A November Gratitude Booklist

Some of author Deedee Cummings’ favorite holiday family read-aloud stories were the kids come to the rescue and do something miraculous at Christmas time. Not only did she want to read more of those kinds of books to the youngsters in her life, but she also wanted those holiday stories to include children of color. After an intensive search, she came to the conclusion that there were very, very few of those types of books on the market.

“To make matters worse, I couldn’t find a single book where a little brown boy helped Santa save Christmas. Not one,” she revealed. “I immediately thought of the Toni Morrison quote that says, ‘If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.’ So that’s what I did.”

Her beautiful book that was born from determination and a desire to fill a gap in the children’s book world is #1 on our list of November Gratitude Books for kids:

In The Nick of Time by Deedee Cummings

In The Nick of Time is a timely tale about a little Brown Boy named Nick Saint who helps Santa save Christmas for one special family in need and in the process, discovers a whole new level of gratitude for the life he is blessed with.

One snowy day in December, Nick accidentally receives a letter meant for Saint Nick. Realizing that Christmas is almost upon them, he opens the letter. The unexpected message inside ultimately leads him on a journey of understanding poverty, gratitude, and service to others while discovering the real meaning of the holiday spirit.

Gratitude is My Superpower: A children’s book about Giving Thanks and Practicing Positivity (My Superpower Books) by Alicia Ortego

 

Do you want to teach your children how to be grateful for the things they already have?

Little Betsy will learn that happiness is made up of simple things in life, both small and big. With the help of the magic stone, she will begin to feel gratitude for her parents, friends, and toys. But what happens when little Betsy forgets to use the magic of her stone? She will realize that the power of gratitude is hidden in her heart.

“Gratitude is my superpower” will teach your little ones to appreciate the warmth of home, time spent playing with friends, and family relationships.

 

Today Is Great!: A Daily Gratitude Journal for Kids by Vicky Perreault

Help kids ages 7 to 10 foster gratitude, positivity, and creativity with this daily guided journal

If kids focus on happy things, they’ll be happier people. This gratitude journal for kids is a colorful space for them to write about what they’re thankful for and practice being positive and appreciative every day.

Even tiny acts of gratitude can totally change the way kids think and feel. Let them learn what these acts look like, with a gratitude journal for kids that includes thought-provoking writing prompts, ample space to write and draw, and insightful quotes that inspire them to keep writing.

Thankful by Eileen Spinelli

Thankful is the perfect book about being grateful and aware of the everyday things that make our lives happy and special. Eileen Spinelli leads us all through various walks of life and the special things people can be appreciative of. The waitress is grateful for comfortable shoes, the doctor is thankful for patients getting well, the children are grateful for storytime. This book is filled with wonderful examples of reasons to be grateful that kids can relate to.

Think of It Like This! By Deedee Cummings

Think of it Like This!

Within the pages of Think of it Like This, three different challenging situations are revealed: a little girl tears her cherished dress, a favorite store is closed, and a girl’s behavior is bossy and selfish. Each situation causes the main character to feel bad or struggle, but when each problem is reframed in a different and more positive way, new (and even better) solutions present themselves.

Through the gentle prompts in the book, readers are encouraged to think about their reactions and what is really happening. Is it the end of the world? Did it ruin your day? Does it really have to? Are you part of the problem? Can you change things? What went right today? What can you be thankful for? These pages are filled with simple solutions and messages that are so important for today’s kids to learn. This book also teaches therapeutic skills such as mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy to demonstrate the important lessons of self-control and perspective building. {ages 5 and up}

If you are having trouble feeling gratitude right now in life, then simply write down all the things you are grateful for no matter how small. You could be grateful for a soft bed, a hot cup of coffee, and the fact that your favorite movie is on. Think about what others do for you-things that maybe you’ve taken for granted.

Write it down and read it often.

What has occurred in 2021 that you can be grateful for?


Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess–A Little Magic is HERE!

Kayla always had a plan. The problem was a lot of other people had a plan for Kayla too. But as an independent young woman, Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess has grown into a Queen. “ModernDayK,” as her peers call her.

So, when she tells her mom that she is on her way home from college with “big news,” the results are some surprises, some honest conversations, and the realization of a life-long dream. Mother and daughter soon see how all the special princess gifts from the past will play a magical role in Kayla’s future. Each gift has a special memory, and each represents a noteworthy milestone in her life. But most importantly, they are filled with confidence, determination, a mother’s love, and A Little Magic.

Parents and Teachers: Seeing characters who look like them in the books they read is not only essential for building self-esteem, but it also helps young readers understand that they matter. Diverse and #OWNVOICES books, like Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess, help kids discover for themselves that their dreams are possible. This book, and the other diverse picture books in the Kayla series, touch on important and timely topics like family dynamics, challenging stereotypes, acceptance, social justice, confidence, speaking our truth, and inclusion.

This book series is not just for girls or children of color either. Frequently, adults forget the “Windows” part of “Windows and Mirrors.” A Mirror is a story that reflects your own culture and helps you build your identity, but a Window is a resource that offers you a view into someone else’s experience. It is critical to understand that students cannot truly learn about themselves unless they learn about others. White kids need to read books that provide a “window” into new cultures, races, traditions, family dynamics, and religions to drive the point home.

“If you care about fostering empathy in children, you need to genuinely care about the journey of other people who don’t look and live as you do.” ~Deedee Cummings

Adults also need to provide books for our kids that do not contribute to harmful stereotypes and misconceptions. This can occur much more quickly when the book is not written by someone who lived that life and learned firsthand from experience. Instead, we owe it to ourselves and to the next generation to share books that help us see the world as the vast, beautiful, and fascinating place that it truly is- from the perspective of many. The most authentic story is told by the one who lived it. By investing in #OWNVOICES stories, book buyers support the stories and amplify the voices, of the authors who lived them.

Grab your copy in both ebook and paperback HERE.


About Deedee Cummings

As a therapist, attorney, author, and CEO of Make A Way Media, Deedee Cummings has a passion for making the world a better place. All 15 of Cummings’ diverse picture, poetry, and workbooks for kids reflect her professional knowledge and love of life. Colorful and vibrant, her children’s books are not only fun for kids and adults to read, they also work to teach coping skills, reinforce the universal message of love, encourage mindfulness, and facilitate inclusion for all. Cummings has spent more than two decades working within the family therapy and support field and much of her writing shares her experiences of working with kids in therapeutic foster care. As a result, her catalogs of published books for kids are filled with positive, hopeful messages. Using therapeutic techniques in her stories to teach coping skills, Cummings also strives to lessen the stigma that some people feel when it comes to receiving mental health assistance.
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