Brea Congregational Church's Children's Book List 4-8 years
A Listmania! list by P. Keig(Fullerton, California)
The list author says: "We took the church mission statement and found children's books to match--on welcoming all God's children, celebrating the transforming power of God ... peace, social justice, personal empowerment, spiritual growth ... openness to share beliefs, doubts, struggles, growth, in the context of mutual respect...Our purpose is to reach out taking the risk of opening ourselves to the possiblity of making the stranger a friend.
Also, see our BCC book report suggestions for 9 year olds and up, and our picture books for older children list."
"Mei Mei speaks Chinese inside her head and out loud. She understands English and speaks it inside her head. Wait. I'm not making sense. Ellen Levine is a wonderful storyteller, read her book. Immigration, glimpses of her community (in Chinese) and her school (in English), personal empowerment."
"When things don't turn out as the princess expects, she takes charge! She solves problems! She outwits a dragon! She rescues a prince! and I'm not going to tell you what else she does. Busts stereotypes, shows personal growth, and is utterly delightful."
"A story about love. Is it about the teddy bear feeling loved? Is it about the power of love of a child? The power of love of the man with the green coat? Bonus: after you've read it several times you could use it to start a conversation about homeless folks."
"Almost wordless, detailed and lighthearted illustrations tell the familiar story. For parents: reread the Bible story and ask yourself what the point is, besides a good plot. Examine and contrast the endpapers."
"Nature. Desert. Water. Whose gift? Is it Alejandro's gift to the creatures? Is it the creatures' gift to Alejandro? Outstanding illustrations, gently opens the door to discussions of one of the great mysteries--what happens when we give?"
"America's proud history includes our progress in social justice. The story inspires hope for the future in continuing this tradition. There are many versions of this story, this is the one that includes Ruby's daily prayer."
"Young children may not know what a stereotype is, or what prejudice is. This charming book introduces stereotypes about life "out west" (gila monsters meet you at the airport) and in New York (there's a mugger on every corner) and the experiences that helped a boy overcome them. Very amusing, non-threatening, and dead on! How does the boy get rid of his stereotypes?"
"It isn't easy to see things from someone else's point of view, or to negotiate when the power is on the other side. This one is challenging for the younger children, but 7 and 8 year olds will definitely "get it.""
"The interconnections and sequences of events as a garden grows are illustrated in fascinating detail with a very simple, predictable text (patterned after The House that Jack Built). Soil, seeds, rain, sprout, all the way to the birds that eat the insects that drink the nectar and so on. Love God by loving the Earth. Start with something familiar like a garden."
"Irresistable! How does it work? My way is to read this aloud to my child several times. Then I ask, I don't tell how it worked. What's the ingredient that makes it work? Personal transformation, all God's children"
"Maybe you've stopped to notice that we learn to share when there's a shortage. My second child arrived just in time to save the first born from selfishness. These two girls living in a refugee camp develop a deep friendship through sharing. After several readings maybe you'll want to discuss with your child what a refugee camp is and why people live there."
"These three stories each make a gentle point. Three children become friends with Stillwater the Panda (who speaks with a slight panda accent). Speaking of all God's children, this book introduces wisdom from a culture that may not be familiar to our children."
"Bilingual text (English in red and Spanish in blue) tells a mirror story of two girls who meet and make friends at a park, introduce each other to their mothers, and plan to return to play together again."
"Nonfiction and a great introduction to a challenge children should understand. If a child is going to come face to face with racism, isn't it better for the child to know what it is FIRST? Then the child will know someone has a problem, and it isn't me. If a child is at risk of developing racist attitudes (and who isn't?), isn't it better for the child to know what it is first?"