13 Children’s Picture Books Whose Characters Have Special Needs

Occasionally the media focuses on those with particular challenges, such as animals with special needs and people whose likenesses – in the form of unique mannequins – shed light on the meaning of “perfect.” But the truth is, positive depictions in the public sphere of people and nonhuman animals who have special needs are not…

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books

The Joy of Generosity: 19 Children’s Picture Books

by Marsha Rakestraw Every holiday season there’s a bizarre conflicting focus on acquiring and sharing, getting and giving. Help bring the joy of generosity into clearer focus for younger kids with the help of these 19 children’s picture books. 1. Shoebox Sam by Mary Brigid Barrett 2011. Grades PreK-2. Delia and Jessie spend Saturdays with…

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homelessness

14 Children’s Picture Books About Homelessness

by Marsha Rakestraw People and animals without homes surround us year-round, but their presence seems more palpable in the winter months. As rates of poverty and homelessness grow, so do children’s questions about those who don’t have a home. Teacher Mary Cowhey, author of Black Ants and Buddhists, said, “One might argue that the realities…

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Two children sitting at a table reading picture books and surrounded by bins and shelves of children's books

19 Lists of Children’s Picture Books for Your Humane Education Classroom

by Marsha Rakestraw Children’s books are a terrific tool for sharing positive values, teaching students (in age-appropriate ways) about global ethical issues, and inspiring them to take positive action. They are a powerful part of any classroom and curriculum. Here’s a round-up of 19 of our lists of suggested children’s picture books on a variety…

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plastic pollution

I Taught Kindergarteners About Plastic Pollution, and They Are Eager to Be Part of the Solution

by Elizabeth O. Crawford, Ph.D. During Earth Week 2018, I was a guest presenter to kindergarteners attending Island Montessori School (IMS) located in the beautiful, coastal town of Wilmington, North Carolina. As teacher educators often remark, classroom visits rejuvenate and inspire our work preparing the next generation of educators. When we spend time with children…

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kids

9 Resources for Finding Children’s Books with Humane Themes

by Marsha Rakestraw Children’s literature is often a reflection of society (and sometimes an influencer). As we humans continue to make progress in doing more good and less harm and in striving to create a better world, we’re seeing more books for children that explore and celebrate those themes. Although we can search online for…

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7 Groups to Help Empower Young Solutionaries

Young people are hungry to create a better world for people, animals, and the earth, but we’re not born knowing how to do that. Fortunately there are numerous organizations whose mission is to help educate, inspire, and support youth in their efforts to become effective solutionaries. Here are 7 just we wanted to highlight: Do…

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girl with blocks

12 Children’s Picture Books That Challenge Traditional Gender Roles

by Marsha Rakestraw Each May and June in the U.S. we celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Moms usually receive pretty, smelly, “girly” stuff, and dad’s get yet another manly tie, cologne, or something to BBQ. Just one of the countless ways we perpetuate the stereotypes and biases about what women and men are supposed…

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bully free

We Need Pro-Hero Schools Instead of Anti-Bully Schools

by Matt Langdon It is very easy to find the term anti-bully these days. Look in any school and there’s a good chance you’ll see it on the walls. Look in the news and you’ll see governments (state, local, school) using it. It’s a term that has started making me cringe. For four quite different…

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books

14 Must-Read Books for Activists

by Marsha Rakestraw We become activists when we learn about an issue or challenge and are inspired to take positive action. Teenager Natalie Warne learned about child soldiers when she watched a documentary in class. She was inspired to become an intern for Invisible Children and help get an important law passed. Economist Muhammad Yunus…

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