6 Resilience-Building & Inclusive Children’s Books for National Read Across America Day

Celebrate diverse experiences with these children's books


To celebrate National Read Across America Day on March 2, we’ve selected six of our favorite children’s books that teach kids resilience-building skills and celebrate diverse experiences.
The Small and Tall Ball: A Story About Diversity and Inclusion
Frank Sileo, PhD

Although our world is diverse, it is not always inclusive. To raise accepting, empathic, and open-minded children, it is important to instill the idea that differences are to be celebrated within families, communities, and throughout the world.

In The Small and Tall Ball, readers will follow the heartwarming story of Oliver, a child who feels excluded from the yearly “Mother-Son & Father-Daughter Dance” because he has two dads. While planning for the dance goes on around him, Oliver learns that other kids in his class are also unable to attend because they have diverse families. “This is NOT fair!” cries one student. How can the students come together to plan a dance where all kids and families are welcome? Find out how the class thinks up a clever idea so everyone can enjoy the dance – making it a special night for those small and those tall!

Inside you’ll also find a special note for parents and caregivers that explains how to talk to kids about the importance of inclusion and the diverse families all around us.
Your Joy is Beautiful: The Magic of Remembering That You Are Enough, Just as You Are
Zahabiyah Yamasaki, Med, RYT

Your Joy is Beautiful is an endearing and affirming picture book that reminds children of the joy that exists within and around them, helping them feel seen and celebrated. Showcasing diverse families and children of all backgrounds, lived experiences, and abilities, it reveals the magic in the seemingly small – but sacred – everyday moments in our busy lives.

By giving children the language of compassion, kindness, and empathy, we can let them know that they are enough. That they are worthy and deserving of love just as they are. This beautifully illustrated book reminds them of the power they hold to create a ripple effect of good out into the world.
Fear Not: How to Face Your Fear and Anxiety Head On
Christina Furnival, MA, LPCC

As a parent, have you ever asked yourself:

How can I help my child overcome their fear and anxiety?

What skills can I teach my child to cope with scary “what if” thoughts?

How can I help them grow more confident when their worries seem so big?

Christina Furnival, a licensed mental health therapist and mom, answers these questions in this empowering and uplifting rhyming story about a young boy who successfully faces his anxiety and fear head-on. In Fear Not!, children will learn a practical three-step lesson to manage their worries, regain their cool, and strip fear of its power once and for all.

By teaching children how to confront their fears and mindfully ride the wave of anxiety, this book equips them with the tools they need to deal with the inevitable stressors of life and feel confident no matter the challenge.
Thank You Mind: Understanding My Big Feelings on Tricky Days
Jennifer Cohen Harper

“The world gets confusing. There’s so much to know. I feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to go. Then I remember that I can slow down, do one thing at a time, feel my feet on the ground.”

Children experience so many feelings every day that they can become overwhelmed. In this inviting exploration of a wide range of emotions—from anger to boredom to awe—children will discover how their mind can help them make sense of their experiences.

Thank You Mind also includes meaningful tips for caregivers to help their children learn how awareness, self-compassion, and positive self-talk can be powerful tools even on the trickiest days.
Some Days I Make Mistakes: How to Stay Calm and Cool When Your Day is Not So Great
Kellie Doyle Bailey, MA, CCC-SLP

We all make mistakes; it’s just what we do when we’re learning and growing at home or in school. Mistakes can be big, or they can be small, but no matter the size, we can learn from them all. Join Kela as she explores the big feelings—and the wonderful possibilities— that can come from making mistakes. In this compassionate and charming story, children will learn effective, simple techniques for staying calm and cool, and discover new ways to learn and grow from their mistakes.
NowMaps, Jr.: Adventure Stories to Help Young Kids Navigate Everyday Challenges & Grow in Caring & Kind Ways
Daniel J. Siegel, MD

Written by world-renowned neuropsychiatrist and co-author of The Whole-Brain Child, Dr. Dan Siegel, NowMaps Jr. is a delightful rhyming story that introduces kids to the neuroscience of early childhood social-emotional learning in a captivating, interactive way! Kids ages 3-6 will love this beautifully illustrated choose-your-own-adventure book that whisks them off to distant lands – including a jungle, a desert, and a pirate ship – as they learn about their thoughts, feelings, and sensory experiences.

Topic: Book Club | Children & Adolescents | Classroom Resources

Tags: Reading | Children | Classroom Resources

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