Inside: If you have a kiddo who worries a lot, I’M WORRIED, by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi, is the perfect book for your library!Read More
Teaching digital rights and responsibilities to children should include one crucial element: taking time to unplug and disconnect. On a Magical Do-Nothing Day is a wonderful example of this notion!
Remember the days when we didn't worry about screens cracking or batteries dying and the only volume anyone was concerned about was whether kids were properly using their inside voices? I do. And sometimes, I wish we were back there. Yes, I love my phone and my gadgets, and yes, it's pretty fantastic that I can access all of my work and writing and scheduling from one simple device. But, gosh, how I hate when my kids only want to watch Daniel Tiger and Paw Patrol on my iPad! Enter On a Magical Do-Nothing Day, a whimsical new book written and illustrated by the great Beatrice Alemagna- a book that reminds us of simpler days and ranked high on my list of favorites from 2017.
In On a Magical Do-Nothing Day, a young boy wants nothing more than to destroy Martians on his device. But mom - smart mom! - eventually takes the device away and hides it. The boy finds the gadget though, and he goes to play with it outside in the rain. But then, lo and behold, the device of all devices falls smack dab into the middle of a pond. Whatever will the child do to pass the time? Maybe, just maybe, with the help of some friendly snails and the use of his long forgotten imagination, the day will turn out ok after all.
Need I say more? If your kids are getting too much screen time, hide the phones, take away the iPads, snuggle up on the couch, and read this book. And then go outside, play hide and seek, and enjoy your beautiful, natural environment together. Sometimes we all need that reminder to unplug- and yes, I'm not just talking about the kids. I'm guilty- horribly so- of spending too much time on my phone. But I am so thankful for books like On a Magical Do-Nothing Day that remind us to slow down, look up, and enjoy life's simplest pleasures. There's nothing more beautiful than that.
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Want the book? Get it here! On a Magical Do-Nothing Day, by Beatrice Alemagna.
Patience is a virtue, right? But, man, is it sometimes impossible to get those little ones to sit still! If You Want to See a Whale, written by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by the great Erin Stead, is one of those subtle, unassuming and quietly powerful books that I could read again and again. Notwithstanding its simplicity, this story packs a powerful message about the experience of waiting, being mindful, and the wondrous journey that opens up before our eyes as we patiently travel the road to achievement. It's an older pick for Happily Ever Elephants, but it remains a favorite in our home.
If you want to see a whale, you have to keep your eyes peeled on the sea. And you have to wait, of course. And wait, and wait, and wait. You also need to know what not to look at, because if you look at pink roses and pirates or pelicans, you may be distracted. And if you get distracted, you may not see the whale leap from the depths of the deep blue sea. So will he or won't he?! Only one way to find out.
The simple act of getting what we want- from the smallest to the largest goals- takes patience, but we all know that patience is not an easy practice for a child who is so easily distracted. If You Want to See a Whale helps us convey the dual messages that while achieving our dreams is well worth the wait, the journey to reaching those goals is a reward in and of itself. Exquisite illustrations pair perfectly with Fogliano's spare prose, resulting in a true masterpiece. If You Want to See a Whale gets two whale-sized trunks up! Pair this with Kevin Henkes Waiting for a wonderful primer on patience.
Want the book? Get it here! If You Want to See a Whale, by Julie Fogliano. *This is an affiliate link.