If you enjoy reading sweet stories to your little ones, then you’re going to love this post. I’m excited to introduce you to Love Is Kind, a new picture book written by my friend Laura Sassi, a talented rhymestress and author of Goodnight, Manger; Goodnight, Ark; and Diva Delores and the Opera House Mouse.
Love Is Kind is a heartwarming story about Little Owl who hopes to buy his grandmother a heart-shaped box of chocolates for her birthday. On his quest for the chocolates, he’s thwarted at every turn, but ends up discovering the real meaning of love as described in 1 Corinthians 13. Laura’s simple prose coupled with Lison’s charming illustrations make this storybook a sweet and meaningful addition to your bedtime story collection.
And GREAT NEWS! I’m giving away a copy of Love Is Kind to one lucky winner! (U.S. residential shipping addresses only, please.) Enter below for a chance to win. Then keep reading for some fun extension activities designed by the author herself.
LOVE IS KIND: Six Book-Themed Extension Activities
By Laura Sassi, author of Love Is Kind
PUT ON A PLAY. Creatively re-enacting the story is a great way to embrace and reinforce the wonderful message of the story. So, after reading Love Is Kind, have fun retelling it using stuffed animals, puppets, or yourselves! Don’t forget to grab three coins, a dollar bill, and a crinkled coupon! For extra fun, write the snippets from I Corinthians 13 that are found within the illustrations on sentence strips. Then have one child hold up at the right places during the re-enactment.
DO A PICTURE READ THROUGH. After reading Love Is Kind, flip things around by having your child re-read it to you using the pictures as clues! Reading the pictures is a great pre-reading skill because it encourages interacting with the page. So, snuggle up and enjoy being “read” to. Reading the story again and again is also a good way to take to HEART the message of the story—that real love isn’t found in a box—even one filled with chocolates.
MEMORIZE I CORINTHIANS 13:4-8a by SINGING it! This famous Bible passage was inspirational to Love Is Kind, and snippets of it appear throughout the story. As you read, look for them in the illustrations! Afterwards, open your bibles and play around with various familiar tunes that you could sing the passage to. My favorite pick: Sing to the tune of “Happy Birthday” and when you get to the finale—“Love never fails”—sing that to the “Happy Birthday” postscript, “…and many more.” Songs, as you probably know, are a great (and fun) way to memorize all sorts of things because the melodies and words combined stay with us—our whole lives.
SEND an “I LOVE YOU” POSTCARD to SOMEONE SPECIAL. Illustrator Lison Chaperon created awesome postcard printables to celebrate the release of Love Is Kind. Print one (preferably in color) for each child and glue as directed. When dry, have your child write a sweet “I love you” message to someone special—perhaps a grandparent or beloved aunt or uncle or teacher. It’s a perfect opportunity to reinforce correspondence conventions, address writing skills, and old-fashioned empathy. Then affix proper postage and take a trip to the post office to mail!
SPREAD SOME EDIBLE LOVE. After reading Love Is Kind, bake a batch of your favorite sugar cookies—heart-shaped, of course. Decorate with icing, then arrange them on a plate and deliver them to a neighbor, family member, or friend who could use a little extra dose of love and kindness. Or, if you have heart-shaped molds (available at your favorite craft or confectionery making shop) make your own heart-shaped chocolates and deliver those instead.
COLOR or DRAW! After reading Love Is Kind, print out one of these adorable coloring pages and have fun coloring while you talk about your favorite bits of the story. Or, have your child DRAW their favorite scene. Then talk about what made it their favorite. Have fun!
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To learn more about Laura Sassi and her positive-message picture books for children, visit her Facebook author page or her website. She’s also on Twitter and Instagram.