Back to School Books to Add to Your Child's Reading List

With school back in session, we've been having our fair share of new books. From shiny new curriculum to pictures books, there is always something fun to enjoy on our bookshelf. Right before the summer months, I like putting together a reading list for my son. This usually includes a slew of new reads to keep things fun and interesting. I also like doing the same thing for back to school season. Sometimes I try to vary things up, while others times I go ahead with a specific theme.

Just recently, we were blessed with some new books from Zonderkidz to help us prepare our new back to school reading list. Some of these books celebrate diversity and acceptance, while others offer inspiration through the word of God.

One Big Heart by Linsey Davis

From skin, hair, and eyes in a multitude of colors to different personalities and interests, God gave us all special traits and characteristics that make us uniquely ourselves. And we all have things in common too: like sharing fun and laughter on the playground, a sense of curiosity, big feelings, and so many other things that show how we are all more alike than we are different. Ready to celebrate all our likes and differences? So are we! And this diverse picture book—drenched in color and full of laughter and fun—will show you how.

This is such an adorable picture book that follows around a little girl as she heads off to school. She really enjoys spending time with her classmates, and what's even more special about all of the children in the class, is that each one is unique in their own way. The children come from different ethic backgrounds, have distinctive physical features (such as freckles or curly hair), and they all have their own unique personality. The children are able to learn from each other and their differences, while appreciating how God made each one of them special and for His divine purpose. Of course, the children also have a lot of things in common, they like to play, love recess, and especially enjoy spending time with each other, laughing and being happy.

We are really enjoying this picture book! The illustrations are fun and filled with lots of color and detail. This is a tenderhearted story that sends a special message to children giving them a greater appreciation for diversity and their own unique features and traits that God has blessed them. It also reminds them to celebrate the many similarities they have with those around them.

What makes a family? Is it sharing favorite foods, cuddling up for snuggle time, loving each other no matter what you look like in the morning? For Steve Greig’s oddly wonderful, real-life family of senior dogs, chickens, rabbits, and a pig named Bikini, family is all those things and then some! And this lovable bunch is now starring in their very first children’s book that showcases the importance of family. Meet the Wolfgang, a loveable bunch of animals belonging to Steve and each other. Greig looked for the most “unadoptable” animals and gave them a home … his home! Strange and unique, The One and Only Wolfgang will remind readers that no matter how old or how odd, everyone has a place where they belong.

Here's another wonderful picture book that celebrates diversity, but this time the main characters are a group of animals...rescue pets to be exact. This is a true story about  a group of fun-loving animals that were adopted by Steve Greig 's (a chicken, a pig, a rabbit, and quite a crew of awesome dogs). Each pet has its own unique set of traits–some are quirky and off the wall, but that's what makes each one special.

We absolutely loved this book and really enjoyed getting a glimpse into the day to day life of a house full of senior rescue pets. It's difficult not to stop smiling as you flip from page to page. There are plenty of laughs to be had, but there are also many "awww" moments, because each animal is just that precious! The photographs and illustrations are fantastic and really help complete the comedy aspect of the book. Of course, acceptance and the importance of family are two valuable messages that really resonate throughout the entire story.

Scripture is filled with “gemstones”—concise statements of five words or less that hold great value, meaning, and power. Bible Gems to Remember Illustrated Bible, written by Robin Schmitt and illustrated by Kris Aro McLeod, takes children through 52 stories from the Bible, each featuring a powerful gem from Scripture to memorize. God can accomplish amazing things with just a few words. Imagine what he could do in the heart of a child who memorizes and meditates on these short “gems” of wisdom from the Bible.
Enhanced with beautiful gemstone photographs throughout, Bible Gems to Remember Devotions for Kids gives readers 52 devotions—one for each week of the year—to read, reflect upon, and put into practice. By the end of the year, children will have learned more than 52 easy-to-memorize Scripture verses! Bible Gems to Remember Devotions for Kids, written by Robin Schmitt, shows how God can accomplish amazing things with just a few words. Scripture is filled with “gemstones”—concise statements of five words or less that hold great value, meaning, and power. This photo-driven devotional includes 52 of these special Bible gems to memorize as well as additional gems to ponder at the end of the devotion.

When I am getting a new reading list ready for my son, you can bet that there's going to be a good devotional or Bible study book included. The Bible Gems to Remember series is fantastic. You have the Illustrated Bible, which is geared more towards the younger years (ages four through eight) and the Devotions for Kids book is written for ages eight through twelve.

There's nothing like getting a good regular (daily preferred) dose of God's word. Scripture memorization is another important tool that all Christians, both young and old, should implement. Being equipped with the word of God on the fly can be a necessary weapon to help guard our hearts and our minds through our day to day activities. That's exactly where the actual "Bible gems" come in handy in both of these books. Each book has fifty-two readings that can be spread out weekly for a year. In each reading, you also have a main scripture verse to reflect on, as well as several related passages. These are the "gems" that are scattered throughout both books. They are there to help strengthen a child's walk with the Lord, as well as their faith. After all, there's power in the word of our Lord, so it's important that they are equipped with it from early on.