By Christa Protano
In the past, the National Education Association (NEA) had designated the first week of March as Read Across America Week. This bookish time of year has been used to promote literacy in schools and also honor Dr. Seuss’ birthday (March 2). But this year, the NEA is encouraging everyone to participate in Read Across America all yearlong with twelve monthly themes that focus on a topic related to diversity and inclusion. That said, we’ve put together a menu of options from Silver Dolphin Books so preschoolers to middle-grade readers can follow along. Whether your child is trying to reach a read-a-thon goal or you are looking for a new family read-aloud, we hope you’ll consider these books throughout the upcoming year.
Create a Better World
In Sing a Song of Kindness, beloved nursery rhymes have been adapted to celebrate kindness, friendship, and compassion. This beautifully illustrated collection is perfect for reading aloud and comes with a touching message that a little kindness makes the world a better place. Reimagined nursery rhymes include “Twinkle, Twinkle, You’re a Star” and “Our Itsy-Bitsy Planet.”
Find the Right Words
Finding the right words to convey your feelings is a struggle most of us deal with from a very young age. Thanks to ABC I Love You, parents and children alike can learn 26 new ways to express their love for one another. This adorable alphabet board book features large, graphic letters, beautiful baby illustrations, and sweet text.
The Rabbit & Bear series follows eponymous characters along with other silly animals as they go about their lives in the woods. Each of these early chapter books teaches a valuable life lesson disguised within a hilarious story in which different species work together to achieve peace and harmony in their forest community. We recommend author Julian Gough’s latest, Attack of the Snack, for this theme.
Promote Healing and Growth
Click here to find book recommendations from the NEA for this theme.
Activate Inner Strengths
Geek Guardians: Recess Revolution is a must-read for any kid struggling through middle school. A reboot of Fry’s successful The Odd Squad series, this chapter book follows a trio of misfits as they navigate the awkwardness of growing up and friendship. Young readers will have lots of laughs thanks to Fry’s hilarious illustrations while enjoying this relatable, heartwarming tale about being true to yourself.
Explore Societal Forces
The Big Green Busy Book serves as a helpful reminder to reduce, reuse, and recycle each and every day. With plenty of mazes, Sudoku challenges, math activities, and 50-plus stickers, kids will have fun while learning all about environmental issues and their impact on individuals and communities, as well as ways to save our planet.
Celebrate Black History
My First Heroes Black History is an interactive board book featuring push, pull, and slide elements on each page to keep your preschooler engaged as they learn how Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, Serena Williams, and Maya Angelou changed the course of history.
Bring Communities Together
While the Rainbow Magic series is pretty low stakes, we appreciate the way all of the fairies are diverse in terms of interests, style of dress, and personalities. With the help of two model tweens, Kirsty and Rachel, the fairies are able to outwit bad guys to save their community and its pets in Rainbow Magic: Pet Fairies Books 1-4.
When they get older, your kids will probably think that your musical preferences are not-so cool. That’s why we love The Story Of music series that highlights the early years of rap, country, pop, and rock. From Dolly Parton to Johnny Cash, Grandmaster Flash, David Bowie, and Beyonce, all the greats are featured in these colorful board books.
Nuture Family Bonds
Silver Dolphin has no shortage of board and picture books that celebrate the love of a parent and child. And with Mother’s and Father’s Days coming up, we suggest the brand new Amazing Moms and beloved author Margaret Wise Brown’s All the Little Fathers for this family-focused theme.
Support LGBTQ Communities
Before Pride Month kicks off, click here to find book recommendations from the NEA for this theme.
Cultivate Caring Connections
No matter what books your child chooses, reading together and talking about those books supports the bond you have with them, and the connections they have with others. Whether they are sharing the Rainbow Magic series with friends, or you are enjoying a sweet bedtime story together, we hope you’ll find these titles helpful during your family’s yearlong Read Across America journey.