On a Magical Do-Nothing Day by Beatrice Alemagna
I like this picture book because I hate video games and think they are the bane of childhood. In this book, a child and his mother are at their cabin in the woods and it is raining. The child is bored and playing a hand-held video game. The mother, working at her desk, tells the child to go outside and play. The child goes out, but takes the video game with him. He is angry when he drops the game and it sinks into the pond. But then he slowly begins to notice all the wonder around him: he sees some snails out in the weather and digs his hands in the ground and discovers seeds and roots and all the life nourished by the earth. He then begins to enjoy being outside: he rolls down a hill, climbs a tree, collects rocks, and notices the wildlife, including birds and bugs, and is no longer bored. A celebration of nature and playing outside – something that was a given when I was a child, but nowadays it seems like children can’t put down the video games or smartphones long enough to just be kids and run and play and use their imaginations.