Because I write so many books articles for adults, I seldom stop to think of how important each read was to me as a young child. I don’t have any of my own, however, I do have a three-year-old stepbrother whose mind is like a sponge; he’s bilingual, he literally questions every single thing and person around him and I want to make more of an effort play a small part in the positive shaping of his curious mind by telling him inspirational tales of brilliant men and women who do great things to make the world a better place – even if it’s only on a page. And because the world we know is changing at such a rapid pace, now seems the ideal time to pass on words of kindness and heroic tales to the young people in our lives. Here are five reads perfect for doing so:
Little People, Big Dreams: Frida Kahlo
This is just one story in a series of twelve but I love Frida’s book in particular. The books focus on designers, artists and scientists; all of whom went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. The second book is all about Frida Kahlo, whose desire to study medicine was destroyed by a childhood accident. She began painting from her bedside and produced over 140 works, culminating in a solo exhibition in America. It’s an inspiring story, a beautiful book and the entire series is worth buying.
Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words
This is a children’s biography of the inspiring, true story of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, a young Pakistani girl who stands up and speaks out for every child’s right to education, even after going through a harrowing, near-fatal attack. This only strengthened her resolve and she’s one of the most inspiring young advocates for women’s rights today. Told in picture-form, this is a beautiful book to have in your little one’s collection.
My World, Your World
This book is all about acceptance. In My World, Your World this story aims to instil a sense of tolerance and highlights that yes, we are all different, but this shouldn’t be deemed a bad thing. The world is full of all sorts of people, speaking different languages and living different kinds of lives, but its message that we can still be united and love the same things (with gorgeous illustrations) makes this an inspiring read.
This endearing story encourages a warm, caring, and buoyantly affectionate approach to life thanks to a little boy who hugs everyone he meets. Author Scott Campbell’s beautiful watercolours exude warmth, emotion and emphasise the importance of showing affection and the healing powers of a hug.
Be A Friend
Dennis is an ordinary boy who expresses himself in extraordinary ways. Some children do show-and-tell. Dennis mimes his. But being a mime can be lonely. It isn’t until Dennis meets a girl named Joy that he discovers the power of friendship. This book is a heartwarming story of self-acceptance, unbreakable friendship and an unmissable read for anyone who has ever felt “different.”