Fascinating books kids will devour
Convey wisdom in a positive manner
There is a Chinese proverb that is powerfully true. It states: "A child's life is like a piece of paper on which everyone who passes leaves an impression."
Children are eager to learn about everything, and as the proverb says, the people they come in contact with will leave an impression. So, too, will the child's life experiences leave impressions, and that includes being exposed to great books that in one way or another change the child.
It may be that the books offer factual knowledge, or books that convey a sense of empathy and compassion or those books that subtly provide tidbits of wisdom for life's journey.
That makes sense. After all, the more a child learns about the world around them, the better equipped the child is to not only understand the world but to gain greater and greater control of his or her life. That is the gift that knowledge brings to each of us.
Measure your words and actions to ensure that the impression you leave on a child's life is positive, and expand the child's wealth of knowledge and understanding through reading great books together and lots of shared conversation. These seemingly small gifts are powerfully great in more ways than one can measure.
Books to Borrow
The following book is available at many public libraries.
"The Quilt" by Gary Paulsen, Wendy Lamb Books/Random House, 83 pages
In rural Minnesota in 1944, a 6-year-old boy is spending the summer with his strong and loving grandmother, Alida. The men have gone off to fight in the war, leaving the women behind to run the farms. The boy helps as much as he can, but when he and his grandmother are called to his cousin's farm to help with the birth of her first child, there is little that he can do.
Women quickly fill the house. All have come to help, and while they wait for the baby to come, the women work on the quilt — the quilt of the boy's family. Each patchwork holds a story, and as they share the stories with one another, the boy learns about love and sadness, sorrow and joy, death and new life.
Beautifully rendered, this tender novel speaks quietly of what is most important in life.
Library: Sutter Branch Library, 2147 California St., Sutter
Library Director: Karen Crocker
Choices this week: "Winter's Gift" by Jane Monroe Donovan; "Shadow Children" series by Margaret Peterson Haddix; "Kira Kira" by Cynthia Kadohata
Books to Buy
The following books are available at your favorite bookstores.
"20 Questions: Why Do Feet Smell? And 20 Answers About the Human Body" by Gilda & Melvin Berger, photos various sources, Scholastic, 2012, 48 pages, $4.99 paperback
Read aloud: age 5 and older
Read yourself: age 6 — 7 and older
Twenty interesting questions and answers about the human body are found in this gem of a book and are certain to fascinate kids. Included are questions/ answers to "Why do noses run?"; "Are yawns contagious?"; "What gives you goose bumps?"; "Why does skin wrinkle in water?"; and much more.
This no-nonsense approach to answering questions kids have about the human body is further enhanced with color photographs on every page, making this selection spot-on.
"Wolves" by Laura Marsh, photos various credits, National Geographic Kids, 2012, 32 pages, $3.99 paperback
Read aloud: age 4 and older
Read yourself: age 6 — 7 and older
Perfect for both newly independent readers and for younger kids who can't yet read on their own, this informative, fascinating book takes readers/listeners on an exploration of wolves.
Explaining such subjects as where and how wolves live, how wolves and dogs are related, how wolves communicate with one another, raising wolf pups and more, kids will emerge from this book with newfound knowledge.
Kendal A. Rautzhan writes and lectures about children's literature. She can be reached at her website: greatestbooksforkids.com.