Posts tagged ‘self esteem’

THE REWARD WITHIN

The Gold Egg
Written by Ule B. Wise (Dan Wyson)
Illustrated by Jaimee Lee

This is a wonderful book for children of all ages. The author writes in crisp rhymes and the illustrations are colorful and appealing. At first, group of multicultural children is sitting under their favorite tree. An old man carrying a cane comes along. He tells the children to look up high in the tree. They notice the abandoned nest of the Kloonee bird high in the tree. The old man tells them the nest is so high because it contains a gold egg. All the children scoff at this, except for Devan who decides to find out for himself.

Devan finds the task daunting. He falls from the tree but gets up and tries again. His friends make fun of him. When Devan finally gets to the top, will he find a gold egg? What does he learn about himself and his friends?
This book teaches children the importance of courage and persistence. Reaching goals is possible if one believes in himself and persists despite obstacles. While this book might appear to be a picture book, its message is one for children of all ages. Recommended as an inspirational read-aloud for children and adults.

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A NECESSARY INGREDIENT

Nobody Loves Mustard

Written and Illustrated by Jeremy Ross

Poor mustard is depressed. As he observes people choosing condiments for their food, no one seems interested in using mustard. Victor and Gilly put ketchup on all their favorites like French fries. Mustard asks all the animals he encounters if they would like to put some mustard on their food, but none of them is interested. He becomes so depressed that he wanders off alone into the forest.

But one day, Mr. Fiddle decides to cook hot dogs. He cannot imagine eating one without embellishing it with mustard, so Mr. Fiddle enlists the aid of his to find mustard. At last, mustard realizes that he is needed. The author wants children to understand we are all loved even if we feel underappreciated at times.

This picture book with adorable illustrations and humor is appropriate for preschoolers and early elementary school age readers.

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DANCING TO HER OWN TUNE

Willa the Ballerina

Written by Leela Hope

Willa the Wolf loves dancing ballet, but she feels that her fellow swan ballerinas are so much more talented than she. Cynthia, the lead swan, tells Willa that she looks like a fool and should leave the school. Willa goes off into the woods to have a good cry. She meets up with Tommy the Toad who encourages her to practice and not to worry. Once Willa stops worrying, she becomes a proficient dancer. Willa returns to the dance school before the recital. There will be a surprise in store for Willa and her readers.

This is a cute picture book that teaches preschoolers not to worry what others think, to work hard, and develop self-confidence. While it probably did not need to be written in rhyme, that makes it a good read aloud. Simple but effective illustrations convey the message. Recommended as a bedtime story or read aloud, especially for preschoolers but can be used with children a bit older.

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PERSEVERANCE PREVAILS

Charity’s Big Dreams

Written by La Keya Guy

Illustrated by Bryan Golden and Bryan Aguilar

 

Charity is a sweet, student who works hard and tries to do her best. When Mrs. Jones, her social studies teacher, announces that the top three students in each class will earn a trip to Washington, D.C., Charity is elated. Charity does everything possible to earn one of the spots. But one day, disaster strikes when a power failure causes her to be late for one of her exams. Despite her teacher’s encouragement, Charity is sure that she will not do well. She despairs, but ultimately perseveres and refuses to give up.

This book provides encouragement to children who have problems with self-esteem or lack of self-confidence. The illustrations are attractive and appealing. The book is targeted at a wide range of students, but the thirty-page length probably makes it most appropriate for children in the eight to ten-year-old age range.

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I CAN DO IT!

Little Bunny – I Can

Written and Illustrated by Alexandra Dannenmann

Translated by S. Paterson

 

This is a cute little picture book for toddlers that features a little bunny as the protagonist. Each page features the bunny with an I can sentence that demonstrates skills mastered. Some of these skills are simple, like brushing teeth, getting dressed by oneself, and throwing a ball. Others are fanciful like taming lions and protecting a princess from a dragon. The book can serve as encouragement to acquire skills yet unlearned or as a self-esteem book rewarding toddlers for achieved goals.

Recommended as a read aloud or bedtime story for children ages two through four.

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READY, SET, GO!

Potty Training: Simple Training Plan to Potty Train Your Child in 3 Days and Zero Hassle

Written by Nicky Forbes

The author views potty training as a practical necessity that is dreaded by many parents. She takes a pragmatic approach. The introduction lists the reasons for training before a child reaches kindergarten. She talks about its importance in the social environment, a child’s self-esteem, and impact on the environment. After stressing the need for discussing hygiene with the child and choosing the right potty, the parents are ready to begin training.

Stage One involves telling the child what to do, Stage Two proceeds to show the child what to do. Once that is accomplished, the period of practicing by establishing routines, rewards and dealing with a child’s fears is set in motion. Forbes insists that there is no right time for every child, and the possibility of setbacks and delays is a real one. Nevertheless, she insists that patience, praise, and rewards will make success inevitable. She believes that this can be accomplished with most children using this program within three days.

This guide is a good choice for new parents who do not have a clue on how to approach toilet training. It is practical and easy to follow. Personally, I used common sense in training my own children and did not feel the need to consult the experts, but parents who experienced a negative experience themselves or who fear their children might be reluctant will certainly find this no-nonsense guide useful.

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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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LEARNING TO LEAD

WHO IS A LEADER: A mindful approach for family and classroom discussions

Written by Kristil L. Kremers

Whoisaleader,pic

The author is a college teacher who has spent many years researching emotional intelligence, ethics and mindfulness in leadership. In this short book she manages to produce a comprehensive guide and discussion on the subject for children in the elementary grades. The colorful multicultural graphics are simple and the text is appropriate for early readers.

Kremers begins with a definition of leadership. A leader looks at the outside universe but knows we must look inside first and follow our heart. The leader never leaves the heart at home and acknowledges responsibility for herself and others. A boss is not the same as a leader because a leader connects with her team before correcting them. The leader creates a culture where team members can feel safe, respected, happy, and successful. Leaders bring out the best in others and support members in success and failure. Any person can become a leader when making a good decision that allows others to join in their project.

Next the author names leaders children might be familiar with: parents, teachers, and preachers. She uses the leadership profiles of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Theresa, and Dr. Neil De Grasse Tyson as biographical examples.

At the end of the book there are three separate discussion guides for families, kids, and classroom. The questions within these can be modified or adapted depending on the age of participants. This forty page book provides a mini management training seminar for children and boosts self esteem. Recommended especially for children ages six through ten.

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RAISING A HEALTHY CHILD

Self-Esteem For Kids: Every Parent’s Greatest Gift: How to Raise Kids to Have Confidence in Themselves and Their Own Abilities

Written by Simeon Lindstrom

self-esteemforkids,pic

The book will aid parents in building and developing a healthy sense of self-esteem in children ranging in age from toddlers to teens. Parents are the primary influence on a child’s self-esteem and self-confidence without which he will not be successful in school, work and everyday life. Although every child is different, the strategies and tips apply to all of them.

Lindstrom goes on to explain why self-esteem is important, how it develops in different stages of child development, and the do’s and don’ts for parents in facilitating the process. Then the author identifies the warning signs of low self-esteem that might come from within the child like self-critical comments and refusing to make decisions. Outside factors like bullying and negative reactions from teachers and peers could also be triggers. Perhaps the most important part of the book is the chapter on proven strategies for raising self-esteem giving parents access to the tools they need to address the problem and help their children cope with negative feelings.

I agree with the author that spending just fifteen minutes a day conversing with a child without distractions can have a huge impact on their self-esteem and self-confidence as well as provide an opportunity to convey parental love and enhance positive thinking. The author admits that there are times when a child’s low self-esteem are beyond the control of a parent. He presents a path for the parent which includes information on how to seek and find therapeutic options and then convince a child of its importance to his well-being.

This short book is well written and easy to follow. I believe it is a valuable resource for all parents, caregivers, teachers and counselors to keep on their bookshelf.

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WE ALL NEED A FRIEND

The Royal Palm

Written by Mrs. D

Illustrated by Chanoa

RoyalPalm,pic

This story begins at its end with the protagonist, a stately Royal Palm, reflecting on her beautiful new home. Born on an island in the middle of an ocean that was often brushed with violent storms, she grew up in the shadows of short, plain palm trees who protected her while she was little. The Royal Palm dreamed of living in the garden of a majestic palace. As she grows older, the Royal Palm brags about her beauty and becomes snobby, refusing to play with her plain cousins. She admonishes the green parrots and lizards who mess up her hair and leaves. What she does not realize is that as she grows taller, she becomes weaker and more vulnerable. The day will come when the sun will parch her roots and violent winds will bend her limbs. How does she survive?

As is the case with Mrs. D’s other books, the language is lyrical and colorful. She describes the Royal Palm: “Glittering with playful diamonds, her silver dress waved in the air, filled with aroma and warmth.” In contrast, the plain palms are depicted as “dressed in dull brown dresses.” Mrs. D effectively employs the techniques of alliteration, personification and analogy to communicate her message. Chanoa’s illustrations filled with gorgeous pastel colors and animated facial expressions never fail to disappoint the reader.

This book is targeted for ages six through ten. Younger readers are able to follow the story while it is read aloud through the illustrations, while children aged eight and older will be better suited to independent reading of the text. Mrs.s D addresses many of the difficult issues children face in dealing with their peers in a whimsical, charming tale. Highly recommended.

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