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Top 10 Children’s Books to Help with New Year’s Goals

By Shawna Della Cerra

With a new year comes new resolutions. Copious ideas for goals dance through our heads as we contemplate the areas we seek to improve and who we want to become. Now, setting goals versus the act of completing goals are two entirely different notions. But in my “book,” even trying counts!

Lawley Publishing is excited (and chuckling) over this Top 10 Children’s Book List, which can inspire you as you make New Year’s Goals. Whether you hope to make health, financial, or personal growth resolutions, our TWIST on resolution-making will boost your spirits as you work towards meeting your goals.

1. Eat Healthier:

Spaghetti and Meatballs for All! by Marilyn Burns

(National Spaghetti Day – January 4th)

We’re all about eating healthy, but don’t forget to have a cheat day! Do you eat spaghetti? We liked Spaghetti and Meatballs for All! because it’s a funny story about a family eating together. Mr. and Mrs. Comfort are hosting a family reunion. The spaghetti and meatballs are ready to be served, but there seems to be a little problem with the sitting arrangement. This book does a great job of putting abstract mathematical concepts of area and perimeter into a real-life context.

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2. Get More Sleep:

Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French

(Australia Day – January 26th)

Whether you are looking for tips on how to strengthen your sleep behaviors or celebrate Australia Day, this book is for you. In this hilarious book, we get a glimpse into the life of an Australian wombat and her interactions with humans. Check this out:

3. Exercise More:

Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson

I can not think of a better place to burn calories than walking around the Magic Kingdom! Kingdom Keepers will keep your eyes a-movin’ and your brain a-dancin’ with all the adventures that take place inside the Disney Parks after hours. Seeing the magic come to life through the pages of this book will feel like being in Disneyland without leaving the comfort of your bedroom. Get ready to burn some calories reading this story of good versus evil. I recommend reading all seven books in this series!

4. Increase Sophistication:

Gullible Gus by Maxine Rose Schur

Lawley Publishing is thrilled to be working with Maxine Rose Schur. Her writing is sophisticated. You’ll be slapping your knee as you read this hilarious Junior Library Guild selection, Gullible Gus. Cowboy Gus is sweet but naïve. Gus often gets teased and tricked, and this makes him sad, so he went to see Doc Hickory. Doc Hickory sends him to the town of Fibrock, where he must find the biggest liar to tell him the tallest of tall tales so that Gus can learn how to decipher truth from fiction. Hokum Malarkey tells Gus of outlandish people like Cantankerous Clem, whose only friend is a parlor chair, and Backwards Hannah, who, as sheriff, rounds up criminals before they commit crimes. Find out if Gus says the words “I don’t believe it,” so he can be cured of gullibility.

5. Increase Coping Strategies for Change:

Who Moved My Cheese? For Kids by Spencer Johnson, M. D. & Christian Johnson

From the best-selling author, Spencer Johnson, comes this great book geared for children. Dr. Johnson has adapted his story to help children view changes as new opportunities.

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6. Become More Accepting, Tolerant, and Compassionate:

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

This book centers on Wanda Petronski, a poor and friendless Polish-American girl. Wanda’s classmates laugh at her last name and the faded blue dress she wears to school every day. Wanda claims to own one hundred dresses, all lined up in her closet. Read this beautiful book to find out why Wanda does not show up at school one day. I recommend all ages to read this book.

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7. Grow Spiritually:

The Boy and the Ocean by Max Lucado

Filled with Max Lucado’s beautiful illustrations, this story will pull at your heartstrings, confirming God’s ever-present and infinite love. No doubt, you’ll connect with Lucado’s writing of the ocean and mountains.

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8. Travel More:

Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin

January 25th is Chinese New Year, celebrated by approximately 20% of the world’s population. There are quite a few kid’s books about the Chinese New Year. I’m spotlighting Grace Lin because she writes comforting stories about families and love, and has written several excellent books for kids. Also, her illustrations are bright and beautiful. In Bringing in the New Year, a little girl and her family are sweeping the house, cooking, and decorating to bring in the New Year. You’ll want to travel to China and take in the new year after reading this delightful story.

9. Face Fears:

The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone

This is one of my all-time favorite books! I loved this book as a child and have enjoyed reading it to my son. This book talks directly to the reader. I love how my young son is already catching on to the prosody used to provide information. You’ll laugh out loud while learning to face fears with Grover.

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10. Get More Involved in the Community:

When Martin Luther King Jr. Wore Roller Skates by Mark Weakland

(Martin Luther King’s Birthday - January 20th)

Celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday with a good biography. This is the best biography of Martin Luther King written for kids. I can’t say enough good things about Mark Weakland’s biography series. He has a great talent for uncovering little-known facts that children can relate to and delivering them in a way that kids find entertaining and fun. In this title, we learn what Martin Luther King’s childhood was like, about his roller skates, and what shaped his views of the world. You’ll be inspired to play a pivotal role in your community after studying Dr. Martin Luther King.

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We hope our TWIST on New Year’s Resolutions has inspired you to make some goals and strive hard to keep them while having fun reading along the way. Lawley Publishing wishes you a year that brings you good health, happiness, laughter, and many more wonderful books.

Happy New Year!

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