Category Archives: For Parents

Helping Children Cope with Tragic Events

“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

This is what we have to offer you today in the aftermath of the inexplicable. 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.

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.


Video Storytime:

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. Print, eBook, en español

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. Print, eBook, en español


Chapter Books for Older Readers

Picture Books:

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. Print

Boats for PapaBoats for Papa – Buckley and his mother cope with the loss of their father/husband by sending small wooden boats, built by Buckley, off into the ocean. Print

Chester Raccoon and the Acorn Full of MemoriesChester Raccoon and the Acorn Full of Memories – After his mother explains why his classmate is not returning to school, she teaches Chester Raccoon how to make a memory. Print, eBook

City Dog Country FrogCity Dog, Country Frog – In spring, when City Dog runs free in the country for the first time, he spots Country Frog sitting on a rock, waiting for a friend. “You’ll do,” Frog says, and together they play Country Frog games. In summer, they meet again and play City Dog games. Through the seasons, whenever City Dog visits the country he runs straight for Country Frog’s rock. In winter, things change for City Dog and Country Frog. Come spring, friendship blooms again, a little different this time. Print

The Giving TreeThe Giving Tree – A young boy grows to manhood and old age experiencing the love and generosity of a tree which gives to him without thought of return. Print, eBook

Grandpa GreenGrandpa Green – A child explores the ordinary life of his extraordinary great-grandfather, as expressed in his topiary garden. Explores aging, memory, and the bonds of family history and love. Print

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

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. Print

I Miss YouI Miss You – Explores the difficult issue of death for young children. Feelings and questions about this sensitive subject are looked at in a simple but realistic way. Written by a psychotherapist and counselor this book helps children to understand their loss and to come to terms with their feelings. Print, eBook

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. Print

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. Print

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 and helps children reaffirm fundamental truths about the world. Print

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. Print

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

Nana Upstairs Nana DownstairsNana Upstairs, Nana Downstairs – Four-year-old Tommy enjoys his relationship with both his grandmother and great-grandmother, but eventually learns to face their inevitable death. Print

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. Print

Remembering CrystalRemembering Crystal – Zelda is a young duck that lives in the garden. Her friend Crystal is a turtle who is growing old. The two do many things together. One day Crystal is not in the garden. But friendship never dies. Print

Remembering Mrs RossiRemembering Mrs. Rossi – Although she loves her father, their home in New York City, and third-grade teacher Miss Meadows, Annie misses her mother who died recently. Print,  eBook

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

Sad Isn't BadSad Isn’t Bad – A grief guidebook for kids dealing with loss. 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. Print, eBook

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. Print, eBook

Tear SoupTear Soup – A modern-day fable, told in a richly illustrated children’s book format, about a woman who has suffered a terrible loss. Grandy has just suffered a big loss in her life, so she is cooking up a batch of “tear soup,” in which the ingredients are parts of the grieving process, including memories, misgivings, feelings, and tears. Print

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. Print

Tough BorisTough Boris – Although he is a very tough pirate, Boris von der Borch cries when his parrot dies. Print

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. Print, 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

When Dinosaurs DieWhen Dinosaurs Die – Explains in simple language the feelings people may have regarding the death of a loved one and the ways to honor the memory of someone who has died. Print

Where is GrandpaWhere is Grandpa? – As his family reminisces after his beloved grandfather’s death, a boy realizes that his grandfather is still with him in all the special places they shared. Print


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 Print, 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. Print


More FREE Online Reading:

50 Fantastic Picture Books Illustrated by African-Americans

WeNeedDiverseBooks LogoCrown: an Ode to the Fresh CutOur role is to work together to create books that act as wide-open doors – books that allow all children to walk through and feel safe enough to stay.” ~ illustrator Jerry Pinkney #weneeddiversebooks

Children need to see all kinds of people in the books they read and that includes book characters that look like them. It can be hard to find pictures books that have characters of color. Here are 50 favorite picture books that not only star African-American characters but are also illustrated by African American artists.  Use this list to help find new books and new authors or illustrators that will help you throw wide-open the doors of diversity. You can find new books to act as a mirror, to reflect your child’s own experience, or a window, so they can take a look at someone else’s.

You can read some of the stories online right now in the “Read Right Now” section. Just click on a book jacket to enjoy it! Also listed are eBook and print book options.

Miles Davis by Kevin WestYou can also visit Central Library throughout February and March to see the 2018 Meet the Artists Exhibit (January 30 – April 1) which showcases the accomplishments of 11 prominent local African-American artists. While you are there visit The Center for Black Literature & Culture where you can find many of these picture books to check out and take home!


Read Right Now:

No Mirrors in My Nana's House

eBooks & eAudio:

IndyPLLibraryCard100
Use your indyPL Library Card number and PIN to check out FREE Online eBooks & eAudiobooks. Click on a book jacket & enter your Library Card number and PIN to borrow. What’s My PIN?

Beautiful MoonAunt Flossie's HatsCity ShapesEach KindnessGrandma's PurseHey Black ChildI Got the RhythmKnock KnockLast Stop on Market StreetThe Lion and the MouseMufaro's Beautiful Daughters

Print Books:

A is for ActivistAll Things Bright and BeautifulAfrican OrchestraAntionetteBack of the BusBelle the Last Mule at Gee's BendBig JabeBlack CatBrothers of the KnightBruh Rabbit and the Tar Baby GirlBusy Busy Little ChickChocolate MeEllen's BroomFreedom SummerThe Grasshopper and the AntsHe's Got the Whole World in His HandsIn Plain SightJabari JumpsLittle Red HenLittle Red Riding HoodThe Neighborhood Mother GooseNight Out with MamaNoah's ArkThe Nutcracker in HarlemThese HandsThis Is the RopeThe Tortoise and the HareUncle Jed's Barber ShopWe Shall Overcome: the Story of a S ongWelcome PreciousWhen Louis Armstrong Taught Me Scat

More about Black History:


To learn even more about fascinating and inspiring black history makers, visit the Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library. The Center is dedicated to celebrating the vibrant and resilient heritage and triumphs of those born of African roots.

Not Too Little To Help! Raising Socially Conscious Kids

Can We Help?“Can I help?” is one of the most often repeated sentences of small children. Toddlers and preschoolers are typically curious and eager to learn, willing volunteers to be included in the projects and jobs they see going on around them. This is a great time of year to talk about helping!

Young children understand the concept of support, assistance, and teamwork. When everyone helps out, “many hands make light work.” To help within their own family, kids can pick up toys, select items from a low shelf to add to a shopping cart, or feed the dog. The books listed below will help you take helping out to a new level. Even small children can contribute to their community, the bigger world outside their own home. “Can I help?” Yes, you CAN!

You can find more books & activities about helping out at home at Read Right Right Now! Helping.


eBooks:

IndyPLLibraryCard100
Use your indyPL Library Card number and PIN to check out FREE Online eBooks. Click on a book jacket & enter your Library Card number and PIN to borrow. What’s My PIN?
Just Critters Who CareMiss Fox's Class Goes GreenThe Berenstain Bears Get InvolvedCurious George Plants a TreeOne LoveThese Seas Count

Print Books:

How Can I Help? A Book About CaringA is for ActivistJoey and the Giant BoxMr. Tweed's Good DeedsMy Heart Will Not Sit DownOk GoRaising a HeroThe Berenstain Bears Go GreenThe Can Do ThanksgivingSomething BeautifulGood Deed Scouts Help Their NeighborsGood Deed Scounts to the RescueOlivia Helps Mother Nature

20 Books for Surviving Bullies

Unity Day LogoNobody should be mean. That’s an important skill to pass on to small children. Even very young children can learn to be kind. Important teachable moments happen every day. A teacher, parent or other adult can help children find ways to understand their own frustrations and feelings, which will help them be kinder to others. Remind them that everyone is different. Not better or worse. Just different. The books listed below can help children learn how to be kind to their friends  or help them learn how to survive being bullied themselves.


eBooks:

IndyPLLibraryCard100
Use your indyPL Library Card number and PIN to check out FREE Online eBooks. Click on a book jacket & enter your Library Card number and PIN to borrow. What’s My PIN?Overdrive Logo
BerenstainBullyChester Raccoon and the Big Bad BullyTwo Tough CrocsRoscoe Rules Never Swipe Bully's Bear

More FREE Online Reading:


Printables, Crafts & More about Bullying:


Books:

Hairy McClary form Donaldson's DairyOneBad AstridBen Rides OnBluebirdBootsie Barker BitesStella's StarlinerPinky and Rex and the BullyBullyElmer and the Big BirdJustin and the BullyLion vs. RabbitThe Little BillyLlama Llama and the Bully GoatScary MaryThomas the Toadally Terrible Bully

Favorite Teachers in Picture Books


We love teachers! Today is a great day to remember favorite teachers, both real and imagined. Talk to your child today about his or her teacher. What is a teacher’s job? What might a teacher ask you to do while you are at school? How does the teacher know if you have a question?

Ask about your child’s day at school. I bet you will hear a lot, “My teacher says…”! Stories about what happens in the classroom will help you understand what your child’s day is like away from you. Maybe this is the year for a favorite teacher who will be remembered for a long time! Here are some of our favorite storybook teachers. We love them all for so many reasons. They all care, plus they’re clever and funny!

You might also like Favorite Teachers in Chapter Books.


The Art LessonMrs. Brown in The Art Lesson – Tommy knows he wants to be an artist when he grows up. He can’t wait to get to school and have real art lessons. When Tommy gets to school and finds out that the art lessons are full of “rules”, he is surprised and dismayed. How the wise art teacher finds a way to give Tommy the freedom to create and stay within the “rules” makes a wonderfully perceptive picture book about growing up and keeping one’s individuality.


Arthurs Teacher TroubleMr. Ratburn in Arthur’s Teacher Trouble – On the first day of school Arthur discovers he’s got the toughest teacher in the third grade! The pressure is on to study hard for the all-school Spellathon. Can Arthur beat last year’s champion speller? Or will he let Mr. Ratburn d-o-w-n. Also: Arthur’s Teacher Moves In 


ChrysanthemumMrs. Delphinium Twinkle in Chrysanthemum – Chrysanthemum thinks her name is absolutely perfect–until her first day of school. “You’re named after a flower!” teases Victoria. “Let’s smell her,” says Jo. Chrysanthemum wilts. What will it take to make her blossom again?


The DotThe Art Teacher in The Dot – Vashti believes that she cannot draw, but her art teacher’s encouragement leads her to change her mind.


Lillys Purple Plastic PurseMr. Slinger in Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse – Lilly loves everything about school, especially her teacher, but when he asks her to wait a while before showing her new purse, she does something for which she is very sorry later. Also: Lilly’s Big Day


The Magic School Bus and the Electric Field TripMiss Frizzle in The Magic School Bus and the Electric Field Trip – Ms. Frizzle takes her class on a field trip through the town’s electrical wires so they can learn how electricity is generated and how it is used. Also:

The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body
The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor
The Magic School Bus and the Time of the Dinosaurs
The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System
The Magic School Bus at the Waterworks
The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth
The Magic School Bus Inside a Hurricane
The Magic School Bus Inside a Beehive


Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for KindergartenMiss Bindergarten in Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten – Introduces the letters of the alphabet as Miss Bindergarten and her students get ready for kindergarten. Also:

Miss Bindergarten Celebrates the 100th Day of Kindergarten
Miss Bindergarten Stays Home from Kindergarten
Miss Bindergarten Plans a Circus with Kindergarten


Miss Foxs Class Shapes UpMiss Fox in Miss Fox’s Class Shapes Up – When Miss Fox realizes that her students do not have healthy habits, she teaches them that healthful living is fun and rewarding, which they find to be true on Field Day. Also:

Miss Fox’s Class Goes Green
Miss Fox’s Class Gets It Wrong
Peace Week in Miss Fox’s Class
Miss Fox’s Class Earns a Field Trip


Miss Malarkey Leaves No Reader BehindMiss Malarkey in Miss Malarkey Leaves No Reader Behind – Miss Malarkey vows to find each of her students a book to love by the end of the school year, but one video-game loving boy proves to be a challenge. Also:

Miss Malarkey Doesn’t Live in Room 10
Miss Malarkey Won’t Be In Today
You’re a Good Sport Miss Malarkey
Miss Malarkey’s Field Trip
Testing Miss Malarkey
Congratulations, Miss Malarkey


Miss Mingo and the First Day of SchoolMiss Mingo in Miss Mingo and the First Day of School – Miss Mingo helps all of the animal students in her class overcome their shyness on the first day of school by encouraging them to share something special about themselves. Includes facts about animals. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2011-2012, K-3 Nominee. Also: Miss Mingo and the Fire Drill and Miss Mingo Weathers the Storm


Miss Nelson is MissingMiss Nelson in Miss Nelson is Missing – The kids in Room 207 take advantage of their teacher’s good nature until she disappears and they are faced with a vile substitute. Also: Miss Nelson is Back and Miss Nelson Has a Field Day


My KindergartenMiss Cribbage in My Kindergarten – Through a month-by-month review of a year in kindergarten, Emily shares the stories of the many happy experiences she has at her school with her new classmates, including first day introductions, a review of the changing seasons, learning how to read a map, and taking a special field trip to the local library.


My TeacherThe Teacher in My Teacher – A student wonders why her teacher has chosen to teach in her school for so long, and highlights all the special things her teacher does for her class.


My Teacher is a MonsterMr. Kirby in My Teacher Is a Monster (no, I am not) – Bobby thinks his teacher, Ms. Kirby, is horrible, but when he sees her outside of school and they spend a day in the park together, he discovers she might not be so bad after all.


Olivia and the Best Teacher EverMrs. Hoggenmuller in Olivia and the Best Teacher Ever – Mrs. Hoggenmuller is being considered for teacher of the year, and Olivia goes all out to see that the class performs its best. Will her favorite teacher get the award?


You Are My WondersThe Teacher in You Are My Wonders – Illustrations and rhyming text combine in a celebration of the relationship between teacher and student.


Substitute CreatureMr. Creacher in Substitute Creacher – Mr. Creacher, a multi-tentacled substitute teacher, warns his prankish students not to misbehave, recounting rhyming cautionary tales of the weird, spooky, and unexpected.


Teach Us Amelia BedeliaAmelia Bedelia in Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia – The very literal-minded Amelia Bedelia is up to her ears in trouble when she becomes a substitute teacher for a day, and her confused antics include handing out lightbulbs to the children when she is told to “plant bulbs.”


The Teacher From the Black LagoonMrs. Green in The Teacher From the Black Lagoon – On the first day of school, a young boy expects only the worst when he discovers that his new teacher is the “monstrous” Mrs. Green.


Thank You Mr FalkerMr. Falker in Thank you, Mr. Falker – At first, Trisha loves school, but her difficulty learning to read makes her feel dumb, until, in the fifth grade, a new teacher helps her understand and overcome her problem.