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The World Needs Better Grownups!

Updated: Apr 3

Are you, like me, drawn to picture books, not coffee table art books, but mostly well-illustrated children's books with fewer words, maybe that rhyme or a haiku?

Are you also drawn to films or TV shows based on children's books, hopefully not violent, but rather media that shares a meaningful, mind-enhancing theme/message that can enrich your life, as well as the mind of a child with whom you might want to share the media/books? If so, you're in luck. More and more well-illustrated children's books are being streamed on the Internet, including being made into feature movies that can be streamed in the comfort of one's independent or community living room. Some videos are even accompanied by guides of how to further expand your mind and by activities that you can facilitate/participate in with other adults or children.

Author and Illustrator Brad Montague.exemplifies sharing purpose and meaning in his books and YouTube Channel by listening to kids.

Montague is brother-in-law of Robby Novak, a media personality born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), a disease that prevents the body from building strong bones. Montague produced Novak's video and TV series ,"Kid President," which has over 7 million views and 344.8 thousand followers on Twitter. Robby Novak is now 19 years old.

Montague is also the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Kid President's Guide to Being Awesome. Brad and his wife, Kristi Montague, are "on a mission to create stories that cultivate empathy and imagination in kids and former kids. With our work we strive to joyfully rebel against the way things are and attempt to create the world as it should be." Source.

Members of the iTeach Team at Kennewaw State University in Atlanta create lesson plans, based on his books (not just for teachers, also for parents and grandparents and other grown-ups). Here's an example, The Songs Birds Sing. View and listen to Brad reading the book he wrote and illustrated on his YouTube Channel. As Brad says, "It’s a story about a bird named Rodney, but maybe it’s also about you. Or someone you love."

Here's another book by Montague, The Circles All Around Us. Montegue shares the message of this book in so many ways, including the following:

1. The Circles Show, a YouTube Montague Workshop

2. Discussion questions,( such as the following), service project, and more...

  • How does it feel to be in your own circle, by yourself?

  • In the book, Brad compares being in your own circle to being a library with one book on the shelf. What other similes or metaphors can you come up with to describe what it is like to be in your own circle?

  • Who can you bring into your circle?

  • Why is it uncomfortable to draw bigger circles and invite others in?

  • In what ways are we unique? How does this make our circles different?

  • What does it look like to make our circles wider and welcome others inside?

  • What wonderful things happen when we have wide circles?

  • How does it feel to be on the outside of a circle?

  • Caring for others doesn’t require grand gestures! Brad encourages us to “Let our caring ripple out in a million little ways.” What can we do each day to create little ripples of love and care for others?

  • At the end of the book, we revisit our own circle, where all the love begins. Why is it important to care for and love your own circle? How can we take care of our own circle so we are able to welcome others in?

3. A Neighborhoodie Award

Others have shared YouTube Read Alouds of Brad's books.

I welcome you to join me and other former kids to read with children, or former children (including elders), well-illustrated, mind-expanding books, such as those written by Brad Montague, and shared through a variety of media. We can learn from Kid President how to be awesome human beings at any age.

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