Books that explore how human behavior is tied into cycles of nature
Quick Things You Need To Know:
- I am having a VERY HARD TIME coming up with a better word for this than ‘seasonality.’ Something about ‘seasonality’ just reminds me of holiday sales and tinsel and what I REALLY want is tough & muddy activists dripping blood sweat and tears ripping into the soil to find the roots of toxic supremacy so we can take what’s wrong in our teeth and rip it from the ground, while connecting in interdependent inclusive communities and take responsibility for stewarding the environment and society for the next 20 generations, and how all of this hinges on us recognizing that we are a part of nature that must work in the rhthyms of climate and environment. That. I need a word for that.
- This is a spinoff book list while I was researching indigenous culture & decolonization & creating action steps for families who want to take a step in that direction.
- Many of these books are also helpful in cultivating patience – so I might couch the final booklist as a “books to help kids about patience” but then it’s actually a subversive book that teaches colonists to sit down and shut up a minute.
- This is my second unpolished bookl ist using a new back-end interface. So leave a comment at the end of the page if it looks weird.
- includes books teaching/allowing kids to explore and learn and patience.
- How do we get kids to understand that life isn’t just a sequence of waiting for things to be done? How do we get ADULTS to recognize that? Note: Let’s do a collection on mindfulness and being present to spin off this.
Quick & Messy Book List:
Books that might work:
- Powwow Summer (Rendon & Walsh Bellville) – Too didactic and bland for 7 and under, but it starts by telling us about the cycles of life as symbolic of seasons. Most importantly – accepting these seasons. Life & death positivity
- Beaver Steals Fire (Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes) – On the importance of controlled burns to prevent wildfires and accepting Indigenous wisdom on respecting seasonality even if you’re a naive settler, because they have centuries of scientific knowledge that we just lack.
- Rabbit’s Snow Dance (Bruchac & Bruchac) – Because it’s adorable, and also – reminds us of how ignorance + impatience + false urgency is harmful. Patience! Hubris! Arrogance!
- Coyote Tales (Thomas King) – Because it’s a fun story about capitalism and greed that pokes fun of capitalist settlers without us really realizing it.
- Coyote Solstice Tale (King & Clement) – Consumerism!
- SkySisters (Waboose) – ownvoices indigenous (Nishinawbe Ojibway), grew up in northern ontario. no reference to enrollment for brian. winter story about going out and enjoying a dark winter night. a little dated and unengaging for 5 & 7, healthy sibling relationships from perspective of younger child who is a little envious of her sister for leading. they see rabbit, deer, hear coyote, grandmother moon, patience waiting for the SkySpirits to come (northern lights). anti-climactic and a little too bland for us. healthy sibling relationships. Highly recommended on AICL, which suggests there are elements tot eh story that I’m simply missing as an outsider/settler.
- And Then It’s Spring – Very slow, wonderful though.
- bear has a story to tell – stead – 2+, Animals in winter, patience, hibernation.
- Big Snow – see Hygge winter collection
- There’s a cute book about a slow panda who teaches the busy pandas about the importance of stopping to rest, but I can’t remember the name of it right now.
- little boo- little seed wants to be scary, has to wait until he grows up
- the boy and the airplane – a little boy loves his airplane, but throws it too far and it lands on the roof. he can’t get it, so he plants a tree and waits until he’s a very old man, then climbs up to get it. goes to throw it again but realizes it would be better suited to a kid, wraps it up and gives it to a little girl. not sure this is the best way to promote patience (pretty unrewarding!) but it’s a cute book that the boys liked laughing over because of how silly it was. I think I might get it again and read it through the lens of – the change we want RIGHT NOW might not be possible for us, but it has to be something we work toward so future generations can have it.
Books about patience
- If You Want To See A Whale
- A place where sunflowers grow – lee-tai, AAPI makers, japanese internment, war. brownish illustrations and focus on art was a little boring for 6. i made hte emistake of trying to read the preface, should hav skipped it and gone straight to the story. budding artists, making friends, patience, endurance, frustration. Mari is frustrated sunflowers won’t grow, can’t do art, can’t go home. sees with patience and dedication, things eventually unfold. doesn’t attempt to say thy should get over it, or that it’s in any way okay what we did to japanese. good book, needs time and attention to read it, 6+ racism, militarism, institutional racism
- be patient, pooh! – 2015. Pooh waiting for his birthday party. Makes a decent very early intro to empathizing with impatience for toddlers and early preschoolers.
- When’s My Birthday (Fogliano) is the same deal, but for slightly older kids.
- Mr putter and tabby make a wish (rylant) – chapter book. so cute and lovely. patience, waiting for our birthdays and anticipating things and dealing with the frustration of it. breaking elder stereotypes – mr. putter originally thinks he’s too old for birthdays (candles, balloons, model plane kits) but decides he wants them, so he decides to have a birthday anyway! which I adore. his friends aupports him by making a cake and giving him balloons and model plane kit. and he messes up the model plane a little which is perfect. each book i just ADORE this platonic, loving friendship between mrs. teaberry and mr. putter. not for bday collection, but good for elders.
- Waiting is not easy! – willems – r2 loves this at 4, asked to read it several times. loved it even more reading it when he knows what’s happening, esp when Q doesn’t. perfect book to read with the brothers together. beginning reader, patience, friendship, healthy friendships
- waiting – kevin henkes – we keep reading this because it’s so popular. but every time it’s just like “I don’t see what the big deal is about this book.” Meh. What am I missing?
- wait! – antoinette portis – mom rushing boy to get someplace on time, the boy keeps stopping and saying wait to inspect cement mixers and feed ducks. common pull/stop all parents and little kids can identify with and in the end the mom is glad to wait. cute book and it shows solidarity for kids – not much to read (best for preschool and younger) – more as a reminder to parents than a book for kids, patience, hard-working moms
- I’ll wait, mr. panda – (Antony) importance of patience when sharing. and how waiting is worth it. fine for 2-4, kind of boring for 5+ and there are better patience books for that age. exactly the same as “please, mr. panda” except the penguin keeps saying “I’ll wait” which is actually kind of annoying.
- Marilyn’s Monster (the opposite of waiting passively). Active patience?
- max – bob graham. max is born into a family of superheores but he won’t fly. his family has to be patient until he’s ready – on the day he sees a bird falling out of a nest and finally flies to save it, when he was finally ready. funny idea of a superhero family, but not one of graham’s best books.
- Father’s Chinese Opera– lo – true story of a boy whose father is famous for conducting the chinese opera. wants to be in it, learns a bit and tries to jump in (kinda like tallulah’s tutu). turns out you need to practice a long time. finally found Chinese boy protagonist! but illustrations are a little passive and unengaging in subject (but gorgeous in color and composition). age 6 happy to read it once, mostly because we could talk about the forms he was interested in, like dragon & praying mantis. And the coincidences to our family (the author has the same name as his grandfather, who is a skilled martial artist in tiger & crane style) healthy masculinity, kind & gentle brown boys, china, cultural revolution, practice, perseverance, martial arts
- home in the rain – bob graham. not really a rain book, more about waiting and patience. little girl and her pregnant mom get stuck on the way home from grandmas in pouring rain and htey pull over and have a snack. she wants her mom to come up with a name for her baby sister. then there is this ‘magic’ moment that is completely underwhelming and they name the baby, and then dad comes home. premise is – these moments of inconvenience are opportunities to connect. normalizes black families, but the book itself is really too slow and subtle. i prefer the one about oscar’s half-birthday which covers that same ‘magic in ordinary moments’ tone
- Nightlife of Jacuzzi Gaskett (Purnell) – Great for latchkey kids. This CAPTURED the tone of being home alone, completely bored and having to come up with ways to entertain yourself. This book made me feel seen, and less alone. Transparency: Dottir press sent me a free copy of this book.
- Luke & The Little Seed – ferri – grandfather gives luke a seed, luke has to spend every day for a long time caring for it, pays off with a tomato plant he can play on and eat from. but the ending is a little underwhelming. tenacity, patience. Like a boring version of that story about Frog & Toad together
- Frog & Toad Together (Lobel) – the one about planting a seed and waiting impatiently for it.
- The bus for us (Bloom) – little east asian girl has never been on bus before, asks older black boy (they code as siblings, but could just be friends) if this is their bus every time a new vehicle pops up. would make kids laugh and loosen them up for first day of school bus jitters, but doesn’t actually talk about what happens on the bus. there’s a background character wearing a hijab, a tow truck driver wearing a turban (appears Sikh) and the characters of color outnumber the white ones. driver is an elderly white woman. would be nice for bus bin, but not as the only book. i really like the relationship between gus and tess – and could be used as an example book for bigger kids on how to watch out for younger students while waiting at the bus
- Waiting for mama (tae-jun) first published in 1983. R2 enjoyed, despite monocrhome illustrations. very cute, quiet, simple, feels wintery. discussed how many families can’t afford childcare and very young children have to wait for parents on their own. captures that feeling of having to be patient for what feels like forever. easy to miss the end image where he’s walking home with his mama and a red lollipop (without it, the book is super depressing and unsettling) latchkey kids. Native asian nakers (Korean)
Books on interrupting
- “I have a little problem,” said the bear – people keep interrupting him before bear can finish speaking, giving him what THEY think he needs (the doc gives him vitamins, the haberdasher gives him a hat ) – every problem looks like a nail when you are a hammer issue. his problem is only solved whens someone stops to ask and really listen to what he needs
- duck & goose, Spoiler – goose needs a hug
- Raf And the Robots – corner – family structure is ambigous by intent http://www.storiesforuniquefamilies.com/p/about.html cute illustrations. three adults in an intentionally ambiguous relationship. very short and simple. “The family in the book could represent a number of real family situations – a poly family, a couple with a donor or surrogate, a blended family with an involved ex, sisters living together, or many other configurations.” got digital review copy for free. This actually would work really well for a book on why it’s better not to interrupt and to wait for other folks to come to you when they are ready.
- my mouth is a volcano (Cook) This book was MADE for Q, but we all can’t stand reading it. Because it’s got basically everything I detest about Julia Cook books.
- Let’s talk about needing attention – berry – fine but didactic like the rest in this series. works for new/jealous siblings. acting out