Maddi’s Fridge: Raising Awareness of Hunger with our Kids
The kids and I read a book tonight we stumbled upon at the library earlier today. It’s a great developmentally-appropriate book for kids that deals with a serious topic- hunger.
Maddi’s Fridge is a story about two girls who learn that friends help friends, in the big things and the small things.
This story starts out with two friends playing in the park- swinging, sliding, climbing. One of the girls, Maddi, is super good at the climbing wall, the other girl, Sofia, not so much. The story continues with the two girls running into Maddi’s apartment building because Sofia is hungry and wants to grab a snack. Maddi is protesting all the way…. which we see is because Maddi’s family doesn’t have any food.
Maddi makes Sofia promise not to tell anyone, and for a while, Maddi keeps that promise. Sofia starts bringing food from home to school for Maddi, only to (comically) find that there are a lot of foods that just don’t work well being left out all day.
All the while, normal life goes on. Each day at the park, Maddi continues to encourage Sofia in her climbing. It wasn’t until Maddi offers a hand to Sofia that Sofia could make it successfully to the top of the climbing wall. A lesson in “friends helping friends.”
Then, one day, Sofia breaks down, telling her mom about Maddi. The mama is quick to bring groceries to Maddi’s family as soon as she finds out. At first Maddi is a little mad at Sofia, but quickly forgives her after they talk about the importance of friends helping out friends.
There are a few reasons that I really like this book:
1.) Friends help friends. A great lesson to learn- for those of us who are big and those of us who are small.
2.) Everyone can help each other, not just those who have a lot. I think we often forget that people who don’t have a lot don’t always want to be on the receiving end. They want to give, encourage, and love their friends in tangible ways too. This book helps create a balance in the giving/receiving.
3.) It encourages kids to tell an adult when their friend is in trouble, even if it means breaking a promise. Promises are super big deals, especially to kids! It creates an invitation for parents to talk to their kids about when it’s okay to break a promise.
4.) It has great illustrations, and is laced with humor- both important factors in kids books!
So, if you’re looking for a conversation starter related to hunger and helping friends, this one is a great option!