Posts tagged ‘self confidence’

ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE

Being the New Girl in School

Written by Kathleen Voclain

This book is a wonderful resource for any young lady who, for any reason, is facing a move to a new school. No matter what age, she faces worries about how she will fit into the school’s culture, will she be liked, who will be her friend, and the feeling of loss in leaving old relationships behind. The author explains the importance of developing a positive self-image and strong social skills. In the first chapter, readers are encouraged to build confidence by preparing ahead of time. Students should explore the new school’s mission statement and handbook, study the curriculum and practice portraying positive body image. They can get a good head start by making a good impression on teachers. Suggestions include sitting near the front, volunteering to answer questions and offering help and compliments. Newcomers need to observe students and how they interact with each other before deciding on new friends. By dressing neatly, smiling, and introducing oneself with confidence, new students encourage positive outcomes. Those students who are naturally shy or independent should take their time to find a few friends who have interests similar to their own. Finally, when things do go wrong, the new student must remain positive and proud, appreciate and respect the differences of other peers. Above all, never give in to the temptation to compare the new school to your old one or slack off on your studies. Accentuate the positive and use the opportunity to develop your personality and grow from new experiences.

The book could be used as advice for children or adults who are entering any new stage of life. It is an easy read filled with good reminders to promote courage in facing new situations and learning opportunities. Recommended for ages eight and older.

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INSIDE OUT

THE LADYBUG PRINCESS

Written by Julie Schoen

Illustrated by Marina Veselinovic

theladybugprincesspic

Charming early chapter book that relates the tale of a little girl who loves picking flowers, hearing birds sing, and the beauty of nature. Audrey adores her parents and they support her. On a rainy day, Audrey often dresses up in her mothers fancy clothes and jewelry, while pretending that she is a beautiful princess. When Audrey is old enough for school, her mother encourages her to dress as she wishes so Audrey appears at school on her first day dressed as a princess. An older student makes fun of her; Audrey races to the farthest point in the playground to hide. A swarm of ladybugs cover her from head to toe and speak to Audrey. They tell her that beauty does not exist solely in outward appearance like the clothes she wears. Audrey is a beautiful princess because she sees the good in others and expresses her goodness in the love that she shows other people. As long as Audrey loves life and expresses herself in the same way toward others, she will always remain a princess. Audrey learns how to deal with bullies, not to overvalue material things, and the importance of self-esteem.

A few creative illustrations enhance the beauty of the message in this short chapter book that is appropriate for beginning readers in the seven and up age group. Highly recommended for parents and teachers to boost self-confidence.

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FINDING YOUR WAY

Luna, The Night Butterfly +5 Bonus Stories

Written by Lily Lexington

Luna,pic

Luna is an emerald green butterfly who was different from all the other butterflies. While they invited her to play, Luna felt dull and listless in the light, but in the night she glowed and came alive. A wise old owl tells her the reason why; Luna is not a butterfly but a beautiful moth. Luna decides that it is fun being different and special.

Five other stories about familiar children’s characters like pumpkins, mice, ponies, ducklings, and the tooth fairy, each in their special way teach children the values of cooperating, taking care of their health, self-confidence, and finding one’s own particular niche in life. Young children will learn, “It’s okay to be different,” and “Be the best that you can be.”

Targeted for preschoolers, some of stories are written in rhyme, and others in prose. All together totaling a little more than one hundred pages, the book is best read in sections as a bedtime story or as a circle time classroom discussion. Parents with children who are experiencing problems like the characters in the stories might choose and discuss one to help a child cope. I read this book on my kindle HD fire and did not experience the formatting problems that some reviewers mentioned. Recommended as a nice add on to a preschoolers library.

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TONGUE-TIED?

Ruby Lee and the Very Big Deal

Written by Nancy Buffington

Illustrated by Stephanie Mullani

RubyLee,pic

Ruby Lee is a fifth grade student who has just won a contest. The problem is the prize she had hoped to gain was not something she wanted; it was to deliver a speech about her town at the first event ever held to celebrate life in Ruby’s town. Her friends and family congratulate her, but Ruby is terrified. The only time she had appeared on stage at age six had been a disaster because she had forgotten all her lines! Ruby wishes she could vanish into thin air.

Great Aunt Alice comes to the rescue. Alice is a bit of an eccentric who is rumored to have been a somewhat successful actress way back when. One day while Alice is sitting under the tree in the backyard with her dog, Thumbelina, Alice reveals that she will share her Nine Secrets of Becoming a Star with Alice. Over the next week’s time, Alice gradually shares them. Here are the nine secrets:

  1. Be yourself
  2. Practice, practice, practice
  3. Don’t even try to be perfect
  4. What the audience doesn’t know won’t hurt them
  5. Take charge
  6. Give yourself credit
  7. Have fun!
  8. Get ready to do it again
  9. Feel the love

Alice boasts that she has worked with some of the greats of the acting world. One evening she drops a picture signed by Johnny B., which Ruby picks up and places in her pocket for good luck. The big day has finally arrived. Has Ruby been able to internalize her Great Aunt’s tips in her quest to overcome her fears? How will the big speech go over?

This book can be used a  guide for anyone, child or adult, who is afraid to speak in public. Ruby’s story is in the format of an early chapter book and is an entertaining read for young readers. The author, who was once just like Ruby, is now a public speaking coach. The cast of characters included at the end of the book is a nice little time capsule of acting greats at the beginning of this century and is a bonus for those interested in the theater and the movies. I recommend this book as an interesting chapter book that promotes self-confidence  for those who are shy. Children and adults ages seven and up will enjoy the read.

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ONE SIMPLE WISH

Kanuki and the Wishing Tree

Written by Meredith Kennedy

Illustrated by Ali Masoud

Kanukiandthewishingtreepic

Meredith Kennedy is a veterinarian who lives in Tanzania. She is certainly familiar with the animals of the Serengeti. This tale is about a young giraffe named Kanuki who despairs because she has a short neck. She has tried  in vain to make it grow. One day she journeys through the forest asking all the animals that she meets to give her advice on how to make that happen. Alas, each of them tells her not to worry, and explain how their adaptation is more useful. For instance, the monkey tells Kanuki, “Tails are much better. You can swing and climb with a long tail like mine.” Kanuki tries to explain that being a giraffe, that is not what she needs. Finally, Kanuki meets an animal who is willing to help. I won’t give the answer away, but this animal leads her directly to a solitary tree atop a steep hill. Kanuki  learns only that this is a Wishing Tree. She must choose her own path. The only requirement is to believe in herself.

At first Kanuki remains frustrated, but then the giraffe makes her decision. What does Kanuki discover? Were the other animals in the forest correct? Will Kanuki ever find happiness and learn to fit into her own community?

The illustrations in this book are done by an art student. They are quite impressive. The black and white simple pencil drawings are unique and pleasing to the eye. The small banners of all the animals dispersed throughout the pages are effective as well. Kennedy’s story makes a nice read aloud for a younger child. This book also provides a good early reader chapter book. The simple moral lessons embedded in the story are worthwhile ones for the young reader. I would suggest this book as a nice, enjoyable addition to a parent, classroom or school library. This book is also distributed by Worldreader,  an organization that distributes free e books to deserving children, supplying another good reason to purchase it!

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