Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Empowering Read-Alouds

I think, unfortunately, there are a lot of kids out there who don't feel very empowered. For whatever reason, they aren't happy with who they are, even when they are young. I know there are a lot of stories out there where the character comes to a realization that they are special-like Tacky or the Ugly Duckling-but I wanted to make a list of ones with kids as the main characters.

I think this is such a cute book (although you may have to endure some questions about the tooth fairy that there aren't really answers to :). The children of the tooth fairy family go out on their first mission to gather up a tooth. And do it all by themselves-well, with a little text help from Mom (these are tech-savvy fairies). I think it's a good story about kids being able to do whatever they set their minds to.

I know this is a book you have probably already heard of, but just in case, I adore this story! Molly is not the most attractive child, she is fumble-fingered and sings like a frog, but still stands tall and is rewarded for her confidence. A real feel-good story about liking who you are no matter what others think.

The actress Julianne Moore wrote this book about growing up as the small percentage of people with red hair and freckles. Others (like especially her brother) may make fun, but she learns unique can be a good thing and it has a happy ending.

OK, so now that I think about it, this book doesn't really have kids in it, but I do think it's unique. Written by Maya Angelou and illustrated with Basquiat paintings (if I remember correctly there is one page that I usually skip over because I think it could be a little inappropriate for the little ones). But the text is just phenomenal-about how life can deal you some obstacles-but she's not scared, she knows it will all be ok.

The character is told she can't play Peter Pan in the school play and boy, she shows them that is certainly not the case!

This one is a little long for the little ones, but I think a great example of how not being able to read right away doesn't mean you aren't going to be a success. Polacco herself struggled in school and luckily had a teacher just like Mr. Falker; and because of that became the famous author she is today. An example to kids that everyone doesn't learn the same way. It breaks my heart when I test kids on their sight words or fluency and just can't do it-they just seem so defeated. You can overcome that-the skills will be learned, it just may take time.

Just a cute, funny, perfectly empowering story about liking who you are, even if that's different from others.

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