Whether they’re long or short, books are a way of inspiring and awakening the mind and spirit. They can serve as a porthole to another world through one’s imaginations. And as much as our parents, doctors, and therapists can help us learn how to deal with life when we are adults, books are children’s key to discovering some of the most valuable lessons about the value of family, of love, and life. According to child psychologist Bruno Bettelheim, Ph.D, a good children’s book must “promote [the child’s] ability to find meaning in life…It must stimulate his imagination; help him to develop his intellect and to clarify his emotions; be attuned to his anxieties and aspirations; give full recognition to his difficulties, while at the same time suggesting solutions to the problems which perturb him.” These books are not only limited to the fantasy or magical theme but include other genres as long as they tell a story, and they evoke feeling and inspiration. “In books, a child can find others who think like he does, or who cope with challenges he thinks are unique to him (like being deaf, or dealing with mental illness or loss),” says Dona Matthews, Ph.D. “This can be a catalyst for him feeling okay about himself, and discovering the strength in his own unique way of being.”
Below is a list of our best books for kids and children that instill valuable lessons to people of all ages.
- The Lorax
Part of the Dr. Seuss collection, this book encourages kids to care and be aware of how to keep our environment clean, safe, and healthy. It contains images of glossy, green truffula trees, most of which are seen as destroyed or wilted because of man’s greed. Schools often use The Lorax to discuss the importance of caring for the environment.
Don Freeman’s Corduroy will make a great gift for a friend who is going through anxiety, depression, or insecurity. Corduroy is a stuffed bear that seems to have missing buttons on his jumpsuit. He struggles to fix his suit, but the girl who buys him from the store doesn’t complain. In fact, she loves Corduroy just the way he is. The moral of the story is that not all people will despise you because of your flaws. Whatever they are, there are always those who still love you unconditionally.
A book by Roald Dahl, Matilda is probably one of the most famous children’s books of all time. In fact, due to its popularity, it was made into a movie. Matilda is a smart girl who loves to read. She uses this hobby to escape from all her troubles. As we read, we feel the joy in our hearts when we are filled with imagination.
- Dancing In The Wings
Nowadays, having a beautiful body is part of people’s criteria. This book reminds us of the relevance of accepting ourselves as we are, just as we should be assertive in fighting for our right as a person. Like Sassy, the main character in the book, one should follow her dreams despite the negative distractions that come our way. Although it won’t be easy, the victory will be sweet as you finally achieve your dreams.
- The Huge Bag Of Worries
Virginia Ironside successfully writes this book for children and adults alike. The story centers on Jenny, a girl who, like the kids of today, experience several stress and pressures in school and life. Soon, these became worries that followed her in most of her endeavors. This book explains explicitly how to overcome these worries and prevent you from being a failure in controlling your life.
- How Are You Feeling Today
If your child is in a stage where she is discovering all kinds of emotions and cannot understand most of them, this is the book for her. It is about our different feelings and what we can do about them. It contains simple steps on how to handle these emotions.
This book by David McKee encourages kids to be unique and distinct and always to accept themselves as they are. Perhaps like Elmer the elephant, your kid is suffering from inferiority just because he’s different. But Elmer says it’s okay to not be like the rest of the kids, as long as you’re kind to others and you respect them as they respect you.
- Have You Filled A Bucket Today
Carol McCloud has received several awards for this book, and no doubt she deserves it. The valuable lesson she wrote here is that happiness can be achieved not only by fulfilling one’s dreams and aspirations but also by being happy for others’ successes. It inspires children to be aware of other people and their happiness. What you do does not only affect you but affects other people as well.
- The Family Book
As the title implies, The Family Book reminds us that our children are special and that as a family, it’s okay to be different from the others. Some may have stepmoms and stepdads, while others have siblings from another parent. It doesn’t matter. What’s important is that each is bound by love and respect.
- Swallows And Amazons
This classic story of adventure by Arthur Ransome teaches children to be strong and persistent in fulfilling their dreams in life. It also conveys a message that a lot of mistakes come from judging people before actually knowing them.
“Using your child’s interests, strengths, and talents you can connect him to reading he enjoys, as he simultaneously builds his reading skills,” wrote Judy Willis M.D., M.Ed.
If you’ve read any one of these books, we would like to know how it has helped your child – or you – in your journey through life!