April is the month of the military child. This month is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the unique stresses and joys our children experience 12 months a year, year after year. In the spirit of recognizing our brave little family members this post will review some of our favorite books that help us explain and endure separations from our service member Moms and Dads
This is one of our favorites in this house. The wording is for a male soldier and his male son, but the story has a universal message and appeal. A father and son play a game of catch with the North Star while they endure many nights on opposite sides of the globe –separated by a father’s deployment. The illustrations are lovely and it is simply but effectively written.
We cannot get enough of any and all recordable books. Hallmark has a series of recordable books that allow you to record your voice reading the story and is designed to match the recording to the pages as you turn them. You can also find a small handful of them on Amazon and other retailers. One of our favorites is Hallmark’s “Under the Same Moon” which follows a big and little fox that use the night sky as something that is a shared constant for both of them when not together.
The story and wording depict a Marine father and his son, but will become a favorite among any Marine Corps family. A small boy explores many iconic images of the Marine Corps in the “Goodnight Moon” style of storybook. It ends with a final goodnight to the deployed Marine parent. There is a lot to love about this book, including that it was written by a Marine and illustrated by a Disney animator, but the fact that a percentage of every sale is donated to the Pat Tillman Foundation is a welcome gesture.
This book directly addresses separation due to military training/deployment. The main character is a small girl missing her sailor Dad. There are different versions of the book including one with imagery depicting Navy families as well as an “All military” version of the book. The aspect we like most about this book is that it talks about the child’s feelings and struggles with the separation. We find this is a favorite of many military families we know.
Books are a simple but powerful way for us to connect, shape our thinking, and develop our thoughts and feelings. These are a few suggestions, but you might find many others that speak to you and your children. Books can help you heal and celebrate. The right book to help your child with the stresses of separations due to training and deployments may have nothing to do with the military or deployments. One way to find the ones that work for your child are to go to your local library or base library. Try many different books to find your favorites. There are a few initiatives to bring books to military children and families that are good to know about: United through Reading and Disney Books on Bases through Blue Star Families.
United Through Reading is an organization connecting military families through reading. It facilitates military members of all the branches to record themselves reading a book that is then sent to their child. Check out their website to see if there is a recording location your service member can access to take advantage.
Books on Bases is an initiative through Blue Star Families to bring books donated by Disney to military children. Check their website and sign up for alerts and notifications for when your child may be able to get a book.
April is the perfect time to revisit old favorites books with your military child or discover new ones. Please share your favorites with us here on the blog, on Instagram, or our Facebook -we would love to learn about some new ones ourselves