Review Policy

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:

Friday, February 15, 2019

Book Review: What Should Danny Do? (The Power to Choose Series)

Author: Ganit and Adir Levy
Illustrator: Mat Sadler

From the Book Jacket: Danny is a real-life superhero in training, learning about his most important super power of all "THE POWER TO CHOOSE." In this book, YOU decide how the story will end by making choices for Danny. You'll have a blast trying to reach all nine endings!

Why It's On My Bookshelf: What Should Danny Do has been so popular this past year it has gone out of stock on Amazon a few times. I finally have a copy of my own! I have wanted to explore decision making with my students and this is just the book to help us. A line that is emphasized in the book is "THE POWER TO CHOOSE.' I love this so much. Although kids are going to make mistakes in their thought processes I like reinforcing the idea of helping children remember to take the time to think about the outcome of their choices. This is also a great story for teaching kids about responsibility. I think that goes hand in hand with decision making.

There are nine different stories in the book. When you reach an ending, you can start over and make different choices to see how his day changes. This is not a book you just read through. Children will learn best from it by reading multiple versions of the story picking both positive and negative choices for Danny. 

Get this one!

A Link to This Series: