Review Policy

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Book Review: All Are Welcome

Author: Alexandra Penfold
Illustrator: Suzanne Kaufman

From the Book Jacket: Follow a group of children through a say in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms no matter their race, religion, or background. All Are Welcome celebrates kindness, inclusivity, and diversity in a joyous read-aloud that is a must for every child's bookshelf. 

Why It's On My Bookshelf: I would love to read this in our first school assembly. It has the best community builder message I have ever read in any book. It will also work for ALL grades. Often times our beginning of the year assemblies revolve around teaching the kids school expectations and rules. How about we first let them know they have a place in our school? No matter their background, color of skin, culture, etc. their school is welcoming to them. Cannot wait to share this with my staff and students! 

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

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: