Childrearing

Five Kids’ Books That Will Fix Adult Problems

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  • Parenting Low Point #2: You just threw away — I mean composted —a CSA cabbage that’s been moldering in your fridge for the past six weeks.
  • Read this: Ox Cart Man, by Donald Hall, illustrated by Barbara Cooney

This gorgeously written and illustrated book is about a 19th century family that makes or grows everything they need, sells what’s left at market in the fall, and then begins the cycle again. If you read your kids this book, you will feel so virtuous that you won’t even need a CSA anymore. Plus you can try fun family projects like giving away all of the kids’ plastic toys, quitting Amazon Prime (right after you order a Barlow knife), and carving new wooden ones with said knife through the long, cold winter. (Buy it on Amazon for $6.29)

  • Parenting Low Point #3: You just saw your kid do something terrible to his brother and show no remorse in the face of his pain, so now you’re pretty convinced he’s a budding sociopath. And maybe you are a late-blooming sociopath because that yelling you just did in response was completely terrifying.
  • Read this: George and Martha: The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends, written and illustrated by James Marshall

These two goofy-looking hippos are best friends, and they often disagree. They play tricks on each other and are sometimes hilariously selfish, but they forgive, and their love for each other always comes through. When Martha is disappointed that her garden is filled with weeds, George buys cut tulips and sticks them in the ground in her yard. Martha catches him, and George’s plan seems ruined. “I would much rather have a friend like you than all the gardens in the world,” Martha says. Your kids might learn something about friendship and kindness, but they’ll never suspect they’re learning a thing. (Buy it on Amazon for $22.25)

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