Book Review: Clothesline Clues to the First Day of School

Author: Kathryn Heling
Illustrator: Deborah Hembrook

From the Book Jacket: New clothes, new shoes, ready for school! Spot A+ clues on the clothesline to identify all the people who make starting school so much fun! Catchy rhymes are paired with visual cues hanging from the clotheslines to introduce young readers to the people they'll encounter on the first day of school. From teacher to custodian, from crossing guard to new friends, who wears what?

Why It's On My Bookshelf: It is a big deal to start kindergarten! But to normalize it and help with any fears, I recommend telling kiddos about the different adults at school that can help them. This is a great little concrete book on just that! We don't want to overwhelm kids but it can be helpful to prepare them for all of the friendly adults they will encounter at school who are ready to help them. 

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Book Review: The Don't Worry Book

Author/Illustrator: Todd Parr

From the Book Jacket: A new book that reassures kids everywhere that even when things are scary or confusing, there's always something comforting around the corner. Todd Parr brings his trademark bright colors and bold lines to his new book about things that might make kids worry - from loud news, to loud neighbors, or a big day at school. With his signature humor and instantly recognizable style. Todd speaks out to kids who are feeling the weight of their world, offering solutions and comfort, as well as giggles. 

Why It's On My Bookshelf: Every year I have more and more parents reporting their kids are suffering from anxiety and worry. I'm happy to add this resource to my shelf - it's concrete with humor and offers up ways to cope and get rid of the worry. Kids need to know there are things they can do to feel better. They don't need to be stuck or debilitated by anxious feelings. 

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Book Review: But It's Not My Fault

Author: Julia Cook
Illustrator: Anita DuFalla

From the Book Jacket: My name is Norman David Edwards..but everybody calls me "Noodle." Sometimes things happen to me that get me into trouble. "But it's not my fault!" 

Poor Noodle. Things just don't seem to be going his way. But it's not his fault! The first book in the Responsible Me series follows Noodle through a very rough day at school. It just isn't his fault that his brother's game ran late and he didn't finish his homework. Or that his mom forgot to remind him to turn in his library book. Or that Mary Gold got in his airspace and hit his arm with her head. Luckily, Noodle's mom is there to teach him about the importance of accepting responsibility. Noodle learns: "You are responsible for the things that you do. For your choices at home and your choices at school!"

Why It's On My Bookshelf: I've been looking for more books to support our school expectations. One of those expectations is "Be Responsible." But It's Not My Fault is going to be a great read aloud in those first few weeks of school. It gives a lot of examples of blaming others when we don't make good decisions and how it impacts not just us but the whole community. I highly recommend this awesome book and if you want to introduce better discussion around accepting responsibility and build this skill in kids. 

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