We all go through them as parents our kids won’t give up a pacifier, won’t go to sleep, won’t do something that until we were parents wasn’t even on our radar! This list is books about “issues”.
Edwardo the Horriblest Boy in the Whole Wide World by John Burningham is a must read for anyone who is in a position of authority among children, it is a poignant look at what happens when you scold and belittle a child and then what the outcome is when you praise. I have always had an extra special place in my heart for students who act out it’s rarely not for a reason and this book will help remind anyone how children need understanding more than harsh words and punishment especially when they are being horrible.
Jake’s Best Thumb by Ilene Cooper is a pretty realistic look at a preschooler who is happily sucking his thumb despite the adults in his life warning him about bad teeth, thumb sucking not being for big boys and asking his gently when he thinks he will be ready to stop. What I love about this book is that Jake’s reactions are spot on. I like how sometimes he doesn’t even know he is sucking his thumb. That he denies he is a bog boy (compared to his big sister) when it’s suggested he is too big to suck his thumb now. And the shame he feels when he starts kindergarten and is teased for doing it.
School is a turning point. Teasing hurts but it’s not just the realistic reaction of a bully that forces Jake to suck only at night. It’s the realization that lots of kids need something at night, even as he discovers the class bully.
Oh No, Gotta Go #2! by Susan Middleton Elya was an instant hit with my 3-year-old. He relates perfectly to the little girl who is off to the park with her parents to have a picnic and ride her trike. When all of a sudden she feels it… she needs to poop! Whether you are in the middle of potty training or at the stage where times like these still occur. Your child will probably love this book. My son needs little help in the potty these days. However, he absolutely gets that panicked look when he knows he needs to go but isn’t sure where or if there is a potty.
Parents will giggle at her parent’s reaction of grabbing her off her trike, running, throwing keys to each other and their panic. Also, this book is bilingual, with Spanish words threaded into a mostly English text. Don’t worry if you don’t read Spanish there is a quick pronunciation guide at the start of the book.
Owen by Kevin Henkes. This book warms my heart. Owen is attached to his fuzzy blanket. However, some people think Owen is too big for a blanket and it’s time to grow up. Owen goes everywhere and needs his blanket still. And his parents are getting pressure from a nosy neighbor to take it away. I think this is an amazing book about parenting. I know that as a mom who is still nursing her 2-year-old that I have been told many times the same things as Owen’s parents are told: “He can’t be a baby forever, can’t you just say no, etc”. Like Owen’s parents I know what my child is ready for. And I don’t give into nosy neighbors but instead, do the best thing for my child.
No matter what your child’s lovey is, whether it’s a plush animal, blanket, pacifier, or you, you’ll relate to this book. Oh and kids love it too, my son often asks for this one before bed.
Mama Always Comes Home by Karma Wilson was a last-minute grab at the library that I am so thankful I saw. It starts off with animal mothers leaving their babies, for all different reasons. A bird gathering food, a dog greeting his master, and more. The animal mothers leave, but they also always return to their babies. Then it switches to a child and mother. She reassures the child that she will be back and we watch her leave and return. I loved this book because my son isn’t the best when I leave him. He related to this book immediately and was repeating “Mama always comes home!” halfway through.
Jake Stays Awake by Michael Wright made both my husband and I laugh hysterically my son liked it too, but we loved it. It’s about a little boy who can’t sleep without his parents. But they don’t like sleeping with feet in their faces. Can you relate? We can which is why we found this book so funny. What I liked was that Jake wasn’t disciplined for wanting to sleep with his parents. They tried and tried all different places to sleep, they were just being honest that it wasn’t working anymore! My son loved the page that they were all sleeping in garbage cans and I loved that Jake looked to be about 12. It gives me hope that my son may sleep alone by puberty.
Are there any other books about “issues” that I should add to this list? Comment them below, or share on my Facebook page!
For more quick tips on helping your child learn to read check out my book; Raising A Rock-Star Reader. It is packed with fun ideas for families, book lists, and advice for parents.
I just want to say. You have been such a help to me and my two boys. I have used A LOT of your projects. My boys just love them. Thank you. Also I am sure I really need to read that book about the horrible boy. My 4 year old is a hilarious, crazy, and exhausting boy. Sometimes I need a reminder to just love my son rather then criticize him.
I am so glad i could help and don’t beat yourself up too much parents are human, and kids ARE exhausting !
Alice Law says
Nice spread of books, thanks for sharing!
Please have a pleasant week ahead!
.-= Alice Law´s last blog ..Learning to "Let Go"… =-.
Sara Elliott says
Allison, thanks for these book recommendations. We are trying to get my 4 year old to stop sucking his fingers (I was a thumbsucker till I was 9years old so I get it), but I am really looking forward to this book!
Sara one of the reasons I loved it was that in the end he didn’t give it up …yet. It was implied that he would but that it’s a slow process. Good Luck!
Oh my goodness…we recently had Jake Stays Awake from the library and my four year old picked it every day. I think we had it for three months since we were able to renew a couple of times. He loved it and I was entertained so it remained in our home. I also love Owen, but I am looking forward to checking out the other books. Thanks for your fun website. We love trying out your projects!
My daughter is a thumb sucker she is still young so we havn’t been pushing her to stop completely but I might check out that book and start getting her ready to nix the habit! Thanks for sharing.
My Adventures in Mommyland
Linda White says
We had an issue with a “young man” (preschooler) who started refusing to take a bath. Mom came to me and asked for help with his issue. It just so happened about 2 weeks before this I’d ordered a book from Scholastic called “Big Smelly Bear” about a bear who never took a bath and was proud of it (all the forest animals would run the other way when he came around) until a big fluffy bear came along and told him he stunk. An wonderful argument ensues and a compromise is made and Big Smelly Bear finally gets the bath he needs.
And mom said the book worked perfectly! We read it and she took it home and no more bath time arguments!
Laughing Leopard Press says
I loved your review of Edwardo, The Horriblest Boy in the Whole Wide World! I absolutely agree that “horrible” children need love and guidance and that they are often misunderstood. It’s wonderful that there is a book written to drive this point home. I look forward to checking this book out! Thanks for the suggestion!