The Pigeon, by Mo Willems
I wanted to start a section on book recommendations. Some of the books I plan to share I first enjoyed with my students, long before my own kiddos ever entered the picture. Reading picture books aloud is one of my favorite ways to spend time with children.
While there are so many reasons why reading aloud to kids is beneficial, the following are at the top of my list:
- develop emotional vocabulary by focusing on what a character is feeling
- physical connection, snuggling close
- brings everyone’s energy and stress down – such a calm part of the day
- builds overall vocabulary and language development
- encourages flexible, inferential thinking with questions like, “What might she be feeling?”
I have read this book to many kids ages 2-10 and they all love it. Highlights of this book include:
- emphasis on feelings
- connection to being scared/worried to try new things
- taking chances
- being brave
- encourages self care
While I typically love taking my kids to the library to get a selection of new books, that is not currently an option. Given how much both of my kids (2 and 4) love the bath book, I just ordered The Pigeon Has to Go to School. Even though school is sadly not part of our world right now, it has been helpful to read about it. Similar to the bath, the pigeon doesn’t want to go to school — until he realizes he does. Reading this book has provided us an additional opportunity to talk about school, friends, and teachers who we miss.
For slightly older kids, Willems has created 15 episodes that teach you how to draw like him. He started his “Lunch Doodles” back in March. All of the episodes are available on YouTube and range from about 10-30 minutes.
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