Today’s spotlight is on a set of three books that made me realize just how versatile the children’s books medium is to communicate and share information about positive parenting. I routinely ordered and sought out parenting and children’s books for use with my own kids but also with the families I saw in clinic and pediatric residents I was responsible for training. When I saw these, I thought “Wow! These are amazing!” I loved that through a simple storyline of common behavioral challenges a parent and child can see how things can unfold in a simpler way by how you talk with your child.
Moreover, as I mentioned in my previous post, Using children’s books for easier (and fun!) information sharing, children’s books are written with simple language that makes it easy for parents who have trouble reading to read because it is written at a lower grade level (as compared to traditional handouts you get at doctor’s offices!). The beautiful and bright illustrations engage the reader and help parents and children follow along.
This series has three titles: Ready for the Day, Ready to Play and Ready for Bed. They are written by Stacey Kaye and illustrated by Elizabeth Dulemba. I love these books. I led two separate studies using them with parents and handing them out in the clinics during well child visits (read more, here and here). Parents are already used to getting books because of the Reach Out and Read Program, so I thought it would be an accepted way to get these types of books to families too.
They were effective in helping parents learn new ways to handle common problems. The illustrations are so bright, colorful and highlight a variety of different ethnicities and races. I remember parents particularly excited about the characters in the book, Ready for the Day, because it has a father and daughter who are African American…and shows daddy having to do her hair. These books are unique on some many levels!
- Ready for the Day is about a little girl, Maya, who has a hard time getting ready for the day but with her dad’s support is able to pick out her clothes, brush her teeth, pick out what she wants for breakfast and still have time to play with her daddy before school.
- Ready to Play is about Emma who has a friend come over and all the challenges of sharing toys, deciding who gets to choose what activity they do and everything in between. With the help of Emma’s mom, the kids learn valuable skills to get along and have fun.
- Ready for Bed is about Marco who is not ready to go to sleep. He would rather play in the bath and tries to prolong the day. With mom’s help potential conflicts are defused and getting ready for bed is fun and easy.
The beauty of these books is that they model easy to use phrases that are kind and effective because they show parents how to validate feelings, offer choices and offer encouragement to your child. There are color coded dialogue and a section after the story for parents with extra information about the parenting techniques contained within.
They had a limited run with the original publisher, Free Spirit Publishing (a wonderful smaller publisher with awesome titles for building children’s social emotional health). Stacey’s books are still available online and at your local library.
Suggested ages: 3-6 years
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