I’ve arguably exceeded a healthy news intake over the last few months and recently looked to my bookshelves to restore some balance and hope for the future. These heartwarming stories are speaking to me right now.
A few years back, I bought a bunch of books by Joan Walsh Anglund. Peace is a Circle of Love is one of my favorites. It reminds us that we must look to each other’s humanity and acknowledge that we all want the same things: to live without fear, without suffering, and with trust, love, and connection.
The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld shows us that being present for one another and listening are the essential ingredients to supporting others. Too often, we feel the need to solve someone else’s problems instead of offering them the comfort, genuine empathy, and space they need most.
From the publisher: When something sad happens, Taylor doesn’t know where to turn. All the animals are sure they have the answer. The chicken wants to talk it out, but Taylor doesn’t feel like chatting. The bear thinks Taylor should get angry, but that’s not quite right either. One by one, the animals try to tell Taylor how to act, and one by one they fail to offer comfort. Then the rabbit arrives. All the rabbit does is listen… which is just what Taylor needs.
In Ferdinand by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson, Ferdinand demonstrates a steadfast commitment to being true to himself, which becomes a lesson in resilience and authenticity. This classic story speaks to the importance of staying true to one’s peaceful nature, even when outside forces are determined to dictate otherwise.
From the publisher: Ferdinand is the world’s most peaceful—and—beloved little bull. While all of the other bulls snort, leap, and butt their heads, Ferdinand is content to just sit and smell the flowers under his favorite cork tree.
The Memory Tree by Britta Teckentrup beautifully illustrates the healing process of remembering and celebrating the lives of those we’ve lost. It teaches us that, even in the face of sorrow, we can find comfort and strength by cherishing the memories that live on in our hearts.
From the publisher: Fox has lived a long and happy life in the forest, but now he is tired. He lies down in his favourite clearing, and falls asleep for ever. Before long, Fox’s friends begin to gather in the clearing. One by one, they tell stories of the special moments that they shared with Fox. And so, as they share their memories, a tree begins to grow, becoming bigger and stronger with each memory, sheltering and protecting all the animals in the forest, just as Fox did when he was alive.