Thanks for joining my “Mommy and Me” Book Club. I hope you’re enjoying my ongoing “stay in bed and read” series. See my previous post on The Art of Hearing Heartbeats for a book summary and “quotable quotes”.
As you’re reading The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker in bed (or in your favorite armchair), feel free to share these picture books with your children.
For every “mommy book” read, I’ll suggest a “me book” for your children with a similar theme. It is my hope that this “Mommy and Me” book club is a fun activity for you and your children.
Picture Books About Love (Eros, Storge, Philia, Philautia, Agape)
In this five part series, I’ll explore the different kinds of love that make our hearts skip a beat.
In The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, Su Kyi, Tin Win’s adoptable mother, comments on the perfect, symbiotic love of Tin Win and Mi Mi when she observes:
“The smallest human unit is two not one.”
This quote got me thinking about Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and all the loves a person can experience in his or her lifetime. The ancient Greeks believed there were seven love types. See my previous post.
Our previous posts crushed on eros (love of the body, erotic or romantic love), storge (love of the child, familial love), and philia (love of the mind, brotherly love).
Now we’re swooning over philautia (love of the self, self-love) and the picture books that celebrate self-compassion.
Here are some picture books to make your heart full.
5 Picture Books About Self-Love
1. Dear Girl, (2017) | Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Any girl reading this book including you, Mama, will feel you’re great just the way you are. Give Krouse Rosenthal’s love letter to a special girl in your life. This book urges us all to take this truth to heart: we have a valuable place in the world. (Age Range: 4-8 years)
Note: Amy Krouse Rosenthal is the author of the beautiful title I Wish You More.
2. My Heart (2019) |Corinna Luyken
My heart is a window. My heart is a slide. My heart can be closed…or opened up wide.
Sometimes our hearts are closed. Other times, our hearts are open. An ode to self-love, this book encourages us to listen to our hearts and use them as a guide in navigating the world. (Age Range: 4-8 years)
3. Elmer the Patchwork Elephant (1968) | David McKee
Elmer looks different from the other elephants. Eventually, he learns to love himself with all his heart and be comfortable in the colorful skin he’s in. This book celebrates creatures, big and small, who don’t blend in with the herd. (Age Range: 4-8 years)
4. Exclamation Mark! (2013) | Amy Krouse Rosenthal
What a clever metaphor for the self, an exclamation mark! At first, the protagonist wants to fit in with everyone else, but then he embraces his unique characteristics and emphatically decides to stand out. This book captures the exuberance that comes with just being you – eat your heart out! (Age Range: 4-8 years)
Note: The Amy Krouse Rosenthal love fest continues.
5. Red: A Crayon’s Story (2015) | Michael Hall
You’ll love this book with all your heart! A blue crayon mistakenly labeled as red undergoes an identity crisis because no matter how hard he tries, Red just can’t be red. This book teaches us not to be afraid to show our true colors. (Age Range: 4-8 years)
- Giraffes Can’t Dance (1999) | Giles Andreae (Previously reviewed, see post.)
A Final Thought – From the Pillow
You cannot share (with your kids) what you don’t have. If you love yourself, then you can love others.
So, “Dear Girl,” repeat this refrain. “You are mom (or dad) enough.”
What other picture books would you add the list?
What kinds of love have you experienced?