Skills Children Learn

Buster, the Delicate Doodle by Jennifer Beland

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Back of Book:
Buster is a delicate Goldendoodle pup! After Buster’s mom gets fed up with his rigid tendencies, he begins to take walks with a supportive and encouraging dog walker named Kim, who encourages him to dig deeper into his quirkiness and pull out all his strengths and talents. Can Buster find what he has to offer the world?
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Mascot Books Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
I loved this well written and deeply moving picture book that opens up the topic of learning differences and disabilities in a new light. The story follows Buster the Goldendoodle. Buster knows that he is special, but he also knows that he is different. He worried all the time and sometimes loud noises scared him. It isn’t until Buster meets with a special dog walker named Kim that his anxiety turns around. I love that this story discusses a variety of learning disabilities without adding labels. Jennifer wrote this story in a way that all readers can relate too. The illustrations are bright and colorful. Ana has skillfully brought Buster to life. The back of the book has a note from Jennifer as well as color photos of the real Buster. This is a perfect story for social and emotional learning or opening up any conversations with children about learning disabilities.
Ages 5 and up
38 Pages

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Skills Children Learn

Marigold Finds the Magic Words by Mike Malbrough

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Back of Book:

Marigold is throwing himself the most amazing birthday party ever! He’s baked himself an enormous birthday cake and planned everything well in advance. Everyone is ready for something extraordinary. Something…magical! But when Marigold tries to make a bouquet of flowers disappear, a pesky finch appears in its place. That’s not right at all! At every turn, Marigold’s magic trick gets derailed until the distractions are too much to bear, and Marigold launches into a full-on feline frenzy, making everything–and everyone– disappear. What magic words can save the day?
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Philomel Books Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Marigold is back with more fun antics that are sure to create a fit of giggles with readers. In this book, Marigold is attempting to create fun magic tricks to awe his friends. Instead of creating tricks, Marigold messes everything up until he makes everyone disappear. It is only when he realizes that he has to use polite words will everything be okay.
This story is filled with several important messages that children can learn from. Including not taking yourself too seriously. The book also teaches readers the importance of not losing your temper. The final message that I saw in this story is the importance of showing children how important manners are. Marigold realizes that if he uses the word please, everything returns. I can see this book in a unit to teach social and emotional learning. Mike has created another fantastic story that will keep readers engaged and smiling. My students loved the illustrations and I loved that my students learned so much while enjoying reading. I highly recommend this story!
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

Growth Mindset, Skills Children Learn

Remarkably You by Pat Zietlow Miller

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Back of Book:
Heartfelt and timeless, Remarkably You is an inspirational manifesto about all of the things—little or small, loud or quiet—that make us who we are.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from author Pat Zietlow Miller in exchange for an honest review.
As a teacher, I am always on the lookout for books that I can use in my classroom to promote self-awareness. It is so important for me to let my students know how unique and special they are. This story is a stunning addition to my collection. The rhyming scheme and strong descriptive words come together to create a moving story that celebrates the importance of individuality. The pictures by illustrator Patricia Barton are filled with detail and color. They showcase a variety of diversity and activities. The message within these pages is one that all students should hear. It shows readers that they all remarkable!
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages Back of Book:

Skills Children Learn

The Good Egg by Jory John

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Back of Book:
Meet the good egg. He’s a verrrrrry good egg indeed.
But trying to be so good is hard when everyone else is plain ol’ rotten.
As the other eggs in the dozen behave badly, the good egg starts to crack from all the pressure of feeling like he has to be perfect.
So, he decides enough is enough! It’s time for him to make a change…
My Review:
In the four years, I have been teaching I have seen several children who at the young age of five are already perfectionists. The constant testing and standards that students must achieve can make them feel like they will crack under pressure. The Good Egg is a fantastic story to teach children that it is okay if they are not always perfect. Today’s society has become focused on how to do everything and never stop going. This story allows readers to realize how to take a step back and enjoy their lives. The illustrations by Pete Oswald are colorful and full of detail. They bring egg to life in a fun and engaging way. This story can be used in the classroom in a multitude of ways. It is a perfect addition to any social and emotional learning unit.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

Parents, Read Your World, Skills Children Learn

Honeysmoke: A Story of Finding Your Color by Monique Fields

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Back of Book:
A young biracial girl looks around her world for her color. She finally chooses her own, and creates a new word for herself―honeysmoke.
My Review:
Once in a while, I come across a book that stops me in my tracks and amazes me at the depth of today’s kidlit. HoneySmoke is one of those books. The story follows a young girl named Simone as she tries to find her place in the world. She asks her parents is she is black or white? Her parents tell her that she is a bit of both. Simone wants a color of her very own and sets off to find it. She asks her friends and compares the colors around her. Finally, she realizes that her special color is a mixture of her two parents.
I loved the positive message that all humans have different skin tones and that is what makes them unique. It encourages biracial children to explore their colors and label it with a special name. There is even a place in the back of the book for children to write in their special name. Readers of all ages will fall in love with Simone and her creative look at how she is. The illustrations by Yesenia Moises are soft and warm. They create a type of magic within the pages. A must have for all elementary and school libraries.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Growth Mindset, Skills Children Learn

When You Are Brave By Pat Zietlow Miller

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Back of Book:
Saying goodbye to neighbors. Worrying about new friends. Passing through a big city. Seeing a dark road ahead. In these moments, a young girl feels small and quiet and alone. But when she breathes deeply and looks inside herself, a hidden spark of courage appears, one she can nurture and grow until she glows inside and out.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from author Pat Ziethlow Miller. “When You are Brave” is a stunning lyrical book that focuses on the many changes that occur in a child’s life and the ways that children can face days that they would rather not have. This story teaches children the ways that they can mindfully push through their fears and find their courage. The end of the story is inspiring and uplifting. The illustrations by Eliza Wheeler are incredible! They begin with darker colors and slowly blend into brighter colors. Readers can visually see the transformation that the young girl has as her courage increases. This is a perfect picture book to incorporate into any mindfulness, growth mindset, or social and emotional learning unit. A must have in the classroom.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

Skills Children Learn

Wordy Birdy Meets Mr. Cougarpants by Tammi Sauer

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Back of Book:
Wordy Birdy and her pals are heading on a camping trip, and our favorite chatty bird is all ready for a big night under the stars. (“I brought pickles and bean burritos and more pickles and mashed potatoes and some pickles and . . .”) But the friends soon find themselves in hot water when the dastardly Mr. Cougarpants stalks their campsite. Can Wordy Birdy talk them all out of this pickle? Grab your pack, grill up a s’more, and find out!
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from author Tammi Sauer in exchange for an honest review.
Wordy Birdy is at it again in another laugh out loud story about an overly talkative bird who has a nack of getting into mischief. In this book, Wordy Birdy and her friends go on a camping trip. The dilemma is, Wordy will not stop talking and it drives her friends crazy! Suddenly Wordy’s nonstop talking gets them out of a sticky situation. I love that the text.is written with speech bubbles. It gives readers a unique perspective to who is speaking in the story. The illustrations have the same familiar characters as the first Wordy Birdy story. Readers who love the first book will equally love the second story as well.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Friendship, Skills Children Learn

How Do You Do? by Larissa Theule

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Back of Book:
Water Buffalo and Crane’s field is dry, empty, and hot–so hot that they can barely think of anything else. Every day is the same . . .
Until one day, they hear something new.
“How do you do?”
When Goat dances into their lives, Water Buffalo and Crane can’t help but join in. Suddenly their field doesn’t seem dry, empty, and hot at all. Even after Goat dances away, their world is no longer so small.
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from Bloomsbury publishing in exchange for an honest review.
The story follows Water Buffalo and a Crane as they as they go through life bored and hot. Until one day everything changes. When Goat enters their lives, their perspective changes. Goat brings fun and spontaneity to their days. Suddenly Water Buffalo and Crane are no longer hot or bored because they are to busy having fun. The story has a beautiful message of how life can change if you are willing to broaden your horizons and say hi to someone new. The illustrations are bright and show all the animals in an animated light. I think this is a great book to share in classrooms for social and emotional learning. It teaches readers that they should not be afraid to meet new people.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

Friendship, Skills Children Learn

Polar Bear Island By Lindsay Bonilla

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Back of Book:
“Welcome to Polar Bear Island. NO OTHERS ALLOWED!” Parker is the mayor of this peaceful, predictable island, and he wants to keep it just the way it is. But Kirby, a penguin, thinks the place is paradise, and she wants to stay. Parker says no, but the other polar bears love Kirby —and soon they’re begging Parker to let Kirby (and her family) move in. Will Parker agree . . . and make the island fun for EVERYONE?
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from publisher Sterling Children’s Books in exchange for an honest review.
This is a terrific story for children with an important message that everyone brings something new and different to our world. Parker loves the predictability of his world. When Kirby comes to town, it throws his entire perspective off. I love the way that this story discusses inclusion and diversity in a way that children will understand and appreciate. A perfect way to open up discussions in classrooms on accepting students from other countries and cultures. The end of the story shows all the animals enjoying time together. The illustrations are colorful and fun. I love this story and look forward to sharing it in my classroom.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Friendship, Skills Children Learn

Goat’s Coat By Tom Percival

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Back of Book:
Alfonzo couldn’t be happier. He just got an amazing new coat, and he feels like a million dollars. But when he discovers some creatures in need of help, will Alfonzo be able to give up his treasured possession to save the day?
This great big hug of a book shows that kindness is definitely the best recipe.
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from Bloomsbury Children’s books in exchange for an honest review. This is a touching story about Alfonzo the goat and his kindness to his friends. As Alfonzo wants through the woods he encounters many of his friends with troubles in the woods. He gives each of his friends a piece of the coat to help them. At the end of the story, his friends come together and repay his kindness. The book is told with a fun and upbeat rhyming scheme that will keep readers engaged throughout the book. The themes of kindness and friendship are perfectly tied into the story. The illustrations are bright and full of color. This is a fantastic book to share in the classroom about the importance of always being kind to others.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages