LeVar Burton's Kids' Book Picks
THE RHINO WHO SWALLOWED A STORM
By LeVar Burton
Burton isn't just curator-in-chief of Reading Rainbow – he's a first-time children's book author, too! He recently published The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm, and hopes its message resonates with kids and adults alike. "We are all faced with challenges at some point in our lives, and this book can help kids and parents deal with the difficulties life will inevitably bring," he tells PEOPLE. "Reading the book presents parent and child with an opportunity to discuss things that are difficult." Read on for more of his children's book picks.
By Mary Hoffman
This is "my favorite book to recommend for girls," Burton tells PEOPLE. "A story that epitomizes how imagination, determination and a little loving support can help us achieve our dreams and 'go anywhere, be anything.'"
By Derek Munson
"In the process of plotting to 'poison' his enemy, our main character learns he may be missing out on a friend. It's hard not to fear the unknown when you're small, but Munson's story shows just how much more rewarding it can be to give new people (or ideas) a chance."
THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT
By Drew Daywalt
"This book about a letter-writing campaign is just plain fun for kids and adults," Burton says. "You'll never look at your crayons the same way again!"
By Pete Seeger
"A ukulele-playing boy nobody wants to hear and his magician father whose tricks nobody wants to see," Burton explains of the book's main characters. "But when a monster comes to town those 'annoying' skills are the very things that will drive the monster away. Seeger's sing-song retelling provides a perfect structure for this old African folktale."
BRINGING THE RAIN TO KAPITI PLAIN
By Verna Aardema
"A musical, suspense-building story highlighting the connection between humans and nature," Burton says. "Kids will want to memorize and repeat this book over and over."
A CHAIR FOR MY MOTHER
By Vera B. Williams
"Rosie, her mother and her grandmother are saving their coins to buy a comfy chair after their home and belongings were destroyed in a fire. Neighbors have come through with the necessities, but nothing compares to trying out and picking out a chair of their very own. A touching book filled with atmosphere and love."
ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY
By Judith Viorst
"Everybody has terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days sometimes, and it's impossible not to empathize with poor Alexander and his family – even as you're laughing at his situations and reactions."