Reading before bed has been a long-standing custom in our house, so it will come as no surprise that we have accumulated a long list of “favorite books”. Recently I was struck by how many of those books remind us that there are no limits to where we can go (and what we can be) when we use our imaginations. As we find ourselves in limiting circumstances due to Covid-19 restrictions, I thought many of you might like to share the stories that allow your family to be carried away with imagination.
Here are a few of our favorites, along with others I found around the web, with links to read-aloud versions.
How I learned Geography tells the tale of a young boy whose family escapes war and finds themselves living in poverty in a strange country. With the family’s last bit of money, the boy’s father decides to buy a map as large as the wall instead of a meager piece of bread that would not even fill their bellies. The boy soon forgets his anger and frustration as he is taken away to unbelievable lands in his daily studies of the enormous map.
What If is a sweet story about a little girl who will go to any lengths to create the stories in her heart. No matter what resources she has at her fingertips, she will find a way: As long as I live I will always create!
The Magic Boots, read aloud by someone near and dear, reminds us of the true nature of magic and imagination when William, one tragic day, outgrows his magic boots. Try as he might, the red cowboy boots that had transported him daily around the globe and indeed the solar system, simply would not go on his feet. Before long, William discovers the true source of his seemingly magical abilities.
Abuela is another beautifully illustrated tale of imaginative adventures shared between a little girl named Rosalba and her Spanish-speaking grandmother. Join them as they soar above the city, past the Stature of Liberty, to the ship dock, and finally to the park where abuela seeks their next adventure.
Ruby’s Sword is a book that we came across in our search for books about children using their imaginations to overcome less than pleasant circumstances. For little ones who just can’t seem to keep up with older sisters and brothers, this tale of imagination and creative pursuit is for you!
And this was a great opportunity to revisit a read aloud by KITS’ very own Dr. Katherine Pears of The Story of Fish and Snail. Fish and Snail go on their own imaginative adventure, stretching their limits and demonstrating the power of books, while also sharing with the reader their process of learning about conflict and compromise.
We hope these books inspire your children to continue imagining the places they can go and the things they can do. Even when our possibilities are limited by factors beyond our control.
We’d love to hear about your favorites!
Text: © Kids In Transition to School 2020
Image: © Wisconsinart | Dreamstime.com