Books written and illustrated for children – at least those worth returning to again and again – communicate timeless messages in formats that at first seem simple. But publishers know that the adults who curate “Kid Lit” for their family or community recognize and appreciate quality. They are more likely to collect and share books that don’t pander or patronize. Many children raised in UU households are aware that life isn’t simple; it’s complex and it’s awe-inspiring, and books should reflect that.
The stories I choose to complement Sunday Worship share an element of the message being explored. The themes are often universal but need to be presented in a way that avoids stereotyping and honors the range of existence that UUs affirm. The Art/Design teacher in me recognizes the value of telling a story economically and illustrating it in a way that helps advance the storyline.
I’m not an expert familiar with the “canon” of Children’s Literature. Many of the books that I’ve shared are recommended by parenting or professional groups I found online (like Goodreads, Bookshop, and NAMI.) Others I discovered in existing UU Religious Education curricula or Soul Matters resources. And, of course, local librarians are always an excellent resource.
HERE is the list of books that you may have seen or heard me share at church. I encourage you to support our local economy by obtaining your own copies from a local bookseller.
Dir. of Lifespan Religious Education
PS: If you also appreciate children’s books as teaching tools, and are aware of issues that, over time, can “date” them, won’t you consider helping catalogue and review those in our “RE Library”? (These are separate from books maintained by UUCW’s Library Committee.) It would be helpful to make room for newly acquired titles while retiring those that have outlived their usefulness. Contact Dave for more information about volunteering.