Inside: Reading with your kids is an easy, memorable way to soak up the precious moments of childhood. Discover ten children’s books to help your family pause the busyness and keep that peaceful feeling even when reading time is over. Plus, spark conversations about connecting with God and each other.
Slowing down, resting, soaking up quiet. Somehow, we know our souls need this, and yet, it’s so hard to do–especially with an energetic family and a looong to-do list.
CHILDREN’S BOOKS HELP FAMILIES Slow Down
One thing that can help is building a habit of reading with our kids. Reading great children’s books is a great way to foster family connections, notice things we might otherwise miss, savor these precious moments, and grow closer to God.
Children’s Books Help Families connect
Whether family reading time comes naturally or takes a bit more planning, we think you’ll enjoy this list of peace-filled children’s books. Several of these picture books are particularly good for calming down at bedtime. Others are fun reminders to slow down during the day. And all of these books for kids are sweet and heartwarming in the best way.
Children’s Books Help Families Grow in Faith
In addition to general market picks, we’ve recommended some faith-based books that overtly share about slowing down to recognize God’s presence and books about God’s desire to connect with us. One of our tenets here at Our Everyday Parables is that many books can be pathways to family faith conversations. So we believe all the children’s books on this list can create opportunities for you talk with your family about how the Lord made us to be connected to each other and to Him.
10 Children’s Books for Slowing Down, Connecting with Family, and Growing in Faith
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by Peter Reynolds
Our Table is the story of Violet, a little girl who misses gathering around the table with her family. The more they stay glued to their tech devices, the more the table shrinks, until it disappears. But Violet knows what to do. Employing the very devices that kept them apart, the family works together to build a new table! Once again, their family table becomes “a place to come together…to tell stories…to make memories.” Reynolds’ wonderful storytelling and poetic cadence makes this a perfect read-aloud.
by Sally Lloyd-Jones and Jago
Find it: Amazon
Relatable to kids and encouraging for all ages, this book is a beautiful picture of how God is always seeking connection with us. A board book paraphrase of Psalm 139, Known, reminds us that God is constantly thinking about us with love and gives us all the time we need. It’s perfect for reminding the littlest read-loud buddies how much their Heavenly Father cares.
WHEREVER YOU ARE
by Glenys Nellist and Sian James
This lovely children’s book just may have your family talking about God all day long. Wherever You Are reminds kids and families God is always there. He’s never far away. He lovingly makes Himself found in the everyday moments, in the greatest joys, and the deepest sorrows.
When I was reading this book with my kids (yes, I still read picture books with my big kids), I felt it was important to remind them that God stands apart from His creation in glory and perfection, and yet, God designed our world so that His fingerprints can be seen in His creation. Amazing!
We also talked about what a gift it is that God reveals His goodness through sometimes surprising things and how we can always go back to the Bible to ensure our interpretations of our “everyday moment” experiences align with God’s truth.
I love that God shows up in everyday moments, not so we’ll worship the moment or the thing or the person, but so we’ll know Him better and worship Him fully.
What an honor to walk alongside my kids as we all learn to notice God throughout our day and how wonderful to use this book in the process. BONUS: You can grab a free downloadable activity pack from the author’s website (second link down) to use with the book. It’s a good one!
If you like beautiful, joyful books to build your family’s faith,
check out our list of Christian books for kids, featuring
this amazing book and more than 20 others.
The World IS Awake
by Lindsey Davis, Joseph Bottum, and Lucy Fleming
“This is the day the Lord has made,” and this rhyming book reminds us of many reasons to be glad. From nature singing the praises of God to good food in our bellies and lots more, The World is Awake takes us from morning until night with the Lord on our minds. Bonus: It has a nice quiet ending, perfect for bedtime.
WANT MORE BOOK IDEAS?
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THE QUIET BOOK
by Deborah Underwood and Renata Liwska
The Quiet Book is just delightful! It shows the many different kinds of quiet. From the “oops quiet” of bubbles overflowing the tub to the “fun quiet” of hide and seek to the “sweet quiet” of story time, this book will give lots for you and your little one to talk about as you read together.
Memoirs of a Tortoise
by Devin Scillian and Tom Bowers
In Memoirs of a Tortoise, we meet Oliver the tortoise and his human, Ike. They spend their days enjoying the garden together. But tortoises live a long time, longer than their pet humans. When Ike is gone, Oliver goes to visit his mother and receives her beautiful words of encouragement.
Though this book can help talk about loss, it is great for anytime you want to slow down with your kids (it is hopeful and uplifting even during the tender parts).
As Oliver’s mom says, “The whole world is in a hurry. They miss so much.” Side note: This book was recently announced as the Texas Bluebonnet Award winner for 3rd to 6th grade.
Hurry Up! A Book About Slowing Down
by Kate Dopirak and Christopher Silas Neal
With short, rhyming phrases, this picture book celebrates the goodness of slowing down and savoring the little moments. It starts with a hurried pace, faster and faster, until–stop–time to slow things down. This approach creates lots of interest for kids and a nice, memorable read-aloud moment.
You may also like Tiny, Perfect Things, a picture book about taking time for nature, community, and family. Check it out in our fall books post.
by John Rocco
It’s hard to be too busy for each other when the lights go out. In Blackout, a temporary loss of electricity helps reconnect a family and a community, showing the beauty of simplicity and togetherness.
IN A JAR
by Deborah Marcero
Here is a book about how connection can happen even across miles. Actually, In a Jar is about so much more, and I cannot say enough good things about the peaceful feelings it evokes, but for the purposes of this post, we’ll focus on connection.
Two bunnies, Llewellyn and Evelyn, love to collect memories and wonders in jars. When Evelyn moves away, they keep up their collecting and send their jars of wonders to each other. As Llewellyn continues sharing what he loves with his faraway friend, he makes a new friend too.
HERE: THE DOT WE CALL HOME
by Laura Alary and Cathrin Peterslund
This book is about a different kind of togetherness–the way we are connected to others, both now and across time, because of the earth we share. Here: The Dot We Call Home starts in the heart of a child’s home and moves out to our great big (and also very small) planet.
A little girl first explores her favorite places at home, including the things people left behind that were good and not so good. She thinks about these same concepts in relation to her city with a beautiful pause to consider all the people and cultures that came before her. Then she thinks about our planet and starts to feel a bit overwhelmed until she remembers she can start small with the natural spaces, living things, and people right around her.
Learn more about this book by watching my interview with author Laura Alary. At about minute 22:45, you’ll find our conversation about this book specifically (you can drag your finger along the time counter to fast forward), but I think you’ll love the rest of the interview too.
The Benefits of Quiet Read-Alouds
Books don’t have to be loud to be great read-alouds! Sometimes those quieter ones are the perfect way to slow down for a sweet cuddle time or a great conversation about what matters most.
What are some of your favorite read-aloud books? They can be loud, quiet, or in between. Share in the comments!
Want more ideas for connecting faith, family, and picture books? Check out our free guide “Activating Family Faith with Picture Books” where we help you explore two popular picture books using art, science, games, and more.