Last night, I sat down with my daughter to read before bed. She was anxious to read what would soon become her favorite Easter present. The bunny had left her Peter Reynolds’ new book, Happy Dreamer.
As we were reading about all the different types of dreamers, Summer started to describe why she was a “dance happy” and “family happy” dreamer. Coming from a 2 year old who hasn’t met a pop song she didn’t like, her self-reflection was quite accurate! It was evident to me that Happy Dreamer focused on character strengths. This book gave my daughter and I the perfect context for us to discuss how each person is unique with his or her own special attributes.
Tonight, we were fascinated by the grit shown by the abandoned crayons in The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt & Oliver Jeffers. The fourth grade teacher in me was thinking how this is the ideal book for perspective considering it is written in postcard format from the point of view of lost crayons. Each individual crayon overcame many barriers (including dog vomit and an identity crisis) in order to return to their owner, Duncan. This led us to discuss how we have to work hard to achieve goals that we are truly passionate about. Hers may have included a future on Dancing with the Stars.
Since co-authoring Growing a Growth Mindset: Unlocking Character Strengths Through Children’s Literature, I have been finding more and more that when I’m reading with my own child, there are positive psychology themes jumping off the pages. It’s as if they’ve been waiting on the bookshelves for us to discover them! I know that reading with your child is a bedtime ritual in most households. The conversations that we have about the books we share during this experience can be so powerful and insightful. I know it's my favorite part of the day.
Please comment to share any treasured books that you feel address growth mindset, grit, hope, happiness, or character strengths!