Welcome back to #7DaysOfBooks! Today we are spotlighting books that provide avenues for children to develop or deepen their social-emotional learning.
"The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another." - William James
American Desi written by Jyoti Rajan Gopal, illustrated by Supriya Kelkar (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 2022).
This lyrical, rhyming picture book shows the two sides of a young girl--her Indian heritage and her American one--and her journey to figuring out where she fits or identifies with most. The vibrant illustrations based in a metaphor of numerous depictions of fabrics exude joy and energy along with a celebration of cultures that can be readily felt from the page. This book can be used to launch into discussion with young readers on self-image, where we each fit, and how we contribute positively in our diverse society.
The Happiest Kid written by Sarah Bagley Steele, illustrated by Elsa Pui Si and Clarice Yunyi (Yeehoo Press 2022).
Sally usually wakes up happy and goes through her day as the happiest kid. She's known for it by her parents. But when Sally wakes up seeing a cloud instead of the usual happy sun, she's unsure of how to handle her feelings or how to show them. This story gives kid-friendly insight into how to manage, acknowledge, and cope with sad feelings.
It is a perfect story time book for home or in the classroom to help kids learn how to verbalize and handle their emotions, as well as recognize different feelings that can be seen in others. A++++
Blob written and illustrated by Anne Appert (HarperCollins 2021).
This story is insatiably adorable in all the layers it holds for self-exploration, self-discovery, and self-acceptance. Kids will love going along with Blob's journey as they move from being able to take the shape of any animal that the narrator dreams up for them to taking on the shape of anything that they dream up for their self to ultimately figuring out what they discover is best for Blob. The misunderstanding of the name for Blob/Bob at the beginning is a perfect launching pad for Blob's quest in pushing past all the self-doubt that sets in before wrapping up in a perfect landing.
Readers will giggle, but the story lends itself to deeper discussions of feelings and identity, as well as treatment of others.
Dancing in Thatha's Footsteps written by Srividhya Venkat, illustrated by Kavita Ramchandran (Yali Books 2021).
When young Varun catches a peek at his sister's dance class while she is learning to master the Indian dance of bharatanatyam, his curiosity is sparked, but he is reluctant to try it because he believes that "boys don't dance." However, as his grandfather Thatha shares more about his background and experience with the dance, Verun soon embraces his desire to enjoy what he wants to do and how to feel. This book is perfect in helping young learners overcome their own insecurities in trying something new.
Brave in the Water written by Stephanie Wildman, illustrated by Jenni Feidler-Aguilar (Lawley Enterprises, LLC 2021).
What if, Pig? written and illustrated by Linzie Hunter (Harper 2021).
I absolutely love the adorable factor and emotional connection that this story renders. Pig is liked by everyone, but that doesn't mean he's not a worrier. In fact, when Pig wants to throw a party, he worries about all sorts of things that could go wrong. He worries so much, he wants to cancel his party. 9Spoiler: When Mouse holds the party for Pig as a surprise, everyone comes and shares their worries with Pig.) I love how the story comes full circle at the end with Pig describing his friends in the same way they describe him. A+ on this one.
A Little Space for Me written and illustrated by Jennifer Gray Olson (Roaring Brook Press 2020). This book offers a unique approach to a girl's desire to carve out her own space in her world. However, when her space leaves her feeling alienated from others, she lets them back in and shares her idea of space with them. This story offers an other-worldly introduction to mediation and escaping to the world inside our heads when we need quiet moments to ourselves.
With the combination of simple text and illustrations, this book is a perfect introduction for kids to understanding their own internal thoughts.
Big and Small and In-Between written by Carter Higgins, illustrated by Daniel Miyares (Chronicle Books 2022).
Nigel and the Moon written by Antwan Eady, illustrated by Gracey Zhang (Katherine Tegan Books 2022). When Nigel tells his hopes and dreams for the future to the moon, he shares what he thinks he might want to be. An astronaut, a dancer, a superhero. But his doubts set in when he can't find the career of a dancer in the books at school.
Bear is a Bear written by Johnathan Stutzman, illustrated by Dan Santat (Balzar and Bray 2021).
This imaginative story shows the bond and adventures that a child and her stuffed bear (depicted as a real bear, as considered from the child's perspective) take over the course of her life. This tender story is a wonderful tribute to the beloved toys/stuffed animals that bring comfort and what it means to grow out of them and perhaps rediscover them once again.
For today's giveaways, we have FIVE!
1) A signed copy of AMERICAN DESI from author Jyoti Rajan Gopal
2) A signed copy of THE HAPPIEST KID and/or a zoom visit to 1 classroom from author Sarah Bagley Steele
3) A signed copy of BLOB from author/illustrator Anne Appert
4) A copy of DANCING IN THATHA'S FOOTSTEPS from author Srividhya Venkat
5) A paperback copy of BRAVE IN THE WATER from author Stephanie Wildman
Follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter. You can see all 5 giveaways there with the side arrows. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway