Guest post: It Could Always Be Worse

Guest poster Pres. Katherine Baker weaves her own life wisdom in with the Rabbi’s good advice as she reflects on this popular folk tale. In the children’s book, It Could Always Be Worse, delightfully told and illustrated by Margot Zemach, we meet an unnamed Jewish man from 80 or 100 years ago. He looks to be from…

Maddi’s Fridge, by Lois Brandt

Best friends Sofia and Maddi live in the same neighborhood, go to the same school, and play in the same park, but while Sofia’s fridge at home is full of nutritious food, the fridge at Maddi’s house is empty. Sofia learns that Maddi’s family doesn’t have enough money to fill their fridge and promises Maddi she’ll keep this…

The Day I Ran Away, by Holly L. Niner

“While Dad tucks her in, a little girl named Grace calmly recounts her day—which was anything but calm. She had a tantrum (because of some injustices involving a purple shirt and breakfast cereal) and was banished to her bedroom before deciding to run away. Understanding that kids have ups and downs, Grace’s mom wisely gave…

The Happy Man and His Dump Truck, by Miryam

“A happy man thrills a group of farm animals when he takes them for a joy ride in his dump truck. This book is a true classic illustrated by the inimitable Tibor Gergely.” The Happy Man and His Dump Truck is one of my favorite picture books. The first time you read it, you think…

Meh: A Story about Depression, by Deborah Malcolm

Meh: A Story about Depression is a wordless picture book with remarkably evocative, content-rich illustrations leading the reader on an emotional and spiritual journey through an episode of depression and recovery. The concept of using a picture book to launch a conversation about depression with a child is fascinating and brilliant, in my view. You’ll want…

Amazing Grace, by Mary Hoffman

“Grace loves stories, whether they’re from books, movies, or the kind her grandmother tells. So when she gets a chance to play a part in Peter Pan, she knows exactly who she wants to be. Remarkable watercolor illustrations give full expression to Grace’s high-flying imagination.” Word person that I am, I’m still going to talk…

Froggy Learns to Swim, by Jonathan London

“Zzzziiiinnngggg splash! Everyone’s favorite frog learns to swim! Frogs are supposed to be great swimmers. “Not me!” says Froggy, who’s afraid of the water. But with a little encouragement, some practice, and the help of a silly song or two, Froggy becomes an expert frog-kicker!” You have to read this book out loud. You can’t…