Optimistic Favorites

This week we received happy news at school. Teachers are now allowed to check out books for classroom use. Whoo hoo! Tangible books can be circulated again! That’s one step closer to storytime and reading with students!

As I have helped kids of multiple ages with Zoom classes and assignments, the underlining frustration they have expressed (in word and behavior) is that they are burned out and are looking for change. As adults, we get that – we are too. 

On burned out days, we tend to reach for sensory experiences as an escape…which often compounds frustrated feelings with carb crashes and the lost time of binge watching or endless scrolling.

Today’s book reviews are for three titles that can provide a mental reset with fewer side effects. Like our stash of emergency chocolate or chips, keeping these titles on hand for days of need (or for a friend in need) is a good investment.

If a cheerful but direct pick-me-up is needed, find That’s Life! by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Cori Doerrfeld. This book’s motivational speaker attitude brings a smile and provides hope. The blend of words and pictures is so perfect that I found myself searching for more information about the collaboration between the author and illustrator. And if poster prints are available. Displaying the book is a cheerful reminder, but what’s inside is truly special. 

The next book also has me searching for accompanying bookswag. Zoe Persico depicts anxieties as fuzzy bug-like mini-monsters in Emily Kilgore’s The Whatifs. I’m imagining them in stuffie form scattered throughout the library as a reminder of the book’s powerful message. When our mind wanders with anxiety, we often run through frightening hypothetical “What if” questions, focusing on what could go wrong. This book invites us to embrace the concept that “What if” questions can have happy endings. The Whatifs reminds us that good things can grow out of stressful situations and encourages us to invest our energy on possible positives.

Another book to share with friends feeling anxious is It Will be OK by Lisa Katzenberger, illustrated by Jaclyn Sinquett. Their story about a spider, a frightened giraffe, and a patient zebra friend teaches us about friendship, empathy, and patience. When logic doesn’t persuade his terrified friend, Zebra waits. The ending of this story is delightful, and the extra two page spread with suggestions adds follow up value to this important book. 

So many sweet optimistic books about emotions are being printed “these days.” I would love to learn of your favorites…

Published by lovingthelibrary

I am an elementary school librarian who loves books and the kids who read them.

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