My heart is breaking….my brain is swimming…my emotions are raw…

How do you put on paper what you are feeling during this time?

As an educator and one that worked diligently to provide a safe learning space for all children, I am struggling to find the words to explain, provide assistance, or even hope in this challenging time. When your brain and emotions are in turmoil (flight or fight), even as an adult, it is difficult to process, articulate, and convey how you are feeling in a helpful way. 

One thing that assists me in times of distress is reaching for a book. I have always loved to read and am often found with ‘my nose in a book’. Most books for me are a retreat from the everyday hustle and bustle. However, in challenging times like these, a children’s book brings light, inspiration, openness, and sometimes some understanding. The authors that have the awareness, creativity, and ability to create books to assist in teaching children about ‘big’ topics are truly awe-inspiring. 

Here is a list of children’s books that might assist you or your children to reflect, discuss, and learn how to help others during this time:

I Am Human: A Book of Empathy
– By Susan Verde ● Art by Peter H. Reynolds

A is for Activist and Counting on Community
– Written and Illustrated by Innosanto Nagara

Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights
– By Rob Sanders ● Illustrated by Jared Andrew Schorr

Same, Same But Different
– Written and Illustrated by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw

The Day You Begin
– By Jacqueline Woodson ● Illustrated by Rafael Lȯpez

I Am Enough
– By Grace Byers ● Illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo

People – by Peter Spier

Love Makes a Family
– By Sophie Beer

Although these books were written for children, their messages speak to all of us, no matter our ages.