Top 10 Books about Hope, Optimism, and Resilience Post-2020
Find the best children's books to encourage resilience and optimism in our post Covid and post pandemic world with our 'Book Lists to Read' series.
2020 was a trying year for most people. Our everyday ways of life were altered dramatically by the global COVID-19 pandemic, and many of us experienced loss, difficulty and uncertainty.
For children, facing lockdowns, illness, changed family and social dynamics – and even simply the new and unfamiliar requirements of wearing masks – understanding how to navigate these unusual and challenging times took (and continues to take on) an even deeper importance.
In difficult times, reading is vital: to sharing experiences, sharing burdens, and to help instill values that can help support resilience, hope and optimism.
Here are ten of our favorite kid’s reads about people who found something worth carrying out of a difficult year.
This colorful story Windows follows five youngsters who learn to interact with their world from the secure spot behind their windows. It touches on the author’s own experience of disability, displacement, and discovery. Amazon calls it a soon-to-be “time capsule” of life during those first uncertain weeks of 2020, which nonetheless holds a resonance for all the times that come after.
In While We Can’t Hug, Hedgehog and Tortoise want to show each other their love and appreciation—but aren’t allowed to hug. This touching story shows kids just how many ways there are to tell someone you love them (turns out there are a lot!)
In Rain Before Rainbows, a young heroine and her fox friend travel through a land of rain in the hopes of finding a rainbow. Along the way, they learn that, just as there can’t be a rainbow without rain first, the abundant joy we find in life is made all the more meaningful by times of sorrow.
In Maybe Tomorrow? we learn that sometimes grief can feel like a heavy black box that you have to lug around. But with a little help from the people around us, the load can become easier to carry. A colorful book with a memorable analogy for anyone who has ever gone through hard times.
Sunny looks on the bright side of most situations, but it isn’t always easy when you’ve been carried away on your umbrella and dropped into a stormy sea, when all you were trying to do was to get to school! Luckily, Sunny isn’t alone. A beautifully illustrated story to brighten any rainy day.
In this now-famous poem which inspired many hearts during the early days of 2020, Roberts recounts all the things we learnt during that difficult year, as well as how to sustain that spirit of realization as we go forward… and why hindsight is, indeed, 20-20.
The story When Pigs Fly proposes imaginative logic, such as: even pigs will start flying before cows can ride bicycles. Right? This creative and colorful book will demonstrate to kids (and parents) just how much power a little positive thinking can have.
Six school friends suddenly find themselves attending class from computer screens at home. They’ll have to get creative if they want to get together—and they don’t disappoint. We’re All In This Together is a 2020 story that almost everyone can relate to, dealing with digital togetherness even as events separate us.
In Masks (Rainbows, Masks and Ice-cream), Lederman celebrates a little accessory that went from a practically foreign object to an indispensable part of everyone’s lives. The kids in her story are told they will need to wear masks and keep their distance, but the rules don’t stop them from finding safe ways to have the time of their lives.
In Lucy’s Mask, Lucy thinks her mom is making her a superhero mask. And she is—it just makes her a slightly different kind of superhero. This fun and friendly story will show kids how to be heroic in their own communities by wearing a mask.
Non Wants To Get Dressed is the tale of a little girl Nin, who desperately wants to get dressed on her first day of school. But everyone is too busy to help her! So Nin decides to dress herself – to heartwarming results.
Miss Goat’s House is the tale of a determined little goat who, one hot day, decides to try and use her imagination and optimism to overcome her lethargy. It’s a lovely little story inspiring children to try, even when the elements feel against them.