Children’s books don’t just help our kids develop better reading skills, but they can be extremely important in shaping their value and helping them understand complicated issues. As adults we can still remember the selflessness of The Giving Tree… a message we hope to pass on to our own children. But there are a lot more books on the shelf (or Kindle library) than there were when we were kids. Covering topics like prison, drugs and conservatism, there are some really unconventional children’s book out there today.
Teach a Donkey To Fish
Goppy the Elephant and Libby the Donkey are best friends but when Libby needs some money for a new backpack Goppy decides to teach her about responsibility and frugality. The extremely conservative Teach a Donkey to Fish tramples all over any lessons you’ve taught your children about sharing and generosity. Source
It’s Just a Plant: A Children’s Story of Marijuana
Normally when any sane law-abiding parent teaches their children about drugs they explain that they’re illegal, harm your body and they skip right past those times in college. But It’s Just a Plant: A Children’s Story of Marijuana takes a more free spirited approach. The book has been described as a glimpse of what enlightened drug education could be and as an outrage. (We’re guessing Goppy wouldn’t approve, but Libby seems like she’d be down) Source
It’s NOT the Stork!
Oh thanks a lot! Now we actually have to talk about the birds and the bees because It’s NOT the Stork! let the cat out of the bag. Just from the cover kids now know where babies DON’T come from.
Mommy, Why is There a Server in the House?
With an opening line like “When a mommy and daddy love each other very much, the daddy wants to give mommy a special gift” you expect this book to take a very specific direction. It’s not about a new baby on the way or how your body is changing… it’s about a much more confusing issue: Windows Home Servers. Dumbed down to the point where even mommys and daddys can understand, Mommy, Why is There a Server in the House? explains that a server is a funny looking box that makes friends with computers. Source
It Hurts When I Poop!
We already know that everyone poops, but does it hurt when everyone poops? It Hurts When I Poop! tells the brave tale of Ryan who has trouble pooping and eventually learns from Dr. Gold about healthy eating habits that can help with his problem. (An important lesson that anyone who’s eaten Chipotle wished they had learned early on)
And Tango Makes Three
Sometimes truth really is stranger than children’s fiction. Inspired by the true story of two male penguins from New York City’s Central Park Zoo, Roy and Silo, And Tango Makes Three tells the story of an unconventional penguin family.
While not every family can relate, no family can really call itself normal (certainly not perfect) so who are we to judge this book by its cover? Unfortunately when parents or other family members make mistakes it’s the kids who suffer the most. Visiting Day approaches the subject of dealing with an incarcerated family member without judgment.
Joined at Birth
There are books about different medical issues like blindness or autism, but we never heard of books about conjoined twins. While it’s an extremely rare medical condition it’s still important to teach kids about accepting people who are different. Joined at Birth: The Lives of Conjoined Twins explains that even though someone is different, they’re just like everyone else.
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