The Time Out Kids team chooses their favourite books that will raise a smile with young readers...
Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud
A delightful book with an anti-bullying message that uses an invisible bucket to help children understand the beauty of kindness and understanding. This one is very popular in schools and nurseries across the globe and helps little ones see how being kind has its rewards. There’s a lesson there for grown-ups, too!
Takeaway: Being kind makes you feel good, too.
How Kind by Mary Murphy
In this bold and bright picture book, cute farm animals show how being nice is contagious. One little critter is kind to another, who is in turn kind to another, and then another, and so on. Even the tiniest tot will understand the simple message that kindness breeds kindness.
Takeaway: Pay it forward.
How To Be A Friend by Molly Wigand
Learning how to be a good friend is an important lesson and one children don’t always learn easily. Each chapter deals with a different aspect of friendship in an easy-to-read style for kids. This tale can start all kinds of discussions with your child as you both discover the beauty of having a buddy.
Takeaway: How to make new friends and cherish old ones.
My Friend Fred by Hiawyn Oram
A little girl called Grace loves her dog Fred and they spend all their time together. But Grace doesn’t want to share Fred with her sister, her friends or anyone else. Then, one day, Fred doesn’t want to play with Grace. It’s a lovely story dealing with sharing and sibling rivalry, which teaches us that it’s okay to feel jealous, but it’s better to share.
Takeaway: Friends don’t keep friends to themselves.
The Bad-Tempered Ladybird by Eric Carle
We all get in a bad mood sometimes, and Eric Carle, with his distinct collage style of telling a tale, helps us to understand that life is better with a smile. A grumpy ladybird having a bad day picks a fight with every animal he meets, until he realises that it’s much nicer to make a friend. The bright colours and calm storytelling make this a great book to read at the end of the day.
Takeaway: Turn that frown upside down.
The Smartest Giant in Town by Julia Donaldson
Our hero is a scruffy giant who gets himself all spruced up as he walks through town. But, on his travels, he meets an array of furry friends who need a little help – and he ends up giving all his fine clobber away. The illustrations in this book capture the imaginations of little ones and the repeated text throughout is perfect for keeping them engaged. Our hero, the giant, makes some wonderful choices throughout as he helps make life a little sweeter for everyone he meets.
Takeaway: With a little thought, it’s easy to help someone in need.
Our friends at Wanna Read?, the not-for-profit group that nurtures children’s healing through reading, tell us what’s on their list of happiness-spreading tomes...
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
Great for toddlers, McBratney’s book has also been translated into 53 languages, so is accessible to all. This is the story of a big nutbrown rabbit and little nutbrown rabbit, and teaches the importance of love. As little nutbrown rabbit tries to think of the biggest, longest and highest thing to do to prove how much he loves big nutbrown rabbit, they both realise that the love between a parent and child is immeasurable.
Takeaway: It’s easy to say “I love you”.
The Sandwich Swap by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan and Kelly DiPucchio
Two little girls eat lunch together every day until they realise that their different tastes (hummus versus peanut butter and jelly) can cause huge arguments. After some unkind words and a mammoth food fight, the girls decide to taste each other’s different sandwiches and decide they actually both taste good. By learning not to judge each other, they find a way to be friends again. It’s a good one for pre-schoolers.
Takeaway: Friendship can bring about acceptance.
The Secret of the Sacred Scarab by Fiona Ingram
A story for more confident readers, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab follows two little boys on an adventure filled with danger through the streets and deserts of Egypt. As they try to evade capture by enemies, while trying to solve the mystery of the sacred scarab, they learn that by working together and trusting each other they can do anything.
Takeaway: Courage is strengthened by unity. All books are available at www.bookdepository.com.