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Much has changed since our previous Book Jam post. Cities have slowed, priorities have changed, our world seems to have shifted a bit on its axis. And yet, two weeks ago we planned a post for today focusing on the theme of kindness — and we still think it appropriate. Perhaps even perfect. Even if most kindness right now must happen from afar.
So, below, we review the five picture books our local bookstore, the Norwich Bookstore, displayed on their wall earlier this month in their attempt to spread kind thoughts long before we were worried about Covid-19. As we all limit our social interactions and many business are closed to foot traffic, remember that you can purchase these books online or by phone from your favorite local indie bookstore (which needs your support more than ever).
SO, here’s an idea: simply request that your favorite bookstore (e.g., Norwich Bookstore, Still North, Yankee Bookshop, Book Culture, Daunt Books, Parnassus Books, Powell's, Elliott Bay, Blackwell's, Island Books, Flying Pig, Galaxy Bookshop, Book Passage, Politics & Prose, any other indie bookstore) mail one (or two or all) of these titles to any family with young children. With schools closed, parents will appreciate enriching activities and distractions. If you don't know a family with young children, send these to your favorite grandma or grandpa. They could then use technology (or simply the phone if ZOOM is too much) and read these books aloud to their grandkids, allowing them to stay connected and engaged. If you don't know any grandparents or families with young children, you could request that the bookstore to send them to your local homeless shelter, elementary school, or public library to use as needed.
One purchase could make a meaningful difference to someone right now as we all figure out new ways to connect. We appreciate Book Jam readers near and far considering the gift of books. Whatever you do, keep on reading.
Sending beautiful words, health, and kindness your way,
Lisa and Lisa, The Book Jam
Be You by Peter Reynolds (2020) - This is truly a joyful reminder by one of our favorite picture book authors that we are all superbly unique, and that the best gift we can give the world is just to be ourselves. What a great lesson for the youngest among us to learn early on. We especially love Mr. Reynold's challenge to "be your own work of art." ENJOY!
I Believe I Can by Grace Byers with pictures by Keturah A. Bobo (2020) - This excerpt by actress and activist Grace Byers and artist Keturah A. Bobo says it all "My presence matters in this world. I know I can do anything, if only I believe I can". This duo also created I Am Enough, reviewed by Kirkus as “a feel-good book about self-acceptance.”
A World of Kindness by Ann Featherstone (2018) - This book, with drawings by twelve celebrated children's book illustrators, shows us all how to be kind; and, it reminds us that we impact the world every day with our actions and thoughts, and the importance of "please" and "thank you" can not be overstated..
The Friendship Book by Mary Lyn Ray (2019) - A charming look at how to be a better friend. Enjoy the slightly old-fashioned illustrations and the kind thoughts. It pairs well with Ms. Ray's The Thank You Book.
Kindness Counts by R. A. Strong (2020) - Illustrations show children using thoughtfulness and generosity. The text emphasises empathy and compassion. Its board book form is perfect for the youngest readers among us, as it is very difficult to destroy.