Today, we’re going back into the blog archives I don’t have to look hard to spot red and green decorations popping up around town, and that got me thinking about the coming holidays … with a big sigh.
For some, the December holidays are a season of getting more; for others, it is a season of giving more. This post from August 2013 can help you make room for the holidays and also engage the kids in thinking of others. We have updated it to sort books into categories. We also added a few newer books that fit the themes of decluttering and sharing with others.
Simplify your life. Sounds grand, doesn’t it? Back in February, I started Operation Downsize, an effort to get rid of one thing every day. This week, I am going to step up my game and get the 11-year-old involved. She won’t do it for me, but she MIGHT do it for National Simplify Your Life Week. [It is so simplified there is no official website!]
To kick things off, we are sharing a list with some of our favorite children’s books that can start the simplify your life conversation!
Books for Decluttering
Little Oink, written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal; illustrated by Jen Corace
Little Oink likes the things other pigs like – digging in the dirt, stories with Mama and Papa, cafeteria food. But he didn’t like messes. He doesn’t understand, but he does as he is told and when everything is a mess, Mama and Papa jump for joy. But what does Little Oink do? This upside-down look at doing chores will put a smile on everyone’s face.
Splat the Cat The Big Helper, written and illustrated by Rob Scotten
Family Meeting Time! Splat’s dad gives him a chore list. First, he has to clean his room. Splat would rather play video games and his first attempt at cleaning isn’t that successful. After his dad suggests that he try and again and make it fun, Splat turns cleaning into a game and learns that cleaning can be a good time.
What’s With This Room, written and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
Mom and Dad have declared their son’s bedroom a disaster area. Check out the items that don’t belong in the corner, under the bed, or on the fan. In defense, their son begins to explain the method to this mess, and why things are just the way they need to be. Will they understand his explanation?
Books for Sharing & Recycling
Fancy Nancy: Too Many Tutus, written by Jane O’Connor; illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
Fancy Nancy loves her tutus. Her closet is full of them. Too full. When her mother tries to clean out the too-small tutus, Nancy has an idea. At school, Ms. Glass measures each student and shows them how they are all growing. She suggests a Swap and Shop where everyone can “buy” clothes with tickets they’ve earned. Nancy finds a new tutu, but Grace saw it first! Is there anything else fancy enough left to buy?
Stuff! Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, written by Steven Kroll; illustrated by Steve Cox.
Pinch is a pack rat. When his friends ask him to donate stuff to the community sale, Pinch says “no.” On the day of the sale, he sees everybody and all the things they are selling and decides to sell some of his stuff. When he gets home with his money, Pinch decides to get rid of the clutter, and he invites his family to do the same. Will they use the money to buy more stuff?
Books About Giving to Others
Lily and the Paper Man, written by Rebecca Upjohn, illustrated by Renne Benoit
Lily loved walking home from school. But one day, she bumped into a man selling a newspaper. He was not very neat, and Lily was scared. Scared enough that she started writing the bus. On a day it started snowing, Lily decided to walk. She forgot her fear until she sees the Paper Man, standing in the cold with no socks. What can she do?
Oranges for Everyone, written by Daiga Zake, illustrated by Elena Stojanova
Jimmy gets a bag of oranges. He claims them for himself but ends up giving them to his parents and friends, one at a time. He has given them all away, and he realizes that sharing them to make them happy is more rewarding than keeping them to himself.
Too Many Toys, written and illustrated by David Shannon
From wood to plastic, from stuffed to noisy. It seems everyone gave Spencer toys…even the dentist! You name the toy, Spencer has it. And now mom and dad have had it. So Spencer and Mom look at each and every toy, negotiating which ones will go in the giveaway box. Is there any toy Spencer can freely give away?
There is always room for more ideas. Share your favorite books in the comments.
*Buy Online links go to Amazon.com. The Reading Tub has an affiliate relationship and uses income from purchases to fund its literacy mission.
*Check My Library goes to Worldcat.org.