bully instantly draws young readers into Monica's world where she
is bullied by a friend and learns how to cope and thrive. Relational
aggression is an act of emotional bullying hidden among tightly knit
networks of friends. Instead of using knives and fists to bully others,
emotional bullies employ relationships, words, and gestures as their
weapons of attack. Emotional bullying is often dismissed as a normal
rite of passage, but research shows it is as harmful as physical
aggression, with devastating, long-term effects.

humiliation, exclusion, and manipulation are some bullying tactics
Monica's friend Katie employs. Monica learns to face her fears of
betrayal and social isolation and reclaims her power from the bully with
the help of a supportive adult - her mother. Included in this wonderful
resource for children, parents, teachers, and counselors are helpful
tips, discussion questions, and additional information." -- From the
Author's website
Title: Tracks, Scats and Signs

By: Leslie DendyAges:"Become a nature detective with this illustrative, engaging and fun Take-Along-Guide. You may not know where to look, or what to look for, but animal signs are everywhere and this guide will help you learn how to read them. You'll learn how to spot and identify common clues that 17 wildlife species leave behind in the woods, in the fields and along ponds." --Publishers
Title: How to Raise an AdultBy: Julie Lythcott HaimsAges: AdultBrinda How to Raise an Adult cautions against the "overparenting" by helicopter parents and offers practical wisdom and tips for all ages. It's a welcome read and affirms common sense in an age of over-tutored, over-scheduled and hyper-involved parents, especially in affluent communities. I would recommend it for parents of middle-high schoolers. --Recommended by Cubs Reader Brinda
Title: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

By: Carol S. Dweck, PhDAges: AdultShari"Dweck explains why it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success—but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. She makes clear why praising intelligence and ability doesn’t foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success. With the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals—personal and professional. Dweck reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know: how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in every area." --Publisher
Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
Michael PollanAges: Teens to AdultsSimplicity & PresenceAudrey"Eating doesn’t have to be so complicated. In this age of ever-more
elaborate diets and conflicting health advice, Food Rules brings
welcome simplicity to our daily decisions about food. Written with
clarity, concision, and wit that has become bestselling author Michael
Pollan’s trademark, this indispensable handbook lays out a set of
straightforward, memorable rules for eating wisely, one per page,
accompanied by a concise explanation. It’s an easy-to-use guide that
draws from a variety of traditions, suggesting how different cultures
through the ages have arrived at the same enduring wisdom about food.
Whether at the supermarket or an all-you-can-eat buffet, this is the
perfect guide for anyone who ever wondered, 'What should I eat?'" --
Amazon Book Review
Buddha Doodles Gratitude Journal: Shining Your LightMolly HahnAllSpirituality & MindfulnessSharicygnet418@aol.comPut positivity into practice! A few of the many benefits of a gratitude practice include feeling happier, less stress, better sleep, and a reduction in negative emotions. Each page has a different Buddha Doodle with space to write what you're grateful for! --Publishers
SUBLIME NATURE: Photographs That Awe and Inspire

Compiled by: Cristina Mittermeier

AnyAudrey"This exquisite and inspiring book of landscape photography from National Geographic captures the beauty of nature in all its breathtaking variations. Natural scenery, whether mountain peaks against a crystal blue sky or shimmering expanses of ocean or desert, the exquisite geometry of tide marks on a beach or the perfection of a moss-laden path, affects us deeply, by turns eliciting joy, peace, awe, and a state of grace. Sublime Nature collects images that inspire these emotions, culled from the world's leading photographers. Award-winning photojournalist and conservationist Cristina Mittermeier contextualises the sentiments captured in the photographs, offering readers a visceral connection to the natural universe. Interspersed throughout the book are inspiring quotations from the world's leading naturalists and environmentalists, including Henry David Thoreau John Muir, Rachel Carson, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Thoreau reminds us that Nature is full of genius, full of divinity, while his friend Emerson declares, Lose yourself in nature and find peace.

Mittermeier's introduction and poetic chapter essays capture the special bond between photographers and nature as their often singular companion when alone in the field, using patience and wiles to capture these indelible moments. Poetic, inspiring, and filled with breathtaking images, Sublime Nature stunningly captures our special relationship with nature in all its abundant incarnations, and inspires us to reap its life-giving and wondrous gifts and to care about protecting its future." -- Review
Bullies to BuddiesIzzy Kalmanelementary school through adultsCompassion, Empathy & GenerosityAudrey Shojiaudreyshoji@gmail.comThe Giving Tree is one of the most celebrated and beloved children’s books of all time. It provides a poignant and honest look at the nature of giving and receiving. If you have not read the book (though I suspect you have), here is a brief synopsis: it follows the story of a friendship between a boy and a tree. When the boy was young, he loved to eat the tree’s apples, gather her leaves to play with, and rest in her shade. Inevitably, the boy grew older, and the tree was left alone for long periods of time as the boy’s visits grew infrequent. And now every time the boy returned to see the tree, it was to request something: apples to sell, branches to build a house, and even the tree’s trunk to build a boat. The tree gave these gifts freely and happily, until she was left only as a lonely stump. The boy came back one last time after many years, tired and old, and the tree gave the one gift she had left: a place to sit and rest.

Though I love this classic story, not everyone feels as positively about it as I do. Apparently, this book is sometimes viewed as controversial, as it was banned from a number of libraries and schools. In fact, Silverstein is on the American Library Association’s list of frequently banned authors, and among his books, The Giving Tree is one of the most often banned for questionable content . . . The reasons for banning The Giving Tree are wide and varied, ranging from claims that it is anti-environmental, to allegations that it is sexist and negatively displays a masochistic female figure. The most common complaint, however, is that it displays a “vicious, one-sided relationship between the tree and the boy, with the tree as the selfless giver, and the boy as the greedy person who takes but never gives”. This could potentially be a poor example for children – perhaps this message could be seen as indirect encouragement for them to exploit the selfless love of others. And it is true that the tree’s love could be considered self-destructive, as she was quite content to give everything she had until it destroyed her, and she never even received a simple thank you. Despite the fact that some critics see this relationship as unhealthy and co-dependent, I’m not convinced that this story isn’t a worthwhile read for children.

I believe The Giving Tree reveals something very true about the human condition and relationships. The fact is, every one of us is only able to thrive and grow because of the love and generosity of others. Even before we are born, we are consuming the resources of our mothers to facilitate our personal growth. And this nurturing, attention, and care from outside sources continues throughout our lives, and helps to build us up into people who may someday offer these humble gifts to others. But the fact remains that we need others in order to flourish. Without the love and encouragement from those around us, we would not survive.

The tree offers these selfless gifts to the boy, and therefore, she represents a figure of maternal love. She displays an unwavering and unconditional devotion to the boy, and she is only happy if she is in some way contributing to his happiness. It begins harmlessly, of course: she provides him shade to play in, and apples to eat. But inevitably,
he needs more to be happy, and this depletes the tree of everything she has. Yet she is glad to give the boy these gifts, without limits or any regard for her own needs, as long as it makes him happy, which is what she desires most. The only moment in the story when she seems dejected is when she is left as merely a stump, and the book states: “And the tree was happy… but not really” (Silverstein 45-46). The tree was only unhappy because she had nothing left to give. Her role as a provider had ended. She truly found her happiness not in personal gains, but in altruistic giving and her function as a mother, and when there seemed to be nothing left to provide, she felt that she had no purpose. But the tree was pleased once again when she discovered that “an old stump is good for sitting and resting” (Silverstein 49). When she realizes that she can still give the boy what he needs, she once again finds joy. The tree is truly a mother figure to the boy: she is happy to sacrifice all she has for the development, growth, and happiness of the boy she loves.

I disagree with the banning of The Giving Tree because it is a fine example of the selfless love we all receive at one time or another. Furthermore, I doubt any child who reads The Giving Tree will suddenly turn into a selfish monster. The boy is obviously not meant to be an example of great behavior, and certainly any child can see that. But his behavior is undeniably human. We are all “takers” at some point in our lives. But in the story, receiving gifts from the tree was what really made the boy’s life possible – he was able to earn money, build a house, and eventually sail away. And the tree was happy to provide these gifts to the boy. Perhaps the message here is that nothing worthwhile is ever achieved alone, and we need the unselfish love of others to help us truly grow and flourish. The Giving Tree offers a sweet and simple reminder to appreciate the value of the unmerited kindness we all receive from those who love us. -- Jayna Miller Review
Goal!Mina JavaherbinFirst grade & upInspirationAudrey Shojiaudreyshoji@gmail.comGoal! tells the story of a group of friends in a poor South African township who revel in a game of football. (That’s soccer to those of us on this side of the big pond.) Ajani has earned a new federation-sized football for being the best reader in his class, and he presents it to his friends with great pride as they set up goals and begin to play. “The streets are not safe, but I have a plan,” Ajani tells his friends: They will take turns, guarding for the bullies in the neighborhood. Then, the game commences, and the game’s tension and excitement—as well as the boys’ passion for the game—leaps off the page in these sprawling oil spreads from Ford. Even when they are “trapped” after the bullies arrive, Ajani quickly devises a plan to keep their new ball from getting stolen. (But I won’t give that away here, in case you want to read for yourself.)

This is, as already mentioned, Javaherbin’s picture book debut, and it’s a lyrical, spare story of friendship and empowerment (”When we play together, we are unbeatable,” the book closes), written in an effectively uncluttered and immediate manner. Ford propels the action forward with great tension and a detailed reverence for our protagonists and their shantytown life. These are, quite simply, gorgeous oil paintings, and Ford perfectly nails the wide-ranging moods that rear their heads in the story: Elation, fear, embarrassment, courage, and right back to elation. And …victory.

All around, this one’s a winner. The writing. The illustrations. And the way they team up together to tell this tale, which makes you want to stand up and cheer. Javaherbin closes the book with an Author’s Note: “Here in this alley, we join a group of friends as they embrace the spirit of soccer. They play to stay connected. They play to stay children. They play to stay human. But mostly, they play to play.” -- 7 Imp Review
Pablo Neruda: Poet of the PeopleMonica BrownFirst grade & upSimplicity & PresenceAudrey Shojiaudreyshoji@gmail.comPoetry in Ordinary Things. One of the things I enjoyed about Pablo Neruda is how he is able to capture the beauty in ordinary things, be it an onion, a leaf, a feather, a thimble.

Pablo wrote poems about the things he loved – things made by his artist friends, things found at the marketplace, and things he saw in nature. He wrote about scissors and thimbles and chairs and rings. He wrote about buttons and feathers and shoes and hats. He wrote about velvet cloth the color of the sea.

Art as a Movement – Voice of the Masses. The strength of this book is its ability to capture the essence of Pablo Neruda, the man, through the beautifully-rendered illustrations and the simple narrative that would not fail to capture one’s fancy and imagination. The words (both in English and Spanish and a few other languages besides) written on leaves, flowers, ocean waves, the sun – were simply inspired. More importantly, the authors were able to capture Pablo’s love for humanity and his advocacy to give voice to the masses:
He joined those who fought for justice and wrote poems to honor all workers who struggled for freedom.
Even when his poems made leaders angry, he would not be silenced, because he was a poet of the people. -- Gathering Books Review
Wangari's Trees of PeaceJeanette Winterfirst grade & upEcologyAudrey Shojiaudreyshoji@gmail.comWangari Maathai earned a Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her efforts to bring about a greener Africa. This book is about Wangari's life and how she changes the face of Kenya and improves the lives of many Africans. Wangari, born just below the slopes of Mt. Kenya, spends her days playing and working beneath the trees surrounding her home. When Wangari is older, she wins a scholarship to America. In America she gets a bachelor's and master's degree in biology and returns to Kenya. When she returns to Kenya, she is shocked and saddened by the deforestation that has occurred. Where there were once trees, there is now barren and dry ground. As more and more trees are cut, the land continues to erode, crops fail, and women have to walk farther and farther to get the firewood they need. Wangari is overwhelmed by the thought of all the trees that have been cut down and never replaced to make room for cities, but she decides something must be done. She starts by planting nine seedlings in her backyard. As she watches the trees grow, she is further inspired: if she can plant a nursery and get other women to do the same, she can make a bigger change.

One after another, women join the Green Belt movement until more than 30 million trees cover Kenya. Not only are there trees in Kenya, other African nations hear about Wangari and the women who believed that they could make a difference no matter what other people said. As trees have returned, soil has improved, gardens are once more productive, and women no longer have to travel miles and miles to get firewood.

In Wangari's Trees of Peace, Jeanette Winter's provides yet another inspirational true story. While one person or one tree might not seem to make that much difference, this book is a reminder of the importance of uniting with other people to create change and an excellent early introduction to ecology and the role everyone can play as responsible members of society.  It is also a great book to read as Arbor Day approaches, or to be used to kick off a garden project at any time of the year. In keeping with the theme of the book, Wangari's Trees of Peace is printed on 100% recycled paper with 50% post consumer waste. -- SDSU Children’s Literature Reviews

Sylvester and the Magic PebbleWilliam Steigfor ages 4-8Compassion & GenerosityAudrey Shojiaudreyshoji@gmail.comSylvester is a little donkey who finds a magic pebble that will grant him wishes, but before he can make a wish, he sees a scary lion and wishes that he was a rock. Since he's holding the pebble, he turns into a rock! Unfortunately, he can't turn back into his donkey self because he can't hold the pebble. While being a rock, Sylvester misses his family, and wishes for the life he had before. Through a series of fortuitous twists and turns, Sylvester finally regains his old life. A sweet, and ultimately happy classic for teaching gratitude. 2/23/2013
The Hidden Gifts of the Introverted Child: Helping Your Child Thrive in an Extroverted WorldMarti Olsen Laney, Psy.D.grown upsCompassion, Empathy & GenerosityAudrey Shojiaudreyshoji@gmail.comComing from the position of a lifelong, extremely hermetic, "innie," I found myself moved to tears as Laney presented years of observational research from her own life as an introvert, parent, and therapist – also drawing from the writings from that of Carl
Jung to T. Barry Brazelton, with hard, neuro-scientific data that biochemistry is pivotal to human temperament.

Laney has created as step-by-step guide, specifically for parents of introverted children wherein she takes readers by the hand through every conceivable stage of child development, starting with a clear delineation between introversion and the many mental/social anxiety disorders with which innies are misdiagnosed. Dr. Laney moves on to differentiate between the
qualities of extroverts/outties (whose neurological paths are shorter and located in the back of the brain) and innies (with neural pathways are located in the brain's "hood").

The most important section comes at the end: helping the introverted child navigate the uncharted waters outside the parentally controlled environment. So many times while reading Part IV, I found myself saying to empty rooms: "Where was this book when I was a kid?"

Even if you're not a parent, The Hidden Gifts of the Introverted Child is an invaluable resource for any innie wishing to understand themselves, perhaps heal wounds rooted in thoughts that there is/was something "wrong" with them, or an outtie interested to know why they feel invigorated after a night out clubbing, while a quiet, contemplative friend needs a week to recover. Whatever the motivation for reading, Marti Olsen Laney has given the world an engaging, fabulously informative treasure that won't be leaving my bookshelf any time soon." -- blogcritics reviewer
Design Revolution: 100 Products That Empower PeopleEmily Pillotonhigh school & upEcologyAudrey Shojiaudreyshoji@gmail.comJanuary of 2008, with a thousand dollars, a laptop and an outsized conviction that design can change the world, rising San Francisco-based product designer and activist Emily Pilloton launched Project H Design, a radical non-profit that supports, inspires and delivers life-improving humanitarian product design. "We need to go beyond 'going green' and to enlist a new generation of design activists," she wrote in an influential manifesto. "We need big hearts, bigger business sense and the bravery to take action now."

Featuring more than 100 contemporary design products and systems--safer baby bottles, a high-tech waterless washing machine, low-cost prosthetics for landmine victims, Braille-based Lego-style building blocks for blind children, wheelchairs for rugged conditions, sugarcane charcoal, universal composting systems, DIY soccer balls--that are as fascinating as they are revolutionary, this exceptionally smart, friendly and well-designed volume makes the case for design as a tool to solve some of the world's biggest social problems in beautiful, sustainable and engaging ways--for global citizens in the developing world and in more developed economies alike. Particularly at a time when the weight of climate change, global poverty and population growth are impossible to ignore, Pilloton challenges designers to be changemakers instead of "stuff creators." Urgent and optimistic, a compendium and a call to action, Design Revolution is easily the most exciting design publication to come out this year. -- Review

Editor's Note: Author interview found here:
How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist: 330 Ways to Make a Difference in Your Home, Community, and World - at No Cost!Nicole Boleshigh school & upService ActivitiesAudrey Shojiaudreyshoji@gmail.comWith disasters, both man-made and natural, having become a regular
feature of our turbulent world, people from all walks of life are
feeling a growing need to do something about the larger problems in
their midst. Not everyone, however, can make a sizable charitable
contribution every time disaster strikes. Indeed, if you're like me,
you've probably asked yourself, "What can I do that is more personal and
meaningful than sending a check?"

Boles' main thesis is that you already have more than you realize
that can be used to better someone else's situation. To illustrate that
point, each chapter of the book examines a specific aspect of our
everyday existence — family, talents, time, awareness, belongings,
community — and asks us to think about the assets in our "personal
resource bank" that can be shared. By way of example, she relates a
story about a woman who donated her old prom dress to a young woman in
need; someone else fosters the pets of deployed servicemen and women; a
third person donates her stem cells to a stem cell bank. Throughout,
Boles spells out in detail the various paths one can take in service to
others, and does a nice job of describing the effectiveness of small
gestures as a motivator.

It's Boles' knack for finding little opportunities to build what she
calls "giving equity" that makes the book such a great resource for the
small-scale philanthropist. Newcomers to the world of giving back will
be reassured by her step-by-step technique and will appreciate the
sticky-note flags ("Do This!", "Follow Up", "Pass It On") at the back of
the book. The budget-conscious will appreciate the multiple no- or
low-cost ideas she provides. And everyone will enjoy the stories of
everyday philanthropists who took a seemingly small idea and used it as a
catalyst to spark a bigger movement.

Boles tells us her readers that they can do that, too — and by the
end of the book it's easy to believe her. In fact, she says, we all can
be the change we want to see in the world. And there's no time like the
present to get started. -- Foundation Center Review

Let It Be Recorded...A Collection of MemoirsStudents from the Academy for Academic Excellence in Apple Valley, Ca.High school through adultOver 30 memoirs from senior citizens or "Memoir Stars."Mary Langer Thompsonmh_thompson@hotmail.comStudents worked with the High Desert Branch of the California Writers Club to interview senior citizens and write their memoirs. This was part of the Dorothy C. Blakely Memoir Project and the book represents year one of the project. Students went to college as published authors, but more importantly, wrote gripping stories for future generations.
Katie Loves the KittensJohn HimmelmanK - 2Compassion & GenerosityAudrey Shojiaudreyshoji@gmail.comKatie the dog loves her owner's new kittens, but every time she gives a howl of happiness or tries to play with them, she just ends up scaring them. This charming picture book illustrates how sometimes even the best intentions can be misinterpreted. In the end, Katie discovers that with a little understanding -- and self-control, she finally gets to show the kittens her love for them, and they get to feel it.
Good News Bad NewsJeff Mackpre-K to 6Compassion & GenerosityAudrey Shojiaudreyshoji@gmail.comThe words in the title are the only words used in the book, and they marvelously convey the optimism, resilience, flexibility illustrated in the appealing, colorful pictures. As the old adage goes, the glass is only half empty or full depending on how you look at it. The perspectives of both the rabbit, who always sees the glass as half full, and the mouse, who tends to see it half empty, show children how they can see at least two sides to every situation. Although primarily a picture book, even kids who can read will appreciate the resiliency of rabbit, who endures a series of changing conditions, many of which seem not to be for the better. The ending shows that having a friend with whom one can share life's ups and downs is the best news of all.
Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with ChildrenThich Nhat HanhPreschool through adultSpirituality & MindfulnessAudrey Shojiaudreyshoji@gmail.comAmazon review: Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children is the fruit of decades of development and innovation in the Plum Village community's collective practice with children. Based on Thich Nhat Hanh's thirty years of teaching mindfulness and compassion to parents, teachers, and children, the book and enclosed CD covers a wide range of contemplative and fun activities parents and educators can do with their children or students. They are designed to help relieve stress, increase concentration, nourish gratitude and confidence, deal with difficult emotions, touch our interconnection with nature, and improve communication.

Planting Seeds offers insight, concrete activities, and curricula that parents and educators can apply in school settings, in their local communities or at home, in a way that is meaningful and inviting to children. The key practices presented include mindful breathing and walking, inviting the bell, pebble meditation, the Two Promises or ethical guidelines for children, children's versions of Touching the Earth and Deep Relaxation, eating meditation and dealing with conflict and strong emotions. Also included are the lyrics to the songs on the enclosed CD that summarize and reinforce the key teachings, as well as a chapter on dealing effectively with conflict in the classroom or difficult group.