But he has High Hopes! - illustration by Ruth Lent Wiebe
Around this time of year, as we face the reality of carrying out our New Year’s resolutions, we deal again with the difficulties of practicing perseverance. Will we stick it out to the end? Will we give up and make the same resolution next year? Many of us face that nagging doubt as we press forward towards our dreams. We need encouragement when we start to falter.
Our children also need to be encouraged to persevere as they face the challenges of growing up. They have a lot to learn, and seeing someone else succeed doesn’t always make them sure of their own success. So let’s encourage our children as we encourage ourselves. Children’s picture books have a way of inspiring with very simple stories that tug at our heart as well as our funny bone. So read your child one of these great inspirational adventures. I would love to hear about others you have found.
Picture Books that Explore Perseverance:
The Little Engine that Could (by Watty Piper, illustrated by Christina Ong) - This has to come first, because it is the classic tale of perseverance that we all know. There are many versions of this story. This link refers to the Storybook Treasury edition.
Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes (by Dubose Heyward, illustrated by Marjorie Flack) –Can the mother of 21 bunnies still follow her dream of becoming the Easter Bunny? This may seem like a modern tale of a working mom following her dream, but it was written in 1939.
The Carrot Seed (by Ruth Krauss, illustrated by Crockett Johnson) - This is a classic book that was first published in 1945. Despite discouragement from others, a little boy is steadfast in his belief that his carrot seed will grow. His patience and perseverance are greatly rewarded in the surprise ending.
Clorinda (by Robert Kinerk, illustrated by Steven Kellogg) – Clorinda is a farm cow who wants to dance in the ballet. After fighting rejection and achieving success, however, she realizes that cows may not be built for the ballet after all. In this very funny and engaging story, Clorinda finds another way to live out her dreams as a dancer. (Also check out Clorinda Takes Flight for another great story about her high hopes and achievements.)
A Visitor for Bear (by Bonny Becker, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton) – A very persistent mouse wants to visit Bear, but Bear doesn’t want any visitors.