Archive for August, 2022

COOL, CALM, AND COLLECTED

The Choices I Make: Children’s Book about Making Choices, Anger, Emotions Management

Written by Michael Gordon

Illustrated by Max Larin

A nice, rhyming picture book to open up a discussion on how to deal with anger for preschoolers and elementary school children.

When Josh discovers that his sister took his favorite toy, he lashes out at her. Josh’s dad hears the shouting and offers some advice to his son. Why not stop and think for a minute and then count backward?

In the coming days, Josh learns other ways to control his feelings when he feels anger rising to the surface. He does not like losing a game to his friends, being refused candy, or waiting patiently for his needs to be met.

Adorable illustrations and simple scenarios teach young children how to control their emotions.

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MOTHER AND DAUGHTER ANGST

The Lost Girl from Belzec, A WW2 Historical Novel

Written by Ravit Raufman

A complex historical holocaust novel based on a true story. It explores the complex psychological relationship between a mother and her daughter.

The Nazis thrust Ruthie and her daughter Noga into the Belzec concentration camp in Poland. Ruthie desperately wants to save Noga, so she smuggles her out of the camp. The author narrates the saga from both their points of view and alternates back and forth. While the author creates well-delineated characters in heartbreaking situations, this dual arrangement can be confusing and annoying.

For young adults and adults who enjoy carefully researched historical novels or those that explore complex psychological issues, this book is an excellent choice. The characters struggle to survive and experience pain and suffering through physical and mental torture. Readers should expect that the book will make a deep impression on them.

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LESSONS FROM THE RUBY SLIPPERS

Lilly May and the Ruby Shoes Blues

Written by Danielle Diestl

Illustrated by Fani Bela

When Lily May returns home from school in a bad mood, her mom knows just what to do.

What happened to put Lily May in such a foul mood? All her classmates made fun of her favorite ruby heels. The other children seem to favor dull brown flat shoes. Lily’s mom, her cat, and her favorite book are the magical ingredients to rescue Lily May from her funk.

She is reminded of just what a dull place the world would be if we all looked and behaved the same. By the end of the tale, Lily May is celebrating her uniqueness.

This book is written in crisp rhymes with adorable multicultural illustrations. I especially enjoyed the quick exercises that the offer includes for creating, brave, proud, respectful, empathetic, and mindful young readers. Parents and teachers will want to try them all. Highly recommended for primary grade children.

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