Kids books to help you slow down
The social distancing and lockdowns of this year have meant many of us have lived at a different pace than usual, and moved in smaller circles. Here are some kids books that encourage an easy pace, contemplation and taking pleasure in small joys.
The Heart of the Bubble by Trace Balla
Mum and Dad have been busy working and travelling around the world, but now they can’t do that anymore. Confined at home with their daughter Bimbi, the family find themselves cooking and gardening more, meeting with their community, and ultimately becoming more engaged with the world around them. From award-winning author Trace Balla (Rivertime, Landing With Wings), this graphic novel set during the coronavirus pandemic is the touching tale of a family’s awakening to what really matters.
For ages 5 and up.
Slow Down: Bring Calm to a Busy World with 50 Nature Stories by Rachel Williams & Freya Hartas
All around us, nature is turning, growing – and working. Every day, hour by hour, magical transformations happen right in front of you. But it’s not always easy to see them… This delightful collection of stories narrates all the wonderful natural events that happen around us and sometimes go unnoticed. It zooms in on spiders weaving their web, butterflies emerging from their chrysalis, a duck teaching ducklings to swim, and the formation of snow, dew, rainbows, storms and more. These highly-illustrated tales are sure to inspire appreciation of the natural world.
For ages 5 and up.
Get Growing by Holly Farrell
The title of this book says it all really. This beautiful guide to growing plants indoors and out is the perfect resource for a family looking to cultivate a green space together, even if it’s just a few pots on a windowsill. Simple step-by-step projects and experiments explain the building blocks of gardening (planting, watering, position), and then puts the theory into practice by showing you how to grow everything from cacti to cucumbers. Clear instructions and a great design make this a very practical book for kids to learn and gain gardening skills.
For ages 7 and up.
Lunch at 10 Pomegranate Street by Felicita Sala
The residents of the 10 Pomegranate Street apartment building are cooking up a storm, preparing special dishes from around the world to share with their neighbours. Mr Singh is making coconut dahl with his daughter while Maria mashes some avocados for her guacamole. Will everything be ready on time? Written and illustrated by Felicita Sala, this glorious celebration of community combines beautiful artwork with simple instructions perfect for young chefs. Lunch at 10 Pomegranate Street is a visual feast to share and delight in.
For ages 5 and up.
Big Ideas For Young Thinkers by Jamia Wilson
Why do I think? What is bias? What is gender? Why do we exist? What is freedom? This book teaches children to think critically by exploring twenty big questions. This accessible introduction to philosophy introduces a diverse range of thinkers and luminaries, utilises relatable real-life examples and is organised into five sections: Identity, Life, Truth, Culture, and Creativity. Each question also includes a timeline that lays out how different thinkers of the world have approached it. Big Ideas For Young Thinkers is a richly illustrated and engaging book that is sure to inspire some bouts of deep thinking.
For ages 9 and up.
The Little Mermaid and Other Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen
Sometimes it’s easy to overlook fairytales, but if there’s a better way to while away an afternoon than sitting in a comfy chair and diving into a big hardcover collection of them, then I’d like to know about it. Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairytales are a little more relaxing than Grimm’s, and this deluxe full-colour illustrated edition features unabridged stories, including: The Little Mermaid , Thumbelina, The Snow Queen, The Princess and the Pea, The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor’s New Clothes, and more.
And finally, get journalling!
There are some great guided journals for kids that provide prompts for creativity and self-reflection.
The Little Me, Big Dreams Journal by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, the creator of the incredibly popular Little People, Big Dreams books, encourages youngsters to think about their strengths, passions, goals and big dreams.
Almost a modern classic, Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith, has inspired creative destruction for years now! Follow the instructions to cribble, poke, cut, glue, paint, rip - it’s all very satisfying.
Young environmentalists will love the I Love The Earth journal, a companion to Rachel Ignotofsky’s book, The Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth. It encourages exploration of the world’s ecosystems, our carbon footprint and positive changes that can be made for the environment.
Keen creative writers will find hours of inspiration in Angie Thomas’s Find Your Voice: A Guided Journal for Writing Your Truth, a treasure trove of story ideas and writing advice, suitable for ages 10 years and up.