Over the years, Explorer teachers, the social curriculum coordinator and parent educators have developed a list of books they recommend for parents interested in various issues relating to their children and parenting. Most of these titles are available for borrowing from Explorer’s library, but several years into the schools’ existence, at the initiation of parents, a small parenting bookstore was created in Explorer’s front lobby. Here parents can buy, at cost, books recommended by our faculty and parent educators on topics such as emotional intelligence; sexual education; positive discipline; and sibling rivalry.
After the great success of the parenting bookstore, and also in response to requests at parenting meetings, Explorer created a family bookstore with books that teachers recommended for families to read with children when dealing with particular developmental challenges and anxieties such as divorce, death, bullying, anger, and many other themes. A full list of these titles, as well as Explorer’s guide to how to best use the literature is listed below.
The Children’s Bookstore
Guide to Usage
Thank you for purchasing a book from the Explorer Children’s Bookstore. These titles have been selected because they contain themes that may be helpful to children who are experiencing difficulties with social or emotional situations.
The benefit of these books is that they provide children with a metaphor for their feelings. Much of children’s emotional learning is through metaphors—seeing something that is related to their own experiences and identifying with it (rather than focusing on their own specific feelings, as adults are more likely to do.).
The most effective way to use most of these titles is to simply read them to your child and avoid initiating too much conversation about the topic. Make the book available so your child can look at it alone. If it is a book that has had an impact on your child, he or she will probably bring it up again. At that time you can ask questions such as, “Have you ever felt that way?” “Why do you think this character did what he did?” “What could the character do to make a change, to feel better, to fix the situation?” etc. The important part of this is following your child’s lead in the conversation rather than directly telling them what you think they need to understand.
There are a few titles that invite more direct conversation. These are books that have more direct lessons or concepts to be learned. Fred Rogers’ “Let’s Talk About It: Divorce,” and “The Secret of The Peaceful Warrior” are examples of books that are more direct in their presentation.
Finally, remember a calm, quiet, bonding moment around a good book is worthwhile in and of itself. These books were chosen to be savored and read repeatedly. The experience will help children understand themselves more thoroughly and can provide them a source of comfort for years to come. Building a personal library for a child is one of life’s greatest gifts.
CHILDREN’S BOOKSTORE TITLES:
Learning to put a name to feelings I’m having so I can express them through words rather than actions.
My Many Colored Days, By Dr. Seuss
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, By Judith Viorst
ANGER AND REVENGE:
Learning to understand that anger is a natural emotion and that there are ways to manage these feelings.
When Sophie Gets Angry, Really, Really Angry, By Molly Bang
Mean Soup, By Betsy Everitt
Learning to have acceptance about who we are and celebrating the differences between us.
Chrysanthemum, By Kevin Henkes
Just the Way You Are, By Marcus Pfister
The Lovables in the Kingdom of Self-Esteem, By Diana Loomans
I’m Gonna Like Me, By Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell
Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon, By Patty Lovell
Feeling confident about my place and roll in the family.
Peter’s Chair, By Ezra Jack Keats
On Mother’s Lap, By Ann Herbert Scott
Learning to see that is ok to be away from my parents for awhile.
The Kissing Hand, By Audrey Penn
I Love You All Day Long, By Francesca Rusackas
Owen, Kevin Henkes
PERFECTIONISM AND COMPETENCE:
I feel anxious when I am unsure if I can do something the way I want. I worry about how things will turn out.
Leo the Late Bloomer, By Robert Kraus
Regina’s Big Mistake, By Marissa Moss
I need help expressing my grief over a loved one or a pet.
Lifetimes, The Beautiful Way to Explain Death To Children, By Bryan Mellonie and Robert Ingpen
The Tenth Good Thing About Barney, By Judith Viorst
Badger’s Parting Gifts, By Susan Varley
Helping children face the changes that divorce brings to a family.
Let’s Talk About It – Divorce, By Fred Rogers
Understanding that our most important friends are sometimes those we least expect.
Owen and Mzee- The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship, By Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff and Dr. Paula Kahumbu
Sometimes I feel that I am loved only when I get attention, so I do things that annoy my parents. I need to know that I am loved no matter what.
Harriet, You’ll Drive Me Wild, By Mem Fox
Olivia, By Ian Falconer
BULLYING, TEASING AND GOSSIPING:
Learning to deal with other children who bully and tease, and the importance of ethical behavior.
Chrysanthemum, By Kevin Henkes
Mr. Peabody’s Apples, By Madonna
The Secret of the Peaceful Warrior, By Dan Millman (For older children)
Can’t You Sleep, Little Bear?, By Martin Waddell and Barbara Firth
How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk $11.00
By, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
Faber & Mazlish provide a step by step approach to improving relationships in your house. Faber and Mazlish’s book for teachers, How to Talk so Kids Will Learn is the foundation for how Explorer teachers structure their language with children.
Siblings Without Rivalry $10.00
By, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
The value of this book’s detailed discussions lies in the format. Faber & Mazlish talk you through umpteen different situations and outcomes to help teach your brawling offspring a new set of responses.
Positive Discipline – 1001 Solutions to Everyday Parenting Problems $10.00
By, Jane Nelson
All parents try to do their best, but the best of intentions don’t always produce the best results. The key to discipline is not punishment but mutual respect. The information about how to be kind yet firm is indispensable in learning how to establish boundaries without wounding.
Redirecting Children’s Behavior $10.00
By, Katherine Kvols
Practical, logical suggestions for rearing self-motivated and responsible children. Explorer teachers rely heavily on this approach- at its heart is the idea that if you want to change your child’s, or a group of children’s behavior, you must monitor your own responses first. Understanding your response helps you to understand what is happening for your child. This book is the foundation for the Redirecting Children’s Behavior parenting classes that many Explorer parents have attended.
Your (5,6,7,8,9,10-14) Year Old Child $10.00
By, Louise Bates Ames
These books will help parents to better understand their children and will guide them through the fascinating and sometimes trying experiences of modern parenthood. Knowing how your child is developing, what “normal” development is, and what behaviors accompany development is invaluable in giving parents and teachers perspective, helping to inform responses.
Everyday Blessings $10.00
By, Jon and Myla Kabat-Zinn
One of Tina Boughton’s favorite’s, this is a book that approaches parenting from the Zen Buddhist position of moment-to-moment awareness. It’s a beautiful presentation and a thoughtful approach to mindful meditation that will help you to slow down, enrich your life as a parent, and nourish the internal life of your children.
Unconditional Parenting $12.00
By, Alfie Kohn
More than just another book about discipline, Unconditional Parenting addresses the ways parents think about, feel about, and act with their children. It invites them to question their most basic assumptions about raising kids while offering a wealth of strategies for shifting from “do what I say” parenting to “working with” parenting. Much of Explorer’s approach to “discipline” is based on Kohn’s work, minimizing punishments and rewards, which are, in his view, “two sides of the same coin.
Kohn emphasizes that children do best with unconditional love, respect and the opportunity to make their own choices. Kohn asserts kids make good decisions by making decisions, not following directions.
Raising Your Spirited Child $10.00
By, Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
Appropriately redefining the “difficult child” as the “spirited child”, who is “more” – more intense, more sensitive, more persistent, etc. This book helps parents better understand their children through defining temperamental matches and mismatches between you and your child and how to navigate through them.
Kids, Parents and Power Struggles – Winning for a Lifetime $10.00
By, Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
Kurcinka builds up an image of the parent as the “emotional coach”, whose role is to build a strong connected “team” by understanding all the players’ strengths and weaknesses, and showing by instruction and example, how best to play the game.
It’s So Amazing $10.00
By, Harris & Emberley
By the authors of It’s Perfectly Normal, this book is a friendly and sensitive guide for younger children. As in their first book, Harris’s words and Emberley’s cartoon illustrations explore a wide range of topics–from the parts of the body to definitions of love–though the focus leans toward the biological rather than emotional issues involved in reproduction.
It’s Perfectly Normal $10.00
By, Harris & Emberley
Provides accurate, lucid, unbiased answers to nearly every conceivable question children may have about sexuality. From conception and puberty to birth control and AIDS, it is a refreshingly open and thorough presentation of the facts of sex – both biological and psychological – which children need now more than ever. This book has a more mature approach to discussing the topics than It’s So Amazing and is targeted at preadolescents.
From Diapers to Dating $10.00
By, Debra Hafner
Organized from birth through age twelve, From Diapers to Dating presents a practical, step-by-step program, offering a wealth of practical techniques to help parents identify and communicate their own values about sexuality to their children, while also suggesting to parents the appropriate information to give children of different ages.
What’s Happening to Me? $10.00
By, Peter Mayle
For more than twenty years, “What’s Happening To Me?” has helped parents explain puberty to their children who are experiencing “growing pains.” Written in a direct style, with humor and honesty, this book will give children valuable information about physical changes.
My Body My Self For Boys and My Body My Self For Girls $11.00
By, Lynda and Area Madaras
These books describe physical development and puberty for both boys and girls in a very straightforward, informational way. The books have questions, activities and journaling opportunities for children to use independently. They have good checklists for understanding changes. Consider buying both books as a set so your child has the whole picture.
Wherever You Go, There You Are $10.00
By, Jon Kabat-Zinn
Wherever You Go, There You Are, is a follow-up to Everyday Blessings, one of our most popular titles. In this book, Jon Kabat-Zinn goes much more deeply into the practice of meditation for its own sake. To Kabat-Zinn, meditation is important because it brings about a state of “mindfulness,” a condition of “being” rather than “doing.” This book will guide you in learning to focus on the moment rather than the multitudinous distractions of everyday life that can interfere with effective parenting. In brief, rather poetic chapters, he describes different meditative practices and what they can do for the practitioner.
American Girl – Feelings Book $9.00
Grade 3-8. This book explains that it’s OK and perfectly normal to have feelings that are up one moment and crashing down the next. The easy-to-understand text guides readers through the physiology of dramatic, perhaps negative feelings to the final chapter of feeling positive. In between, readers are given an overview of how to identify particular emotions and what to do with them. Madison also devotes a chapter to “Help!” which has lots of practical tips for dealing with fear, anger, jealousy, etc. Particularly good is the message that readers are in charge of what they do about their emotions.
American Girl Guide to Sticky Situations: How to Tackle Tricky Icky Problems and Tough Times $10.00
Grade 4-8-For the most part, the entries in this book hit the mark, with advice about such predicaments as not getting along with one’s teacher or being caught doing something wrong. There’s the lighthearted (what to do if you fall down stairs in front of people) and also the deadly serious (what to do “if you fall through ice”). Predicaments with friends come up often, among them, those who want to copy homework or who tell others the name of your crush. The best advice, however, is the statement of empowerment: “You can stand on your own two feet. You’ve got a good brain. You’ve got common sense. Keep them handy. Trust yourself. You’ll be able to handle just about anything.” That advice alone makes the book worthy of purchase.
American Girl – The Care and Keeping of You $10.00
This head to toe guide answers all your questions from hair care to healthy eating, from bad breath to bras, periods to pimples and everything in between. With tips, how-to’s, and facts from the experts, here’s the book more than 1 million girls have turned to for straightforward advice.
Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships $17.00
By Daniel Goleman
This book is a synthesis of the latest findings in biology and brain science, revealing that we are “wired to connect” and the surprisingly deep impact of our relationships on every aspect of our lives. Far more than we are consciously aware, our daily encounters with parents, spouses, bosses, and even strangers shape our brains and affect cells throughout our bodies—down to the level of our genes—for good or ill. Daniel Goleman explores an emerging new science with startling implications for our interpersonal world. Its most fundamental discovery: we are designed for sociability, constantly engaged in a “neural ballet” that connects us brain to brain with those around us. These findings provide a scientific foundation for the principles upon which Explorer is based.
One of the most heartening conclusions in this book is that we humans have a built-in bias toward empathy, cooperation, and altruism–provided we develop the social intelligence to nurture these capacities in ourselves and others.
Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ $12.00
By Daniel Goleman
Everyone knows that high IQ is no guarantee of success, happiness, or virtue, but until Emotional Intelligence, we could only guess why. Daniel Goleman’s brilliant report from the frontiers of psychology and neuroscience offers startling new insight into our “two minds”—the rational and the emotional—and how they together shape our destiny. Through vivid examples, Goleman delineates the five crucial skills of emotional intelligence, and shows how they determine our success in relationships, work, and even our physical well-being. What emerges is an entirely new way to talk about being smart.
Raising Resilient Children : Fostering Strength, Hope, and Optimism in Your Child (Paperback) $11.00
by Robert Brooks and Sam Goldstein
In this practical handbook for parents, clinical psychologists Brooks and Goldstein draw on their considerable experience working with children and families to demonstrate that parents’ core goal should be to instill in their children a sense of inner recourse. “A resilient child is an emotionally healthy child, equipped to successfully confront challenges and bounce back from setbacks,” they contend, and to this end they provide 10 parenting “guideposts” for nurturing the kind of resilience that helps children thrive. From being empathic, to teaching problem-solving, to identifying “islands of competence” in order to help a child experience success, to editing and eliminating what the authors call “negative scripts” (what parents hear themselves saying and doing repeatedly, “with negligible beneficial results”), the guideposts are clearly delineated, first outlined in the introductory chapter and then expanded in individual chapters.
Starbright: Meditations For Children $11.00
Moonbeam: Meditations for Children $10.00
Earthlight: New Meditations For Children $11.00
By Maureen Garth
Driven by the desire to help her three-year-old daughter settle down into a peaceful night’s sleep, Maureen Garth devised meditations that would help her daughter feel secure and cared for. Starbright, Moonbeam, and Earthlight are collections of the stories Garth created as her child grew older. These innovative meditations are simple visualizations parents and teachers can read to their children to help them sleep, develop concentration, awaken creativity, and learn to quiet themselves. In her engaging, warm, and personal style, Garth teaches parents how to help their children relax, concentrate, and develop artistic and mental abilities, as well as enjoy a good night’s sleep.