"Peace is being different, feeling good about yourself, and helping others. The world is a better place because of YOU! Love, Todd"
Before becoming a stay at home mom (by day) I was a full time elementary school teacher. My first two years of teaching I taught first grade, and then went on to teach both second and fifth grades. Todd Parr's The Peace Book is one of my all time favorite books as a teacher and now as a parent too. I've mentioned it on the blog before as there are countless extension activities you can do and it can spark some of the best conversations with your kiddos! And that right there is what I love the most about Todd's books, they are conversation starters for all ages. They have just the right dose of silly and after a handful of readings, even toddlers can "read" these books to themselves due to their simple and at times predictive text.
I think it's the vibrant colors and bold, quirky pictures that cause kids of all ages to reach for these first on the shelves. When my daughter was about 8 months old she already loved these books so much (no joke, they were the only books she wanted us to read!) that when we found out Todd was coming to our area for a book signing we had to go! (Side note, a lady that works with him overheard me in line saying how much I wanted the Reading Makes You Feel Good book and about 2 minutes later she came and handed me a copy of that book- I mean, talk about good people!) As a mom and as a teacher I have read these books with ages zero to nine and there's a little something for everyone.
To this day my oldest (4) and my youngest (1) gravitate towards these books and we haven't come across one we don't like. All of his books have a common theme of acceptance, love, and individuality and I can't think of a better way to spread these important messages. It's Ok to be Different showcases how we are all different, and it is important to celebrate those differences and be proud of the things that make us unique. Be Who You Are has the same powerful messages promoting self-love and individuality. Also his books such as The Mommy Book, The Daddy Book, The Grandma Book, and The Grandpa Book highlight how these people come in all different shapes and sizes. Sometimes there are two moms, two dads, grandmas who live with grandpa or grandmas who live with their friends, the list goes on and his books acknowledge the vast differences across families and friends alike. His book entitled We Belong Together is a beautiful and heartwarming story about adoption and families. In Todd's "message to the readers" (that is found at the end of each book) he writes:
"There are lots of different ways to make a family. It just takes love. Share your home, and share your heart. Love, Todd"
We love his books for all these reasons and many, many more. Thank you all for reading with your kiddos and continuing to spread these messages of acceptance and love. Oh, and don't forget. "It's ok to eat macaroni and cheese...in the bathtub."