Reading is one of the best ways for young minds to step into an entirely different world. Books ignite the imagination and invite opportunities to learn about life lessons, such as what it means to be selfless, being kind and the importance of giving. Additionally, books help benefit a child’s wellbeing by introducing new words, creating a sense of bonding when reading with somebody and even improving communication skills when reading along to the words on a page.
Here are four children’s books that will introduce teachable moments while also providing a memorable story, colorful illustrations and characters to remember.
Goodnight Moon serves as a learning activity for children who are beginning to rhyme as they read along to sentences such as “goodnight clocks and goodnight socks.” Though short, the lessons in colors and word enunciation are sure to last a lifetime. This book offers children a first-hand insight into the whimsical world of the colors around them. The descriptions of the surroundings within the book, such as the bright green walls of the little rabbit’s bedroom and the vibrant blue of the night sky, are great ways for children to recognize and learn the pigments in their surroundings.
This classic book about a fish with iridescent scales tells a story about the importance of sharing and the value of friendship. In the story, Rainbow Fish learns that even though he may be tempted to keep his shimmering scales to himself, sharing them with others not only brings happiness to those around him, but he feels happy too. Rainbow Fish’s journey to selflessness highlights the beauty in gratitude and building relationships. It also serves as a reminder that sometimes we need to put ourselves in another person’s shoes (or fins) to understand where they may be coming from.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Learning to be brave and patient during life’s transitions is featured through bright illustrations in the children’s picture book The Very Hungry Caterpillar. In the book, children can read about his adventure to become a butterfly that depicts growth and change and instills a valuable lesson about the courage of facing change. Meeting new people, moving to a new city, or learning to be away from home for the first time can be scary, but if we are brave and patient we may find that those moments can lead to life-changing, beautiful experiences.
The Kissing Hand
This endearing story about a raccoon who is nervous about his first day of school is one that any child who is timid about their own first day of school can relate to. When the raccoon’s mother shares a family secret with him, he begins to put his fear aside and understands that his feeling of uncertainty is only temporary. The Kissing Hand can help reiterate that unsettling feelings don’t last forever—with love and understanding, we can overcome them.
Sharing, gratitude, patience, courage and kindness are some important traits for children to learn in their formative years and books are a great tool for that. Characters and stories provide countless lessons, guidance and wisdom they can put into practice as they get older. So, whether you are helping a child learn about the colors around them or simply sitting down to enjoy quality time with one another, we hope these books will introduce unforgettable characters and valuable lessons to the little ones in your life.
To bring these favorites to life through fun activities or for more children’s book recommendations, visit our Education and Books board on Pinterest.