**Please note: This is NOT an affiliate site. Amazon links are provided for convenience only, not for profit.**
Emotions and Mindfulness:
I Can Handle It This simple little book teaches kids a powerful mantra: I can handle it. The book follows Sebastian through several difficult circumstances, and he comes up with several solutions for each one, always ending with “I can handle it.” The thing I love about this book is that the mantra has become a part of our family’s daily conversations, and it really does help all of us face up to our problems and move forward. There are several other books in the Mindful Mantras series.
Angry Octopus This book tells the story of an octopus who learns how to calm his angry feelings through breathing and tightening/relaxing muscles.
No Worries! This is actually more of a workbook. It’s filled with various activities to help understand and handle anxiety. Geared toward kids that can read and write on their own.
Starbright Peaceful, mindful bedtime stories.
Each Breath a Smile A simple mindfulness exercise.
Peaceful Piggy Meditation Beginners’ meditation that even little ones can appreciate.
What Do You Do With a Problem? A simple book that talks about how problems seem so big and scary until you stare them in the face and start tackling them.
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes A catchy reminder that whatever puddle you step in, you can choose to have a good attitude.
Empathy and Cultural Understanding:
Have You Filled a Bucket Today? This book offers a way to visualize kindness. It teaches kids that when we are kind to others, it not only “fills their buckets” but fills ours as well. In our family, we’ve turned this into an activity we do periodically where we say something kind to everyone in the room.
Throw Your Tooth on the Roof If you’ve got kids that are in the “losing teeth” stage of life, this is a fun book to learn about other cultures. It might give your kids new ideas about what to do next time they lose a tooth! They might be digging holes in the backyard or throwing teeth over the house!
Children Just Like Me This beautiful book shows, through pictures and text, the way that kids live in other parts of the world. Home, school, clothes, food, and more, are discussed.
Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch A poignant story that reminds us that everyone needs to be noticed, and that kindness is contagious.
We’re Different, We’re the Same Sesame Street characters teach an important lesson.
One A powerful, artistic book about standing up to bullies.
If You Lived Here This book shows and describes houses in different parts of the world. It’s fun to help kids visualize what life is like for kids in other places.
Milo and the Mysterious Island A story about accepting other cultures, with alternate endings.
Last Stop on Market Street A gentle lesson of how to be “a better witness for what’s beautiful.”
Science and Math Themes:
Transformed We love this book. Each page explores how something is made from start to finish, with a flow-chart and cute pictures. Some of our favorites are toothpaste, pencils, and ice cream.
The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia My kids love to look through this animal encyclopedia. Tons of pictures and facts about all different types of animals.
National Geographic Kids 5,000 Awesome Facts (About Everything) For kids interested in trivia and cool facts, this book is a gold mine. The tidbits are grouped into categories, like “100 Flight facts to make your mind soar” and “75 Dino-mite dinosaur facts.” I’m pretty sure my kids have memorized the page about poisonous animals.
Tap the Magic Tree A beautiful, interactive story about the seasons.
The Water Hole Intricate pictures teach about the seasons and the issue of scarcity.
Animals by the Numbers Fascinating info-graphics and statistics about the animal kingdom. Some of the stats will blow your mind! Gives kids practice in interpreting diagrams and charts.
The Cookie Fiasco The Cookie Fiasco is awesome for teaching fractions in a way we can all appreciate…how many cookies should each person get?
Every Day On Earth Astonishing facts about things that happen every day…like how much food is eaten by the world in 24 hours. Kids find it fascinating!
Your Fantastic Elastic Brain This somewhat technical book teaches kids about brain function and development, and how trying new things and making mistakes help the brain stretch and strengthen.
Magic Treehouse This series is a good level for kids just starting to read chapter books. Each book has about 10 short chapters, and explores a different time/place in history.
I Survived… The books in this series explore various catastrophic events in history through the eyes of a kid.
Mistakes that Worked Cool inventions…like ice cream cones!…that came about by accident
Seven and a Half Tons of Steel The powerful story of how wreckage from the Twin Towers was turned into the bow of the U.S.S. New York.
Other Great Books:
Exclamation Mark This book teaches grammar by personifying punctuation marks.
Mix It Up! This book is interactive and fun, and a great way to teach kids about primary and secondary colors. Other books by the same author (Press Here, Let’s Play!, and Say Zoop!) are equally engaging.
A is for Art Museum This is a beautiful book to teach young kids about art analysis, and increase their appreciation for great works of art. It’s a perfect read before visiting a museum, and it offers great discussion questions to get kids looking a little deeper.