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Teacher tips: Children's books for uncertain times

Teacher tips: Children's books for uncertain times

Mary-Kate Sableski and Jackie Arnold, assistant professors March 30, 2020

Why is this happening? What will happen next? When will this be over? Children and adults alike are asking these questions right now. But no one has certain answers. And keeping consistency and calm in place for our young people amidst constantly changing news is a challenge. Sharing a story can be a helpful hand for parents to help children process the closures and mandates that we are all struggling to understand. In this column, we share four books to read with children during these uncertain times.

Cover of book When Sadness is at your DoorWhen Sadness is at Your Door, by Eva Eland: Sadness is scary and confusing for everyone! This book gives it a name and helps the reader find ways to deal with it. Suggestions like take a walk, draw a picture and more are integrated into the story and can help give children outlets to embrace and process the sadness we all are feeling.

Book cover The Breaking NewsThe Breaking News by Sarah Lynne Reul: Sad news rattles a community and all the parents are distracted while a young child looks for ways to engage in small acts of kindness that continue to grow and grow! Share this book with children to discuss the current events and then guide children in choosing ways they might engage in small acts of kindness that can often end up making a big difference.

Book cover After the Fall wth Humpty DumptyAfter the Fall by Dan Santat: What happened after Humpty Dumpty fell, and was put back together again? An exploration of resilience in the face of adversity, this book will help older children see how facing fears and relying on the help of others can help them through any challenging situation.

Cover of the book LoveLove by Matt de la Peña: Love comes in many forms — in positive ways such as family dinners and walks through the woods. Love can also be felt in challenging moments. Share this book as a family to spur conversation about the many ways in which we show love to one another during these unprecedented times. 

All four of these books can be found on YouTube in a read aloud format. So, snuggle up with your loved ones, share a story, and, possibly, feel just a bit better about these uncertain times.

Mary-Kate Sableski and Jackie Arnold are assistant professors in the Department of Teacher Education. This article first appeared in the March 30, 2020, issue of the Dayton Daily News.

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