Hello, Picture Book Readers!
The “Today a Reader, Tomorrow a Leader” book club met today to discuss having perspective and problem solving when facing life’s challenges big and small. As we read and discussed the books listed below, we focused on answering the following questions:
- What should we do when we make a mistake or things don’t work out the way we expected them to?
- What do these characters do when they have problems?
- How can we help others who are having problems?
- How big are these problems in the big picture of life?
In each story, we saw examples of characters who set out to make something they had envisioned, and in each story, the characters faced problems such as an unintended mistake, a project not working out exactly like planned, or an entire idea that comes crashing down. What do we do when we encounter these types of problems? How do we move forward when, on the inside, we might be feeling frustration, anger, or defeat?
After reading, together the book club kids concluded that the message we would take away was this: When you have a problem, don’t give up. The kids also discussed examples of ways to deal with problems, such as: take a break, go for a walk, keep trying, change your idea, or try something new. And, most importantly, keep perspective of how big this problem is. Life-changing? A frustrating set back? Something that can be dealt with easily? It’s important to always take breath and be reflective of your situation. Take a positive outlook as you face life’s obstacles.
Zoom meets Beautiful Oops! in this memorable picture book debut about the creative process, and the way in which “mistakes” can blossom into inspiration.
One eye was bigger than the other. That was a mistake.
The weird frog-cat-cow thing? It made an excellent bush.
And the inky smudges… they look as if they were always meant to be leaves floating gently across the sky.
As one artist incorporates accidental splotches, spots, and misshapen things into her art, she transforms her piece in quirky and unexpected ways, taking readers on a journey through her process. Told in minimal, playful text, this story shows readers that even the biggest “mistakes” can be the source of the brightest ideas—and that, at the end of the day, we are all works in progress, too.
Fans of Peter Reynolds’s Ish and Patrick McDonnell’s A Perfectly Messed-Up Story will love the funny, poignant, completely unique storytelling of The Book of Mistakes.
One day, a little girl has a wonderful idea. With the help of her canine assistant, she is going to make THE MOST MAGNIFICENT THING!
She knows just how it will look.
She knows just how it will work.
Easy-peasy! But making the most magnificent thing turns out to be harder than she thinks. She measures, hammers, fastens and adjusts again and again, but the thing just keeps turning out wrong. If only the thing WOULD JUST WORK!
A clever, honest, and funny portrayal of an experience we can all relate to, Ashley Spires’s latest tale will give kids (and their grown-ups) the most magnificent thing: perspective!
With its spare, poignant text and irresistibly sweet illustrations, The Rabbit Listened is a tender meditation on healing heartaches big and small.
When something sad happens, Taylor doesn’t know where to turn. All the animals are sure they have the answer. The chicken wants to talk it out, but Taylor doesn’t feel like chatting. The bear thinks Taylor should get angry, but that’s not quite right either. One by one, the animals try to tell Taylor how to process this problem, and one by one they fail.
Then the rabbit arrives. All the rabbit does is listen, which is just what Taylor needs. When read as a primer for comforting others who are dealing with life’s problems, this is a moving and unforgettable story sure to soothe heartache of all sizes.
It is inevitable that we will face problems in life, things won’t work out the way we had planned, and the people around us will be dealing with struggles as well. How are we helping children maintain perspective and solve problems with a positive attitude? How are we instilling the value of perseverance? How can we encourage them to notice when others are facing problems and be there to listen? Let’s use books like the ones above to open conversations and teach children to never give up, view problems with a positive outlook, and support others who are dealing with problems of their own.