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Jennifer Rosenthal is the Parent Outreach Community Manager at Pearson.
Cuddled Together Under a Blanket
“What makes you sad?” my grandma asked. We’d just finished reading our favorite book, Owl at Home, by Arnold Lobel. The main character, Owl, makes tear water tea by thinking of sad things—like mashed potatoes left on a plate and beautiful mornings no one sees.
We were cuddled together under a big blanket on the living room couch. It was snowing out, but the house was warm and smelled like a mix of chocolate covered macaroons and my grandma’s perfume. I responded quickly.
“I’m sad when people are mean.”
I'd just been bullied for the first time in elementary school. A girl named Robin called me a baby and made fun of the “Owl at Home” book I carried in my backpack.
“You should remember that it makes you sad when people are mean," Grandma explained. "Think about how other people feel when people are mean. That’s why it’s so important for you to be a nice person.”
I was six years old. What could’ve been a silly, unrealistic book about salty tea became a life lesson about kindness and humility for me. My grandma has since passed, but the lessons I learned from reading and talking with her as a child have stayed with me through adulthood.
Reading with Children
Each November is National Family Literacy Month—a time when families celebrate reading, learning and growing together. Parents and guardians are encouraged to read with their children for 30 minutes each day, and to enrich those bonding experiences with broader, meaningful conversations and questions.
So, in the spirit of National Family Literacy month, I asked some colleagues about their favorite books to read as a family. Some of their book recommendations are below: