I stumbled upon Nikki Rogers' books on accident one night while looking for something to read to a little. We found A Beautiful Girl first and loved it so much that we investigated the others that were free, and loved them too. So I purchased two more of her books and have not been disappointed by any of them!
These are children's books with great messages in each, and the illustrations are absolutely gorgeous. So much so that every time I read these books (and that's been several times since purchasing them) I wish that she had an Etsy store where I could buy prints of a few of them. There are a few illustrations in particular that I really want to hang on the wall in our kiddo room! They're really fantastic. One thing that stood out to me is the diversity in these books. I think there is room for a little more, especially where special needs are concerned, but these books are far from white-washed like so many other children's books and it's a great step in the right direction of including all types of children.
Each one of these are fairly simply written with a sing-song rhyming quality that really makes children's books, and makes these books perfect for little listeners. But at the same time, the messages are so fantastic that they really transcend age. I emailed a friend of mine with older kids, technically too old for picture books, recommending The Garden in My Heart because I thought her kiddos would really benefit from the lessons therein. Whilst reading Wilbur the Woolly I felt convicted and reminded of God's love and handing Him my burdens.
These really are just absolutely fantastic books that need to be read and shared, and read again. I have them all on my wishlist in paperback. The only two we haven't read here yet are Sooty and Snow and What Love Looks Like, but they're both on my list.
I am totally fan-girling over a children's author! I love everything about them. I want more from Nikki Rogers. I want all of her books in paperback, I want art prints from her illustrations, I want to be on her review list, I will be reading these over and over again without a doubt!
Also, be sure to check out her website for FREE lesson plans and coloring pages to coordinate with her books!
A Beautiful Girl is a beautiful book. I will admit that when I read the first page I was a little unsure because it starts out that a beautiful girl "has skin that is fair" and I was like, "oh no" but then as it goes on you see that a beautiful girl is any girl at all and she includes all types of physical traits that a girl may have (though, I didn't see an overweight girl...five year old me would have noticed that) but the real emphasis is on the character traits, as it should be. What makes you beautiful is inside, and I love that this book puts the emphasis there. The illustrations are beautiful and fun, I absolutely love them.
*At the time of this posting, this is free.
A Hero Is... is the boy directed version of a A Beautiful Girl. Where A Beautiful Girl takes society's beauty standards and pairs them each with a character trait that makes you beautiful, A Hero Is... takes those people that society puts in those roles of hero and pairs them with a character trait that is heroic. I love the emphasis on compassion and caring for others that this book promotes. I also love that right there among superheroes and firemen is Dad. Dads don't get enough credit, and I absolutely love that a hero is a dad that cares for his family. That's perfect for our family, which is fairly traditional in that way. But, I do think there needs to be a version without that page for those little boys who don't have a dad in their lives for whatever reason. I can see that being a point of sadness as someone that grew up in a single-parent household. But, overall, I love the message that anyone can be a hero. This is a great book for encouraging positive traits in little boys, something that gets too often overlooked.
*At the time of posting, this is free
The Garden In My Heart is all about planting the 'good seeds' of character. We've read and re-read this one so many times. I need this one in paperback so bad. I love that it compares character traits to a garden, and how they require work and effort. Because it's so true! I also love that she talks about weeds cropping up in our hearts and it's up to us, as the gardeners to pluck them out. It's so great, it's all about how if you want these fruits, then you need to plant these seeds. In other words, if you want to be this type of person, these are the character traits you need to work on. I love it! I've recommended this book to so many friends.
I've worked with kids with behavior issues in the past and one thing I noticed was that they didn't want to have the behaviors they did, but they weren't sure how to correct them. I love that this book talks about how those things happen and it's up to us to change them, but it doesn't put any shame around these feelings creeping up. I wish I had this book then, it's a great tool to use to talk about emotions and positive character traits.
*At the time of posting, this is free.
Wilbur the Woolly is undoubtedly a Christian book. For this household, that's perfect. It's about handing our burdens over to God, and how weighed down we can be if we attempt to carry them all ourselves. This book convicted me. I am so guilty of hoarding my burdens. I love that this book encourages kids (and adults) to hand their worries and issues over to Him and let Him take care of us, because He loves us, and wants to take on our burdens. The illustrations are adorable, and I absolutely love the message!
Rainbow Moments is all about looking for those little moments where God's love and mercy is shown. Those moments that are so easy to overlook. I can easily see this book as a jumping off point for conversations on finding those moments and where we can see God's promises in our lives. This is a well-written, engaging book with beautiful illustrations. It's such a great reminder of His love for kids and for grown ups! I absolutely adore this little book!
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