I graduated from college with a degree in Communication. As a parent, clear communication between my children and me is a top priority. Of course, we have miscommunications, and we have to reconcile, but the drive for clear communication is constant. I want my kids to know that they can talk to me about anything. And that, I will listen to what they have to say.
Charlie and the Trust Tree by Ashton Sumners is written by a teenage young lady. Charlie and the Trust Tree is about a child, Charlie, who uses her “trust tree” as a way to signal to her parents she needs to to talk to them if something is on her mind or bothering her. I love how Charlie’s parents are always available and eager to listen to their daughter. They encourage Charlie to overcome fears and be brave.
The entire premise of Charlie and the Trust Tree encourages kids to follow the example of the main character, Charlie. This is a great way to initiate conversation between parents and children, or even teachers and students. Using Charlie and the Trust Tree, adults will find a effective way to encourage kids to talk about what’s on the child’s mind. I could see this being a great conversation initiative for children who are shy, nervous, or anxious. But, it could also be perfect for kids who are outgoing, but unsure how to effectively communicate.
I also love that Charlie and the Trust Tree was written by a teenager. I tell you what, young people are taking this world by storm. Ashton Sumners is a great example of this. I really admire that Ashton took a a pretty mature topic (learning to clearly communicate) and wrote a book to encourage and teach kids how to communicate.
The illustrations are so cute. I appreciated how each page spread shows Charlie wrestling through difficult scenarios, but how each scenario provides Charlie (and readers!) a chance to grow and learn. Good communication captures a kid and relays incredible lessons.
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