Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Favorite Secular Book: Sharing: How Kindness Grows

When Ellie and Zach started struggling with how and why to share, I searched everywhere for a good book to teach them the benefits. I didn't find much in the Christian market, but found an excellent book in the secular market. It is my top pick for this week's theme.

Sharing: How Kindness Grows is a bright, engaging book written by Fran Shaw, Ph.D. It is a board book (The pages are thinner than most board books, but still sturdy enough for toddlers.) with lift-the-flap pages. Each two-page spread tells how sharing is kind, helpful and fun. Children can lift the flaps to see how sharing changes the situation -- those who are sad become happy; a sand castle is built by sharing tools; pictures are made by sharing crayons, etc.

The best part of this book, though, is in the chain reaction. Christopher shares with Nate, so Nate shares with Jennifer. Jennifer then shares Amy and so on. Children learn that sharing makes friendships grow. The last page of the book reveals a beautiful pop-up circle of all the friends who share. "Sharing gives us a happy feeling, and that feeling grows as it gets passed along ... Each time we share with each other, we fill the world with kindness."

The book is illustrated by Miki Sakamato. Each page is filled to the brim with color. Children of several ethnicities are represented in the illustrations and as main characters.

What I Like: Everything. One of my favorite aspects is the versatility shown in sharing. Sharing is not just about toys. This books shows children sharing toys, but also sharing food, drinks, crayons, a swing and even a hug. My kids love this book. I usually add to the beginning or end "This is why God likes it when we share!"

What I Dislike: Nothing.

Overall Rating: Excellent!

Age Appeal: Baby-Preschool

Publisher Info: Reader's Digest, 2006; ISBN: 0794411436; board book; $14.99

Buy it Now at Amazon for $11.69!

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