The little dude loves books. My husband and I are both big readers. We were talking about things we’re looking forward to as the kids get bigger, and one is reading chapter books together, books we loved.
My favourite book as a child was “Little Women”. My husband’s favourite was “Goodnight Mister Tom”. I’ve been trying to think of some other emotionally rich books with male protagonists, and it’s really hard. Books written about boys are more often the adventurous romp type of book. My husband’s favourite – though canonical – is a real outlier among kids books with boys in the lead. Reading is well suited to building empathy and helping kids learn how to process feelings because the reader has to imagine in the gaps. More so than visual media, there is a vicarious emotional connection with the protagonist of a book. It’s worrying that so few male literary figures for children inhabit a emotionally challenging plot arc. Not that boys can’t relate to girl protagonists, of course they can. But, for example, in “Inside Out” when the dad’s brain is watching sport and is 100% emotionally clueless in the dinner scene – that’s intended to be funny because the audience knows emotions are for women and girls, not boys and definitely not men. Kids media sends that message all the time, both overtly and through a failure to tell emotionally heavy stories about boys. Not good.
Here’s my list of great books for children in which boys feel big feelings:
“Goodnight Mister Tom”
“Bridge to Terebithia”
“The Subtle Knife” and “The Amber Spyglass”
“Two Weeks with the Queen”
The “Harry Potter” series (though it could be better on this front)
This list is too short. More suggestions please!