Sonja Lange Wendt

Children's Books, Parenting & Relationships

Author Profile

Sonja Lange Wendt

Sonja Lange Wendt is an award-winning author of the Cultivating Compassion in Children books series. Her books are intergenerational and address important and sometimes difficult topics with children on inclusion, acceptance, disabilities, bullying and aging. Serina and Seymour Seed kick off and end each story. Seymour and Serina are the seeds of compassion children have, but sometimes they need planting and nurturing to cultivate the best in them. Through increasing awareness, understanding and discussion, these books teach that using compassion in different situations shows kindness in the greatest way in this sometimes difficult to navigate world. Sonja uses a variety of setting and characters from grandparents, little girl, little boy, and bugs to engage children in the stories. The settings all include nature and the outdoors. Each story ends with thought provoking questions to be asked by the adult and discussed with the child. These books are generally fitting for children ages 4-8 but as C.S. Lewis states, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” Her books are brilliantly illustrated with vivid colors and scenery.


Growing Compassionate Children: Grower's Guide

Parenting & Relationships

The world needs more compassion and where else to start, than with raising compassionate children. This book includes twelve steps of “growing” compassionate children, a Grower’s Guide. It follows the steps needed to grow a healthy plant, starting with preparing the soil, where a plant can be deeply rooted in solid healthy ground, like a child growing within a strong foundation made up of positive values and principles. There are stories and topics addressing the impacts of societal issues such as the use of social media, anger, mental health, and violence to focusing on acts of kindness and making this world a better place for all. The topics are diverse and include math and science concepts as they apply to plants and growing compassionate children. It talks about the importance of knowing, understanding, and preserving our roots, where this knowledge and increased understanding leads to a more compassionate child.

Book Bubbles from Growing Compassionate Children: Grower's Guide

First Place in Royal Dragonfly Award

This book, which was published in August of 2021, won FIRST place in the 2021 Parenting Category in the ROYAL DRAGONFLY BOOK AWARD. The Royal Dragonfly Book Award contest is a worldwide book competition that honors excellence in all types of literature and genre, recognizing creativity and excellence. This is not your typical parenting book.  It is a fun, engaging and thought provoking read good for prompting discussions between parents and friends. It is a compilation of blogs in the twelve steps of cultivating a compassionate child with a poem, highlighted quotes with drawings and pictures of kids being kids with each step. Thanks to Rebecca Finkle for designing a book that will be cherished by many. Here are a few quotes from the book: “Knowledge is powerful. Knowledge reduces fear. Knowledge leads to greater understanding which can also lead to a more compassionate human race.” “Fertilize your child through communication and different experiences so they can gain the nutrient richness of the soil.” “While waiting for that garden to grow, you still need to be diligent. You must continue watering and weeding and ensuring that the plants are protected from harm.”

Become Knowledgeable to Increase "Compassion"

Our world seems to be at a compassionate all time low. Why is that? We are bombarded with information, but that seems to have put each of us all in tail spin crashing into each other. It's gotten so toxic people are afraid to talk or say anything. What we need is not just information, but knowledge, accurate knowledge and understanding. Knowledge if understood, usually puts the majority on the same page. Knowledge decreases our fear and gives us the confidence to move forward and make a positive difference. Making a positive difference contributes to a more compassionate world. So go out there and research from different and conflicting sources, learn, experiment, experience the world. gain knowledge and guide your children to do the same. They are our future. A compassionate world is a much better place to live in than a world full of hate, anger, and frustration. Let's make this place a loving, kind, and accepting place to be. It's up to us.

Let’s Talk Dirt - Prepare the Soil

Create a Healthy Environment to Learn and Grow- Prepare a rich soil. Form a safe environment. The hard work of your toil. Leads to child development.

New Book Released - Parenting book

Do you wish there was more compassion in this world? The place to start is with raising our children to grow and bloom into a compassionate person. This book talks about the twelve steps to grow a compassionate child with the series of blogs that talk about real world situations and considerations. It requires 1) creating a safe environment 2) being a good example 3) sprinkling them with knowledge 4) increasing their understanding 5) developing confidence 6) inspiring them to perform acts of compassion 7) allowing them room to grow 8) shielding them from dangerous situations 9) learning from mistakes 10) exercising patience 11) appreciating progress and 12) preserving the memories.

What’s Wrong With Grandpa?

Children's Books

If you are looking for a story about understanding aging, disabilities, acceptance, and compassion, then this multigenerational book is for you. This is a story of a little boy, Joey, who goes on the first hike of the season in the mountains with his grandpa. His grandpa has changed over the winter. He talks real loud in his noisy truck, he is using walking sticks on the hike, he can't keep up with his grandson like he had last year, he trips on a rock and looks funny when he reads a pocket bird book, and he can't spot things in the woods like he used to last year. What's wrong with Grandpa? He's not the same. This makes 7 year old Joey sad and upset. Grandpa and Joey sit down, have a snack, and discuss what's happening, the changes that Grandpa is experiencing. Joey thought his grandpa would stay the same forever and didn't understand that his grandpa was going through the natural process of aging. This beautifully illustrated book that takes place in a breathtaking mountain setting with nature all around is a great story to help explain the impacts of aging and how it doesn't change the love a grandparent or aging person has for a child. There are thought provoking questions at the end of the story to clarify and reinforce the concepts of the story. This is a wonderful story for grandparents to share with their grandchildren.

Book Bubbles from What’s Wrong With Grandpa?

Winner of 2021 Purple Dragonfly Award

What's Wrong With Grandpa book won a 2021 Purple Dragonfly Honorable mention in the category of Special Needs/Disability Awareness, announced Friday, July 9. This book is about a little boy Joey, who is on a hike with his grandpa on a Colorado trail. Joey notices differences in his grandpa and is confused by them. For example, his grandpa is talking real loud and as a result, Joey misunderstands his grandpa as a being mad at him. One incidence follows another. At the end of the story, the two of them talk and Joey understands that his grandpa has some disabilities as a result of aging and that it has nothing to do with the love his grandpa has for Joey.

#1 Amazon Best Seller in Six Categoies

This wonderfully illustrated book received #1 Amazon Best Seller in 6 categories in eBook format: - Children's eBook on Disabilities - Multigenerational Families - Interpersonal Relationships - Children's Maturing Books - Aging Parents & Eldercare - Children's book on camping. What a great gift for Father's Day and it's free in eBook format through June 6 on Amazon.

Understanding Disabilities Deepens Compassion

This book (in eBook format) is FREE today and a great book for Father's Day. It addresses compassion and understanding disabilities, especially those that come with aging. Little children, and even adults, tend to think we will be the same forever. But we all change with age and our bodies start to break down. Children can misunderstand grandparents they love. It could be that grandpa is talking really loud acting like he's mad when he's just getting used to new hearing aids. Maybe it's he can't run and climb like he used to last year and a child may misunderstand and think he is not interested in playing with him anymore. Grandpa may be using walking sticks hiking or a cane when he never did before. Grandpa might make strange faces trying to read something using his new pair of glasses. Understanding that grandpa is aging and disabilities that might come with it shows understanding, compassion and love. This would be a great Father's Day gift for a grandpa from their grandchild.

Misunderstanding Disabilities with Aging

There is a National holiday, called Joe Day, always on March 27. Who would have known! I didn’t until a couple months ago, but once I found out, I was so excited! I could share with you one of my favorite book characters who is named Joey. In this book, seven-year-old Joey misunderstands his grandpa as disabilities with aging take over. Have you ever misinterpreted a situation just from the way it looked? I like this advertisement where a teenage boy is running up to an elderly lady and quickly grabs her purse strap. Our first thought is that boy is trying to steal her purse. But if you keep on watching, you see this boy is using the straps of her purse to pull her away from traffic and prevent her from getting hit by a truck. It was through communication that Joey understood his grandpa. The bigger picture became more apparent after obtaining all the facts. This changed Joey’s perception of the situation. He realized his grandpa wasn’t mad at him. He understood that his grandpa still wanted to do the things together that they used to do too; he just wasn’t able to anymore. Joey learned the impacts of aging and how it creates challenging disabilities. Comprehension created more compassion between the two of them.

Increased Understanding, Deepens Compassion

Sometimes children, and even adults, misunderstand a behavior or situation and tend to internalize it. Little Joey in this book, doesn't realize his grandpa is going through the natural process of aging, he is changing, as we all do. He is not aware that grandpa is now wearing hearing aids that sometimes need adjustment in a loud diesel truck. Joey thinks his grandpa can do the same things he always has been able to do like running and climbing and since grandpa isn't doing it, Joey thinks he is the cause that grandpa is acting differently. Maybe grandpa isn't interested in playing with me anymore or love me like he used to, Joey thinks. Too often we misunderstand people. We tend to misinterpret the situation taking a more negative reasoning. Through increased communication in any situations, thereby increasing understanding, we become more open, aware, compassionate, caring loving and accepting of people and situations.

Understanding the "Real" Situation

When we view a situation, do we really understand what's happening? Sometimes we need a magnifying glass to see the "bigger" picture. This story has many incidents that little Joey is misunderstanding. He doesn't realize that his grandpa is physically changing as he gets older. He misinterprets them and thinks his grandpa is mad at him, doesn't want to run and play with him like he did before, acts strangely, and as a result, questions whether his grandpa still loves him anymore. Finally, through conversation with his grandpa while sitting on a rock on a Colorado mountain trail, Joey gains a greater understanding of what's naturally happening with his grandpa, thereby deepening their love for each other. This book promotes discussion of aging and the onset of disabilities that may come as a result, strengthening compassion and kindness between the generations.

Is Grandpa acting different?

Changing with aging can happen quickly. All of a sudden Grandpa is acting differently. Children may not fully understand that aging can bring about disabilities. These disabilities can be misinterpreted. Through communication of the situation you can increase a child's awareness and sensitivity. This book promotes discussion of this topic strengthening compassion and kindness between the generations.

Can Old Be Beautiful? (Cultivating Compassion in Children)

Children's Books

This is a multigenerational book that promotes discussion of self-image topics around beauty and how society and advertising influences us. The story is about a little girl, Maggie, questioning her grandmother whether old things can be beautiful. Maggie sees advertisements for taking the gray out of the hair and for wrinkle creams. The ads say it will make you look young and beautiful. They talk about things that are beautiful and then things that are old and beautiful, like the patch work quilt on her lap. Maggie comes to her own conclusion on beauty and age. The intent of the story is to question whether only young and youth are beautiful. There are questions at the end that the adult can discuss with the child to encourage thinking and increase their understanding.

Book Bubbles from Can Old Be Beautiful? (Cultivating Compassion in Children)

Aging is a naturally beautiful part of life

I couple years ago I was told I needed wrinkle cream to look beautiful, or at least, not ugly. It was an ad that popped in on my computer about a story of a little boy who had two grandmas. He called one his ugly grandma and the other his beautiful grandma. I had to read it again. Who would label their grandmas like that? What kind of advertiser would want to promote their product in that way! Then I wondered why this ad popped up in my feed. Is there a message for me here that I need that wrinkle cream? There was one good thing that came out of that ad for wrinkle remover cream that popped up under my computer feed. No, I didn’t buy the cream and am now wrinkle free. But it did  inspire me to write this children’s book, Can Old Be Beautiful, and create the series, Cultivating Compassion in Children. This book is a great book for a child to give and read to a grandmother for Mother’s Day!

It's a Natural Part of Life

Mother's Day is coming and what a wonderful gift to get a mother, grandmother, or great-grandmother. Our society emphasizes beauty in the youth trying to wash away or hide those grey hairs and wrinkles. But aging is a natural part of life. There is beauty in old things as well as new things. That's what this book is about. Share this story with a child to help them see beauty in all shapes, forms, and sizes, whether a snowflake or an old patchwork quilt. Boost their self esteem through discussion of the questions at the end and increasing their awareness and acceptance.

What is Beautiful - What Media Tells Us

Social media and advertisements impact even small children. They see products such as creams to remove wrinkles, colors to get the gray out of your hair, or products to lose weight in order to look beautiful. What are these messages telling our children? They do not look good enough in a natural state? Only youth is beautiful? Only skinny or buff is acceptable? How does that impact self image? This Amazon #1 Best Seller book takes on another perspective of just what is beauty. It's a great intergenerational book. There are questions at the end to help lead discussion and prompt more in depth thinking.

Amazon #1 Seller in 4 Categories

Thank you for sharing the compassion with our next generations! Can Old Be Beautiful Best Seller categories are: #1 Children's Self Esteem & Self Respect. #1 Children's Book on Peer Pressure. #1 Children's Book on Values. #1 Children's Girls and Women Books. eBook is free today at:

FREE eBook Today

Get this book free today from Amazon at: This story is so much more than seeing the beauty in the old, torn and worn. It brings to light social media/advertisements and how it impact self-image and self esteem. This affects even little children. There are discussion questions at the end and the illustration of beautiful things in this book are amazing. This is a great intergenerational book and a wonderful Valentine's gift for grandparents. Help share the message of compassion on your laptop, iPad, or phone by downloading it today. What can you lose?

Social Media Can Impact Self Esteem

Can Old Be Beautiful is more than a book of seeing the beauty in old things. It prompts thoughts and questions about how advertising and social media can impact perception of ourselves that question our self worth . Self esteem issues can begin at a young age and child/teen suicides are not uncommon. We hear messages that you need to be skinny, or buff, or tall, or youthful or whatever to be beautiful and fit in. This book encourages discussion of what is beautiful and helps a child look at the beauty in the world in it's natural state whether new or old, worn or torn, colorful or dull. It's a sweet book to have your child read with grandparents or elderly friends bringing different generations together in discussion. It also make a wonderful Valentine's gift. Book Available at

BaBa-Balu Belongs, Too

Children's Books

Have you ever felt left out, or that you just did not belong or fit in. Do you know a child that has felt this way? Human beings need the feeling of self-worth to grow and develop into a healthy contributing part of society. Often our relationships and connections to others can enhance or destroy that feeling. BaBa-Balu Belongs, Too, is a story of a monarch caterpillar who doesn’t fit in. He feels uncomfortable in his own skin which he grows out of 5 times. The other bugs don’t play with him or include him. This causes him to be sad, mad, and even bad. One day he is so sad he creeps away from his home on the milkweed. He hangs upside down and grows out of his skin again! But this time he falls into a deep sleep. In his sleep he dreams about how the other bugs include him, eat with him, play with him, and invite him to a party! He feels like he belongs. This feeling overwhelms him with happiness. He wakes up feeling included and loved which causes him to spread his wings and become who he is really meant to be, a beautiful, happy butterfly.

Book Bubbles from BaBa-Balu Belongs, Too

2021 Purple Dragonfly Book Award Winner

BaBa-Balu Belongs, Too won honorable mentions in three categories, LGBT, School Issues, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). This book is a story about a monarch caterpillar who feels he does not belong. The other bug don’t include him in games at the playground, at lunch or parties. In his depression, BaBa-Balu rolls into a deep sleep and has an amazing dream where he he is included in everything. This feeling of belonging gives him the excitement and freedom to open up and become who he is really meant to be, a beautiful butterfly. This story also follows the metamorphosis cycle.

Becoming Who You Are Meant to Be

This book is a wonderful story for Pride Month, June. It's a story of a caterpillar who doesn't feel right in his own skin. He isn't included by the other bugs. He becomes depressed and rolls into a cocoon where he is warm and safe. In his cocoon he dreams he in included. He feels he belongs. This feeling overcomes him. He feels excited inside and opens up his wings. His wings? He has wings? His feeling of belonging and inclusion allows him to spread his wings, flit them back and forth, and rise into the sky and become a beautiful butterfly. It also follows the scientific metamorphosis cycle.

Learn About Butterflies & Belonging

March 14 is National U.S. Learn About Butterflies Day so let’s talk butterflies and transformation. BaBa-Balu Belongs, Too, is a story of a monarch caterpillar who doesn't fit in. He feels uncomfortable in his own skin which he grows out of five times. The other bugs don't play with him. This causes him to be sad, mad, and even bad. This book follows the process of metamorphosis including the scientific terms while telling a story of inclusion, acceptance, and becoming. The feeling of not being included is powerful. It can suppress the desire to move forward and live a full life. In this story, BaBa-Balu has a dream while he is snug tight safely in his little green burrito, or chrysalis. In his dream he experiences the wonderful feeling of inclusion where the other bugs play with him, eat lunch with him and he is invited to a party! This feeling of belonging makes him feel happy, complete, and causes him to stretch out his wings (wait! what? he has wings?) and to become the wonderful self he is meant to be. He has transformed from a cute little caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly! This book includes discussion questions at the end and the scientific terms related to metamorphosis and their definition. This is a wonderfully illustrated book that includes dual learning.

A Child's Act of Kindness - Inclusion

One of the best ways to grow a kind child, is to show acts of kindness. What a wonderful day to show acts of  kindness than on Random Acts of Kindness Day, February 17. There are many acts of kindness that you and your child can do. In this story, BaBa-Balu the caterpillar was not included by the other bugs. As a result, he felt very sad, mad, and sometimes acted bad! Talk to your child about how they can reach out to someone who might be feeling like BaBa-Balu at school, on the playground, at lunch, or even at soccer practice. Maybe they the one feeling excluded? You might be surprised. Does your child have lots of friends and welcoming attitude to meet new friends that might even seem different or strange at first? A child feeling like they never fit in can lead to a serious mental state. It's important that every child know they are loved and that they belong.

A Change Is Going to Happen

This little guy was not happy in his colorful skin that he grew out of 5 times! He felt he didn't belong. Have you ever felt you didn't belong or afraid to be who you really are or state what you believe? Let this book inspire you to be who you really are meant to be.

I'm Not a Weed

Children's Books

The story is about a sunflower, Suzy, that blows into a perennial garden. Mr. Gardener considers anything that he has not planted, a weed. Therefore, he considers Suzy, a weed. Mr. Gardener does not know that Mrs. Gardener loves Suzy and how much joy she brings to her each day. This story is about “welcoming” something or someone new or different. When something new is added or happens, it can add more love and joy. Too often it is felt that when something is added, especially when unplanned, it will take away from what we have. It is a story about inclusion and acceptance.

Book Bubbles from I'm Not a Weed

Welcome Some Weeds into Your Garden of Life

"The only difference between a flower and a weed is a judgement," according to Dr. Wayne Dyer Just like a gardener needs to manage weeds in the garden, we also need to manage weeds or unplanned events in our life. There may be times when we need to open our arms and welcome something or someone new into our life. We need to listen to where we are being led and be accepting to new possibilities. At the same time, depending on the situation, we need to keep our eyes open and ensure that whatever this unplanned event happens to be, that it is something that will allow us to positively thrive and grow. Why would Mr. Gardener consider Suzy sunflower a weed when a sunflower is not a weed? She wasn’t part of his planned perennial garden so by that definition, a weed. And let’s face it, sunflowers are hardy and do spread quickly. They sometimes can be difficult to manage. For these reasons also, they often get labeled, a weed. Weed Appreciation Day is March 28. Go out and hug a weed. Appreciate those unplanned events in your life that keep your life interesting, challenging, and often, rewarding! See the flower in the weed. You make that judgement call.

But I Wasn't Planned

Suzy Sunflower started from a seed that blew into Mr. Gardener's perennial garden. He did not plan for her in his design. She didn't have a drip line but instead grew and thrived just from rainwater. But Mr. Gardener considered her a weed. How often in life do things happen that are not planned? What do we do when that happens? How do we respond? Are we able to accept and love what blows our way? Are we able to open our arms and welcome them into our garden?

Love is Infinite

A while back a close friend of mine was pregnant with her second child. She was genuinely concerned about the love for this second child. I didn't understand. She said she loved her first child so much how could she possibly have enough love to give to her second child? Well, she had her second child, and she did love him just as much. She loved the second child just as deeply as the first. Love isn't finite. Just because someone or something else enters our life, our garden of life like Suzy Sunflower blew into as described in this story, doesn't mean that we have to take away love from someone else. LOVE IS INFINITE. Welcome into your garden with wide open arms someone or something else. Your love will grow, and GROW, AND GROW. Then there will be more love in YOUR garden than you ever had before! Share the love. (this award winning book is available through Amazon at

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