Review Policy

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Book Review: Emily's Blue Period

Author: Cathleen Daly
Illustrator: Lisa Brown
Interest Level: Ages 6 and Up

From the Book Jacket: Emily wants to be an artist. She likes painting and loves the way artists like Pablo Picasso mixed things up. 

Emily's life is a little mixed up right now. Her dad doesn't live at home anymore, and it feels like everything around her is changing. 

"When Picasso was very sad," says Emily, "he only painted in shades of blue. And now I am in my blue period." It might last quite some time. 

Why It's On My Bookshelf: This is a story of a girl who is struggling with her parent's divorce and living between two homes. As she is studying about Pablo Picasso, she relates to the sadness he once felt in his life. It's hard to cope with dark feelings when you don't know what to do with them. She is inspired through art to find her healing. 

Her art teacher gives the class an assignment to make a collage of their house. But since Emily has two homes she is not sure which one to make. Her mom and little brother remind her a lot of people have more than one home. "Home is where the heart is." Emily is inspired to create a collage that represents her home, not a house. She says, "It's the home of my heart."

That night Emily notices a purple blob in the middle of her collage. She is upset her brother scribbled on the collage. But he shares, "It's not a scribble. It's a purple heart. I think your collage is the home of my heart, too!" This was my favorite part of the story. Both children find healing through her artwork. 

If you are working with children going through family change and they are feeling torn or mixed up about going between two homes - I highly recommend this book. What I love as a counselor is the opportunity it gives me to create a heart collage as part of the healing process. This is bibliotherapy at it's best and great art therapy. 

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

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Book Review: If Kids Ran the World

Authors: Leo and Diane Dillon 
Interest Level: Ages 5 and Up 

From the Book Jacket: All roads lead to kindness in this warm, uplifting celebration of generosity and love. In simple words and fanciful illustrations, Caldecott Medalists Leo and Diane Dillon present a rainbow of children who lend a helping hand to make our global village a happier place. And who better to show the joy of giving than kids? With their boundless imagination and enthusiasm, children know that anything is possible - including building a peaceful world where food, shelter, medicine, and education can be had by all. If you ran the world, what would you do?

Why It's On My Bookshelf: This is a great community builder. I read it once and had all kinds of ideas of how I would do a lesson with it. You could bring the message of this book to the school and classroom and really narrow the focus to character traits you want to build. If Kids Ran the World is such an inspiring read aloud and will be impactful to your community of learners. I have such a desire to see kids grow during the school year - this is your kick start to that growth!

A Link to This Book: 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Book Review: It's Okay to Make Mistakes

Author/Illustrator: Todd Parr
Interest Level: Ages 3 and Up

From the Book Jacket: It's okay to fall down. You can always get back up. It's okay to color outside the lines. It's good to follow your own path. 

In a colorful, kid-friendly way, Todd Parr shows reader that mistakes are okay - that's how you learn. 

Why It's On My Bookshelf: I've become so passionate about this message. Todd Parr does a great job of keeping it simple and understandable for the littles. I see this as a great read for the preschool -first grade kids. But really - you can use picture books for any age. I read this to our two year old daughter and I heard her later in the day playing and singing, "Making mistakes is okay...." She made up a whole song about it. So this will be in my library at school and home. We are moving this generation away from perfectionism and towards living a life free of anxiety and full of courage. Yes to that!

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