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What life lessons have YOU learned from reading picture books?

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It occurred to me the other day that I often get an 'aha!' moment while reading picture books to my daughter. For example, Where the Wild Things Are - reading that gave me the idea that rather than trying to reason with my daughter, I'd try just leaving her to get over it herself. It totally worked! And then a few months later I read some research that even backed up this idea - that children going through a tantrum are angry, but if you leave them alone for a bit, the anger turns to sadness and that's when they'll come to you for comfort.

Anyway, my point is that I've learned some great stuff from picture books - parenting, friendships, all sorts - have you learned anything? Would love to hear!
#1 - December 19, 2011, 05:02 AM

That you only have to believe to make it real (Velveteen Rabbit)
That a community working together can do good things (Make Way for Ducklings)
That pride can work against you, but good friends can make it right (Corgiville Fair)
That bunnies are soft (Pat the Bunny)


I love this question!
#2 - December 19, 2011, 05:34 AM
J.Ro
NO PLACE TO FALL (Harper Teen, 2014)
www.jayerobinbrown.blogspot.com
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MaryWitzl

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I love this question too.

Let's see...from 'Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day' -- everybody has bad days and it's fun to whine about them after the fact.  From Mona Reeves' 'Spooky Eerie Night Noise' -- if you let your imagination run wild, you can really scare yourself silly. From 'Once There Were Giants' -- that (sniff) little kids grow up too fast.

And I know I've learned dozens of other things from Picture Books too. Look forward to reading other comments here.

#3 - December 19, 2011, 06:02 AM

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These are great!

I also had the same thing with Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. There's another book whose title escapes me right now, where one little bad thing a boy experiences causes him to be grumpy with his sister, who's then grumpy with her mum/dad, who's then grumpy with the dog, but then the dog, being a dog, does something nice (licks a hand or similar), which then triggers a series of events that make everyone nice and happy again. It's a nice way to remind yourself that even small moments of kindness/friendliness (or conversely, meanness or snappiness) have a knock-on effect. I must remember the title! It's an old book...
#4 - December 19, 2011, 06:57 AM

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Never stand on a swivel chair. (Gloria and Officer Buckle) -- I almost did stand on the swivel chair to put the ornaments up, but remembered the ensuing chaos and found another chair.  :dr
#5 - December 19, 2011, 07:19 AM
How Things Work (Publications International, 2006)
Bugs & Bugsicles: Insects in the Winter (Boyds Mill Press, 2010)
Touch the Earth (NASA, 2009)

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"I meant what I said and I said what I meant,
And an elephant's faithful, one hundred per cent."

HORTON HATCHES THE EGG is almost the only picture book I remember from early childhood, and his refrain struck me even then as important and noble.    





#6 - December 19, 2011, 07:21 AM

RDR

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Don't step on others on your way to the top.  YERTLE the TURTLE
#7 - December 19, 2011, 03:22 PM

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Here's one I said to my daughter just tonight. We were coming home from a taekwondo class where I was having a tough time: "Some days are like that. Even in Australia."  (Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.)

Also -

What we are most afraid of usually turns out to be nothing. (The Monster At The End of This Book.)

Assuming you know what you're doing can get you in some serious trouble. (Stregga Nona.)

And like Amy S, I never stand on a swivel chair thanks to Gloria and Officer Buckle!
#8 - December 19, 2011, 08:24 PM
To the Stars! (Charlesbridge)
Aviation: Cool Women Who Fly (Nomad Press)
Eliza Bing Is (Not) A Big, Fat Quitter (Holiday House)

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Oh, goodness, I've learned so much from the Amanda and Oliver Pig books about how to be a better mother!
These are not PBs, but easy readers, but it's the same concept, so I'll throw that in.

And I love Sheep in a Jeep because it helps me to know I can always get out of a pickle.

Vijaya
#9 - December 20, 2011, 07:31 PM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces

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Always  check out your potential mother in law VERY carefully. Is she TOO possessive of  future husband? Otherwise she will be sneaking  into your bedroom at night to hug and sing to her 40 year old son...how sick is that:)  "Love You Forever":)
#10 - December 21, 2011, 04:35 AM
"Penelope and the Humongous Burp"
"Penelope and the Monsters"
"Penelope and the Preposterous Birthday Party"

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My nine year old son and I crack up at LOVE YOU FOREVER, he still likes me to read it to him once in a while (and I try not to sob at the end -- Waaah!)  From my own childhood and my son's bookshelf,  THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD: "I think I can, I think I can!"  And, THE VELVETEEN RABBIT, for the power of love. 
#11 - December 21, 2011, 04:59 AM
Ten Clever Ninjas (picture book, Clear Fork Publishing, 2019)
Butterfly Girl (middle grade novel, Clear Fork Publishing, 2019)

Twitter: @kidlitSarah

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The life lesson I personally take from LOVE YOU FOREVER is that if you write a PB in which the MC is actually the Mom, you can sell it forever.  :snork
#12 - December 21, 2011, 07:30 AM

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Susan, that is SO true!

I just thought of another one: Guess How Much I Love You? by Sam McBratney/Anita Jeram. Love means letting your child 'win' - especially when you're having a contest to see who loves who the most!
#13 - December 21, 2011, 07:36 AM

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You know what you know, and don't let others tell you otherwise. (The Carrot Seed)
 
When all else fails, think about Australia... (Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-good, Very Bad Day)
#14 - December 21, 2011, 10:32 AM
THE VOICE OF THUNDER, WiDo Publishing
THERE'S A TURKEY AT THE DOOR, Hometown520

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I was going to say "the Carrot Seed" as well. It taught me that even your parents don't know everything.

Also, "Owen" taught me to ignore nosy neighbors (and strangers) when it comes to parenting advice.

"Frederick" taught me why writing and the arts are just as important as other, more tangible jobs.
#15 - December 21, 2011, 12:03 PM
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, GRIMELDA series,
CITY SHAPES, DORIS THE BOOKASAURUS, ONE SNOWY DAY, PIZZA PIG, and more...
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DO NOT EAT chocolate cake, ice-cream, a pickle, Swiss cheese, salami, a lollipop, cherry pie, a sausage, a cupcake, and a slice of watermelon all at the same time.

You will get a stomach ache.

I'm tellin' ya.
#16 - December 21, 2011, 11:57 PM

When ham and eggs turn green they should be eaten.

Not the best example.
#17 - December 22, 2011, 06:46 AM

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DO NOT EAT chocolate cake, ice-cream, a pickle, Swiss cheese, salami, a lollipop, cherry pie, a sausage, a cupcake, and a slice of watermelon all at the same time.

You will get a stomach ache.

I'm tellin' ya.

He he. The lesson I took from that book is that if I eat all those things, then have a good long sleep... I'll be able to fly! So far it hasn't worked, though.
#18 - December 22, 2011, 07:20 AM

Oh how could I forget the power of a blank piece of paper and a purple crayon (aka imagination)? (Harold and the Purple Crayon)
#19 - December 22, 2011, 08:52 AM
J.Ro
NO PLACE TO FALL (Harper Teen, 2014)
www.jayerobinbrown.blogspot.com
www.jayerobinbrown.com

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DO NOT EAT chocolate cake, ice-cream, a pickle, Swiss cheese, salami, a lollipop, cherry pie, a sausage, a cupcake, and a slice of watermelon all at the same time.

You will get a stomach ache.

LOL! Also, holes are fun.
#20 - December 23, 2011, 08:21 AM
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, GRIMELDA series,
CITY SHAPES, DORIS THE BOOKASAURUS, ONE SNOWY DAY, PIZZA PIG, and more...
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Some days are no good, very bad, terrible, horrible days.  Everybody loses mittens. The monster at the end of the book is me, go figure. A person's a person no matter how small. The dreamers save up the stories for the hard times ahead. There is NOT enough room at the top of a cococanut tree.  Sometimes you need to lay off the munchies and eat one green leaf.  Dinosaurs can play some mean baseball. It's important to like hats and dogs should go, go, dogs, go!! Never let a pigeon drive the bus. Mom loves you to the moon and back again, and she loves you even if you put lemmings in her mukluks, and finally always say good night to the moon.
#21 - December 23, 2011, 11:51 AM
Plumb Crazy (Swoon Romance, 2014)
Big Fuzzy Coat (MeeGenius!)
Rembrandt and the Boy Who Drew Dogs (Barron's)

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LOL! Also, holes are fun.

Was I the only kid who found it annoying that I couldn't poke my finger right through the holes? Or was I perhaps the only kid with fingers so fat they didn't fit?! (I'd be surprised if that were the case since I was skinny as a burnt out matchstick in those days but you never know!)
#22 - December 23, 2011, 12:11 PM

Ha ha! I never read it as a kid so I don't know if my own fingers would have fit. But my daughter's pinky did. Only slightly.

Maybe they were scared of lawsuits due to kids getting their fingers stuck in there, so they figured smaller holes would be more prudent.
#23 - December 24, 2011, 05:40 PM
NED THE KNITTING PIRATE, GRIMELDA series,
CITY SHAPES, DORIS THE BOOKASAURUS, ONE SNOWY DAY, PIZZA PIG, and more...
http://www.dianamurray.com

Liz
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Oh how could I forget the power of a blank piece of paper and a purple crayon (aka imagination)? (Harold and the Purple Crayon)

I also think of Harold and the Purple Crayon as a great way to work your way out of any problem and you can go to bed happily.
#24 - December 30, 2011, 07:05 PM
You must do the things you think you cannot do.  Eleanor Roosevelt

http://www.lizstrawwrites.com/

There?s a really good video on youtube called ?Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children's Book? uploaded by LibraryOfCongress. (It?s not picture books but Children?s books in general.)

It?s really interesting to see how children?s books and the ideas in them have shaped many (famous) people?s lives.
#25 - June 27, 2014, 01:46 PM

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