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Virtues in Action

Catholic Virtues in Action graphic

Virtue Teaching Resources for the Classroom are available at your Thunder Bay Public Library
This list provides recommended picture books on each monthly theme.  REVISED FOR 2011 - 2012!

 

JANUARY : COURAGE

“If you want to see the brave, look at those who can forgive. If want to see the heroic, look at those who can love in return for hatred.”   Mahatma Gandhi

 

Featured Picture Book for January
 
 
Courage to fly cover

Courage to Fly by Troon Harrison

A moving, beautifully illustrated story for children six to 10 years of age. Young Meg has recently immigrated to Canada from the Caribbean. Finding it painful to adjust to her new, utterly different way of life in a large city, she withdraws into herself and into her room in the apartment she shares with her little brother and parents. She refuses to play outdoors even when invited by Jenny, her neighbor from down the hall. Winter comes and with it snow and cold. One day, on her way back from school Meg finds a sick swallow. She brings it home and places the bird in a box in order to let it regain its strength. The box, like Meg's quiet room, is a place of safety, something Meg desperately wants for herself. But the permanent security of a box is not what the swallow needs in order to thrive. Eventually, Meg understands she must release the swallow, and that she too must have the courage to fly into her new surroundings. Wonderful watercolour illustrations complement this sensitively-rendered story which reminds us that young newcomers to Canada, as well as older ones, may have difficulty coping with the changes accompaying immigration.

 
Other Titles Also Available

The Boy Who Painted Dragons by Demi
Ping decorates his home with paintings of dragons. While the drawings seem to be a proclamation of  love for dragons, they are actually an expression of Ping’s deepest fears. When the Heavenly Dragon visits Ping, he finds himself face-to-face with his greatest terror . The Heavenly Dragon presents him with three pearls leading to the wisdom of the dragons. But in order to obtain the wisdom, Ping must bravely confront his fears.

Brave Charlotte by Anu Stohner
A daring but mischievious sheep is the only one bold enough to do what is needed to help the ailing shepherd.

Brave Charlotte and the Wolves  by Anu Stohner
Charlotte proves her courage again when the other sheep tremble at the sound of howling in the forest.

Brave Irene by William Steig
Plucky Irene must defy a snowstorm, the wiles of the wicked wind and overcome many obstacles before she deliver s a new gown to the duchess in time for the ball.

Fritz and the Beautiful Horses by Jan Brett
Fritz, a pony excluded from the group of beautiful horses within the walled city, becomes a hero  when he rescues the children of the city.

Gandhi by Demi
A biographical story of a remarkable man who grew from a shy, scared child to a good, kind and brave man who achieved much through his teaching of non-violent protest.

Harriet and the Roller Coaster by Nancy Carlson
Harriet accepts her friend George’s challenge to ride the roller coaster and discovers that she is the brave one.

Hero Cat by Eileen Spinelli
A cat gives birth to a litter of kittens in an abandoned building that catches fire while she is out searching for food.

The Hole in the Dike  adapted by Norma B. Green 
Retells the tale of the little boy whose resourcefulness and courage saved his country from being destroyed by the ocean

Jenneli's Dance by Elisabeth Denny
Jenneli is a shy, young girl who feels she is nothing special until she learns the steps to the Metis Red River jig and overcomes her doubts to dance in a contest.

Joan of Arc  by Josephine Poole
A picture book biography of the brave peasant girl who led a French army to victory and was burned at the stake before being canonized as a saint in 1920.

Laura Secord’s Brave Walk by Connie Brummel Crook
A picture book story of Laura Secord’s courageous nineteen mile journey.

The Legend of the Lady Slipper  retold by Lisa Lunge-Larsen and Margi Preus
A girl’s act of bravery to save her family leads to the appearance in the world of the delicate flower called the Lady Slipper. An Ojibway legend.

The Lion and the Unicorn  by Shirley Hughes
Lenny, a Jewish boy living in London during the Blitz in World War II, must adjust to many changes and find the true meaning of courage when he is evacuated to a large mansion in the English countryside.

Rhino, Rhino, Sweet Potato by Francine Prose
When hungry rhinos rampage through the village eating all of the sweet potatoes, Roy bravely goes and teaches them a new way to live.

The Secret of the Peaceful Warrior  by Dan Millman
An old man named Socrates shows Danny that the best way of dealing with a bully is the way of the peaceful warrior, through courage and love.

The Terrible Plop by Ursula Duborsarsky
When a mysterious sound sends the whole forest running away in fear, only the littlest rabbit is brave enough to discover what has really happened.

The Wildest Brother  by Corenelia Caroline Funke
Brave as a lion, strong as an elephant, Ben is a fearless young boy. When it comes to protecting his big sister, Anna, nothing can stand in his way! Gallantly he spends his day battling moldy green ghosts, slime-belching monsters, and all sorts of ferocious beasts. But when the day is over and darkness falls, Ben suddenly doesn't feel quite so brave. Sometimes, he realizes, it's the big sister who does the protecting.

 

FEBRUARY : HONESTY

Featured Picture Book for February
 
 
The Empty Pot cover

The Empty Pot retold by Demi

A Chinese emperor announces that his successor will be the child who grows the most beautiful flowers from the seeds the emperor distributes. Ping, a Chinese boy who can make anything grow, is disappointed when nothing comes up in his pot. Ignoring the blossoms brought by other children since he had secretly distributed cooked seeds that would not grow, the emperor rewards Ping for his honesty.

 
Other Titles Also Available

The Boy Who Cried Wolf (from Aesop’s Tales) retold by B.G. Hennessy
A boy tending sheep on a lonely mountaintop thinks it’s amusing to cry out “wolf” and see the villagers come running – until one day when there really is a wolf.

Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big   by Berkely Breathed
Edwurd’s little sister comes to his rescue when his humongous fib lands him in trouble with a three-eyed alien from another galaxy.

The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Anderson
In this classic tale, two rascals sell the emperor an invisible set of clothes and everyone except a little boy is too worried about appearing stupid to state the truth.

Variations on this story include King Bob’s New Clothes by Dom DeLuise and The Principal’s New Clothes  by Stephanie Calmenson.

Honest Tulio by John Himmelman
As he pursues the man in the big red hat to return a coin which he dropped, Tulio accumulates an unusual following, including a chicken that lays square eggs. 

The Luminous Pearl: A Chinese Folktale  retold by Betty L. Torre
Two brothers fall in love with the lovely Shell who says she will marry whichever one brings her the luminous pearl. During their travels to find this prize, each brother faces the same moral challenge of keeping a promise they make to villagers they met along the way; only one chooses the honest route even though it looks like it may lose him his heart’s desire. But the honest heart is rewarded in the end.

Papa Gatto: An Italian Fairy Tale retold by Ruth Sanderson
Papa Gatto hires the lovely Sophia to care for his eight kittens, and, by the time he realizes his mistake, his home is in shambles, his kittens are neglected, and a priceless heirloom is in Sophia's hands. Her younger sister Beatrice, is as good and honest as Sophia is lazy and dishonest but will the Prince be able to find her again when Sophia disguises herself as Beatrice?

The Real Thief  by William Steig
Honorable Goose Gawain has only his King's best interests at heart but, as guard of the royal treasury, he is falsely accused of theft after jewels and money disappear from the vault. In a trial, he is found guilty although he maintained his innocence. After the suspense of the emotionally realistic story, readers will be relieved by the happy ending.

Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto
Maria tries on her mother's wedding ring while helping make tamales for a Christmas get-together. Panic ensues when hours later, she realizes the ring is missing and she is afraid to confess what she has done.

Whoops, But It Wasn't Me  by Lauren Child
Lola disobeys and breaks the rocket that her brother Charlie just made. Then, she must decide whether or not to tell him the truth about what happened.

 

MARCH: FORGIVENESS

Featured Picture Book for March
 
 
image

Bamboo by Paul Yee

This is a sensitve story about acceptance and forgiveness.Ming's husband Bamboo goes overseas in search of money to support their new family after Ming has a baby, but Ming encounters problems with sister-in-law who is jealous of Ming and tries to steal the magic bamboo that is helping Jin to farm the land. When Jin fails she threatens her husband Banyan to destroy all of Ming's land or she will tell the whole village that he is a coward. However, when Ming saves Jin's son from drowning, Jin feels gratitude and asks for Ming's forgiveness. When Bamboo returns from abroad as a wealthy man, Ming and Bamboo share their wealth with Banyan and Jin.

 
Other Titles Also Available

Franklin Forgives  by Sharon Jennings
In this Franklin the turtle TV Storybook, Harriet accidentally knocks Goldie’s bowl into the river, and the fish swims away. Franklin is unable to forgive Harriet at first, but comes to learn that Harriet misses the fish as much as he does. He learns how hard it is to forgive — and how good it feels when he does.

God's Dream by Desmond Tutu
Archbishop Desmond Tutu share his vision of God's dream. It involves people who reach out and hold each other's hands, and who if they sometimes get angry and hurt each other, say they are sorry and forgive. It's a wish for unity and forgiveness told with crystalline simplicity. 

I Did It, I’m Sorry by Caralyn Buehner
Ollie Octopus, Bucky Beaver, Howie Hogg, and other animal characters encounter moral dilemmas involving such virtues as honesty, thoughtfulness, and trustworthiness. The reader is invited to select the appropriate behavior from a series of choices.

Lilly’s Plastic Purple Purse by Kevin Henkes
Lilly loves everything about school, especially her cool teacher, Mr. Slinger. But when Lilly brings her purple plastic purse and its treasures to school and can't wait until sharing time, Mr. Slinger confiscates her prized possessions. Lilly's fury leads to revenge and then to remorse and she sets out to make amends.

Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper
A story focusing on friendship and sharing. Cat, Duck and Squirrel live in an old white cabin. Every day Cat slices up some pumpkin, Squirrel stirs in some water and Duck tips in some salt to make perfect pumpkin soup. Everybody seems happy until the day Duck wants to do the stirring, and a quarrel breaks out.

Spacesnake by Duncan Weller (local author)
On a little colony of asteroids, a Spacesnake fires up its rockets to scare the daylights out of the Asterians. Thinking the coast is clear, the Spacesnake shows its true colors by shedding its armor and sampling the delectable goodies from the Asterbake. When his plot against the Asterians is foiled, he broods alone in space until a small Asterian  ventures to visit and forgive him.

Spinky Sulks by William Steig
Spinky gets into a massive sulk which no one and nothing seems to be able to influence. Eventually, the kindness and  tolerance of his loving family penetrates and Spinky is able to forgive and find his balance again.

 Star Boy retold by Paul Goble
Relates the Blackfoot legend in which Star Boy gains the Sun's forgiveness for his mother's disobedience and is allowed to return to the Sky World.

Will You Forgive Me? by Sally Grindley
When Figgy is involved in the disappearance of Jefferson Bear's favorite tickling stick, she is afraid to tell him what has happened, but he forgives her after she confesses.

 

APRIL : JUSTICE

" I know, up an top you are seeing great sights,
But down at the bottom we, too, should have rights
.” Dr. Seuss

Featured Book for April
 
 
The Wide Awake Princess

The Wide Awake Princess by Katherine Paterson

In this amusing, eloquently told story, created by Katherine Paterson specifically for artist Vladimir Vagin to illustrate with his beautifully detailed watercolors, there was born a wise little princess who was different from everyone else. Miranda had been granted the gift of being wide awake all her waking hours. Thus, unlike those before her, she was able to see that the peasants of the kingdom were overworked and starving while the nobles lived in selfish luxury. Miranda, with confidence and determination, forms an innovative plan to help her people overcome their oppression, and in the process reveals the power of words to vanquish ignorance and bring about change.

 
Other Titles Also Available

Click, Clack, Moo : Cows That Type  by Doreen Cronin
When Farmer Brown's cows find a typewriter in the barn, they start making demands for better treatment for themselves and the chickens. They go on strike when the farmer refuses to give them what they want, but all comes to a satisfying resolution.

December by Eve Bunting
A homeless family's luck changes after they help an old woman who has even less than they do at Christmas

Farmer Duck  by Martin Waddell
When a kind and hardworking duck nearly collapses from overwork taking care of a farm because the owner is too lazy to do so, the rest of the animals get together and chase the farmer out of town

A Fine, Fine School  by Sharon Creech
When a principal loves his school so much that he wants the children to attend classes every day of the year, it's up to his students to advocate for fairness and to show him that free time is a good thing, too

Fred Stays With Me!  by Nancy Coffelt
A child describes how she lives sometimes with her mother and sometimes with her father. When Fred the dog’s bad behavior leads the adults to say that” he can’t stay with me!”, the child reminds them that he doesn’t – he is her constant companion and he stays with her.

It’s Not Fair  by Amy Krause Rosenthal
Assorted children, animals, creatures, and objects all wonder why life is not always fair .

Marcel the Pastry Chef by Marianna Meyer
While Marcel the hippo toils as the palace dishwasher, he dreams of baking pastries and practices his culinary skills in the royal kitchen after everyone has gone to sleep. The King’s greedy chef takes praise and money for Marcel’s baking but finds himself in trouble when asked to make the cake for the Princess’s wedding. Marcel saves the day and the impersonating pastry chef gets his just desserts

Mule Eggs by Cynthia DeFelice
Patrick the city slicker, a new farm owner, falls prey to a practical joke but is able to turn the tables on his deceiver

One Grain of Rice by Demi
A reward of one grain of rice doubles day by day into millions of grains of rice when a selfish raja is outwitted by a clever village girl.

The Sweetest Fig by Chris Van Allsburg
After being given two magical figs that make his dreams come true, Monsieur Bibot sees his plans for future wealth upset by his long-suffering dog.

When I Grow Up I Will Win the Nobel Peace Prize by Isabel Pin
A young boy thinks of what he can do to fight injustice in the world

  

MAY: COMPASSION

Featured Book for May 
 
 
The Birdman

The Birdman by Veronika Martenova Charles

Set in Calcutta, this story is based on a real person. Noor Nobi sews clothes to support his three children. When they are lost in an accident, he is overwhelmed with despair and unable to work. Weeks later, while walking through the market, he notices the cages crammed with birds, and he longs to free them. With the little he has in his pocket, he buys one of them and releases it in the shade of a banyan tree. Resolved, he works harder than ever before to earn money to buy more birds. With a new mission in his heart, he returns the next week to purchase as many as he can, nursing the frail ones back to health so he can set them free. The author includes background information on Noor Nobi and photographs of her visit to India and to the tailor's workshop. Spectacularly illustrated in gouache, this story of grief turned to compassion is lovely to look at and elegantly told.

 
Other Titles Also Available

Because of You  by B.G. Henness
Tells how every single person helps make the world a kinder and more peaceful place

The Golden Rule by Ilene Cooper
"Treat others the way you would like to be treated", a grandfather explains to his grandson, in this lovely introduction to compassion and empathy. Grandpa goes on to explain how the golden rule is represented in six different religions

How Smudge Came  by Nan Gregory
Dogs are not allowed in Cindy’s home, so she must bundle her puppy up when she goes to work as a cleaning woman in a  Hospice. One patient is so blind that he can barely see the dog; it looks like a smudge. But, oh, how nice to hold the puppy. What is Cindy to do? How will she care for Smudge?  "A moving story with a happy ending."

Lily and the Paper Man by Rebecca Upjohn
Walking with her mother Lily bumps straight into a gruff and untidy-looking man selling papers on the street. Frightened, Lily insists on taking the bus home every day for fear she will run into him again. But when the weather turns cold, Lily starts to see the Paper Man differently; she sees his bare toes through the holes in his boots and she lies in her warm bed at night, she wonders about the Paper Man and how he stays warm. Then she comes up with a wonderful idea.

The Mitten Tree by Candace Christiansen
An old woman secretly knits mittens and hangs them on a tree for the children she sees waiting for the school bus each day. Eventually, someone starts leaving baskets of yarn for the old woman. A lovely inter-generational book about anonymous kindness and compassion.

Parable of the Good Samaritan by Helen Caswell
The biblical story of the good samaritan who stops and comes to the assistance of a stranger in need is told in simple language for children with soft, colourful illustrations

The Quiltmaker's Gift by Jeff Brumbeau
Escaping from the protective walls of wealth and privilege, a young girl discovers the harsh world outside, where some people don't have as much as others. When she realizes that she has the power to help them, the young girl finds a strength and peace she never knew before. Making the loveliest quilts in all the land, the young girl decides to give them away.

Red Parka Mary by Peter Eyvindson
Why is the little boy so afraid when he walks past his neighbours house? In this heartwarming story, the boy soon comes to realize that his neighbour, Red Parka Mary, is really very friendly and he grows to appreciate and cherish their friendship. Red Parka Mary has so much to teach him.

Ruby's Hope by Hannah Taylor At age 10, Hannah Taylor wrote this book, a beautiful story which inspires hope and caring and empowers its readers to get involved and make change at any age. "Ruby was a very lucky ladybug but one day she saw a homeless bug asking for help. Ruby knew she had to do something, and what she did from her heart changed her and all of Buggyville forever."

Ryan and Jimmy : and the Well in Africa that Brought Them Together by Herb Shoveller
This is a true story of friendship and compassion in which a simple wish to help others brings focus to the necessities that unite us all.

The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks   by Katherine Paterson
A one-eyed samurai and a kitchen maid are unjustly humiliated by a greedy lord because they showed kindness to a duck who was pining for his mate and freed him. This Japanese folktale has been praised for being "rich with magic, compassion and love."

The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde with illustrations by Lisbeth Zweger
A once selfish giant welcomes the children to his previously forbidden garden and is eventually rewarded by an unusual little child.

Tilly and the Rhinoceros by Sheila White Samton
An ornery rhino blocks the road, insisting that the animals en route to market solve his riddle before they can pass. But none offers an acceptable answer, including Tilly Gobble, `the tiniest goose in the neighborhood''. As winter descends and the rhino refuses to budge, the frustrated marketgoers stop coming. But big-hearted Tilly brings the stubborn beast a handmade feather pillow, quilt and large hat to keep him snug. Deeply touched by her kindness, the two become fast friends, together tending to the needy.


JUNE : CHARITY


Featured Book for June 
 
 
One Hen Cover

One Hen by Kate Smith Milway

Inspired by true events, One Hen tells the story of Kojo, a boy from Ghana who turns a small loan into a thriving farm and a livelihood for many. After his father died, Kojo had to quit school to help his mother collect firewood to sell at the market. When his mother receives a loan from some village families, she gives a little money to her son. With this tiny loan, Kojo buys a hen. A year later, Kojo has built up a flock of 25 hens. With his earnings Kojo is able to return to school. Soon Kojo's farm grows to become the largest in the region. Kojo's story is inspired by the life of Kwabena Darko, who as a boy started a tiny poultry farm just like Kojo's, which later grew to be the largest in Ghana, and one of the largest in west Africa. Kwabena also started a trust that gives out small loans to people who cannot get a loan from a bank. One Hen shows what happens when a little help makes a big difference. The final pages of One Hen explain the microloan system and include a list of relevant organizations for children to explore.

 
Other Titles Also Available

The Fourth Wise Man by Susan Summers
Atraban is the fourth wise man who is to travel to see the new born King. He never meets the Messiah but during his travels he gives away the gifts he was bringing in order to help many people. After years of travel, Artaban still hasn't met his King,  but before he dies, Artaban hears the voice of the Messiah.

Just Like New by Ainslie Manson
It is a time of war and children in England won't have Christmas presents. A little girl's class decides to give gifts they love that are like new. The girl unselfishly gives up her most cherished doll and inserts a note, and a girl from England becomes her pen pal after receiving the note.

Lily and the Paper Man   by Rebecca Upjohn
Walking with her mother Lily bumps straight into a gruff and untidy-looking man selling papers on the street. Frightened, Lily insists on taking the bus home every day for fear she will run into him again. But when the weather turns cold, Lily starts to see the Paper Man differently; she sees his bare toes through the holes in his boots and she lies in her warm bed at night, she wonders about the Paper Man and how he stays warm. Then she comes up with a wonderful idea.

Mother Teresa  by Demi
In clear, readable prose and richly colored paint-and-ink illustrations adorned with decorative gold-leaf borders, Demi conveys Mother Teresa's innate goodness and religious devotion while recounting the story of her inspiring accomplishments on behalf of the "poorest of the poor." The narrative focuses on Mother Teresa's experiences coming to the aid of countless unfortunate, diseased, orphaned, and forgotten citizens around the world; describes the far-reaching work of her order, the Missionaries of Charity; and concludes with the many humanitarian honors and awards bestowed upon her. Every element of this lovely book reflects Mother Teresa's simple message of service.

The 100th Customer by Kim Byung-Gyu and K.T. Hao
Ben Bear and Chris Croc open a restaurant that serves mouth-watering pizzas and luscious desserts. But their very first customers, an old woman and her grandson, order just one small, inexpensive pizza. "I'm not at all hungry," the grandmother insists, then sits and watches her grandson eat. Suddenly, Ben Bear and Chris Croc have an idea. What if they pretend this young man is really their 100th customer of the day — and that he has won free pizza and dessert? This joyous picture book shows how a simple act of generosity can bring unexpected rewards, and that a full heart can be even more satisfying than a full stomach.

Sam and the Lucky Money by Karen Chinn
After Sam receives four bright red envelopes, each containing a dollar, as part of the Chinese New Year celebration, he accompanies his mother to Chinatown anticipating how he will spend his lucky money. His mood sobers when he encounters a barefoot man on the street.  Nobly, he concludes that his four dollars would be best spent by the barefoot stranger.

Bone Button Borscht   by Aubrey Davis
In this ethnic variation of "Stone Soup," a hungry beggar comes to town on a cold and snowy evening. No door is opened to him until he sees a light and enters the synagogue. The shamas do nothing until he take the four buttons off his coat and asks for one more in order to make Bone Button Borscht. The incredulous townspeople gather round and provide the food that will make the soup just a little more tasty. Such a miracle. Such a joyous feast. The stranger then goes on his way with better buttons on his coat and the townspeople are left with a better spirit of neighborliness.

The Rag Coat by Lauren Mills
Minna's family can't afford a coat for her, but Papa keeps her warm in winter with a burlap sack and Mama's patchwork quilt. Just before he dies from lung disease he urges Minna to start school. There's still the problem of not having a  coat, solved by neighbors who contribute scraps and help to make one of patchwork lined with the old sack, ready almost as soon as cold weather begins. At first, the other children tease Minna about her outlandish garment; then, learning that the patchwork contains bits of their own histories, they begin to honor Minna and the stories she tells about the coat's many pieces. A sweet, sober tale about love and charity overcoming poverty

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
"As a child (Alice Rumphius) dreamed of travel . . . and of a house by the sea; but Grandfather had made one further request: 'You must do something to make the world more beautiful.' The simple story is accompanied by glowing pictures.

The Three Questions by Jon J. Muth
Yearning to be a good person, Nikolai asks, "When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do?" He visits Leo, an old turtle who lives in the mountains. While there, he helps Leo with his garden and rescues an injured panda and her cub, and in so doing, finds the answers he seeks. As Leo explains, "There is only one important time, and that time is now. The most important one is always the one you are with. And the most important thing is to do good for the one who is standing at your side." Moral without being moralistic, the tale sends a simple and direct message unfreighted by pomp or pedantry.

The Trees of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Polacco
On the family farm in Michigan, Trisha and Richard watch as Babushka and Grampa prepare for Hanukkah in their native Russian way, hand-dipping the candles, carving the children gifts of little wooden animals, cooking the latkes. When scarlet fever debilitates their neighbours, Trisha's whole family pitches in to make and deliver holiday dinners and Christmas trees (decorated with the children's wooden animals). Polacco's characteristically buoyant illustrations embody the joy of holiday traditions even as her robust storytelling locates the essence of that joy in giving and friendship.

 

SEPTEMBER : INCLUSIVITY

" We draw the circle of our family too small ."
Mother Teresa

Featured Book for September
 
 
all the colours of the earth cover

All the Colors of the Earth by Shelia Hamanaka

A poetic picture book and an exemplary work of art. The simple text describes children's skin tones and hair in terms of natural phenomena ("...the roaring browns of bears"; "...hair that curls like sleeping cats in snoozy cat colors") and then describes love for these children with rich colors and flavors ("...love comes in cinnamon, walnut, and wheat..."). Hamanaka's oil paintings are all double-page spreads filled with the colors of earth, sky, and water, and the texture of the artist's canvas shines through. The text is arranged in undulant waves across each painting. A celebration of diversity.

 
Other Titles Also Available

Amazing Grace  by Mary Hoffman
Although a classmate says that she cannot play Peter Pan in the school play because she is black and a girl, Grace discovers that she can do anything she sets her mind to do.

Cleversticks by Bernard Ashley
Wishing he had something to be clever at like each of the other children in his class, Ling Sung unexpectedly and happily discovers the others admire his prowess with chopsticks.

Don't Laugh at Me by Steve Seskin
This book and CD set explains the pain caused by laughing at others. It is a reminder to keep us compassionate, tolerant and kinder.

Elmer's Special Day  by David McKee
Once a year on Elmer's Day, all the elephants decorate themselves and have a parade, and this year Elmer comes up with a plan to include the other animals as well as the elephants.

Engelbert the Elephant by Tom Paxton
An elephant is invited to the Queen's royal ball by mistake and upsets the palace crowd. But the Queen notices his good manners and lively dancing and following her acceptance, everyone joins into the fun and comes to love Engelbert.

No Zombies Allowed by Matt Novak
As they look at photographs of their previous year's Monster Party, two witches begin to exclude zombies, ghosts, and vampires to avoid problems, but finally decide that a party is more fun when everyone is included.

Stellanluna by Janella Cannon
After being separated from Mother Bat, Stellaluna falls into a nest of baby birds. The family of birds adopt Stellaluna as one of their own, while she does her best to eat "bugs without making faces", sleep during the night and to stop hanging upside down. In the end, Stellaluna rejoins her mother.

Teammates by Peter Goldenbock
Jackie Robinson becomes the first black player in the major leagues. He has to ednure humiliation and prejudice from his own teammates, other players and fans. "Pee Wee" Reese, a white player, comes to Jackie's support in a game at Crosley Field in Cincinnati which shocks the fans.

Turkey Tot by George Shannon
Turkey Tot is a resourceful, hopeful fellow who refuses to let farmyard naysayers get him down. When he conceives of an "out of the box" plan for gathering berries, Hen's observance that Turkey Tot has been different since the day he was hatched morphs from criticism to compliment.


OCTOBER : RESPECT

Love one another warmly as Christians and be eager to show respect for one another.
Romans 12:10

Featured Book for October
 
 
A Man Called Raven cover

A Man Called Raven by Richard Van Camp and Illlustrated by George Littlechild

Van Camp's tale teaches respect for life, both human and animal. Toby and Chris are brothers--one light-skinned, with brown hair and blue eyes, the other with dark skin, brown eyes, and black hair--who are caught tormenting a raven. The man who confronts Toby and Chris is an imposing soul and tells them the story of a man who once also abused a raven. That raven started to follow the man, who is gradually transformed into a raven. He flies back to spy upon his old neighbors and discovers that the whole village has turned out for his funeral, demonstrating respect for his life even though he was wicked and without a kind word for anyone. The man/raven is transformed again, this time into a raven who looks out for his people in times of trouble. When the situation warrants it, he can become a man to remind others of the lessons he's learned. The storyteller takes his leave of the boys, in a flurry of feathers.

 
Other Titles Also Available

Each Living Thing by Joanne Ryder
Celebrates the creatures of the earth, from spiders dangling in their webs to owls hooting and hunting out of sight, and asks that we respect and care for them.

Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester
All his classmates make fun of Rodney because he can't pronounce his name, but it is Rodney's speech impediment that drives away the class bully.

It's Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr
Illustrations and brief text describe all kinds of differences that are "okay", such as "It's Okay to be a different color

Night Visitors by Ed Young
This is a retelling of a Chinese folktale in which a young scholar learns respect for all forms of life after be becomes part of an ant colony in a dream.

Sneaky Weasel  by Hannah Shaw
Although he's had a lot of fun doing sneaky and devilish things to all his friends for his own amusement, Sneaky Weasel learns a hard lesson about friendship and respect when he throws a party for himself and no one shows up.

The Sneetches by Dr.Seuss 
This classic title helps children to see the silliness of judging people by appearance rather than by character. It reminds us all that in order to get along it is important to respect the differences in others.

Whoever You Are by Mem Fox
Every day all over the world children are laughing and crying, playing and learning, eating and sleeping. They may not look the same, but inside they are alike. This is an inspiring celebration for all children, whoever they are.

 


NOVEMBER : PEACEMAKING

Featured Book for November
 
the contest between the sun and the moon (in the Library's catalogue)

The Contest Between the Sun and the Wind: An Aesop's Fable retold by Heather Forest

In this retelling of a classic fable from Aesop, we learn that being the most forceful does not make you the strongest. Sometimes the greatest strength comes from a place of gentleness.

 
Other Titles Also Available

The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss
Engaged in a long-running battle, the Yooks and the Zooks develop more and more sophisticated weaponry as they attempt to outdo each other.

Can You Say Peace? by Karen Katz
International Peace Day is September 21. On this day and every day throughout the year, children all over the world wish for peace. Karen Katz takes readers on a bright and colorful journey around the globe to meet some of these children and learn about the many ways to say peace! Bright and childlike illustrations are the perfect way to introduce the very young to the concept of peace and teach them how to say the word in twenty-two different languages.

The Enemy: A Book About Peace by Davide Cali  
In this moving picture book, award-winning collaborators Davide Cali and Serge Bloch present a fable for our time about two lonely soldiers facing each other across a barren battlefield. What each discovers, as the story unfolds, is that the enemy is not a faceless beast, but rather a real person with family, friends, and dreams. This short work will prompt discussion on war and other means of resolving conflict.

A Handful of Seeds by Monica Hughes
Conception's grandmother has always advised her to save seed for the next planting; but now Conception must leave their shared home when her grandmother dies, moving to a crowded and ugly city which holds no place for gardens. How can she continue her grandmother's gift and patterns of living in the barrio? Hughes paints an engaging portrait in telling of a young girl's struggles to bring light into a bleak life.

Legend of the Chinese Dragon by Marie Seller
In ancient China, the different tribes lived under the protection of benevolent spirits that took the form of animals--fish, ox, bird, horse, and serpent. But, as often happens, the tribes grew envious of each other and began to fight amongst themselves in the names of their spirits. The children decided to declare a war on war by creating a creature that combined the best of all the spirits and would protect all the people. To this day, the dragon is a symbol of peace and plays an especially important role in the celebration of the Chinese New Year.

Peace Begins With You by Katherine Scholes
This is a simple story about the different ways of defining and achieving peace.  Katherine Scholes begins the story at a personal level by talking about how peace feels in our everyday lives. The title is extraordinarily fitting for how children, and adults will feel after reading this book. The choices we make affect not only us as individuals, but also the world as a whole.

Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of  Wangari Maathai by Claire A. Nivola  
The 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Wangari Maathai changed the world one seed at a time. Claire A. Nivola's lovely Planting the Trees of Kenya offers Maathai's story to a younger, wider audience. The idea of restoring ruined land to its original beauty will fill readers of all ages with hope

Somewhere Today: A Book of Peace  by Shelley Moore Thomas
This affirming prose poem assers that peace begins with everyday examples. "Somewhere today...someone is being a friend instead of fighting" or "someone is fixing old toys to give to new friends." Each double-page spread provides an example of a positive action in large type, along with several candid photographs of the individuals involved in bringing it about. A doctor cares for an infant, a boy teaches his sister to ride a bike, two youngsters visit an elderly woman, a family plants trees, etc. The book is visually appealing and offers a proactive approach to creating a better world

Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa by Jeanette Winter
This delightful picture-book biography of the environmentalist has engaging illustrations and accessible, succinct prose. . . . This book would be a superb choice for read-alouds or assignments.  This true story of Wangari Maathai, environmentalist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is a shining example of how one woman’s passion, vision, and determination inspired great change.

Why? by Nicolai Popov
This is a wordless picture book which invites children to interpret the story. A frog, peacefully sitting in a meadow, is suddenly attacked by an umbrella-wielding mouse in a confrontation that quickly turns into full-scale war. The author, who suffered Nazi bombardments of his village in Russia, created this book "because it seems to me that if children can understand the senselessness of war, if they can see how easily one can be sucked into a cycle of violence, they may become a force for peace in the future."

 

DECEMBER : HUMILITY

Humility is the most difficult of all virtues to achieve; nothing dies harder than the desire to think well of oneself.     T.S. Eliot 

Featured Picture Book for December
 
 
The last straw cover

The Last Straw   written by Fredrick H. Thury and illustrated by Vlasta van Kampen

A grumpy camel's boast comes back to haunt him in this engaging Christmas picture-book tale, adapted from a choral libretto. Despite gout, sciatica, and general surliness, old Hoshmakaka reluctantly agrees to carry the Wise Men's gifts to the baby king. But because he incautiously puffs himself up before the younger camels, he also ends up taking jugs of milk and wine, baskets of pastries, and other presents offered along the way. Vlasta van Kampen's bright, sharply detailed watercolors depict the shaggy protagonist plodding along in stately arrogance beneath a burden that grows to comically towering proportions. When a child asks him to carry a piece of straw, Hoshmakaka refuses. He relents, however, but he realizes that if he wants to finish his trek, he'd better not stop again. Entering the stable at last, the camel falls to his knees in exhaustion, whereupon a touch of the baby's hand dispels both the burden's weight and the camel's wounded pride. The text and illustrations work unusually well together to evoke the story's humorous undertone while preserving a grand sense of occasion.


Other Titles Also available

The Boy Who Dreamed of an Acorn  by Leigh Casler
Three boys climb a mountain on a spirit quest, seeking a dream that will determine their futures. The first dreams of a black bear; the second, of a white-headed eagle; but the third dreams only of an acorn. Disappointed, he seeks out the wise man, who explains that each dream contains its own special gift and gives the boy an acorn to plant and care for. Later, when the others display great talents and strengths, the third boy again seeks advice. This time, the elder tells him to stand as tall as his little tree and contemplate its structure. Over the years he sees that the tree gives shelter, food, comfort, and shade to humans, birds, and other creatures. Finally, he understands his gift--that of providing comfort, kindness, and shelter to those who seek him out.

The Crow Who Stood on His Beak by Rafik Schami
An adventurous little crow goes in search of the magnificent peacock, and, upon meeting him, manages to humble the peacock and endear himself to the other birds.

The Dog Prince: An Original Fairy Tale  by Lauren A. Mills
While hunting the beast known as the chimera, an arrogant prince is turned into a dog and must learn humility from a gentle goat-girl.

Mwâkwa : Talks to the Loon : a Cree Story for Children by Dale Auger
When Kayas becomes arrogant, he loses the Gift that allows him to find animals to hunt so that he may feed his people, so he asks Mwakwa, the loon, for help, in a story that includes some words in Cree.

The Peacock’s Pride by Melissa Kajpust
A tale from northern India which relates how the peacock learned a lesson in humility from the black bird and forever more carries his train of feathers behind him.

The Popcorn Dragon by Jane Thayer
Although his hot breath is the envy of all the other animals, a young dragon learns that showing off does not make friends.

St. Francis of Assisi by Nina Bawden
A biography of the young Italian who gave up his wealth in order to devote his life to preaching God's word and caring for the poor and the animals in our world.  

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