How Leo Lionni Inspires Children to Face Adversity
Leo Lionni is a classic children’s author and illustrator who was inspired to draw while telling stories to his grandchildren. Little did he know, he would become famous for his beautiful artwork and classic stories that teach natural abilities of resiliency. Children as young as two learn coping and thinking styles that are modeled by parents or through stories. Here are examples of how this author is able to subtly inspire resilience while providing enjoyment in his beautifully written words and illustrations.
Tillie and the Wall
In this story, we see excellent examples of optimism and reaching out. Tillie, a determined little mouse, is able to turn a blind eye to negativity and see her mistakes as learning opportunities.
Despite losing his entire family, Swimmy is able to help others using his abilities to analyze the cause of a problem and self-efficacy. He was able to feel effective about making a difference in his little corner of the sea, by accurately identifying a problem and coming up with a unique solution that also helps others.
This story stars a quiet and misunderstood mouse who draws on his abilities of emotional regulation and empathy. Even though he did not help his friends with physical labour, Frederick was able to understand their needs and help them to look within themselves to find comfort when they needed it the most.
Looking for more? Here are some other great titles that illustrate resilient thinking and coping that can be found at your local library.
Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin and James Dean
Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
Oh, The Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss
I Like Me! by Nancy Carlson
Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
Fox and Squirrel Make a Friend by Ruth Ohi
Taking a Bath with the Dog and Other Things That Make Me Happy by Scott Menchin