So, I am a fan of reading to/with kids on many levels. Reading for a pleasurable bonding experience? Yep. Reading to learn about new places and things? Indeed. Reading to figure out how letters, words and sentences work? Bring it on. Reading to enjoy the cadence of your mama’s voice? Absolutely. Reading to escape reality and lose yourself in a great story? Sure. Reading to hear and try out big words? Awesome. Reading to bring up a potentially tough topic in a non-threatening way? Oh yeah.
One of my current favorites for this last purpose is A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza. The gist of the story is that families aren’t families because they look the same (Mrs. Bear’s children include an alligator, a pig and a hippo in addition to Choco—a bird), but because they care about each other and show it. The text and story line are simple—my first grader can read most of it herself. But I love the message and the “transracial,” single parent family that the book depicts.
If you have a little one who was adopted, this is a must-read (I’d say a must-buy, but kids’ books are my purchasing downfall, so I might be a bit biased on that one). It’s also a great book for kids who need to hear the message that “being different is ok”—which is pretty much all of us, right?
What books do you use to start conversations with your kids about hard topics (adoption, death, violence, divorce, etc…)?