Perfectly curated for fun and inspiration!

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Shared here because I've used and believe in them. 

Take your pick: Books for young ones, teens & tweens, or ones to read together

Books for young ones:

These are great for littles - older kids reading to younger ones, beginning readers, and just sweet family books that are quick and easy reads.


1. What If It Were Possible 

Of course my top recommendation is going to be the one written by my amazing daughter, Clara!  When Clara was 8, she and her 
"YiaYia" (my mother) imagined up this sweet little poem based on using their imagination: "What if were possible a dog could climb a tree? What if it were possible to climb like you and me?"  

You can watch video of them explaining the book and Clara even reading it to her little sisters on her website - be sure to check out her greeting cards as well!


2. Giraffes Can't Dance

This is such a sweet board book about how everyone can "dance" when they find the song of their heart - one of my favorites.


3. Everywhere Babies

This is a great little board book talking about babies that also shows all of the non-traditional family make-ups - grandparents, same sex couples, etc - really sweet book for toddlers!


4. Press Here

For every family that has a high energy kid, this book is for you. A tribute to the button pushers everywhere.


5. Mix It Up

From the creators of "Press Here", here is another interactive book for the busy kids in your life.


6. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon

This is the cutest book about being happy with who you are, and not letting bullies get you down. Powerful message on confidence, grace, and loving yourself.


7.  If You Give a Mouse A Cookie...full collection

These are super cute books that highlight how we can get lost on a bunny trail of other things...and it ultimately leads back to the one thing we planning on doing in the first place. Great lesson on not getting sidetracked and staying focused on the task at hand.


8. Where The Sidewalk Ends

There are so many incredible Shel Silverstein books, and our family loves to read and quote them. Go deep and you'll find some pretty powerful significance in many of his brilliant poems. These are great to prompt fun discussions and get some giggles from your kids - if you haven't explored his work much, now is the time!


9. Free to Be...You and Me

LOVED this book and CD when I was a kid, and now my girls love it as well. Helping kids learn about gender differences and how it's alright to cry - Marlo had it goin' on way back then! (only song I don't like is the one where they say housework is no fun - come on!)


10. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I loved this book as a child, and my children do as well. Some days are rough and it seems like everything goes wrong. This is a great way to see how, when we look at the day as awful, that's exactly what it becomes. This has been a valuable book in teaching my children about the law of attraction.  Although Alexander tends to be a bit of a crabby punk, let it open the door to how we are in charge of our attitudes, and when we see life as lemons, that's what we get!  (Check out my blog post on attitude here).


11. Beautiful Girl: Celebrating the Wonders of Your Body

This is a beautiful little book with a clear message that starts to lay the foundation for girls about their bodies, changes, and the wonder of being a woman.  (If there are many questions about bodies and sexuality, check out the "Perfectly Normal" series below).


12. The Monster at the End of This Book

This was my favorite when I was little - and now, there is an app for this that is SO worth it - get it for your iPad and watch the book come to life for your kiddo!


13. Too Much Noise

This was another classic when I was younger - when we start to complain about things not being "perfect", this is an excellent example about how it's all about perspective.


14. Incredible You! 10 Ways To Let Your Greatness Shine Through

It's by the amazing Wayne Dyer - of course it's awesome.  There are great questions at the end of this book, and great principles to live by. 


15.  People

I could spend a whole year teaching based on just this one book as curriculum. It addresses everything from biological looks, countries and cultures, religion, etc. Incredible book!

Yes, we unschool - if you are curious to learn more about unschooling, or simply how to create life-long learners in your home, check out my education resource page here.


16. Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids (Bucket-filling Books)

These books are super sweet and help kids see the importance of sharing love and kindness with others - my girls really responded well to these.  This whole series helps children understand about deposits and withdrawals in our emotional bank account (or emptying/filling the bucket). I was surprised that even my 2-year-old quickly grasped the concept and looked for ways to "fill a bucket".


Books for teens/tweens:  

These are not just your random fiction-fillers, but to prepare them for that crazy adulthood thing.


17.  Real Artists Don't Starve

This is an excellent book to push all you creatives to get out there and make your art sustainable. You don't have to be a starving artists, and Goins does an incredible job of crafting stories about so many famous people you know - and how they eliminated the "starving artist" mentality and went on to be a huge success with their art. Instead of stifling your child's artistic vision, start feeding them with inspiration of how other artists have done it and made a living from it.  Definitely worth a read!


18. 48 Days to the Work You Love: Preparing for the New Normal

The newly revised version of this book is so great - it really helps you look outside the box - getting work is about more than a paycheck.  If you have a teen who is starting to look at finding work, I highly this book.

You need to find what lines up with your 1) Skills and Abilities, 2) Values, Dreams and Passions, and 3) Personality Style. He does a great job of breaking apart what we see "education" as, too! And, I actually know quite a bit about all this, as this book was written by my father and I run the 48Days.com company - so check it out and ask me anything!


19. Wisdom Meets Passion: When Generations Collide and Collaborate 

Oftentimes we come into our entrepreneurial endeavors with all the passion in the world...and not an economic leg to stand on.  The younger generation gets ragged on for just being passionate, while the older and wiser seems to be passion-deprived.  Think beyond what you know and challenge the norms - be educated in what you are going to do to make an impact on the world and blend the two for a powerful force.  

This was written from two generational perspectives - my father's and brother's - and the two couldn't be more different in many ways.  I highly recommend this book to challenge your thinking on how to really make a difference in a way that is sustainable, and get your children thinking about this NOW.  


20. QBQ! The Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and in Life

The solution involves an entirely new approach. We can no longer ask, "Who dropped the ball?" "Why can't they do their work properly?" or "Why do we have to go through all these changes?" Instead, every individual has to ask the question behind the question: "How can I improve this situation?" "What can I contribute?" or "How can I make a difference?"


21.  The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea

Quick little read that shares a lot about giving and having a positive outlook on it! Here is a blog I wrote on this book: ​To Give Is To Recieve


Books to read together:

For those times of extra snuggles, or because those big questions are coming up.  
Don't simply hand them a book to discover for themselves.  
Dive in with them and be the interaction to help them navigate their questions!


22. The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic

This book is fabulous! I read it aloud with my older girls - it had just the right amount of suspense and magic without being too scary (ie Harry Potter) - great for young fantasy-lovers! (Of course, this can be read alone as well, but we had fun reading it together)


23. What Is God?

If you are looking for an open perspective on "God" that encompasses a higher power without boxing it into a religion, this is your book. It addresses key religions as well in an unbiased way.  


24. The (Wonderful) Truth About Santa

This is a wonderful little book to share with the girls about Santa when they start to question it all. I love that what it highlights is that yes, Santa is real, and it's a name for people who give in secret. The focus isn't in the person, but what being "Santa" is really about. It's about being secretive because the real gift of giving is the joy it gives to others. It states "Saint Nicholas was the first Santa Clause, but anyone who shares the SPIRIT of the holiday through giving is a Santa".


25.  Financial Peace Jr

This is not a quick "get the kids to bed" book. However, my girls love them and they really helped for them to understand how to give, spend and save and the importance of all of them. This is an excellent resource for teaching kids not just about money, but breaking it down to our relationship with it and how you can use it for good; looking at investing, giving, saving and spending.



26: Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World

Why would I put this book under children's books?

 Because I firmly believe one of the most important things we can instill in our children is love and generosity.  This book is an engaging read for the whole family, and lays out a lifestyle of simply being open to love and give freely. Although it has a Christian foundation, this isn't just a religious book. It's joy, laughter, love and spreading the good. I happen to know Bob Goff, and he truly lives the life he portrays in this book!


27: It's Not the Stork!: A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families and Friends

This is the first in the "It's Perfectly Normal" Series - ages 4-7. This is a great basic foundation for the younger crew on the essentials of how babies are made. What I love about this book is it's not just about how babies are made, but what makes males and females the same as well as what makes us different, explaining all the definitions of sex ( for example, gender vs. physical intimacy), and okay/not okay touch. It also addresses different types of families - same-sex, adoption, blended, etc. 

From the description: Young children are curious about almost everything, especially their bodies. And young children are not afraid to ask questions. What makes me a girl? What makes me a boy? Why are some parts of girls' and boys' bodies the same and why are some parts different? How was I made? Where do babies come from? Is it true that a stork brings babies to mommies and daddies?

IT'S NOT THE STORK! helps answer these endless and perfectly normal questions that preschool, kindergarten, and early elementary school children ask about how they began. Through lively, comfortable language and sensitive, engaging artwork, Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley address readers in a reassuring way, mindful of a child's healthy desire for straightforward information. Two irresistible cartoon characters, a curious bird and a squeamish bee, provide comic relief and give voice to the full range of emotions and reactions children may experience while learning about their amazing bodies. Vetted and approved by science, health, and child development experts, the information is up-to-date, age-appropriate, and scientifically accurate, and always aimed at helping kids feel proud, knowledgeable, and comfortable about their own bodies, about how they were born, and about the family they are part of.

Caveat - this whole series is very open - so screen these to determine your comfort on talking about LBGQT sexuality and more. This first one is pretty tame - it covers a LOT, but not so in-depth. 


28: It's So Amazing!: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families

This is the second series, good for a bit older child - approx. 7-9. This one goes a bit deeper, explaining the different types of love (parent/child, sexual desire, loving a toy). Again, these dig into all the varieties of where sex comes into play - so there is talk about what goes on with peers, etc.

From the description: How does a baby begin? What makes a baby male or female? How is a baby born? Children have plenty of questions about reproduction and babies—and about sex and sexuality, too. It's So Amazing! provides the answers—with fun, accurate, comic-book-style artwork and a clear, lively text that reflects the interests of children age seven and up in how things work, while giving them a healthy understanding of their bodies. 

Caveat - this whole series is very open - so screen these to determine your comfort on talking about LBGQT sexuality and more. The first two are somewhat tame - it covers a LOT, but not so in-depth.


29: It's Perfectly Normal: A Book about Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health

Now...I believe in an "open door" policy for questioning in our home. We are very open about sharing any information our kids ask about (check out my "no secrets" blog here), and we share based on what they are capable of understanding. That being said, this book even made me a tad uncomfortable!

It discusses SO MUCH about sex and sexuality, including all the ways you can have sex and all the ways you can prevent pregnancy. Plus diving deep into the LGBTQ gender identities. I actually stopped and told my daughter how it was a bit awkward for me to talk about some of it, not because it was shameful, but because, as much as I want her to know about sex, I'm not inviting her into our bedroom to watch! And this covers a ton. That being said, I would so much rather get through my own discomfort and be the first to talk to her about this - before she hears about it from a friend, or worse, is thrown into a situation where she discovers something new in the heat of the moment and isn't sure how to respond.

Here is the full description from the site: For two decades, this universally acclaimed book on sexuality has been the most trusted and accessible resource for kids, parents, teachers, librarians, and anyone else who cares about the well-being of tweens and teens. Now, in honor of its anniversary, It's Perfectly Normal has been updated with information on subjects such as safe and savvy Internet use, gender identity, emergency contraception, and more. Providing accurate and up-to-date answers to nearly every imaginable question, from conception and puberty to birth control and STDs, It's Perfectly Normal offers young people the information they need—now more than ever—to make responsible decisions and stay healthy.


Bonus - music for the whole family!

Some of the kid's music out there is just downright obnoxious.  But some is awesome.  

Here are some quirky family faves we have.  


30: Philadelphia Chickens

This is a great album - funny for kids and adults alike, with all kinds of famous names singing these Sandra Boynton classic books. "Snugglepuppy" is Ellie's lullaby song!


31: Dog Train

Here is another Sandra Boynton hits album, and anyone with a toddler will relate to many of these songs - funny, catchy, and great for the whole family.


32: Renee & Jeremy: A Little Love

This is the album that my original intro/outtro for the podcast came from - awesome cover songs by the wonderful Renee and Jeremy. When we heard them cover the Red Hot Chili Peppers song "Give It Away", we were sold!


33: Universal Mother: Sinead O'Conner

Flash back to the 90s and Sinead's quirky awesomeness!  I love this album, and have sung the lullaby to my girls. It's a fun one with all kinds of variety, and we enjoy it together!


34: Twistable, Turnable Man: A Musical Tribute To The Songs Of Shel Silverstein

You'll be surprised how many songs you know that you may not have realized Shel Silverstein was the creator of (A Boy Named Sue!) - while not everything on this album is really kid-friendly (warning, "Winner"), we all love it.


35: Namaste Personality Snapshots

So this may not be a book, but you get back close to it with so much information for you and your family!  

This is the core foundational component for all of my coaching, and this is something you can do with your children to really have some quality time that is all about them!

Based on the DISC Personality profiles, I've used these in business for the past 15 years - and now I've created some variations to walk you through understanding yourself - and your family - better.  My forte is working with families to help identify how the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us, and a great starter for this is the Family Portrait Sessions if you want some 1-1 coaching with your family about these results and how to best apply them.      

Explore the Namaste Personality Snapshots Here



This is the tip of the iceberg on tips and resources we've found that are great for our gypsy...and digital nomad... lifestyle. I know this will continue to grow, and you can always reach out to me at ashley@mamasaysnamaste.com with your questions!