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New Year, New YOU! This year, our New Years Resolution is to work on being happy with ourselves and current place in life. The new US is going to focus on improved self-image, self-confidence, and self-love. A good way to start this mindset in children is reading books that encourage self-love. Here are our top favorites. Comment below with your New Years Resolutions.

❤️Kelsey & Jessie

1. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon is a book by Patty Lovell. This book is about a girl named Molly Lou who is short, clumsy, has buck teeth, and sounds like a bull frog. Her grandma always tells her to stand proud, smile, and sing loud. This is hard at first when Molly Lou Melon starts at a new school and encounters a school bully. She remembers what her grandma taught her and knows what she needs to do! What a sweet message of loving your "flaws."

2. I Am Enough

I Am Enough is a book by Grace Byers. The experiences of being bullied inspired Grace Byers to write this incredible book about empowerment in young girls. It is a poetic book of affirmations that promote self-love and self-acceptance. One of the quotes from the book is, "We are all here for a purpose. We are more than enough. We just need to believe it." What a great message to teach to the young children in our lives!

3. It's Okay to Be Different

It's Okay to Be Different is a book by one of my favorite authors, Todd Parr! This is a fun, colorful, and simple book about everyone being different and accepting that! It blends silly and serious differences that makes it engaging for kids, such as being adopted, being a different color, eating mac and cheese in the bathtub, and having a pet worm. I love how Todd Parr adds an inspirational letter at the end of each book to encourage self-love, "It's okay to be different. You are special and important just because of being who you are."

4. Find Your Happy: A Kids Self Love Book

Find Your Happy: A Kids Self Love Book is by Patricia May. It is an interactive and engaging workbook that provides kid-friendly activities to bring awareness to your child's ability to "find happy." It has affirmations that promote self-love, questions that encourage critical thinking, yoga exercises, "mirror play - a love yourself exercise," meditation, and gratitude journal. It is a great book to encourage kids to think about the power they have in forming a positive mindset to find peace, happiness, and self-love.

5. Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage to Be Who You Are

Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage to Be Who You Are is written by Maria Dismondy. It is a fun book about a one-of-a-kind girl named Lucy. A boy a school, Ralph, always picks on Lucy for her quirks, like eating spaghetti in a hot dog bun. Lucy has a strong sense of self and knows the right thing to do. She stands up for herself while staying kind, even when dealing with people who are mean to her. This book is a great message and she is proud of herself and her differences. Another thing I love about this book is that in includes questions to ask before, during, and after reading to help tie in the meaning of the book to real life.

Disclosure: We are not sponsored by any of these book authors or publishers. We are simply sharing our favorite books and providing links to Amazon in case you are interested 😊

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Today is the third day of Kwanzaa. For those of you that do not know the meaning of Kwanzaa, it is a holiday that originated as a celebration to welcome the first harvests and was created as a response to the commercialism of Christmas. Each day is centered around one of the seven principles: umoja (unity), kujichagulia (self-determination), ujima (collective world and responsibility), ujamaa (cooperative economics), nia (purpose), kuumba (creativity), and imani (faith). It’s a cultural holiday, as opposed to a religious holiday. Homemade and educational gifts are often given on the last day of Kwanzaa. Here are 5 great children's books about Kwanzaa. Peace, love, and happiness to all.

❤️Kelsey & Jessie

1. Together For Kwanzaa

Together for Kwanzaa is a book by Juwanda Fore that is a great introductions to the traditions and practices during Kwanzaa. This story is about a girl named Kayla. Her favorite holiday is Kwanzaa. This year, there is a heavy snow storm coming and Kayla is worried that her brother will not make it home in time for Kwanzaa. This is a sweet story about the celebration of Kwanzaa as well as the importance of family.

2. Li'l Rabbit's Kwanzaa

Li'l Rabbit's Kwanzaa is a book by Donna L. Washington. It is inspired by the African-American folklore character, Brer Rabbit. The main principle of Kwanzaa is coming together to help others, but Li'l Rabbit feels too small to be able to help. He leaves to find something special for his sick grandmother. He runs into lots of animals who remember the kindness and generosity of Li'l Rabbit's grandmother and want to help him out. Turns out, Li'l Rabbit was able to bring the whole community together to celebrate. This book introduces the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa at the end of the book. It is great for educating children about the purpose and beliefs associated with this holiday.

3. My First Kwanzaa

My First Kwanzaa is a book by Karen Katz. It is simple and colorful and is a great introduction to Kwanzaa for younger children. I like this book in the board book format, but it also comes in hardcover and paperback. This book introduces the traditions and celebrations of Kwanzaa, like lighting the kinara, drinking from the kikombe (the unity cup), and eating muhindi (an ear of corn), in an easy-to-understand way!

4. Let's Celebrate Kwanzaa

Let's Celebrate Kwanzaa is by Arielle Phoenix. It teaches about the seven principles of Kwanzaa and how to apply them in daily life. This book touches on the fact that Kwanzaa is a cultural holiday instead of a religious holiday. It teachers others why it is important for all Africans to celebrate and apply and the seven principles of Kwanzaa to their lives, as well as to teacher children about the importance of the principles.

5. My Family Celebrates Kwanzaa

My Family Celebrates Kwanzaa is by Lisa Bullard. It is a children's chapter book that includes facts about the history of Kwanzaa, as well as the the principles and traditions of the holiday. It is also a great book for children to learn about the set-up of nonfiction books (i.e. table of contents, index, glossary). What an fun and educational way to learn about Kwnazaa!

Disclosure: We are not sponsored by any of these book authors or publishers. We are simply sharing our favorite books and providing links to Amazon in case you are interested 😊

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Hanukkah this year starts tomorrow, December 22, and lasts through December 30. To celebrate, we are sharing our top 5 favorite children's books about Hanukkah! These books are great for all children, even those who do not celebrate Hanukkah. Exposing children to different holidays is a great way to promote acceptance of people who believe in different religions. Even if you have different beliefs and follow a different religion, knowledge of others is important for creating peace and acceptance in this world. We want to wish everyone who is celebrating a very Happy Hanukkah! Feel free to Comment below with your favorite Hanukkah books!

❤️Kelsey & Jessie

1. The Story of Hanukkah

The Story of Hanukkah, by David A. Adler, is an informative book about the origins of Hanukkah. It is a great book for educating children about why people celebrate this holiday. It is written with simple sentences and modified vocabulary so it is easier for children to understand. The beautiful pictures help to tell the story. At the end of the book, it also has some directions for traditional Hanukkah traditions, like how to make latkes (potato pancakes) and how to play dreidel!

2. Hanukkah Bear

Hanukkah Bear is written by Eric A. Kimmel and follows the adventures of a big, brown bear. In this book, a bear smells latkes coming from the village. He follows the scent to an elderly lady's home. The lady has poor vision and hearing and assumes the bear is the rabbi and invites the bear in to celebrate Hanukkah with her. When the bear leaves, the rabbi comes and they have to figure out who ate all the latkes! This is a humorous book for all children that introduces the traditions of Hanukkah.

3. Latke, the Lucky Dog

Latke, the Lucky Dog is written by Ellen Fischer. It is another book that describes the traditions of Hanukkah in a fun way for children. In this book, a family adopts a dog, Latke, on the first day of Hanukkah. Latke misbehaves and has to learn how to behave during all the Hanukkah traditions. Throughout the book, he reminds himself that he is a lucky dog to have such a wonderful family!

4. Little Red Ruthie

Little Red Ruthie: A Hanukkah Tale is a book written by Gloria Koster. Ruthie is ready to go to her grandma's house to celebrate Hanukkah. She packs up a basket with sour cream and applesauce to go with her grandma's latkes. On her way, she goes through the forest and runs into a wolf. She has to convince the wolf that latkes taste better than she does! It is a sweet, basic story about the traditions of Hanukkah. At the end of the book, there is a recipe to make Ruthie's potato latkes!

5. How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Hanukkah?

How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah? is a book by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague. It is a great book that follows the same pattern as the other How Do Dinosaurs...? books. This book starts with dinosaurs misbehaving during Chanukah traditions, like fidgeting during the menorah blessing, blowing out the Hanukkah candles and writing their names on all the presents. The book ends with the dinosaurs learning appropriate behavior during Hanukkah celebrations such as sharing the dreidel, singing along with the prayers and spending time with family. It is a light-hearted and funny book that teaches children's about the traditions of Hanukkah!

Disclosure: We are not sponsored by any of these book authors or publishers. We are simply sharing our favorite books and providing links to Amazon in case you are interested 😊

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