By Barrett Coker Krise, senior philanthropic officer
My daughter, Avie, who’s 3, is deeply invested in understanding where things belong, how they fit and how we all connect. I think some of this is her natural curiosity and a toddler’s need to understand how her world works and her place in it. I also think some of this stems from the fact we’re currently living through a home renovation that has been disruptive and messy and has, of late, required us to move into a temporary apartment and shake up our routine even more. But with the resilience that only children show, we’ve noticed that she’s handling the chaos much better than we are, embracing and exploring her new community and working to understand her role in how it works. Each morning when she wakes up, she steps outside and yells “Good morning, neighborhood!” and each night, before bed, “Goodnight, neighborhood!”
It got me thinking about our very human need for a sense of belonging, of connection. The natural desire to be part of a larger group. The need for a community. In thinking about which book to share with you, I started thinking about the books we read with Avie. The ones she loves that have helped her learn about how we all connect to each other. In At the Same Moment Around the World, she gets to see kids from around the world all at the same moment in time, to explore the differences and see all the similarities, from sleeping in a hammock at night to chasing the school bus in the morning. We also love All the World for its simple rhyming structure and the way it follows a family and friends throughout a day. It celebrates some of the small things that make a community great, like the farmer’s market and the local café, and the big things that make our lives special, the beauty of our world, family and friends and a deep sense of belonging. Counting on Community is special because, with a compelling counting structure “one stuffed piñata for every holiday, two neighborhood friends always there to play,” it shows the roles children play in community and how they can make a difference in a bigger world.
In addition to teaching Avie how we all connect, these books reinforce her love of community and the similarities and differences that make them special.