Getting to know oneself and understanding the world that shapes us is one of the first steps to feeling good about oneself and the world in which we live. This handful of books addresses the art of awesomeness and why it’s important to live it.
Langley’s little books of BIG messages about self-help and self-esteem are house favourites. Neither overtly moralistic nor sermonic, they present beautiful messages of love, understanding and hope, accompanied with novel, cartoon-esque illustrations.
This one encourages kids to acknowledge their self-worth and stick by themselves, 100% of the time. It explores feelings, emotions that all kids experience but can’t always name or comprehend. Pride and anger sit side-by-side fear and elation in this little compendium of inspirational explanations that allows kids to recognise and embrace ALL of their feelings, understand their origins and the outcomes of experiencing them.
Like life, Langley’s illustrations don’t promise to be perfect and yet, they are; perfectly hued and fashioned with little egos and funny bones in mind. I wish I could draw stick figures as well!
In the end we are all full of feelings, not all of them always welcome or pleasant but they are who we are and what makes us uniquely human, nonetheless. I love the take-home idea that if we all made friends with our feelings rather than kept on suppressing or ignoring them all the time, then we’d have much more time for fun. Brilliant! Perfect for 5 – 12-year-olds and those of us big kids who may have forgotten how to feel.
Discover more of Josh’s inspiring books, here.
Big Sky Publishing October 2017
Elly Awesome presents How To Feel Awesome Every Day Illustrated by Astred Hicks
Flipping through this book is a truly awesome experience although I would encourage a more relaxed, in depth look at it for it contains some of the best advice, activities, jokes and recipes for engaging fantastic physical and mental well-being I’ve ever encountered.
Punctuated with vibrant illustrations and easily digestible nuggets of info on each page, Elly Awesomeness shares her best and most practised anecdotes in a breezy conversational tone that keeps you wanting to know more.
From choc-chip mug cake recipes to floor exercises, aphorisms to hard-won real-life truths, this collection of pep talks and inspirations is a combination boredom-buster / mood brightener surety, pulsating with an undercurrent of self-love. Readers as young as ten will get a kick out of the interactive, immersive feel of this book whilst even the glummest of teens will walk away feeling positively more awesome for it. I think it’s godsend and should be on the bookshelves of every young reader, with permission for adults to borrow – often.
Penguin Random House Australia October 2017
Full of fancy and wonder, The Thing is a picture book that tugs and digs at your conscience. Its implications are deep yet even very small children will find this picture book alluring. I imagine it is one they will grow with and in so doing come to understand Puttock’s nod to tolerance, acceptance, and mindfulness.
All sorts of ‘things’ separate, divide and unite us every single minute. We don’t always understand where our feelings or opinions spring from or why they are what they are. Some questions are unanswerable. The Thing attempts to acknowledge this in a gentle commentary of our ability include and exclude and how friendships can grow and survive with very little nourishment, in unexpected places. The story revolves around the unexplained arrival of something, which unites four strangers and ultimately inspires open-mindedness and positive connections.
Gorgeous, whimsy-filled illustrations and fetching characters bring this winsome narrative alive. I loved it.
Egmont UK 2017
‘Papa Sky giggled…Papa Sky roared…’ Papa Sky sits where the earth meets the sky and rejoices in his daily preoccupation of dispatching wispy, cottony puff blankets of cloud to every point on the compass across the globe. His delight is pure and unfettered until one night he tumbles from his lofty position and falls into one of his terra firma-based cloud forests.
At first he is wary of the ‘inquisitive eyes’ that peer at him, then slowly, fear gives way to mirthful abandon as he frolics with the creatures that dwell within these ethereal forests. When they collectively realise that without Papa Sky above them, there can be no clouds, jeopardising their forests and so their very existence, they work together to reinstate him to his rightful place, where earth meets sky.
Papa Sky is a celestial tale with an almost mystical feel about it. Jolly’s narrative is a profusion of exquisite description that gives way vivid visual impressions; ‘misty meringue’ and ‘frosting of clouds’ for example are expressions delicious enough to eat! Enhanced by Heinrich’s flawless illustrations that are wild yet refined, meaningful yet jolly, Papa Sky is a persuasive duet of creativity, which projects a strong environmental message about climate change and habitat destruction for young readers.
The beguiling fable quality of this picture book not only encourages repeat readings but also instils a deeper understanding and environmental empathy, profoundly important aspects of feeling good and doing good. I especially admire the gorgeous end-pages depicting mother earth and her cloud forests and the creatures, shown as billowy vapours, that call them home. Sublime. Suited to 5 – 8-year-olds.
MidnightSun Publishing October 2017