Here at FRHQ we love a good book and we loving finding new books that will interest and inspire our children. A good children's book can be hard to find, I generally find that the best kind are ones that a.) explore interesting and challenging subjects b.) give the children the space to come up with their own ideas and c.) appeal to the adults. Read a few next time you're in the library or a good bookshop and you'll probably find that the ones that you enjoy your children will as well. In the Den we have started focussing on a book a week which we read several times over and discuss with different groups of children to bring out their ideas and thoughts.
This week we chose Michael Rosen's Sad Book. For those of you who haven't come across this title it was written by the former Children's Laureate and author of 'We're going on a bear hunt' after the death of his son. It deals with sadness in a profound yet understandable way and promotes the idea that emotions aren't by their nature good or bad but that they happen to everybody and it's ok for us to feel them.
After reading it we had deep and reflective discussions about things that make us sad and it gave the children who had lost family or pets a chance to talk about it confidently and relate their experiences to what they had just heard and saw. One other occasion when I found it very interesting was when a girl who was having a difficult transition into the session was crying and a group who were playing nearby asked if she was hurt; at first I said that she was sad on the inside but the children took that to mean that she had a tummy ache. I brought out this book and it explained the feeling better than I could have on my own.
This is not an easy read but certainly an important one to help us communicate the hardest things to say