Author : Alexix Deacon Publisher : Walker Books Ages: 5 and up
Publisher : Walker Books
Ages: 5 and up

Our words have power. We have to use them wisely. Lewis Hamilton’s teacher and headmaster had told him “You won’t amount to anything.” My heart sunk when I heard that on TV a few days ago. Sigh… how could the very people who should be giving a child positive emotional support speak such negative words? Well done Hamilton for believing in yourself and for endlessly striving for excellence.

As a parent, I really want to shelter my children from such unnecessary negativities. Words like the above can shatter a child’s self-identity, self-esteem and self-belief. Alas, there’s no way I can protect my children from every trial that they might face, nor would that be healthy for them. But what I can do now is to equip my children with a powerful tool to increase their resilience and help them to even flourish amidst negativity: a positive mindset.

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I am Henry Finch makes that point. There are so many teachable moments in this book. It is an uplifting story of an adorable little bird who is not afraid to think and step out of the box and see where it takes him. Henry never realised that there was greatness in him until he started thinking for himself.

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The finches are a noisy bunch and they spend their lives on repeat. Henry is no different until one day he wakes up in the middle of the night and discovers his own voice aka his thoughts and his dreams. Ahh… this is the start of something great. (We all need quiet moments to hear our thoughts.)

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The finches live in fear of a beast who wants to eat all of them up. Henry realizes one can have good thoughts and bad thoughts… and good and GREAT thoughts can prevail if you consciously choose so. The power of his mind allows him to be courageous and helps him to overcome the insecurities within him. (When there’s a will, there’s a way. Very often, we need to help ourselves.)

Henry Finch saves the day in the most amazing way.( We can be courageous even when things are unknown to us.) The beast will never disturb them again! I will not give the whole story away but Henry clearly shows us how powerful thoughts can be and sets all the other finches free to dream big. What a way to tell kids not to be afraid to dream your own and be open to new possibilities!

finch 10Alexis Deacon has written a brilliant story but the other genius in this collaboration is illustrator Viviane Schwarz who used fingerprints to illustrate this book! Each person’s fingerprints are unique, meaning no two fingerprints are the same. Ask the older kids how this relates to the thoughts Henry is having 🙂

Meanwhile, take out the ink pads and have fun with your little ones doing fingerprint art! We had great fun doing this recently with our friends. We made our very own finches and much much more!

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Remember Hamilton’s teachers I mentioned earlier… it got me thinking… and I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to reinforce positive thinking in the little ones… just like Henry Finch. Positive words are powerful and when kids are young, our words shape their world. I found a great set of cards online… printed and laminated them… and gave each of the six children under my charge that day a set of three cards that best describes him/her or words that I felt would be most helpful.

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You never know when they will take what you say to be their truth. 🙂