Little Pickle Press: Children's books that give back, especially to the children who read them.
I love children's books with messages that support our values, but a lot of those books seem to put the messages ahead of the storytelling. In other words, I'd like to own more books that are as engaging as Eloise
but maybe aren't how-to's in achieving bratdom status before fifth grade? So I'm thrilled to have found a small publisher that does a beautiful job with kids' books about topics like the environment, global citizenship, health and imagination--but your kids will just think they're just good books.
Little Pickle Press
is a small publisher with big ideas. I've recently gotten to know
author/publisher Rana DiOrio and am blown away by her commitment to
instilling smart values in children and living those values by donating a
percentage of all the profits to The Starlight Children's Foundation. Plus every book is printed on a kind of 30% recycled fiber paper that saves trees, energy, water, greenhouse emissions and more. Love that.
But hey, books are about more than the paper they're printed on, and so are these.
I think my favorite of the titles may be Sofia's Dream
by Land Wilson. It's a stunner of a book, and the most classically story-like, in which a lovely, dreamy moon teaches Sofia
and a cast of multicultural kids how to take care of the Earth, all in
rhyme that a second grader would enjoy reading to herself.
Another standout is BIG
with fabulous collage illustrations by Clare Fennell and a nice story
by author Colleen Paratore. It would be an excellent big sibling gift as
you can imagine--or even a little sibling book, really. The idea is that "big"
isn't measured in how tall you are, but how bright, healthy and
imaginative you are--"being the biggest YOU you can be."
The takeaway: Every day we can choose to be little or we can choose to be big. That's a great message for all of us, right?
anchors of the collection are the What Does It Mean...books by DiOrio
herself, and which are better for slightly younger kids. (My five
year-old really loves them.) What Does It Mean to Be Global?
And What Does It Mean to Be Green?
are two great books to start with. My kids were instantly captivated by simple narratives,
accompanied by Chris Hill's sweet cartoony illustrations. But most of
all I think they liked not being talked down to. Rather the opposite;
your kids will walk away feeling important and empowered, like they can
make a difference in their own little worlds and beyond.
Another excellent option is What Does It Mean to Be Present?
which sounds a little Oprah-touchy-feely than it is but is actually quite smart.
Eliza Wheeler's illustrations are quite pretty and artful, and they really
bring to life the lessons about seizing moments, giving appreciation,
accepting mistakes and enjoying each day. In fact, this would be a great gift right now, especially in the spirit of the Thanksgiving lessons you probably already discussed this week.
Be warned: you may be getting some good tips out of these books too. Just don't tell your kids. -LizIn honor of Small Business Saturday, save 30% off all books and gifts at Little Pickle Press with code AmEx30 through 11/30/12. PLUS 10% of the purchase of the books always goes to support The Starlight Foundation.
You can also order the books for Kindle and most for NOOK and there's a four-book gift set that's perfect for holiday giving
Find More: Books for Kids, Causes and General Do-Gooding