Why You Should Read Children’s Books (even without children)

As a Library Specialist, I read a lot of children’s books. In my personal time, I also read a lot of self-improvement books and fiction novels. Turns out, there can be a lot of similarities between books meant for kids and those meant for older audiences. Self-improvement books often remind readers that their tips are made up of things you already know you should do, but need a reminder about. In children’s books, you may think you’ve learned the morals long ago, but it’s always beneficial to think about those lessons again. Need some motivation or reminders to keep a positive attitude? Intimidated by thick books? Grab one of these children’s books!

Pete The Cat: I Love My White Shoes by James Dean & Eric Litwin

I first thought to create this article after I read kids the book Pete The Cat: I Love My White Shoes. In the story, Pete sings about loving his white shoes. When he steps in berries and his shoes turn blue, rather than complaining, he sings about loving his blue shoes. When he cleans them in water and they’re wet, he sings about loving his wet shoes. So positive! I’m sure there’s more than a few adults, myself included, who could work on putting such a positive twist on things. It’s like a children’s version of the self-improvement book The Obstacle is the Way.

Click, clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin

Does The Grapes of Wrath sound too complex for you? Try Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type on for size. As soon as you hear this book involves cows typing messages on a typewriter, you can tell this is a children’s book. However, if I described it as “a group of workers that go on strike to receive better compensation from their employer,” it sounds like something meant for adults. Both descriptions are true. This story is basically about farm animals unionizing. No electric blankets = no milk. A solution isn’t found until the parties negotiate.

The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems

I’ve briefly mentioned The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? in another article, but didn’t elaborate on just how many negotiation skills it teaches. I read a lot of books on communication that remind people that mind readers don’t exist. If you want something, you have to ask for it. The entire book, the pigeon is jealous of the duckling’s cookie. Finally, the duckling says he got the cookie to give to the pigeon. Spoiler: once the duckling found out the cookie had nuts, it didn’t even want it. It got rid of something it didn’t want while making the pigeon like the duckling significantly more and be in his debt. Brilliant! Before you buy a bunch of negotiation books, take some tips from this duckling.

By no means am I trying to discourage reading novels and professional books. I love these myself! But, every once in awhile, it wouldn’t hurt to add in a quick children’s book. Even if there aren’t any kids around, you can pick up some good lessons/reminders for yourself. But, if there are children around, definitely invite them to hear a story. The best part of any book is the experience of sharing it with others.

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