A Continually Growing List Of Mindfully and/or Yogically Grounded Children’s Books I Love (for young children) …
We read lots of books! Lots of books! Most families with small children spend a good portion of their days reading books together, I’m sure. Especially if like us, you don’t watch TV with your kids and/or you do EC (elimination communication / infant potty training). Children adore looking through books, revel in a trip to the library, and swoon over being read to! It’s so lovely when you find books that you can really cherish with your little ones and enjoy reading yourself, as much as you enjoy reading to them!
I hope this list inspires some sweet, snuggly time with your little ones. I also hope you find a new title here to enjoy. Feel free to leave a comment on the site with your favorite book if it is not listed here. I will happily give it a read and perhaps even add it to this list.
As of the writing of this post, all of the books on this list are available on Amazon, however not all of the titles are still in print and may require purchasing from a used books dealer, or a bit more hunting. Most of them are readily available at this time.
Criteria for being on this list:
- Story / message of book must be a positive one – that is kind of a given, right?!
- Story inspires hopeful, mindful, intentional conversations with young children and opens the door to topics such as worldview, diversity, and inner truth in a natural, age-appropriate way.
- Story inspires finding, knowing, and believing in one’s true self and depicts its characters as living from their highest self and following their heart!
- Story assists parents in setting a strong foundation of personal empowerment and a happy life for the children they read it with.
- Any conflict within the story between characters, or within one character, is solved cleverly, in as peaceful a manner as possible given the circumstances.
- Illustrations are unique and/or beautiful.
- Story offers children an opportunity to learn something new about gratitude, little things, how to be mindful, environmental awareness, personal bravery, cooperation, being a part of a community, being happy, various philosophical viewpoints, and various ways of life.
- Story opens and engages a child’s imagination
All Year Long by Kathleen W. Deady
WHAT I LIKE: This book has a sweetness about it in its prose as it depicts all the seasons of the year and one family’s place within it. The rhythm of the book is captivating for young kids and the artwork is a colorful blend of 3-dimentional collages.
An Awesome Book of Thanks by Dallas Clayton
WHAT I LIKE: Everything! This book begins before there was anything and ends with a completely full world of people, places, and things – all along the way describing how grateful we can all be for every little aspect of living. It will resonate with families of any and all faiths as it sticks to the simplicity of gratitude and it models how to be a grateful person in an utterly child-sensible way.
Armadillo’s Orange by Jim Arnosky
WHAT I LIKE: We randomly checked this book out from the library and were so happily surprised by its mindful nature. A simple story of an armadillo who, thanks to an orange marking his burrow’s opening, has no need to pay attention when he goes out on his daily exploration as it is always easy to find his way back home. When the orange disappears, the armadillo is awakened to the many things he normally passes without attention and how sweet it is to have neighbors as he finally begins to notice the world around him.
Chirchir Is Singing by Kelly Cunnane
WHAT I LIKE: This is one of my all time favorite books! Effortlessly introducing children to the way of Kenyan life (I love books that depict life in other parts of the world without being condescending or boring!), this story ultimately boasts finding and embracing one’s light and joy and being appreciated for that light and joy. This book honors the challenging path of a child who just wants to help when the tasks at hand are all somewhat beyond her capabilities – something all children can relate to.
Girl, You’re Amazing by Virginia Kroll
WHAT I LIKE: This is just a great book for girl self-esteem! It depicts girls of all walks of life in a colorful manner doing what interests them, what they are good at, what they enjoy and reminds girls to celebrate all that they are, and all they will be one day. It clearly shows that anything is possible no matter who you are, or, what you want to be.
Grandfather Twilight by Barbara Berger
WHAT I LIKE: I mostly like how quiet this book is! It leaves so much to the imagination by not interjecting a ton of words. It’s an excellent bedtime choice for settling in sweetly with little ones.
Guji Guji by Chih-Yuan Chen
WHAT I LIKE: This book is about a crocodile who is born into a family of ducks and the briefly confusing identity crisis that ensues once he realizes he is not a duck, but he, clearly, is not like the crocodiles he meets either. He has to find out for himself who he is and in the face of conflict, he finds the best way to ensure peace for himself and his family and friends.
Hope For The Flowers by Trina Paulus
WHAT I LIKE: A book I’ve had since the early ‘90’s (yes I’ll admit it!), this is the story of a pile of caterpillars moving through space and time in a pretty unkind way – not mindful of one another at all. One caterpillar can’t quite shake the feeling that there is more to life than this experience. This book is not specifically a child’s book, but it really is a lovely one to own through all the stages of your life and to share with the children in your life.
Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty
WHAT I LIKE: A triumph in “be your truth” without feeling like it is trying to be a triumph in “be your truth”! This book shows how a human being is vibrant, energized and happy when what they love to do and be is supported and how we become drained when that spark is blown out by someone else who does not support your interests. Plus it is choc full of great artwork, and the written prose rolls off the tongue like you’ve been reading this story your whole life!
Lady Bug Girl At The Beach by David Somen & Jacki Davis
WHAT I LIKE: All the Ladybug Girl books have a knack for gentle conflict resolution among the children in the stories, however this one in particular is my favorite because the only conflict in the story is an internal one, for Lulu, the main character. She is surprised by her trepidation about the ocean upon her first visit to the beach and moves beyond fear and into bravery on her own, in her own way, without anyone pushing her to do anything or be any way. Along the way, she is imaginative and curious, open-minded and clever.
Mother Earth and Her Children: A Quilted Fairytale by Sibyelle von Olfers
WHAT I LIKE: Firstly, the artwork in this book is actually a large quilt that has been photographed in sections to match up with each page’s text. It is beautiful! This is a charming story that teaches the seasons of the year while depicting the flowers of the earth as children who awaken to ready the world for Spring and cycle through the rhythm of nature.
Only One You by Linda Kranz
WHAT I LIKE: A sweet combination of the most colorful, detailed little painted fish and actual photographs of the ocean, this book is the story of how everyone is unique and special and how we can go with the flow, be kind and mindful, and be fully actualized and happy.
Stop Snoring Bernard by Zachoriah O’Hora
WHAT I LIKE: Well, firstly this book is about otters. There aren’t many books whose main characters are otters nowadays. Did you know they sleep holding hands and on their backs in water??? How sweet! Secondly, this book is about what it feels like on both sides of conflict and it depicts this in a super kid-friendly way. It shows how to make up and be flexible and let love prevail. And, thirdly, in the interest of full disclosure, the author and illustrator of this book happens to be someone dear to my heart – my husband’s cousin’s husband (there’s a mouthful … and I didn’t even add that the cousin isn’t a blood relative, rather a “faux” one). He is an incredibly talented and skilled artist whose paintings are vibrant and hip! I have given this book as a gift numerous times and every child loves it!
The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
WHAT I LIKE: This book is all about believing in something regardless of naysayers! A classic and a must have in every kid’s home library!
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
WHAT I LIKE: Do I really need to describe what is lovely about this book? Haven’t we all read it? Shall I just say, unconditional love?!
The Greatest Power by Demi
WHAT I LIKE: Oh, where to begin??? A beautiful story about the greatest power in the world and one little girl’s thoughtful journey to find out exactly what it is, even though what she comes up with is completely different from the other children in the empire.
The Trouble With Dragons by Debi Gliori
WHAT I LIKE: Everything! This book is a sweet and witty introduction to environmental awareness. By using fire-breathing dragons whose heat pokes holes in our atmosphere and whose garbage builds up, children see the effects unconscious living has on our planet. In the end, the dragons wake up and pay attention to the animals of the world and learn how to live in harmony with nature. Phew!
The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip by George Saunders
WHAT I LIKE: This may very well be one of my absolute favorite stories! I had this book long before I had my daughter. The artwork is done by Lane Smith, who is one of my favorite children’s book illustrators because his art has such depth – his is a bold, colorful, humorous, larger than life style. Beyond the pleasing art, the story of a very capable young girl in quite trying circumstances inspires being a clever problem solver, perseverance, unconditional love, and, standing up for one’s self.
Zen Shorts by John J. Muth
WHAT I LIKE: A gorgeous introduction to Zen! A loveable, giant panda bear named Stillwater relays traditional Zen stories while simultaneously modeling the Zen way of being with three modern, western children. The very matter-of-fact manner of the panda speaks to a child’s innocent way of being.