We are avid users of library services. We visit the local library weekly, have materials delivered (for free!), enjoy the children-friendly events. I’ve taken a habit of loaning dvds for our movie nights and we regularly borrow boardgames as well. So when I heard about the Little Helmet Reading Challenge, I thought, this is definitely for us!
The list includes 25 books and I will write five posts throughout the year with our selection of children’s books. Our family reads in Finnish and Italian language, but some of our picks are in English and I translate on the fly. Beside the link to the HelMet (our library network) archive, whenever possible I’ll include the link to the same books in other languages to make sure you can enjoy them as well. If you’ll find my recommendations valuable, let me know in the comments below. After the first and the second batch, I’m ready to present our next 5 recommendations.
#11. A sad book
HelMet (ENG) | ENG | ITA
We are no strangers to book dealing with difficult stuff (have you seen my list of children’s books to talk about feelings?). It’s so easy to find reads with positive messages and feelings, but I want to cultivate resilience in my children and welcome alternatives. This is why I warmly recommend The red tree as our choice for a sad book. The final message is positive but not sugar coated. It describes sadness with powerful metaphors and imaginative artwork. The main character simply goes through the day with her sadness and finds a pinch of hope when she goes back home. I love the realistic message: sometime you are sad and feel lonely, and you just have to sit with the discomfort.
#12. A book about a place you have not been to
HelMet (ENG) | ENG | FR | ESP
We loved this challenge and chose A walk in Paris. The kids, R especially, are used to travelling. R was excited to learn about the enchanting French city. It was also nice for a change to read about a girl going on a small adventure with her grandpa. The book has a final foldable page with the Eiffel tower, an impressive finale! Rubbino wrote also A walk in London and A walk in New York: check them out!
#13. The book title has words in alphabetical order
We’ve been lazy with this one! It wasn’t easy to find an exciting book with this requirement. In the end, I simply let R choose some books and picked one which fulfilled it, the classic Prinsessa Ruusunen. We all know the story and have watched the animation movie, but this deserves a special mention for the high quality of the illustrations.
#14. The book has a dragon in it
HelMet (ENG) | ENG
This was much easier, yet we chose another classic, The reluctant dragon. This is a very famous (and cute) fairytale, with a powerful message about being true to yourself and defying expectations. The village people are scared of the dragon, despite him being on his best behaviour. A young boy befriends him and warns him that a knight has been summoned by the village to kill him. However, the dragon is peaceful and carefree. Luckily, the knight is wise and understands he’s not a threat. They combine forces to fight prejudice and bring everyone together. Disney produced a short animation movie on this fable, yet the book we chose is an independent representation.
#15. Starting a book that slightly frightens you
HelMet (ENG) | ENG
R is terrified of skeletons and First day at skeleton school was a great find to process that. Once I had set my mind on a specific fear, it wasn’t easy to find a good (and age appropriate) read. This book is funny, imaginative, and ends with a cute twist, that is the little monsters being terrified of human children! E appreciated it as well, this was probably the best discovery in this whole batch and I wholeheartedly recommend it.
We are over half in our Reading Challenge list. It’s so exciting to discover new children’s books through it. Do you have other candidates for the listed categories? Drop me a comment, as we are always on the lookout for new reads!
If you liked this post, you may enjoy also:
The role of books in our multicultural family
The best Christmas gift, a personalised book by Wonderbly
The Reading Challenge 2018 continues…