Review Policy

Monday, November 8, 2010

Book Review: It's Hard To Be A Verb!

Author: Julia Cook
illustrated by Carrie Hartman
Interest Level: Ages 4-8

From the Book Jacket: Being a verb is hard...especially for Louis, who can't seem to control himself when he gets the urge to move at the wrong time and situation. Louis' mom comes to the rescue by teaching him techniques to help keep his inner itching, twitching and jumping to be a verb in check. A positive resource for anyone dealing with ADHD or challenged by someone who has ADHD.

Why It's On My Bookshelf: I recently attended a parent/teacher conference for a little boy who is really struggling keeping his body focused. We definitely don't expect students to sit perfectly still during the school day. But this poor kiddo's body needs so much movement that it's getting in the way of his learning. This is when we step in and help those kids figure out how to redirect body energy so they can learn like everybody else. I immediately thought of the book It's Hard To Be A Verb. It is such a helpful and empowering resource.

Lots of things I like about this book. The use of the word verb is a perfect way to describe what's going on with Louis. It's sort of a nice and neutral way to explain ADHD symptoms without having to put a label on someone. The first part of the story explains how hard it is for Louis to be in control and someone is constantly on his case because of it. Kids who have these same challenges can absolutely relate to his struggle. But one day mom offers up some solutions. She shows him how to wiggle his wiggles, use a focus squishy, and makes a daily check list. Um, LOVE IT! This makes it easier to introduce my interventions. Also, dad makes a few comments about their strategies being strange. I like that author Julia Cook put this in the book. This is smart. Because it gives me a chance to rebuff that kind of thinking.

I'm so thankful to have a story like It's Hard To Be A Verb to sort of break the ice on what can be a tough topic to talk with kids about. I don't want them to feel put-down by their wiggles. Being a verb is tough! But there are ways to redirect those wiggles. Favorite part is the last page when mom shows her acceptance and appreciation of who Louis is....a wonderful verb.  

By the way: This isn't a book I read to a whole class. I use it in small group or individual. Also, I don't have the activity book yet but definitely plan on buying it. Check out the amazing author Julia Cook's website for even more amazing titles.  

A Link to This Book:


  1. I will have to look for this book. Charlie was recently diagnosed with ADHD and Verb is an excellent way to describe it.

  2. I really dig it. I just want kids to feel respected and accepted...and want to give them outlets for the movement. It also can be so difficult to feel like you are always in trouble for something you can't control 100% all the time.