Words, or books of advice, are the best kind of graduation present for those who are moving on to the next level. These books are great for all ages except where noted. So take my advice and give a book to that graduate – no matter which level or school they are graduating from.
Fu Finds the Way, by John Rocco, is a picture book rich in color, detail and storyline. Fu sets out to talk to the Master when he offends the Chinese warrior Chang. Fu is young and nervous about the duel Chang desires so he hopes to learn how to defend himself. But what he ends up learning are three lifelong characteristics that will help him be successful and happy in life.
31 Ways to Change the World, by We are What We Do, is a creative handbook with suggestions made by kids, and for kids, to inspire them to get going on doing something good for their community. The suggestions range from the simple idea of going outside and playing (with a double-page photo of a grassy field) to standing up for something. The imagery and layout is unique and very kid-friendly, inviting all to look to explore the 31 possibilities and then add your own. And who knows just what you might end up changing?
Oh The Places You’ll Go, by Dr. Seuss, assures the graduate that “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” And with that introduction comes the familiar Seuss style of fun and funny rhymes with a theme that you are about to set off on your own. This newest edition is labeled “Party Edition” with a foiled book cover as well as hardback. There’s also a new pop-up edition with the same title as well as a “Happy Graduation Gift Set” that includes a graduation journal, diploma and stickers. There’s even something for toddlers: “Oh, Baby! Oh Baby!” This book is based on the Dr. Seuss tale with the same artwork, but inside there’s many interactive pages youngsters will enjoy such as texture and pull tabs.
Books to Grow by Treasury, by Jamie Lee Curtis, and illustrated by Laura Cornell, is from one of the most gifted “star” authors. I often shy away from books by actors because they get a boost of publicity just from their name alone. However, there are a handful of authors in this category that rightly deserve all the publicity they receive. Ms. Curtis is spot-on with her stories about self-esteem, making good choices, and growing up and each of these four wonderful stories reflect these themes. The brilliant and brightly painted pictures are a perfect collaboration with each story as they reflect the joy of childhood. What a great gift for any or all children or families about to set out in a lifetime pursuit to the themes portrayed in this thick picture book. There’s even a CD included with Ms. Curtis reading each story, as well as 4 songs found in the book.
It’s All Too Much, So Get It Together: Less Junk, Clearer Mind, Better Life, by Peter Walsh, is a handy handbook I need to give to one of my own kids! The author is a clutter expert and puts the law down simply and in a quick to read manner so that there’s no clutter in his direct points to help. He shows how to get your space and life de-cluttered in four easy steps. He shows how to apply these skills so that they become a lifelong process that will become habit forming. I’m ready to sign up. Just from the ideas I’ve received, I’m ready to apply the lessons!
My Kindergarten, by Rosemary Wells, has recently come out in a paperback version and is the perfect synopsis of what to expect throughout a year. Emily, an adorable bunny, is about to start her new year in kindergarten. This month-by-month outline gives a child an idea of weather, letters, time and much more, including helping out others in the community. This brightly illustrated book will surely give a child an idea of what to expect in their near future, making this an excellent choice for young children.
A Really Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson, has nearly all of its information in this 176 page informative book accurate except for the typical theory of how life began on this earth. But aside from that glitch, the book is full of interesting facts that kids will really enjoy and that will thrust them deeper into desiring more information.
Some of these topics include astronomy, paleontology and geology. The illustrations are definitely kid-friendly, which will pull them into reading many interesting subjects and possibly spark a future occupation.
The American Heritage Children’s Science Dictionary, published by Houghton Mifflin, goes hand in hand with the previous book as kids who are interested in the sciences will likely pour over this dictionary. The terms are often illustrated with colorful pictures, graphs and charts which will likely inspire kids ages 9 through adult into contemplating a livelihood.
The last group of books are geared for young girls as they are about to become teenagers. Marlene Wallach, who is the founder of Wilhelninea Kids and teens modeling agency, has four new spiral bound self-help books to help girls become all that they can be and in a more self-confident and happy way. My Self: A Guide to Me addresses confidence, attitude and caring for yourself. My Life: A Guide to Health & Fitness discusses the importance of fitness, food and sleep. My Beauty: A Guide to Looking & Feeling Great includes hair and makeup, skin care and the rest of you. And My Look: A Guide to Fashion & Style points out how to dress the best for you and feel great.