Review Policy

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Book Review: Two New Howard B Wigglebottom Books

Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns It's OK to Back Away
Author: Howard Binkow
illustrated by Susan F. Cornelison
Interest Level: Ages 4-8

From the Book Jacket: This fun and entertaining illustrated picture book shows children how to handle anger issues and back away from conflicts. The story teaches important skills through humor and real life situations with which young children can immediately identify. There are several suggestions for lessons and reflections at the end of the book. This is the fifth in the award winning, teacher endorsed Howard B. Wigglebottom series.  

Why It's On My Bookshelf: As the school year progresses and new friendships are formed between students something else starts to form....conflicts. And they don't always end nicely. Anger can really mess the whole thing up. So this is the time of year I start teaching A LOT of lessons on how to deal with your anger without hurting other kids. Howard B Wigglebottom Learns It's OK to Back Away is new to my shelf and fits in beautifully with my lessons on learning to get calm and walk away from situations. It's also a good way to demonstrate self-talk. Howard uses the phrase, "Stop, it's OK to back away." Really like that....calming statements work wonders!

Howard B. Wigglebottom and the Monkey
on His Back: A Tale About Telling the Truth 
Author: Howard Binkow
illustrated by Susan F. Cornelison
Interest Level: Ages 4-8

About This Book: Even though Howard's conscience tells him lying is wrong - he chooses to lie anyway - why not? It's so easy and he can get away with it most of the time. Soon he realizes he feels sad and uncomfortable with himself. How can he make this bad feeling go away?

Why It's On My Bookshelf: Oh happy day!! A new book about honesty and the MAJOR problem with lying!! I only have a handful of books addressing this issue. Newsflash: 99.9% of kids know lying is a big NO NO. But all of a sudden they find themselves in a chronic pattern of dishonesty. That's why I dig the metaphor of the monkey (so get your monkey props ready) on the back. Because lying can feel like a horrible burden being carried around. After many incidents of lying Howard starts to feel plain awful about himself. To the point where he can't sleep because of the stress of his bad choices. It's not until he makes a brave decision to tell the truth that the monkey (bad feelings, guilt) leaves. I really love the message at the end....lying makes a person feel completely unhappy. You may be fooling the people around you but deep down you know the truth - and have to live with that knowledge. Whoo! Good stuff.

Check out more Howard goodness at The We Do Listen Foundation

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