With reports from educators that students are in a heightened state of anxiety, we put out the call for recommendations for books that would offer comfort and solace within the age range of ages three to twelve. Do you have a book in mind? Send us your recommendation(s). We’ll keep adding to this list, so you may wish to bookmark it. We’re not going to wait until we’ve gathered a lot of titles because this list is needed now.
Here are suggestions from Merna Ann Hecht, poet and educator:
Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea, Joyce Carol Thomas, illustrated by Floyd Cooper. NY: Harper Collins, 1993. (ages 4–7)
River of Words: Young Poets and Artists on the Nature of Things, Pamela Michael, editor. Minneapolis, MN: Milkweed Editions, 2008.
Salting the Ocean: 100 Poems by Young Poets, selected by Naomi Shihab Nye, illustrated by Ashley Bryan. . NY: Greenwillow, 2000.
This is a poem that heals fish, Jean-Pierre Siméon. New York: Enchanted Lion Books, 2005. A playful read-aloud book to inspire young children to delight in creating their own poetry.
This Place I Know: Poems of Comfort, selected by Georgia Heard, Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 2011.
Words with Wings: A Treasury of African-American Poetry and Art, selected by Belinda Rochelle. NY: Harper Collins, 2001.
For Older Children
Our thanks to Cynthia Grady, author and educator, for these soothing suggestions.
Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, Jacqueline Kelly. NY: Henry Holt, 2009.
What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms, and Blessings, poetry by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers, 2013.
Wings by William Loizeaux, illustrations by Leslie Bowman, NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2006.