Friday, September 24, 2010
Books About Family
This blog chronicles my life as an early literacy teacher. And right now my job as an early literacy teacher is to help my own three kiddos, two of which will be coming home from Ethiopia soon (still don't have a travel date yet. Wah!). I guess this is a disclaimer... or maybe an apology, for all my recent posts. Hopefully there is something to be gleaned by most of you teachers and parents reading these posts. And I've been appreciative of all the help you guys have been giving me in this area!
There are so many, many things I love about picture books. One of the things I love about them is how therapeutic they can be, and how they can open the door to talk about tough topics.
My Ethiopian children are grieving. That I already know. And when they join our family, they will be confused... unsure. Wondering if this new family is permanent. So right now I'm seeking to find some picture books that might help comfort, assure, and allow them to heal.
They aren't likely to speak much/any English when they first come home. But I've been told they pick it up quickly. I'm still not feeling very confident in my abilities to teach two older, non-English speakers, who have just been through a lot of upheaval (understatement), how to speak and read and write English. But that's a whole other post...
I'm trusting in the magic of picture books to help with the English learning while also addressing what they're dealing with emotionally, all while assisting us in the bonding process (as we snuggle and read together).
Here are some books I'm thinking might be good ones. I know this is just the tip of the iceberg, and that there are tons I'm leaving out and unaware of. So please share your book suggestions in the comments!
Rotten Ralph by Jack Gantos - I like the way it assures that love is not conditional of behavior. Sarah loves Ralph not matter what.
Llama Llama Red Pajama - Anna Dewdney - A sweet assurance that Mommy is always nearby.
The Heart and the Bottle - Oliver Jeffers - Might be over their heads, but if not, could potentially address well some of what's going on inside their little hearts.
"More More More," Said the Baby - Vera B. Williams - This is a book Isaac loves, and I do too! I love the sweet rhythm of it, and the comfort of family it communicates. What a great book to bond and attach over... And I also love that it portrays what appears to be a white grandma with her brown grandchild. This book was way ahead of it's time!
The Family Book by Todd Parr- Celebrating the diversity of families and assuring that no one family is better or worse than another.
Welcome Home, Forever Child by Christine Mitchell - This one looks like it will address some of the struggles my children will face as children that were adopted at an older age.
I must add as an end note that when you are preparing to adopt, you begin to read picture books with a different perspective. And I have discovered quite a few pictures books that I will not be reading my Ethiopian children. But that also is perhaps a post for another day!