My Weird but True! Fact-a-Day Fun Journal (National Geographic Kids, 2014)
This collection of strange facts and little-known holidays will make learning a fun part of your family’s daily routine. Each entry concludes with an open-ended question or suggested activity (July 26, National Day of the Cowboy, includes an image of the world’s biggest cowboy hat in Seattle and asks the reader to list all the “cowboy words” they know). Perfect for the kid who makes a beeline for the Guinness World Records during every library visit. (Recommended for ages 8-12)
Resolution: Explore another culture.
Shanté Keys and the New Year’s Peas by Gail Piernas-Davenport, illustrated by Marion Eldridge
Upon arrival at Grandma’s house for a New Year’s meal, Shanté’s family discovers that a crucial component is nowhere to be found. As Shanté visits her neighbors in search of some black-eyed peas, she learns about traditional New Year’s meals and celebrations from a variety of cultures. Customs from China, Scotland, Mexico, and the Hindu religion are mentioned within the story; an endnote expands on these customs and describes food with special meanings from an additional seven countries and cultures. (Recommended for ages 5-9)
Resolution: Find out what makes you happy, and do it!
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown (Little, Brown, 2013)
Mr. Tiger chafes at the restrictions of his Victorian animal society; walking on two legs instead of four and wearing a top hat and suit forces him to repress his natural tendencies. But when Mr. Tiger ditches the village for a wilder habitat, he finds that a solitary life in the forest might not be quite right for him either. Author/illustrator Brown’s pacing and humor are spot-on, and his choice to render all of Mr. Tiger’s neighbors in hues of brown and grey highlights the drabness of conformity. Sweetly silly and serious at the same time--an instant classic. (Recommended for ages 3-6)
Bullying can have long term impact on mental health. These days parents don’t just have to watch for traditional bullying such as physical violence, taunts and social exclusion, we also have to monitor for cyber-bullying. If bullying happens, how can you help?