Grow Kind, Grow Grateful, Grow Happy by John Lasser and Sage Foster-Lasser

Grow Kind

Magination Press, Fiction, Mar. 3, 2020

Ages: 4-8

Synopsis: Blackberries for Keisha. Sunflowers for Mr. Carrol. Ripe tomatoes fo Ms. Stevens. Peppers and corn for Matt and Mitch. Potatoes for Dr. Thompson.

Kiko works hard in her garden. She grows, nurtures, cultivates and harvests her fresh fruits and veggies and shares her bounty with her friends, neighbors, and family. She shows readers how easy it is to be kind to others, and how kindness can create a happiness within themselves and with everyone around.

Grow Grateful 

Fiction, Oct. 15, 2018

Synopsis: Head off with Kiko on a camping trip with her class and how she figures out what being grateful is and what it feels like. Throughout the trip, Kiko discovers different things she appreciates about her family, friends, and experiences. The warm feeling of gratefulness can come from anywhere — a beautiful sunset, toasted marshmallows, help from a friend when you’re feeling afraid, or sharing kindness with others. Kiko grows grateful.

 

Grow Happy

Fiction, Feb. 13, 2017

Synopsis: Kiko is a gardener. She takes care of her garden with seeds, soil, water, and sunshine. In Grow Happy, Kiko also demonstrates how she cultivates happiness, just like she does in her garden. Using positive psychology and choice theory, this book shows children that they have the tools to nurture their own happiness and live resiliently. Just as Kiko possesses the resources needed—seeds, soil, water—to build a thriving garden, she also has the tools to nurture her own happiness—including social support, choices, and problem-solving skills.

What I like about this series of books:

This is a perfect time to share John Lasser and Sage Foster-Lasser’s charming series for children about cultivating kindness, gratitude and joy in their own lives, and sharing it with others. Children are learning very early that the world is a tough place in which to grow up. Giving kids the tools to get it done will be a tremendous boost. And these three books contribute to that effort in a delightful way.

The narrative flows effortlessly. “My name is Kiko. I grow kind. I will show you how, but first, I have a question for you.” Christopher Lyles’s cheerful and textured illustrations invite children to spend time pondering each theme! Happy and colorful, they fit the tone for each book.

Each book features a lovable protagonist, Kiko, who is of Asian heritage. She appears to be adopted because her parent are caucasian. The series features a cast of supporting characters that are diverse. She also guides children through her adventures.

Resources: Each book includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers with information that will help create opportunities to explore the social and emotional skills that are important to our overall well being: kindness, gratitude and happiness. In these books children will learn how to develop these skills within themselves and in their relationships with others.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

*Review copies provided by the publisher in exchange for a review.

I Am Love: A Book of Compassion by Susan Verde

I Am Love: A Book of Compassion

Susan Verde, Author

Peter H. Reynolds, Illustrator

Abrams Books for Young Readers, Fiction, Sep. 17, 2019

Suitable for Ages: 3-7

Themes: Love, Compassion, Empathy, Gratitude, Kindness, Mindfulness

Opening: I put my hands on my heart and listen. And that is where I find the answer: I have compassion. I act with tenderness. I am love.

Book Synopsis:

Love means showing kindness, living with gratitude, and taking care of our minds and bodies. Letting our hearts lead the way can help move us closer to a better world.

Grounded in mindfulness and wellness, I Am Love asks readers to look inward when they feel afraid, angry, hurt, or sad. When a storm is brewing inside us and the skies grow dark, the transformative power of love lets the light back in.

Why I like this book:

Susan Verde and Peter H. Reynolds uplifting book will leave a smile in your heart. It celebrates love in all its forms and encourages readers to develop empathy and compassion towards others. Love is ever present when you help an older neighbor, listen with understanding, give a hug, face a fear and take care of yourself. The message is sincere and heartwarming.

Reynolds’ colorful illustrations have his trademark whimsical appeal and will resonate with children. They are expressive watercolors and contribute to the books celebratory mood. I love the yoga poses that emphasize self-care and wholeness throughout the story.

I Am Love, is the fourth book in the I Am Books, from this bestselling  team that created I Am Yoga, I Am Peace and I Am Human.

Resources: There is an Author’s Note and a page of Heart-Opening Yoga poses that will help children learn to “lead with our hearts by opening and expanding the front of the body.” These activities can be done at home or in school.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

*Reviewed from a library copy.

My Amazing Day: A Celebration of Wonder and Gratitude

My Amazing Day51l75jxemhL__SX258_BO1,204,203,200_My Amazing Day: A Celebration of Wonder and Gratitude

Karin Fisher-Golton, Author

Lori A. Cheung, Photographer and Elizabeth Iwamiya, Designer

Pacific Dogwood Press, Fiction,  Nov. 1, 2013

Suitable for ages: 0-3

Themes: Wonder, Beauty, Gratitude

Opening“Today was amazing. In the morning, I heard singing.”

Book Jacket Synopsis: Every day is amazing! The ordinary world is extraordinary when seen through little one’s eyes. My Amazing Day is a remarkable everyday journey that ends with a happy burst of gratitude. People have long experienced that expressing gratitude brings them happiness. Now scientific studies show that  expressing gratitude leads to many health benefits as well. Sharing My Amazing Day can be a joyful way to help establish habits of gratitude with the youngest people in your life.

Why I like this book: Karin Fisher-Golton has written a charming and beautiful story about a toddler who experiences wonder in her day. Young children easily live in the moment. The text is very vivid and simple as a little girl awakens to a bird singing, eats a squishy banana for breakfast, bursts bubbles, plays with a furry pet and sees pictures in the clouds. The book ends with a beautiful “thank you” from the child for each experience she’s had during her day. This book is a gem and a perfect first book to gift a new mother. The photographs by Lori A Cheung  are luminous, joyful and a feast for the eyes. The design by Elizabeth Iwamiya is clean and fun. It is a board book toddlers can easily hold in their hands.

Resources: Visit Karin Fisher-Golton at her website. Use this book as a starting point because it is a resource to help your child notice the beauty and joy in the world around them–jumping in a puddle, eating an ice cream cone or picking a fistful of flowers. Show them how to cultivate gratitude by saying thank to the puddle, the ice cream cone and flower. This will come easily for children and be a good reminder for parents to cultivate the same virtue within themselves.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book.  To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.