Seattle's Child

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children's books community

4 stories that remind us all we’re part of something bigger

Books about community can help foster grateful, giving kids.

Community. Community. Community. If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it’s how important this element of our lives truly is. And what better time to reflect on this than before and during the holidays, with children’s books?

Our Little Kitchen
By Jillian Tamaki
Family is often who you surround yourself with. During a year in which not everyone will be able to see their families for the holiday season, this delightful story of neighbors coming together to cook a meal for their community is a reminder of how rewarding it can be to give back to those around you.

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga
By Traci Sorell; illustrated by Frané Lessac
This glimpse into the Cherokee tradition of year-round gratefulness offers a gentle reminder that there are things to be thankful for — big and small — all year long. Books like this one are an important anchor for whose existence we should repeatedly say otsaliheliga, meaning “we are grateful.”

Freedom, We Sing
By Amyra León; illustrated by Molly Mendoza
This book gives readers a chance to breathe, something they may have forgotten to do this year. With interwoven pages of “Inhale, Exhale” throughout this joyous song about what freedom means, it’s the perfect book of reflection in such a busy time of year.

Thank You, Omu!
By Oge Mora
Omu gives until she has no stew left to eat. But instead of going hungry for the night, a knock at the door reveals every neighbor who ate Omu’s stew, ready to give back to her. It’s an important reminder of community and how special it is not only to give, but to receive. (Also, newly available in Spanish.)

This story on children’s books was first published in November 2020.

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About the Author

Claire Phelan

Claire Phelan is the children's books manager at Third Place Books.