Our favorite books right now

books for 2-year-olds

It’s a lesser known fact that October is National Bullying Prevention month in addition to being Breast Cancer Awareness month. Luckily, we haven’t had a big problem with bullying yet, but Harlowe is starting to hear (and let’s face it, probably even say) some unkind words at school. Regardless, as a victim of bullying myself I don’t think it’s ever too early to start teaching kids about it and brainstorming ways to be kinder to people, animals and our planet. As any parent can attest, sometimes mom and dad’s words go in one ear and out the other. Books on the other-hand, are super-entertaining and filled with facts…or at least, fun non-facts that kids want to read about over and over again. Since books are so wickedly wonderful at helping me parent better and Harlowe has to read for 20-min a day (1st grade homework) we’ve been collecting books each month based on themes. We  kind of have a self-awareness/kindness theme going on in our house right now. I’m listening to Present over Perfect on Audible and I love it! It’s about living more simply and choosing to be present over trying to be perfect — something that really hits home for me and I’m guessing most of us. It has a religious undertone for sure, but is really good content for anyone regardless of your faith. So far, I think it’s helped me model self-regulation in so many areas: less technology, less snapping, less consumption, more control, more rest.

empowering books for kids

The kids and I have been enjoying these together:

You Be You is about a fish who goes on a journey alone and realizes that every fish in the sea is different and that we all have something special that only we can share.

I Like Myself about a young kid who celebrates themselves both on the inside and outside no matter what. A good reminder to kids that they are great the way they are (even if they have  a porcupine spine!)

What Does it Mean to Be Kind talks about what is and what is not ‘kindness’ but doesn’t take the road you may expect. There’s loads of inspiration for kind activities listed on the back that has been really fun to tackle with Harlowe.

I am Peace is a moderately hippy-dippy book on mindfulness that gets kids find peace and calm on their own. There’s a guided meditation in the back that we have yet to master. 🙂 I like this because if kids are to hit, bite, scream, etc. it’s usually because they got scared/angry and lost control. This book helps them find the “anchor to their ship” and find their own peace. The illustrations are adorable too.

Batty Betty about a giant who dances unapologetically to her own drum, who unsurprisingly is quite different. The story shows the kids that their differences are actually their strengths and makes it an amusing lesson.

Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night not about self-awareness at all, but Gunnar can’t take his nose out of it. If you have a young boy and don’t have this book — fix that!

best books for empowering girls best empowering books for kids

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  • Misty Pavlovic

    Excited to check these out! We love : I Like Myself! Does Gunnar have Good Night, Good Night, Construction Site? One of our favorites from when Luka was little. Here are some of our favorites on kindness:
    Enemy Pie
    Stand Tall Molly Lou Mellon
    The Recess Queen
    The Brand New Kid
    Have You Filled a Bucket Today?

    • Bethann Wagner

      Misty, Thank you so much for reading and commenting and most of all, thank you for the recommendations!

  • Erika Cravanas

    Thank you for these recommendations! We already love “I Like Myself” (in fact I have the entire book memorized from reading it so much!) so I’m excited to check out the other books you mentioned! My son just turned 2 just a couple of months ago, but I figure it’s never too early to learn about being kind to others and ourselves!