Review Policy

Friday, March 22, 2019

Book Review: Angry Cookie

Author: Laura Dockrill
Illustrator: Maria Karipidou

From the Book Jacket: What happens when a little cookie gets up on the wrong side of bed? Prepare to fall absolutely in love with this irresistible cookie, crumbly chocolate chips and all. OH NO! Barbra the cactus won’t stop playing her recorder, the yummy strawberry toothpaste has run out, and now – to top it all off – Cookie has to have his hair cut! Which all makes for one VERY ANGRY little cookie... But perhaps you, the reader, can find a way to turn his grumpy frown upside down?

Why It's On My Bookshelf: I love this book so much! Angry Cookie explains the many reasons that he's angry. But in the end he reveals he's actually upset because he feels like nobody listens to him. He also feels no one sticks around. But as he speaks to the reader he starts to feel better. It's a great story to teacher how important it is for kids to be listened to and it's OKAY to need people. And also a reminder to kids that sometimes when their friends are upset they simply need to listen. This will be a staple in my social emotional curriculum for managing emotions. 

A Link to This Book and Others You Might Find Helpful:

Monday, March 18, 2019

Book Review: Let's Have a Dog Party!

Author/Illustrator: Mikela Prevost

From the Book Jacket: To celebrate Frank's birthday, Kate throws him a party with all her favorite things: lots of friends, dancing in circles, loud singing, and sparkly confetti everywhere. But best friends don't always have the same taste in parties. Frank prefers quiet, sun-drenched naps on his favorite rug. So he hides. Kate must find a way to bring Frank back to the party - on his own terms. A story that encourages empathy and the art of listening. 

Why It's On My Bookshelf: This has been such a help with the students at my school who are learning about self-regulation and how their behavior impacts others. If you like to teach the zones of regulation this is an awesome book to add to your lessons. Let's Have a Dog Party is a teaches kids the importance of recognizing and understanding others emotions. Frank is completely overwhelmed by the energy and excitement of the children. One of the things the kids in the story are not immediately picking up on are the social cues that Frank is giving through his body language. Finally, a girl named Kate realizes she needs to take a gentle quieter approach to Frank to help him feel comfortable and safe. This was a really good teaching moment for a small group I am working with. 

There are many different ways you can use this book with your students....self-regulation, personal space, zones of regulation, voice levels, empathy, and being a social thinker. I highly recommend this one. It's a great read with awesome illustrations to help teach these important social skills. 

A Link to This Book:

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Book Review: The Happy Book - Understanding and Regulating Feelings

Author/Illustrator: Andy Rash

From the Book Jacket: When you live in The Happy Book, the world is full of daisies and sunshine and friendship cakes...until your best friend eats the whole cake and doesn't save you one bite. Moving from happiness to sadness and everything in between, Camper and Clam have a hard time finding their way back to happy. But maybe happy isn't the goal - being a good friend is about supporting each other and feeling all the feels together. 

At once funny and thoughtful, The Happy Book supports social emotional learning. It's a book to keep young readers company no matter how they're feeling!

Why It's On My Bookshelf: As a school counselor I have used a lot of different books to teach students how to regulate their feelings. The Happy Book is a great addition to my social emotional teaching curriculum. I specifically used this book to help kids learn more about the Zones of Regulation and how we can have many feelings throughout the day. Everything is going great between Camper and Clam until one of them gets their feelings hurt. From there they experience all sorts of different emotions. This was helpful to my students as they could connect to the conflict between the two characters - which was a misunderstanding. But more importantly how you can bounce right out of being happy into sadness or anger. At one point Camper feels scared that Clam no longer wants to be his friend. This is a social situation many kids can relate to. This book was a great fit for teaching the zones and also such a validating read for children to know it's okay to open up about your emotions -- eventually closure will come. 

A Link to This Book: