A New Year with Books

Children’s Book Corner is a column suggesting children’s books from a mother of 11 children, who has also explored writing for children. Today’s column highlights fun children’s book reads for January that will hopefully keep your young reader reading!

By Pamela Tuck

We finally made it! 2020! New Year . . . New Me?

Well, actually, it’s a New Year, but same me, with the same habits, but at least I realize this and I’m not setting myself up for false hopes. I mean really. Let’s be realistic, I’m 40 something years old and if I haven’t figured out how to successfully get through a new year yet, I don’t see know how making a resolution is going to help matters. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to set goals (translated into challenges that sometimes make us exceed our limits) to encourage ourselves for the first few weeks of the new year . . . before some of us give up by the end of February.

 I admire those people who can actually say on December 31st that they accomplished all their goals for the year. If that were the case, then I don’t think most people would constantly make NEW YEAR RESOULTIONS. But who am I? I’m an optimist, believe it or not. I believe that we all have something good to offer ourselves and the world (if we choose to do so). It’s that something that can be enhanced of course, maybe through resolutions and goals, but I think it already exists somewhere within us . . . even if it is only in the mind temporarily.

Nevertheless, that brings me to my first children’s book recommendation. I know I’m almost 3 weeks into the new year already (I told you I’m the same me with the same habits) but hey, it’s still a new year, so here’s a New Year’s Resolution book for those Die Hards who just insist on having one. I hope this book encourages you to stick with it.

Drumroll please . . .

A close up of a sign

Description automatically generated
Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution
written by Pat Miller and illustrated by Kathi Ember

This book is recommended for ages 4 to 8

Squirrel knows that the new year is a good time to make resolutions, but she doesn’t know what her resolution should be. As she seeks ideas from her forest friends, she helps them with their resolutions. By the end of the day, she still hasn’t come up with any ideas for herself, until she realizes that by helping her friends, she already has one.

Now, for those of you who are a little afraid of resolutions or making commitments that you feel you may not be able to keep . . . there’s hope. See, I told you I was an optimist. I mean, I have to be . . . I’m the mother of 11 children (remember I told you that in my very first post?) so, I have to have some level of optimism and hope just to get through a day, right? My children are wonderful, but I’ve learned through motherhood (and life) that things do not and are not going to always work out the way I’ve planned . . . even if I do set realistic goals. Why? Because life happens. So, then what do I do? I stop and stand still . . . I give myself time to process my situation . . . I make the decision to move . . . and I’m determined that it will always be forward NOT backward. So, in a sense, this is my resolution (not necessarily set at the beginning of a new year) but whenever I need it in life. That brings me to my second book recommendation.

Drumroll two please . . .

The Stars Will Still Shine
written by
Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke

This book is recommended for ages 4 to 8

This is not really a New Year-specific book, but it does talk about new beginnings. Its subtle message of how cycles of events continue to come and go in our lives is reassuring. No matter what comes or goes in life, there’s goodness of life and kindness all around us. So, whether we are successful in keeping our New Year’s resolutions or maybe not quite reaching them . . . the stars will still shine for us. This book can be read all year long.

Hopefully these suggestions will help you and your child generate ideas of how to make this new year better . . . and as always . . . keep you and your child reading!

Categories: Art, Entertainment, & Lifestyle, Books

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