Each of these books deals in some way with feelings and emotions. I read them over the last week with my granddaughter. Some she got the message right away, others not so much, but she did enjoy them all. Each of these books was an ebook provided by the publisher. The rating and the opinions shared are our own.
Published June 8th 2021 by Boys Town Press
This is a short, cute book with a couple of great messages for kids. Mr. Smith has a beautiful lawn full of gorgeous and colourful flowers. When the children in the neighbourhood decide to play on his lawn and pick his flowers, without permission, he is upset. He shouts at the children, “Get off my lawn!” Anyone with children know that they do not like to get yelled at and these kids are no different. They run home and complain. One mother asks them questions about why and together they figure out what the problem is. She offers then some solutions to make amends as the children are too afraid to come up with ideas about apologizing. All works out well in this story. I really like the messages in this one. First teaching children that it is not okay to do things without asking permission, whether it is something you need to ask your parents, teacher etc. or ask someone else whose things you might want to use, or in this case a place you want to play. The second message is that of apologizing or making amends. This is not easy to do. It is important that children understand saying “I’m Sorry” are just words unless actions show the same. In this case the children make pictures and offer heartfelt apologies to Mr. Smith and he accepts them and offers to work with them to find a place they can play that won’t harm his lawn and gardens. My granddaughter and I had a good discussion about this book and what the children did and how they made things better. The illustrations were wonderful as well. They showed emotion and action that added to the story. This was a great reading experience. This would be a wonderful book for primary and kindergarten classrooms as well as family libraries.
Expected publication: August 1st 2021 by Capstone
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Sasha is a little girl who does everything fast. Not only that, but she has so many things on the go at one time, that she doesn’t always finish things that she starts. Now this is often the case with children, but Sasha takes it to extreme. I’m sure we all know someone like Sasha, but how do we get them to slow down and smell the roses. In this story, Sasha meets a sloth, one that just happens to live in the tree where she has her treehouse. She wants to be best friends and before he realizes what is happening, she has dragged him off to her house and tried to engage him in all her many activities. Well, he does not do anything fast enough for Sasha and he finally has enough. He yells at Sasha to stop and after several times, she finally realizes that she is missing a lot. She agrees that sometimes going fast is okay, but it is also important to slow down and enjoy things. I really liked that it took a few tries to get her to realize what she was missing. The ending of this book where they are reading together and Sasha realizes that she gets to look at the pictures touched me, being a book lover. At the end of the book there are points about mindfulness that are short and concise. We went over them together when I read this book to my granddaughter. She doesn’t really understand the concept of Mindfulness, but the points about focusing, relaxing, breathe, and use your senses were great. Another well illustrated book with bright and vibrant pictures showing a lot of emotion and action to add greatly to the story. I recommend this story to families and classrooms. This would be a great addition to a group of children who are working on slowing down and becoming mindful.
Expected publication: September 14th 2021 by Orca Book Publishers
5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Having my granddaughter here each day for virtual school, this book was a great addition to our repertoire. She is only five and gets frustrated, angry, anxious and so on as all kids that age do. It is not always easy to deal with these emotions and using yoga seems to be one trick that helps her. Her teachers use yoga at school, so she was very open to trying the poses in this book to help her. It is a very simple book to read and discuss. Each two page spread has a rhyming paragraph about a feeling and one thing to do to help deal with it. Eg: Sometimes I feel worried, so I become a bee. I hum and hum and buzz until the worries out of me. The facing page is a mixture of an illustrated background and a photograph of children doing the action or pose. The feelings included are: worry, anxious, jumpy, scattered, frightened, angry, silly, and tired. The yoga poses are easy and all ones that she was able to perform while reading and use when I reminded her. At the back of the book, they show the poses and give a brief description of why and how they help with those feelings. I really loved this book and will be getting a hardcopy to have at the house and use with them frequently. I definitely recommend this one to schools, classrooms and families.
Expected publication: August 3rd 2021 by DK Publishing
This is a cute story about being yourself to be happy using pumpkins. All the pumpkins are in the pumpkin patch waiting to be selected for Hallowe’en. Now they keep saying they are pumpkins but my granddaughter pointed out that they already had faces and people do that. It wasn’t a big deal, we just changed our perspective a bit. All the pumpkins have scary faces (not too scary) and are sure they will be chosen first. One little pumpkin is not scary, her is a happy pumpkin, but is still confident that someone will choose him. All the other pumpkins are gone and there are only two left. A family with two children come to the pumpkin patch to pick their pumpkins. The little boy is scared and hides behind his mother, but his older sister runs off and chooses the last scary pumpkin left. When he sees the happy pumpkin, he is not scared and takes him home. Both the little boy and the pumpkin shine bright with happiness. The moral of the story is stated on the last page, We always shine our brightest when we are just who we are. A cute story but she didn’t really get grasp the message. The illustrations are wonderful. The faces of the pumpkins are not really scary, but they were fun to look at. We talked about the happy pumpkin and that it is okay to be scary, happy, silly etc. We also talked about some people like dancing, some like swimming, or playing sports and it all okay. Not sure if she understood the connection I was trying to make, but it did give me a jumping off point. For her this was just a story about pumpkins and that they all got picked.