School Library Journal: Pitch In to Help Others and the World
Helping is not hard work! Helping is how children first learn that interacting with others can improve life for all. Whether it’s washing carrots for an abuela to chop up for stew, or comforting a parent, or standing up as a citizen against global warming, children love to help. Helping is also the beginning of learning about community, which only thrives when everyone pitches in. As these titles show, being useful grows a child’s sense of self-worth and their compassion for others. This list was curated by Kimberly Olson Fakih, Senior Editor, Picture Books.
This Little Environmentalist
- What is an environmentalist?
- How do environmentalists help?
- The book contains little biographies of environmentalists. What did Edgar J. Helm, Wangari Maathai, and Vandana Shiva do to help the Earth? Describe your other favorite stories from the book!
- What lessons did you learn from the examples in "This Little Environmentalist"?
Salma the Syrian Chef
- Cooking for others can be a good way to help them! What does Salma decide to cook for her mother to cheer her up?
- Who helps Salma as she prepares the Syrian dish?
- What happens in the end? Is Salma's mom upset that the foul shami isn't perfect?
- What do you think you could cook or serve to people you love to cheer them up?
My Two Border Towns
- Who do the boy and his father help on the United States side of the border?
- Who do the boy and his father help on the Mexico side of the border?
- What are some similarities and differences you notice in the two border towns in the story?
- Did you notice that the words in the book are in both English and Spanish? Why do you think the author made this choice?
- What surprised you about the story?
A Gift for Amma: Market Day in India
- Giving a gift is a way to help someone else! What gifts does the narrator consider giving her Amma in the story?
- What does she decide to give Amma in the end — and why?
- What gifts (that you make or buy) do you think you could give to people you love to help cheer them up or make them feel better?
Stand Up! Speak Up!: A Story Inspired by the Climate Change Revolution
- What is climate change?
- What's a revolution?
- What are some ways kids can help the Earth and prevent climate change?
- Did you notice anything interesting about the illustrations in the book?
Tomatoes for Neela
- One way to help others is by cooking food for them! What do Neela and her mother cook together?
- By helping others, we can help ourselves, too! What does that mean to you and how do you think the story is related to this idea?
- What do you want to cook together? Why?
School Library Journal is the premiere publication for librarians and information specialists who work with children and teens. A source of quality journalism and reviews for more than 60 years, SLJ produces award-winning features and news coverage on literacy, technology, education policy, and other issues of interest to the school library and greater educator community. SLJ evaluates a broad range of resources, from books and digital content to databases, in 6000-plus reviews published annually. This list was curated by Kimberly Olson Fakih, Senior Editor, Picture Books.