When you are just a little boy or a little girl, the world is full of possibilities. You may know that you can’t do some things yet, but you can imagine that will be able to some day. You have hope and ambition!
Foster that positive outlook in your children by reading books that give them ideas of what they could become or do. Spark their imagination so your children want to learn more and start dreaming!
“I Can Be Anything” by Jerry Spinelli, illustrated by Jimmy Liao. This is a great book for young children because it honors all those little skills that kids have to learn that adults take for granted. This is not about dreaming of being a lawyer, doctor, or accountant! These are jobs a child can relate to: “paper-plane folder, puppy-dog holder, deep-hole digger, and lemonade-swigger.” The book ends with: “They’re all such fun; I’m going to choose every one!” Illustrations are fun, bouncy, bright, and full of motion. The short phrases rhyme.
“When I Grow Up” by Al Yankovic, illustrated by Wes Hargis. Some of you may know the author, “Weird Al,” as a comedian specializing in song parody. This is his first of two children’s books. His story is set in an elementary school classroom as a boy, Billy, gives the long, rhyming answer to his teacher’s question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Some of the text will twist your tongue it’s so full of adjectives, but it’s also quite humorous!
“The Seven Chinese Sisters” by Kathy Tucker, illustrated by Grace Lin. This is a story of girl power and teamwork. Each sister has a special skill that comes in handy when they have to rescue their baby sister, Seventh Sister, from a hungry dragon. Lin’s clean and colorful illustration style is a great match to the story.
“The Everything Machine” by Mat Novak. No one in the whole town of Quirk has any ambition at all because there is a machine that does everything for everybody. It mows the lawns, cooks food, even colors in coloring books! One day the Everything Machine breaks and the people in the town have to learn how to do things on their own. Then something amazing happens–the townspeople learn that they like to work!
Louanne Pig in “Making the Team” by Nancy Carlson. This is one of many books by Carlson that promote positive self-esteem in children. Try, try again, and you will be rewarded, but not always in the way you expect! Carlson’s stories teach children to see the best in all situations.