6 Books to Pick this Summer for Your Kindergartner

We are going to the hills next weekend. The idea is to just soak in the Mountain View, take a hike through forest, dip our feet in pristine streams, read good books and come back rejuvenated. This would be our first family vacation after the birth of our girl (she is 6-month old now). Although, we’ve been traveling since her birth, but that was more work than vacation.

For me vacation means unplugging, it means spending quality time with your loved ones, communicating, reading, watching the sunset together, and just absorbing the sight and sound of Mother Nature. I usually carry a book while traveling or end up buying some as a souvenir. Actually books make a perfect souvenir, it reminds you of places you have touched upon, cafes you have visited, views that made you pause and ponder.

I have compiled a list of story books for the child to indulge in this summer and I am definitely packing few of them in our upcoming trip to the hills.

Take a peek at these essential summer-reads for under-five year old

Where the Wild Things Are By Maurice Sendak

This one’s GOLD. If you haven’t yet bought this book for your kid, you are doing him/her a great disservice. The book narrates the elegant simplicity of the childhood fantasy. The illustrations are beautiful. Aurko and I are literally reading it every night. So Max goes off into his own world to escape his parents and explores “wild things” but ends up missing his loved ones and decides to come back to the real world. I guess both kids and adults will relate to this story. This one’s for keeps.

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David Series by David Shannon

“No, David!” is David Shannon’s first book of the “David” series. This is Aurko’s current favorite. The book details the adventures of David being bad while his mother continually tells him: “NO, DAVID”. Shannon writes in a simple preschool format that makes reading easier for young readers. This book has won the Caldecott Honor Book Award. We can’t wait to read the other book in this series.

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The Usborne Baby and Toddler Treasury

I bought this book when Aurko was a baby and apart from few torn pages, this book has survived 3 years. Aurko still can’t get enough of it, especially the stories—The Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The 3 Little Pigs story. It also has an art & craft section. This book is also serving my little girl, talk about killing two birds with same stone.

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My Dinosaur Backpack

Aurko recently picked this book from his school library. It’s a sticker activity book full of themed activities and fun dinosaur stickers. With over 250 stickers to use in the book or anywhere else, this is my go-to book this summer to keep my boy all tamed, as I run errands or enjoy a cuppa overlooking the mountains.

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Folk Tales Around the World

We picked this one from Kolkata International Book Fair. It is a compilation of short stories from around the world, such as, The Sun and The Moon (Siberia), The Woodcutter from Gura (Ethiopia), Water Lilies (Wales), The Bright Pearl (China). This one is for older kids; although, we have read The Sun and The Moon and Aurko thoroughly enjoyed it. But he never really asked for a repeat. I am sure he will come around in a few years.

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Little Spider and Geeta by Parthasarathi Chakraborty

I bought this one as I was a little fed-up with Aurko’s obsession with Spiderman, and wanted to show him the real deal. This book narrates the life history of spiders in the form of storytelling. Observing a spider make a web makes for a fascinating read and with my boy anything involving spiders always work.

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Have you read any of the books mentioned above? Do you have any other book to add to this summer special list? Do write in the comment section.

 

 

 

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Comparison, You Bitch!

The other day at the grocery store, I looked over at this woman next to me, and heard her fixing a work-meeting with a client. She looked like one of those corporate high-flyers. Neatly dressed. Driving a sedan. Basically, she seems to have everything – brain, beauty, money, dressing-sense, poise.

“Ugh, you suck. You are still caught up in this silly job,” I thought to myself.

Then of course, I continued with some self-shaming:

“You’ve been working for 5-years, you should have reached X figure salary.” “Look at your unkempt hair, worn-out jean. You suck.”

You are not good enough (as compared to her).

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The other day I was talking to my cousin on phone, and she was telling me how her daughter (who is of the same age as my son) is already counting till 100. 100 already?

“OMG, we’re so behind,” I thought so.

Then of course, I continued the self-shaming:

“Am I doing it RIGHT? Everyone is so conscious about education nowadays. Look at the competition. Why am I not putting more efforts with him? I’m failing him.”

I am not a good mom (as compared to her).

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COMPARISON — you make me miserable!

Yes. Miserable, frustrated, discouraged, unhappy….. !

I hate myself when I do that, and still can’t seem to shake it off. This creepy crawly feeling keeps invading my peace of mind time after time. However, I also know for sure that I don’t want to live with that kind of negativity in my life. Happy people are seldom hopeless and discouraged.

After coming back from the store, I sat looking at the horizon thinking about the hopelessness of my situation. Will I ever be able to reach that level? Seems like a distant dream now that I’ve two kids. After my cousin’s call, I thought of drilling my son to count till 100, so that we can “catch up”.

See, the chain of thoughts? How it’s creating self-doubt.

If I am evaluating my worth by comparing myself to others, I will always be losing. Because in this game of life I will never reach a point where I am better than others in every possible way.

Comparison will only spin me into a tail-chasing frenzy of self-doubt.

So, trying to “catch up” to others is clearly not a solution.

Social psychologists and authors Adam Galinsky and Maurice Schweitzer believes, “we are hardwired to engage in comparisons, that is, we can’t get away from it, and we’re doing it to try to make sense of our world. Do I make enough money? Do I need to update my kitchen? Do I need a new car? Are my kids doing well? It’s almost impossible to make those assessments objectively. So instead, we turn to comparisons.”

The authors believe, comparison can be motivating, and it can and do co-exist within the same person, and neither feeling is necessarily superior. It’s learning when to use each feeling that counts.

Makes sense, isn’t it?

I especially loved this thought-provoking example that they’ve shared in their recent book.

In Olympics, silver medalists tend to be miserable because they’re comparing themselves to the gold medalists; bronze medalists, on the other hand, are comparing their outcome to those who came in fourth and beyond, and so they tend to be more pleased with themselves than the silver medalists — even though the silver-winners technically beat them.

WOW.

So next time when you find yourself comparing, seek favorable comparisons if you want to feel happier, and seek unfavorable comparisons if you want to push yourself harder.

Steve Furtick said it best, “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”

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Pic courtesy Google

#lifelessons #loveyourself #selflove #comparisons #lifetips #Ibetterstoppreaching