Conversation Starters

Welcome to our conversation space. Here you will find resources and videos to help kids discuss their feelings, questions, and thoughts related to the themes in each story.

Choose a book to view conversation starters & resources:

Abuelito

Conversation Starter Topic(s): multigenerational families, friendship, death, grief, love

CONVERSATION STARTER QUESTIONS:

Have you ever wanted to play with someone, but didn’t know how to ask? What did you do?

Have you lost anyone close to you? How do you remember that person or pet?

What do you do when you are sad?

Are your grandparents alive? What do you call your grandfather and/or grandmother? What are (or were) your favorite activities to do with them?

Have you ever helped someone who was sad? What did you do?


Afraid of Your Neighbor cover with mouse from the book's interior standing looking up.

Afraid of Your Neighbor

Conversation Starter Topic(s): assumptions, prejudice, making friends, peer pressure, kindness

CONVERSATION STARTER QUESTIONS:

An assumption is an idea that someone believes is true, without knowing for sure if it is true. What assumptions do Frog and most of his friends make about the new neighbor?

Have you ever made assumptions about someone or something? How did the person or experience compare with your assumptions?

Imagine that a new family had just moved to your neighborhood. How could you make them feel welcome?

If your friend was being unkind to someone, what could you do to help?

Watch the Book Trailer for Afraid of Your Neighbor
Afraid of Your Neighbor book trailer (Kind World Publishing) by Katherine E. Volk
Teacher’s Guide for Afraid of Your Neighbor
Resources for Afraid of Your Neighbor

How to Make New Friends

Friendship Rules Poster


I’ve Never Met My Grandpa

Conversation Starter Topic(s): death, grief, love, family relationships, curiosity

CONVERSATION STARTER QUESTIONS:

Have you met your grandparents?

How do you feel when you hear stories about your grandpa or grandma?

What is one thing you wish you could ask your grandpa or grandma?

What do you do when you feel sad?

I've Never Met My Grandpa cover with a girl with long brown hair standing wearing a blue cape.
Watch the Book Trailer for I’ve Never Met My Grandpa
I’ve Never Met My Grandpa book trailer (Kind World Publishing) by Shannon Zigmund
Resources for I’ve Never Met My Grandpa

Sharing My Emotions Chart


Lumber Baby cover with a little boy wearing a stocking hat standing next to a dog standing looking puzzled.

Lumber Baby

Conversation Starter Topic(s): humor, bedtime routines, sibling relationships, problem-solving, family dynamics

CONVERSATION STARTER QUESTIONS:

Have you ever helped someone solve a problem? If so, what was the challenge? How did you help make it better?

Have you ever had a hard time going to sleep? If so, what helps you?

What did you think of Lumber Baby’s big sister’s bedtime helpers? Would those things help you sleep?

Resources for Lumber Baby

Help Lumber Baby Find His Crib Maze


Maddie and Mabel

Conversation Starter Topic(s): sibling relationships, managing conflict, imagination, play

CONVERSATION STARTER QUESTIONS:

Why do you think the girls got into a fight? How did they fix it? 

Have you ever gotten into an argument with your sibling or best friend? How did that make you feel?

What is the story of you and your siblings? If you don’t have a sibling, what is the story of you and your best friend?

What do you like to do with your siblings or your family?

Maddie and Mabel book cover standing up in front of Maddie and Mabel illustration of them standing.
Watch the Book Trailer for Maddie and Mabel
Maddie and Mabel book trailer (Kind World Publishing) by Kari Allen
Teacher’s Guide for Maddie and Mabel
Resources for Maddie and Mabel

Maddie & Mabel’s Musings


Maddie and Mabel Take the Lead cover with Maddie and Mabel standing in the background singing.

Maddie and Mabel: Take the Lead

Conversation Starter Topic(s): siblings, friendship, first experiences, leadership, overcoming fears

CONVERSATION STARTER QUESTIONS:

In these stories, Maddie and Mabel take turns and practice sharing. When do you share with others? How do you share? Do you take turns? What are other ways to share? 

How do you feel when you have to wait for your turn to try something?

What do you do when you are nervous about something new? How do you prepare when you are going to do something for the first time?

How do you teach someone else how to do something you love to do?

Resources for Maddie and Mabel Take the Lead

Scary Fairy in Wicked Wood

Conversation Starter Topic(s): managing conflict, making friends, learning from mistakes

CONVERSATION STARTER QUESTIONS:

Scary Fairy seems to get into a lot of trouble. Talk about a time you saw someone in trouble. Did you help the person? What did you do? How did things change after that?

At first, Scary Fairy didn’t fit in with the animal friends in Wicked Wood.  Have you ever felt like you didn’t fit in?  Why did you feel that way? 

Sometimes things seem scarier than they really are. What is something you have been scared of that turned out to be not scary when you finally saw it or did it? When you’re afraid of something, what do you do to make yourself less afraid?

At the end of the story, Scary Fairy is leaving Wicked Wood and the animals are unhappy.  What would you do if your friend was moving? Write it down or draw a picture of what you would do. Have you ever had to move to a new place? What helped you feel more at home?

Scary Fairy in Wicked Wood book cover standing up in front of an illustration of Scary Fairy standing holding mirrors
Watch the Book Trailer for Scary Fairy in Wicked Wood
Scary Fairy in Wicked Wood book trailer (Kind World Publishing) by Jana Bauer
Teacher’s Guide for Scary Fairy in Wicked Wood

The Struggle Bus book cover standing up in front of the struggle bus illustration

The Struggle Bus

Conversation Starter Topic(s): frustration, perseverance, social emotional learning

CONVERSATION STARTER QUESTIONS:

What is one thing that was hard for you today?

What feelings do you have when something is hard?

What happens in your body when something is hard?

What are three things you can do to help yourself feel better if you are upset?

What is one new thing you learned today?

How can you help someone else going through a hard time?

Watch the Book Trailer for The Struggle Bus
The Struggle Bus book trailer (Kind World Publishing) by Julie Koon
Teacher’s Guide and Reader’s Guide for The Struggle Bus
Resources for The Struggle Bus

This Art is for the Birds

Conversation Starter Topic(s): art, friendship, perseverance, ingenuity, humor

CONVERSATION STARTER QUESTIONS:

Have you ever wanted to be friends with someone, but you weren’t sure if they wanted to be friends with you?

How would you describe each pigeon’s personality? Which name would you give each one? Which pigeon seems most like you and why?

What did you think of the crow’s art?

What is something you created that you think of as art?

Did the pigeons make you laugh? What else makes you laugh?


Viva's Voice cover with Viva standing with her fist in the air chanting and her dad standing next to her holding hands.

Viva’s Voice

Conversation Starter Topic(s): courage, unions, workers’ rights, father/daughter relationships, community

CONVERSATION STARTER QUESTIONS:

Why do you think workers go on strike?

What is something you or your family might go on strike for?

Viva was Papi’s good luck charm. Do you have a good luck charm? Who or what is yours?

Have you ever been to work with your mom and dad? What was your favorite part?

Viva loves riding the bus and going to the picket line with her Papi. What do you love to do with the adults in your life? How does that make you feel?

When you feel afraid, how do you make yourself feel brave?

How do you support members of your family when they need it?

Watch the Book Trailer for Viva’s Voice
Viva’s Voice book trailer (Kind World Publishing) by Raquel Donoso
Resources for Viva’s Voice

Free Downloadable Activities

Smiling African-American Boy Holding Planet

Kindness in Action: Simple Things You Can Do to Create a Kinder World

Meaningful change comes from many small steps. In that same spirit, we can do a lot to create a kinder world as part of our everyday lives. Here are some simple things you and the kids in your life can do to get started.

We’re Going on a Road Trip Game

A perfect game for testing memory and the imagination, especially as we’re not really going on any road trips lately. Our family loves this memory recall game from my own childhood. Try it out, even (and especially if) you’re not on an actual trip.

Car driving on a highway with mountains in the background

Mindfulness for Kids: Five Senses

Meditation and mindfulness help us
cultivate calm, kind brains — and it’s never
too early to start. But it’s a lot to ask of
youngsters to simply sit still and breathe!
Instead, this “active meditation” exercise
will teach kids to slow down as they connect
to their senses and surroundings.


Reese’s Read Out Louds

Reese reading I Wish You More (Chronicle Books) by Amy Krouse Rosenthal