I just returned from taking a walk during which I was so immersed in my thoughts about the beginning of the school year and everything going on that I almost missed it…a peacock! Really and truly. I’ve never seen it there before, but I walk by this house sometimes that has a horse in the side yard. Today the horse was outside – and clearly she (or he) has a beautiful blue friend.
What’s really strange is that during my walk I was thinking about a book to recommend to parents whose children are having issues with “transitioning.” Many parents and teachers are too, but we’ve just learned to hide it or manage it better. If you’re six, it can be more challenging. I was thinking about books that “show, don’t tell.” Books that tell children not to worry are ineffective. Kids don’t want to be told what the problem is – they get that. What they need are examples for how to deal with it. The peacock had the answer, or one of them anyway: Three Hens and a Peacock by Lester Laminack.
Quite frankly, I’m a little spooked by seeing a peacock at a place I’ve never seen one before exactly when I was thinking about picture books that show kids how to appreciate who they are and remind them that everyone has a place. Three Hens and a Peacock is the perfect book for a teacher to read to a class of first, second or third graders to initiate a discussion about their new classroom community. I’m going to suggest it to a few teachers tomorrow – right after I drive back to that house and see if the peacock is still there or if I only imagined it!
Here are a few other books about change that I often recommend to parents and teachers:
That New Animal by Emily Jenkins (a book about a new baby – from the points of view of Marshmallow and FudgeFudge, the family’s dogs)
Owen by Kevin Henkes (this book features one of children’s literature’s most resourceful mothers!)
I Like Where I Am by Jessica Harper (check this one out of your public library before telling your young child that you are moving)