ages child to about 12 years / conversation starters
One of life’s blessings is being able to sit with a loved and worried child and read and read, until peace and calm and order are restored.
That type of restoration is liberating, not just for children, but also for the adults who love and read to them. When the world seems to stop following the rules of civility, it’s time to settle into books that offer comfort. Books that promise a return to simplicity, safety and security.
Awful events call for stories that reassure and allow time away from the clamour. For many children there is a need for comfort, and reading picture books aloud help to meet that need. Old favourites always win and it doesn’t so much matter which books they are if they're familiar and well loved. There are some though, that do an especially great job. Here's a small selection that fall into that category:
Koala Lou - the constant ‘Koala Lou, I DO love you!’ is just what we all need to hear.
Father and Son - a story of love and family commitment.
Miss Rumphius - there is good to be done in all circumstances.
Because Amelia Smiled - shows how even a child’s actions can change the world for the better.
Dogger - about hope in the midst of distress and about kindness and willingness to sacrifice.
Lost and Found - sometimes we rescue others and sometimes they rescue us.
The Journey Home - home will always be waiting with arms open wide.
Distress and anxiety can enter a child’s life so easily. With very little life experience, hardly any ways to collect information, a limited vocabulary to explore the problem and a limited sense of geography of either the physical or political landscape, children can be quickly overwhelmed when the world seems to spin out of control. At those times, reading helps. Because:
There’s physical comfort in a lap to snuggle into and arms that reach around in a hug
There’s escapism as the world takes backstage to the story in the book
There’s knowing that the world has many stories
There's knowing that very many of its stories are good and uplifting
and there’s the promise that life goes on.
We have a selection of books that provide good starting points for conversations about war, terror and their effects on people who are living good lives. There’s also a selection of books that connect us to our worldwide fellow citizens.
Both selections will help to make sense of the world - and for some children, they will be just what they need right now. Ideally, both types of books would be read and re-read to children often so that they are prepared with a framework of ideas, values and responses to times when situations make the world feel scary and unsafe.