Review Policy

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Book Review: Saturday is Swimming Day

Author/Illustrator: Hyewon Yum

From the Book Jacket: I changed ever so slowly. I even went to the bathroom three times. When Mary called everyone to the pool, I was the last in line. Swimming lessons are on Saturdays, and every Saturday one little girl has a stomachache. 

She eventually gets in the pool, where her patient swim instructor, Mary, holds her while she practices her kicks. The next Saturday she gets in the pool on her own and even tries floating like a starfish. And - even better - no stomachache! Sometimes a little bravery and a lot of patience are all you need to face your fear. 

Why It's On My Bookshelf: Lots of kids complain of stomachaches when they are feeling fear or panic. This is a sneaky trick of anxiety. I was happy to see a picture book that talks about this symptom because it can completely shut down a child and convince them to give up. Now that I am teaching kids about their tummies and how they can be connected to nerves - I am seeing a lot more kids use coping skills to overcome those anxious moments. 

A Link to This Book: 

Monday, July 9, 2018

Book Review: Draw the Line

Author/Illustrator: Kathryn Otoshi

From the Book Jacket: When two boys draw their own lines and realize they can connect them - magic happens! But then a misstep causes their lines to get crossed. Push! Pull! Tug! Yank! Soon their line unravels into a tug-of-war. With a growing rift between them, will the boys ever find a way to come together again? This is a wordless picture book about friendship, boundaries, and healing after conflict. 

Why It's On My Bookshelf: I often feel like I go through cycles as a school counselor as the CONSTANT problem solver with kid conflict. It is not my favorite thing! My hope this year is to be more proactive in giving kids the tools and skills they need to solve their own issues that don't require adult help. I needed a book that is not too long and will give me enough time in my lesson to work on conflict resolution steps. Also, because this story is wordless it allows us to create our own plan to make amends in friendships. I love the illustration of the large crack in the ground between the boys. I think it's a great metaphor and a discussion starter on how to fix our friendship cracks. Another positive was I needed more books with boys in it. I like to see a representation of everyone on my bookshelf. Excited to add this one to my library and hoping it helps lessen my time spent doing all the problem solving. 

A Link to This Book:

Friday, June 29, 2018

Book Review: Finn's Feather

Author: Rachel Noble
Illustrator: Zoey Abbott

From the Book Jacket: One day, Finn discovers an amazing white feather right on his doorstep. It's obviously from Hamish, his brother who is now an angel. He's sure of it. Finn excitedly tells his mom, but she just takes a deep breath and gives him a big hug. He also tells his teacher, who gives him a big smile. Why aren't they excited, too? The feather is amazing! Fortunately, his friend Lucas gets it. Hamish wants Finn to have fun with the feather! What follows is a grand day of fun and friendship, inspired by the best brother ever. 

Why It's on My Bookshelf:
I once heard someone say that in America we do not do a good job of talking about grief. That it is a taboo subject. I am ever so grateful when I come across books like Finn's Feather. It teaches us that a death does not have to become something we are not allowed to talk about. The spirit of a person lives on in many ways. I like how Finn still finds his brother's essence in a feather. That he knows his brother would want him to keep being happy and live his life. This is a very special book that opens doors to conversations that might be uncomfortable. 

A Link to This Book: