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23 stories for PYP parents

Parents asked; educators answered. What essential reading would you recommend to Primary Years Programme (PYP) parents who want to integrate the IB philosophy into their homes? We posed this question to PYP educators on Twitter and they offered these recommendations to help parents continue the PYP journey.


For parents and learners


The most magnificent thing

This book by Ashley Spires is about facing failure. A little girl doesn’t want to pursue her “magnificent” project any longer. This book about a young girl who likes to tinker and create and encourages students to continue taking risks and be reflective. More about this book here.

Recommended by @kispypniko

Last stop on market street

Author Matt de la Peña’s writes about a grandmother and her grandson. Wonders why his life isn’t as luxurious as those around him, the grandmother encourages her grandson to reflect on the life that surrounds him. More about this book here.

Recommended by @terSonya

The dot

Peter Reynolds wrote and illustrated The Dot to inspire young artists. His tale is about a young girl whose art takes off thanks to encouragement from her teacher, inspiring her to draw. Official details here.

Recommended by @kispypniko

The way back home

Oliver Jeffers’ The Way Back Home is a children’s book about a young boy who finds an aeroplane and takes it for a test drive; before he knows it he has to find his way home. The book is written to encourage communication skills.

Recommended by @kispypniko

Hello, Is anybody there?

In Jostein Gaarder’s tale about young Joe, a big-brother-to-be, he encourages his readers to be open-minded about the world and to always be curious and inquiring. More about this book here.

Recommended by @ClaudiaOC


For parents


Learner profile

Many educators direct parents straight to the learner profile. It is used in all four IB programmes and sets out a framework for what we aspire to instill in our students. Use it as your guide to help discover new resources and creative activities. Best of all, it’s short and free to download here.

Recommended by @vibha0406

CIS’s PYP Guide: Concepts

Packed full of hundreds of suggestions in both English and Chinese, this guide groups its recommendations by causation, change, connection, form, function, perspective, reflection, and responsibility.

Recommended by @intlNadine

The educated person

This essay by Ernest Boyer highlights the importance of student individuality, character, and inquiry. He highlights the use of “discovering the connectedness of things,” and inspiring principled learners of inquiry. You can find his essay here.

Recommended by @angeaow

The intellectual character

Ron Ritchhart’s Intellectual Character is another technical read focused on the classroom, but it might offer strategies that can be used in the home. Check it out here by scrolling down the page a bit.

Recommended by @C_McKenzie_Edu

Creating innovators

Tony Wagner’s book is an adult read designed to help cultivate risk-taking innovators. Wagner talks about schools and the education system as well as home life to encourage students to learn from failure. More on this book here.

Recommended by @Marybwalls


New recommendations


Not a box

Is it a box? Or not a box?  “This delightful book celebrates curiosity and imagination and would be a great provocation or kick-off to playing with boxes of all sizes and shapes! A perfect inquiry!” Written by Antoinette Portis.

Recommended by Christine, below in the comments section.

Spaghetti in a hot dog bun

Maria Dismondy’s book “is about being courageous and standing up for who you are.” In addition to spaghetti in a hot dog bun, we will certainly be adding ketchup on toast to our breakfast menu!

Recommended by @HafsaQuadri

A chair for my mother

Written and illustrated by Vera B. Williams, a chair for my mother is “a story filled [with] empathy, compassion and appreciation.”

Recommended by @RachellePia

Good night stories for rebel girls

Volume 1 contains 100 bedtime stories about the life of 100 extraordinary women, “is an amazing book which shows numerous examples of women who have achieved their goals through overcoming and working.”

Recommended by @nlopezmtnez

I wonder

By Annaka Harris, this book focuses on what it’s like to face uncertain, not know, and explore the the world around us.

Recommended by @tgaletti

The heart and the bottle

The second book by Oliver Jeffers to make this list, it is written to inspire curiosity through wonderful artwork. Get an in-depth review here.

Recommended by @tgaletti

Sunday chutney

This book by Aaron Blabey is about travelling the world and being the new kid.

Recommended by @tgaletti

The mermaid and the shoe

Written and illustrated by K.G. Campbell, this book will encourage readers to inquire about the world and seek out answers to explain new discoveries.

Recommended by @tgaletti

The three questions

How do we know that we are doing the right thing? This water-color illustrated adaption of Leo Tolstoy’s short story from What Men Live By, and Other Tales thoughtfully explore’s how we decide what is most important. 

Recommended by @tgaletti

The pink refrigerator

This book by Tim Egan crafts a story about breaking routine and continuing to explore.

Recommended by @tgaletti

Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge

What is memory? How can we lose it and can it be returned? This book by Mem Fox and Julie Vivas explores a young boy’s journey to help an aging friend.

Recommended by @tgaletti

What do you do with an idea?

This book by Kobi Yamada explores how we can cultivate our ideas and give them room to grow.

Recommended by @tgaletti

Going places

Written by Paul H. Reynolds and Peter H. Reynolds, this book asks us to let our imagination and innovative spirit break free and take flight.

Recommended by @tgaletti


Help this list grow! If you have other recommendations, let us know in the comments below.