America’s favorite celebrity mother, Kristen Bell, just shared which children’s books she reads to her daughters; Lincoln, age 5, and Delta, age 3. Reading to her kids is the favorite part of her evening, but more revealing, Bell likes books that reinforce positive messages to her kids. Specifically, she’s interested in making sure kids feel comfortable about their feelings, and are never shamed into not being who they are.
Here are the three picture books Bell recommended, which are probably best for kids aged 1 to 6 years old.
1. Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang
“There’s a book called Grumpy Monkey that we love that allows the monkey to be grumpy, even at the end. Other characters give him solutions but he decides he’s still grumpy,” Bell tells Parents. “I’ve had that feeling, and I want my girls to know that you’re allowed to feel it. Figure out ways to pick yourself up when you are ready. I really like that message.”
Grumpy Monkey is available for purchase on Amazon right here.
2. Uni the Unicorn by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Uni the Unicorn earned the Kristen Bell stamp of approval. Rosenthal flipped the unicorn myth on its head in this sweet story. Grown-up unicorns tell Uni that little girls don’t exist, but Uni knows they do. She meets a little girl, and they form a strong bond of friendship.
Uni the Unicorn is available on Amazon right here.
3. We’re All Wonders by R. J. Palacio
The Good Place actress also mentioned We’re All Wonders by R. J. Palacio, which is available on Amazon. Palacio wrote the best-selling novel, Wonder, which follows a boy who has a facial difference as he tries to blend in at school for the first time. The author decided to take his wonderful characters from Wonder and put them into a new story for young kids. Wonder’s Auggie and Daisy go on an amazing adventure in this picture book, illustrated by Palacio himself, and teach children to choose kindness.
We’re All Wonders is available on Amazon right here.
Even though Bell loves these contemporary kids books, like many parents, she still does incorporate the classic fairy tales, but she decides to make some of these more problematic stories, like Snow White, into teachable moments.
She’s so invested in sparking the love of reading in her kids that she’s also working on her own children’s book, too.