The Best Spiritual Books for KidsPosted December 18, 2015 in Parenting From Soul
I love reading to my boys right before bedtime. It’s one of my favorite parts of the day and such a sweet time. My seven year old is much more calm and chatty then the rest of the day where he wants to run, leap and fly (off anything he can find.) Our reading routine helps him to calm down and shift into sleep mode.
It is through stories that we help develop our childrens ‘schemas’ of how they understand, process and categorize the world around them. When I was in graduate school for psychology we learned that a ‘schema’ is a mental concept that informs a person about what to expect from a variety of experiences and situations. Schemas are developed based on information provided by life experiences and are then stored in memory.
It is important to expose children to stories that help develop strong schemas around the concepts that comprise spirituality such as: gratitude, kindness, mindfulness, giving and love. But it is crucial to share with sensitive or psychic children stories that help validate, explain and mirror the ‘invisible’ experiences of things like energy, angels and spirits.
Here are my favorite spiritual books for kids. (The age guidelines are not super strict. The baby books are even helpful for adults, but most the books are aimed for ages 3-9).
Hello Sacred Life by Kim Krans. This is the sweetest board book for little ones. Filled with beautiful artwork, the images convey the feeling of the Sacred in all of nature.
On the Day You Were Born This classic by Debra Frasier is truly special. A children’s book that honors the beauty of incarnation with an honest, ‘You are Welcome’? Sign me up.
All in a Day by Cynthia Rylant art by Nikki McClure. If you have seen any of the paper-cut artwork by Olympia artist, Nikki McClure, you know she can do no wrong. “A day brings hope and kindness, too…a day is all its own. You can make a wish, and start again, you can find your way back home.” Sage advice.
The Other Way to Listen and The Way to Start a Day both by Byrd Baylor and illustrated by Peter Parnall. The first time I read this with my son I started crying. What a gift to find books that transmit the energy of Heart-based Knowing. The illustrations are calming, peaceful and beautiful while encouraging intuition.
The Invisible String by Patrice Karst, illustrated by Geoff Stevenson. All children should have this book! We learn about the invisible strings created between the hearts of people who love each other (helping to develop the schema for understanding basic energetic anatomy). Extremely comforting for kids, it helps explain how we are connected even when we are not physically together. Whether their parent is in the next room, or a loved one has crossed over: “People who love each other are always connected by a very special String, made of love. Even though you can’t see it with your eyes, you can feel it deep in your heart, and know that you are always connected to the ones you love.”
Whoever You Are by Mem Fox is a great way to help teach empathy. Even if we look different, “pain is the same and blood is the same”.
What Does it Mean to Be Present by Rana DiOrio, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler gives concrete examples for kids of what it means to ‘be present’. (i.e. “Listening carefully when other people are speaking.”)
An Awesome Book of Thanks! is written by one of my own personal spiritual heros, Dallas Clayton! He makes things fun, creative and brings the magic of the moment–which, to me, is the definitnion of being ‘spiritual’. His work honors the uniqueness of the individual and cultivates gratitude. Check out all his other books as well, Everything he does is magic.
The Original Warm Fuzzy Tale by Claude Steiner and Jo Ann Dick. This was one of my absolute favorite stories growing up. This folk tale reminds us that abundance is an attitude and true happiness comes from sharing.
The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss. Can we all agree that Dr. Seuss is a genius? The tale of the Star-Belly and Plain-Belly Sneetches is a great way to begin the discussion about discrimination. I used to read this book to my teen girls in juvinelle hall for gang offenses (to help point out the limitations of hating another for the color of their t-shirt). Dr. Seuss has that childish way of saying the most wise things.
What is God? by Etan Boritzer illustrations by Robbie Marantz. Simple to understand with concrete examples, this book highlights the importance of finding your own inner connection. From the description: “What is God? compares different religions — Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism — and their holy books, looks at misunderstandings and arguments among people of different religions, and talks about praying as well as feeling connected to everything in the world.”
I think I Am!: Teaching Kids the Power of Affirmations by Louise Hay illustrated by Manuela Schwarz. The queen of positive affirmations, Louise Hay, created this special book with kids in mind. A great way to introduce the power of thought and intention.
Older Than the Stars by Karen fox illustrated by Nancy Davis. Starting with the big bang, children discover how they are also as old as the universe itself. Through vibrant pictures, kids learn how they are cosmically connected to everything while learning basic concepts about electrons, hydrogen and carbon.
One by Kathryn Otoshi
All I See is Part of Me by Chara Curtis and Cynthia Aldrich (Illustrator). A book for little mystics! A helpful way to validate the interconnectedness of the All. “Your body is just a little part of the light that shines within your heart.”
Is Nothing Something? Written by the Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and illustrated by Jessica McClure. This simple but profound book gives answers to kids questions and about Life, Death, Family, Friendship, and Everything in Between (recommended for age 5 and up).
The Golden Rule Written by Llene Cooper, illustrations by Gabi Swiatkowska. A lovely picture book that helps explain the most important rule of them all: “Treat people the way you would like to be treated. It’s golden because it’s so valuable, and a way of living your life that’s so simple, it shines.”
Angels by Alexis York Lumbard and Flavia Weedn (Illustrator). The most powerful way to help validate children’s experience with their own angels is to help normalize them through stories that affirm their own experiences. From the description: “This lyrical, breezy, and nondenominational picture book introduces children and adults to a magical place which radiates warmth, love, and caring throughout its colorful and delicate pages.”
Thank You, Angels by Doreen Virtue, Kristina Tracy and illustrated by Patricia Keeler. Doreen Virtue, the angel whisperer, has written a comforting, helpful book for kids on how to connect with their angels. Great to call upon when taking a test, hurt or scared; your angels are always there for you.
(I frequently give “Thank You, Angels” along with these Cherub Angel Cards for Children as presents.)
Children’s Reiki by Pamela and Robert Yarborough is a perfect way to start to teach and discover the human energy field.
Little Hands, Bright Light by Paul Guillory and illustrated by Ashley Guillory is a sweet story about a little boy named Ken and his older sister Mari as they discover the world of energy healing. Set in Japan in the early 1900’s this story explains how the love for a grandparent catapults this little boy to discover the power of his healing hands.
Reiki, Pure and Simple by Jeanne M Sands has wonderful illustrations so children can begin to understand how we are energetic beings.
The Bake Shop Ghost by Jacqueline Ogburn and Marjorie Priceman is a good confirmation for children that may already be seeing and interacting with spirits. The main character, Annie Washington, does not react with fear when she sees the old bake shop owner Cora Lee Meriweather hanging around her new shop. This book ‘normalizes’ the spirits of the departed who have feelings too.
Are You Psychic? The Official Guide for Kids by Helaine Becker and Claudia Davila is a fun introduction to what it means to be psychic. Important for those little kiddo-s who are already receiving some psychic information to know that they are not alone and for those who want to start to develop the skill to practice.
I’m always on the lookout for books that validate seeing spirits and working with energy in a friendly, positive way. So often in cartoons, the metaphysical world is presented with fear and darkness.
I’d love to hear your favorites. Please post in the comments below!