Book Review: My Whirling Twirling Motor

Author: Merriam Sarcia Saunders
Illustrator: Tammie Lyon

From the Book Jacket: Charlie feels like he has a whirling, twirling motor running inside him...all the time! He doesn't WANT to have so much energy but sometimes he just can't settle down. When his mom wants to talk to him, he figures he's in trouble...but she has a surprise for him instead. 

Includes a Note to Parents, Caregivers, and, Teachers with more information on hyperactivity, AD/HD, behavior management, and helping children focus on the positives. 

Why It's On My Bookshelf: I thought this book was going to be about giving kids strategies to self-regulate. But it really helped highlight a very important tool we need to be using more with kids who are hyperactive. The story focuses the positive things kids do. When it's time to go to bed, Charlie's mom shares with him all of the wonderful things she observed him doing throughout the day. This really helps him feel good about himself because he's very aware he has trouble controlling his motor. A great strategy to increase positive behaviors is through positive reinforcement. I can only imagine how low a child's self-esteem goes if they are only being told to fix the negative -- they need to hear the good too. 

A Link to This Book: 

Book Review: A Normal Pig

Author/Illustrator: K-fai Steele

From the Book Jacket: Pip is a normal pig who does normal stuff: cooking, painting, and dreaming of what she'll be when she grows up. 

But one day a new pig comes to school and starts pointing out all the ways in which Pip is different. Suddenly she doesn't like any of the same things she used to...the things that made her Pip. 

This charming picture book celebrates all our differences while questioning the idea that there is only one way to be "normal."

Why It's On My Bookshelf: This is such a splendid book and I cannot wait to share it with our students. It actually reminded me a little bit of The Sandwich Shop because the hurtfulness starts with taking a dig at the food someone is eating because of cultural differences. 

Pip really internalizes the putdown and begins to believe different is weird and bad. So Pip tries to conform and be like everyone else. Luckily a trip into the city opens her eyes to see the world is very different and that's a GOOD thing. She returns to school with a new confidence and some language to stick up for herself. This one is a hit for sure!

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

Book Review: Lubna and Pebble

Author: Wendy Meddour
Illustrator: Daniel Egneus

From the Book Jacket: Lubna's best friend is a pebble. Pebble always listens to her stories. Pebble always smiles when she feels scared. But when a lost little boy arrives in the World of Tents, Lubna realizes that he needs Pebble even more than she does. This unforgettable and stunningly illustrated story explores the wrenching dislocation of refugee families, and one girl's powerful act of friendship in the midst of uncertainty. 

Why It's On My Bookshelf: I'm always looking for great stories to read with kids on kindness. But I also want to choose more books that share what's happening in the world around us. Although no country is named in this book it is clear a child is in a very hard situation and without a home. She looks beyond her own emotional needs to do an act of kindness for a boy who arrives in their camp. He is going through the same feelings she felt when she first arrived. She recognizes this immediately and sets out to comfort him with her only source of friendship - a pebble. Kindness is about looking beyond yourself. Great message in this one. 

A Link to This Book: