Sojourners Recommends: Life-Shaping Books for Kids | Sojourners

Sojourners Recommends: Life-Shaping Books for Kids

Children's literature provides one of the most uplifting, energizing, and soul-freeing pursuits for any child -- or any adult who cares about children. For those of us who live and breathe social justice or who grab at the edges of social justice whenever we can, children's literature can be visionary, comforting, and challenging as we think about our own role in the peace and justice universe.

The following books -- for preschoolers to grade 3 -- are examples of the kind of children's literature that is rooted in gospel values and has a role in creating a more just world. The books reflect themes of respect for self and others, nonviolent communication, dealing with anger and forgiveness, respect for the environment, the importance of play and creativity, our global interdependence, and courage in the face of war and injustice. These values are shown in both practical and magical ways.

On the Day You Were Born, by Debra Frasier. "On the eve of your birth, word of your coming passed from animal to animal..." are the opening words of this wonderful statement of the importance of each individual person. Harcourt Children's Books, 1991.

A Ride on Mother's Back, by Emery Bernhard. Illustrated by Durga Bernard. This book celebrates the different ways people carry their babies around the world. The illustrations are very appealing. Gulliver Books, 1996.

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Sojourners Magazine January 2009
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