Category Archives: For Parents

25 Multicultural Christmas Books for Kids

Joy to the World Christmas Stories Around the WorldChristmas is a time of year that brings people together. The happiness, generosity and spirit of good will at Christmas provide a great opportunity to share with kids how people of different traditions and cultures gather and celebrate. It is a natural time to focus on the things we share while also celebrating the wonderful ways we are different. It seems like the opposite would be true, but acknowledging differences can actually showcase our commonalities!

Sharing time, space, food, traditions and memories nurture our connections. The stories listed here are some favorites that show the countless ways people down the street, across town or across the globe celebrate Christmas. Share them with your child to nurture the spirit of peace on earth.

Websites:


Books:

Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books at any of our locations, or check out e-books and e-audiobooks from home right to your device. Click on a book jacket below to request a book or download it. Need help? Call or ask a Library staff member at any of our locations, text a librarian at 317 333-6877, or leave a comment.

Too Many TamalesThe Night of Las PosadasThe Legend of the PoinsettiaThe All I'll Ever Want Christmas DollNine Days to Christmas12 Days of ChristmasA Kenya ChristmasA Pinata in a Pine TreeBaboushka and the Three KingsCharro ClausGrace at ChristmasHallelujah a Christmas CelebrationKatie's London ChristmasLa Noche BuenaThe Legend of Old BefanaThe Flying Canoe a Christmas StoryThe Little Match GirlThe Night Before ChristmasThe Nutcracker in HarlemThe Wee Christmas CabinTree of CranesTwas NochebuenaWhen Christmas Feels Like HomeYoon and the Christmas Mitten

Home for the Holidays? Stream Movies w/your Library Card!

Do you need to keep a house full of kids entertained for holiday break? IndyPL can help! We’ve got a brand new streaming service for kids. You can borrow 10 titles a month with your library card. You watch each one for 72 hours, so don’t borrow all 10 at once!

It’s really easy to browse through the titles. Choose some to share with holiday guests and some to watch during your child’s own downtime. Kanopy Kids also has age ratings from Common Sense Media to help you make choices that are just right for your kids.

Here is a snapshot of our favorite Kanopy Kids category: Story Time! Other Kanopy Kids categories are Kids Movies, Kids TV, Educational & Beloved Characters.

Here’s how it works:

 

  • Visit indypl.kanopy.com to sign up with your library card.
  • Once you press play on a film, you have 3 days to view it as many times as you like without using another play credit.
  • Play credits reset on the 1st of the month.
  • Once you have reached your quota of films, you will not be able to play any films until the new month starts when you will be given a fresh quota of 10 play credits again.
  • You can access Kanopy from any device, including iOSAndroidApple TVRoku, and Chromecast.

Let the fun begin!

More FREE Online Reading:

Power to the Preschoolers! Introducing Elections to Kids

If I Ran for PresidentEven small children can begin to understand the basic concept of voting as a method for making a group decision. Who wants pizza for dinner? Who wants mac ‘n cheese? The resources below can help you begin talking with your child about the upcoming election.

If I Ran for President is a great introductory look at what it means to run for office as well as a first look at the election process. The concepts are explained in the simple terms appropriate for children. For a funnier look at politics try out Duck for President. When Duck becomes dissatisfied by the conditions in the barn working for Farmer Brown he decides it would be better to be the bird in charge! Clever cartoon illustrations show some of the iconic events associated with elections like parades, speeches on a stage, town meetings, campaign posters and a motorcade. Your child will also find out that being the boss is not as easy as it looks!

You can watch a video read aloud of If I Ran for President and Duck for President with your child right now!


Websites, Activities & Printables:


More FREE Online Reading:


Books:

Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books at any of our locations, or check out e-books and e-audiobooks from home right to your device. Click on a book jacket below to request a book or download it. Need help? Call or ask a Library staff member at any of our locations, text a librarian at 317 333-6877, or leave a comment.

Elizabeth Leads the Way Susan B. Anthony Does My Vote Count Vote A Call for a New Alphabet Amelia Bedelias First Vote Duck for President I Could Do That Monster Needs Your Vote Vote for Me Woodrow for President

Helping Children Cope with Tragic Events

Grandma and Child Reading Photo“We’re going over in a safe area,” she told the 5-year-olds. Then, she opened a book and started to read.”  ~Kindergarten Teacher, Sandy Hook Elementary School

The Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting and the mailing of suspicious packages are recent events in the news that may cause children who are aware of them anxiety or fear. We offer you what we can during this difficult moments and that is the comfort and security that time spent with you and good book can provide. Come. Open a book. Start to read. Hold them close and revisit old friends together; Curious George, The Cat in the Hat, Arthur, The Little Engine That Could.

Or stay at home and do the same. Find the books in the bookcase with the dog-eared pages and the tell-tale bite marks on the spine; the ones you can probably recite without looking at the pages. Choose the one with the coffee ring on the cover for having been on the bedside table every night.

Favorite stories are steadfast old friends to count on in times of trouble. In addition, the books listed below are designed to help you talk through fear and trauma with  your child.

It is clear from the resources we have gathered below that one of the best things we can all do is simply reassure children that many people – their family, their teachers, their neighbors, the people at day care or church or the library love and care about them and are looking out for their safety.

Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered. 
”Yes, Piglet?” 
”Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.” ~ A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Professional Advice about Helping Children Cope with Violence and Tragic Events:


Dad and Children Reading PhotoWhile favorite stories are comforting and familiar, you may find that it would be helpful to read a book together that helps your child understand feeling afraid or anxious; or answers questions he or she might have about death. Below are several children’s books that address separation anxiety, fear and grief. These are just a small sampling to show you the kinds of books that are available. Also listed are some parenting books about helping a child cope with anxiety. Click on any book jacket to go directly to the online catalog to make a request with your IndyPL Library Card, or visit any of our branch locations. IndyPL librarians would be happy to help you find books like these. NOTE: The first two titles, Owl Babies and The Kissing Hand, you can watch right now online – no waiting. Both are about learning to cope with separation anxiety.


Videos:

OwlBabiesWatch Right Now: Owl Babies – Three baby owls panic when they awaken one night and find their mother gone, worrying about what has happened to her and becoming frightened by all the scary things that surround them in the dark. Book

 

KissingHandWatch Right Now: The Kissing Hand – When Chester the raccoon is reluctant to go to kindergarten for the first time, his mother teaches him a secret way to carry her love with him. Book


Picture Books:

The Breaking NewsThe Breaking News – When devastating news rattles a young girl’s community, her normally attentive parents and neighbors are suddenly exhausted and distracted. At school, her teacher tells the class to look for the helpers-the good people working to make things better in big and small ways. She wants more than anything to help in a BIG way, but maybe she can start with one small act of kindness instead … and then another, and another. Small things can compound, after all, to make a world of difference.


Invisible StringThe Invisible String – When Liza and Jeremy run to their mother during a scary storm, she comforts them by telling them about the Invisible String, which connects people who love each other no matter where they are and means that they are never alone.


Healing DaysHealing Days – A guide for kids who have experienced trauma.


The Hugging TreeThe Hugging Tree – Told in rhyming text, a little tree clings tenaciously to a granite cliff, determined to live, tended by a little boy, and ultimately loved by the people in the community.


Jenny is ScaredJenny is Scared – When Jenny and her brother are frightened by events in the world, their parents help them talk about their fears and feel better.


The Kiss BoxThe Kiss Box
– As they prepare for a short separation, Mama Bear and Little Bear find a way to reassure each other while they are apart.


Love Hugs & HopeLove, Hugs & Hope – Helps children identify feelings that overwhelm them with anxiety and despair. Explains that sometimes bad things happen and good people are hurt. Children feel fear, sadness, and anger. The book teaches that there are ways of dealing with these emotions.


Love WavesLove Waves – While they are at work a mother and father send powerful “love waves” to their child at home, offering reassurance and comfort in their absence.


Mommy In My PocketMommy in My Pocket – A little girl gets anxious about separation from her mommy when she goes to school.


On That DayOn That Day: a Book of Hope for Children – This book tells children that although terrible things happen, there is still hope that the world can be a better place.


The Rhino Who Swallowed a StormThe Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm – When little Mica is frightened by a storm, her father tells her the story of a rhino who was feeling lost and alone, until he learns that with the love of family and friends, there will always be help during tough times. eBook

 


Snowflakes FallSnowflakes Fall – In this illustrated poem in honor of the victims of the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, falling snowflakes celebrate the uniqueness of life, its precious, simple moments, and the strength of memory. PrinteBook


Some Bunny To Talk ToSome Bunny To Talk To – When Little Bunny’s problem makes him feel sad and fearful, he goes to a therapist for help. Includes note to parents. eBook

 


A Terrible Thing That HappenedA Terrible Thing Happened – After Sherman sees something terrible happen, he becomes anxious and then angry, but when a counselor helps him talk about these emotions he feels better.

 


What to do When You're Scared & WorriedWhat To Do When You’re Scared and Worried – Why do we have worries and fears? — Fears after something bad has happened — Fears of people, animals, and situations — Worries about being away from your parents : separation anxiety — Thoughts and behaviors you can’t stop — Worrying all the time — Panic, feeling you are going crazy or about to die — How to control your worries and fears — When fears and worries will not go away — For parents : helping your children cope with worries and fears. eBook


When Bad Things HappenWhen Bad Things Happen: A Guide to Help Kids Cope – Truly bad things happen in life. And while we cannot shelter children from every hurt and harm, we can reassure them that they will always be loved and cared for. We can teach children the skills needed for coping with life’s biggest challenges and changes. And we can restore children’s trust that life, after all, is good. eBook


For Adults:

Freeing Your Child From AnxietyFreeing Your Child From Anxiety – Written by an expert in the field of childhood anxiety disorders, this indispensable guide is for parents looking for safe, proven methods for reducing childhood anxiety. Dr. Chansky shows them how to teach their child to successfully deal with stress and face the challenges and uncertainties of life. This resource is a CD but is also available as a eBook


Growing Up BraveGrowing Up Brave – The author, a childhood anxiety expert, helps parents identify and understand anxiety in their children, outlines effective and convenient parenting techniques for reducing anxiety, and shows parents how to promote bravery for long-term confidence.

Empathy, Kindness & Respecting Others

Some Monsters Are Different

Empathy is the ability to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from the other person’s point of view. It is imagining how someone else is thinking or feeling as well as understanding that other people have feelings and those feelings count. By mastering empathy children develop compassion and the ability to make friends.

We often ask children to think about “walking in someone else’s shoes” to help them learn to consider the feelings and experiences of others, like being polite to others, even when you are in a bad mood. Picture books are a great way to help children develop empathy. Through them, children can live the experiences of someone else. Anna Dewdney, author of the Llama Llama books, is well known for speaking about the role picture books can play in the development of empathy in children.

When we open a book, and share our voice and imagination with a child, that child learns to see the world through someone else’s eyes.” ~ Anna Dewdney, The Wall Street Journal: How Books Can Teach Your Child to Care

Listed below are several picture books that celebrate the differences of others and highlight the experience of empathy as well as the friendships and strength of community that result from it.


Websites, Activities & Printables:


Books:

Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books at any of our locations, or check out e-books and e-audiobooks from home right to your device. Click on a book jacket below to request a book or download it. Need help? Call or ask a Library staff member at any of our locations, text a librarian at 317 333-6877, or leave a comment.

All Kinds of FamiliesAll Kinds of Families – Families of all shapes, sizes, and colors, including celery stalks and buttons, are presented in this colorful picture book celebrating the diversity, familiarity, and importance of togetherness.


Beryl a Pig's TaleBeryl: a Pig’s Tale – Tired of being mistreated and cooped up, Beryl the piglet escapes her farm and meets a group of wild pigs, whose settlement splits up over the decision of whether to let her stay, and with her new “family” she sets out to find a new home.


The Chickens Build a WallThe Chickens Build a Wall – When a friendly hedgehog visits the farm, the chickens build an enormous wall to keep out “prickly invaders.


The Colors of UsThe Colors of Us – Seven-year-old Lena and her mother observe the variations in the color of their friends’ skin, viewed in terms of foods and things found in nature.


Freedom SummerFreedom Summer – In 1964, Joe is pleased that a new law will allow his best friend John Henry, who is black, to share the town pool and other public places with him, but he is dismayed to find that prejudice still exists.


Hello My Name is OcticornHello My Name is Octicorn – The octicorn– half octopus and half unicorn– introduces himself and tells readers why, though strange and unique, octicorns make great friends.


June and AugustJune and August – Two animals who share a love of the night sky meet in the daylight and are surprised to discover how different they are.


Let's Talk About RaceLet’s Talk about Race – The author introduces the concept of race as only one component in an individual’s or nation’s “story.”


The Little Bit Scary PeopleThe Little Bit Scary People – Some people are a little bit strange or a little too loud, and just a little bit scary. But I bet, if you knew them, and knew their favorite things, you’d think that maybe, (probably) most people aren’t so scary after all.


Little Sweet PotatoLittle Sweet Potato – A sweet potato, lost and trying to get back home, rolls down the road looking for other vegetable and flower patches, trying to fit in. Told repeatedly he’s lumpy and bumpy and doesn’t belong, Little Sweet Potato finally finds acceptance at the “hodge-podge patch” (a garden).


Looking After LouisLooking After Louis – When a new boy with autism joins their classroom, the children try to understand his world and to include him in theirs.


My Grandma's a NinjaMy Grandma’s a Ninja – When Ethan’s grandma suggests they take a zip line to school, Ethan realizes that his grandma is a little different. In fact, she’s a ninja! Ethan is soon the hit of the school when his grandma drops from the ceiling at show-and-tell, and teaches the kids karate moves and how to do backflips in slow motion. But when his grandma deflates his team’s soccer ball, everyone is upset–including Ethan. Why can’t he just have a regular grandma? But when Ethan tries out his new karate moves during the championship game, he’s happy that his grandma isn’t ordinary.


The Name JarThe Name Jar – After Unhei moves from Korea to the United States, her new classmates help her decide what her name should be.


Once Green AppleOne Green Apple – While on a school field trip to an orchard to make cider, a young immigrant named Farah gains self-confidence when the green apple she picks perfectly complements the other students’ red apples.


The Other BearsThe Other Bears – Mother and Father Koala are suspicious of the ‘other’ bears. They don’t like the panda bears and they don’t trust the polar bears. But their grumpiness melts away as they watch their little Koalas play together with ‘other’ bears.


The Other SideThe Other Side – Two girls, one white and one black, gradually get to know each other as they sit on the fence that divides their town. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2004-2005, K-3 Nominee.


The Peace BookThe Peace Book – Describes peace as making new friends, sharing a meal, feeling good about yourself, and more.


Some Monsters are DifferentSome Monsters are Different – A warmhearted celebration of individuality describes the many differences found among monsters, from beasts who are picky or will eat anything to creatures who chatter or remain quiet, explaining that all monsters are wonderful just the way they are.


The SneetchesThe Sneetches – The Star-Belly Sneetches think they are the best, and look down upon Sneetches without stars. The Plain-Belly Sneetches remain depressed and oppressed, prohibited from associating with their star-bellied counterparts, until Sylvester McMonkey McBean comes along & begins to give stars to the Plain-Belly Sneetches. The original Star-Belly Sneetches are angry at no longer being different and special, so they get Sylvester to remove all their stars. This continues back and forth until no one can remember which Sneetches were originally what, and an epiphany strikes them all at once: that it really doesn’t matter whether a Sneetch has a star belly or not – they are all really the same, and can coexist and be friends with one another.


Shades of People – Explores the many different shades of human skin, and points out that skin is just a covering that does not reveal what someone is like inside.


SplashdanceSplashdance – Ursula, a bear, and Ricardo, a human, are preparing for the water ballet competition. But a new regulation at the community pool–no bears–leaves Ursula cut from the contest. Luckily, she encounters a group of undaunted animal swimmers at a local pond, and Ursula and her new team figure out a way to participate in the competition and make sure everyone is welcome at the pool once and for all.


Strictly No ElephantsStrictly No Elephants – A boy is excluded from joining his friends’ pet club because of his unusual pet.


Tilt Your Head Rosie RedTilt Your Head, Rosie Red – Classmate Fadimata is teased because of her hijab until Rosie a high-energy child who wears a red cape, listens carefully and always tries to see things “from every angle,” finds a way to celebrate Fadimata’s unique head covering, inspiring others to follow suit.


We Came to AmericaWe Came to America – Celebrates United States immigration and the country’s diverse immigrant heritage.


Who We AreWho We Are – Join Nellie, Gus, baby Jake, and their parents at Funland as they go on rides, watch performers, and play games along with many other children and grown-ups. As they enjoy their excursion, they notice that people are the same as one another in lots of ways, and different in lots of ways too. Helps children realize why it’s important to treat others the way they want to be treated whether a person is a lot like you or different from you, a good friend or someone you have just met or seen for the first time.


Whoever You AreWhoever You Are – Despite the differences between people around the world, there are similarities that join us together, such as pain, joy, and love.


You and Me TogetherYou and Me Together: Moms, Dads, and Kids Around the World – From a festival in India to a bus in Germany, from a park in China to a campfire in Australia, loving moms, dads, and kids share their lives.


Yo YesYo! Yes? – Two lonely characters, one black and one white, meet on the street and become friends.