Krekelberg, Alyssa. Social and Emotional Learning. The Child’s World, 2021. $228.00 (set of 12), $18.95 (individual titles). Grades K-3.
Doing the Right Thing: Making Responsible Decisions. 978-1-503-84450-6.
Finding Solutions: Problem Solving. 978-1-503-84451-3.
Helping Friends and Family: Taking Care of Others. 978-1-503-84449-0.
Know Your Feelings: Recognizing Emotions. 978-1-503-84452-0.
Let’s Get Along: Resolving Conflict. 978-1-503-84458-2.
No One is the Same: Appreciating Differences. 978-1-503-84456-8.
Setting Boundaries: Learning about Healthy Relationships. 978-1-503-84457-5.
Stop and Think: Learning about Self-Discipline. 978-1-503-84448-3.
We Need Each Other: Being a Good Friend. 978-1-503-84447-6.
We Work Together: Learning about Teamwork. 978-1-503-84455-1.
When Things Get Tough: Overcoming Obstacles. 978-1-503-84454-4.
Worrying Too Much: Learning How to Manage Stress. 978-1-503-84453-7.
Social situations can be difficult for children; they do not have the social experiences that allow them to develop understanding of interpersonal communication and relationships. This SEL series helps children develop understanding of situations they may have encountered or will in the future. Each text is divided into chapters that begin with a vignette that explores a realistic situation and the emotions that are involved in it. Throughout the chapter, ideas on how to respond and questions for reflection are presented. The questions help children reflect on their own experiences and consider the feelings of others in the same situation. Each text includes a glossary (words are highlighted throughout the text) and a section to learn more about the topic.
THOUGHTS: This is an excellent series for young children to explore their feelings through very realistic situations. The series includes 12 titles. This reviewer had the opportunity to two review Let’s Get Along: Resolving Conflict and No One is the Same: Appreciating Differences. Each individual chapter can be used for character education and development and could easily be divided into short 15-20 minute lessons. This series is highly recommended for all elementary schools for use in the classroom and library especially in our current environment where students are lacking SEL and interpersonal skills due to more isolation from the pandemic.
Erin Bechdel, Beaver Area SD
Hudson, Neesha. Turtle in a Tree. Dial Books for Young Readers. 978-0-593-32331-1. 36 p. $17.99. Grades K-3.
A dog walking through a grassy meadow hears a rustling in a tree. Another dog comes along and asks what he sees. The first dog replies that he’s sure he sees a turtle in a tree. The second dog asserts that there can’t be a turtle in a tree – that just doesn’t add up. It must be a squirrel. The dogs banter back and forth, but eventually, they get caught up in a shouting match, each sure that he is correct. When what’s in the tree is ultimately revealed, both dogs realize that there is more than one side to every story. Delicate watercolor and colored pencil illustrations stand out against white backgrounds, and the sparse text leaves plenty of room for readers to add their own ideas to the book.
THOUGHTS: The overarching message of the book is about perspective and the idea that just because you don’t see eye-to-eye with someone doesn’t mean one of you is wrong. This book can be used during morning meetings to spark conversations about different perspectives and why it can be valuable to consider others’ points of view.
Picture Book Anne Bozievich, Southern York County SD
Jeong, BonHyung. Kyle’s Little Sister. JY, 2021. 978-1-975-33589-2. $24.00. 207 p. Grades 4-7.
6th grader Grace and 8th grader Kyle just started a new year of middle school. Grace, an avid gamer who often feels awkward in social situations, has always struggled in her role as Kyle’s younger sister, since he is one of the most popular and athletic kids at school. Grace’s best friends, Amy and Jay, try to help her forget about living in her big brother’s shadow by organizing game nights and sleepovers, but soon boy-crazy Amy devises a match-making scheme that breaks up the three girls’ friendship in a devastating way. As Grace and her friends struggle to navigate school gossip, popularity contests, and the difficulties of growing up, Kyle begins to reach out to his sister and repair their tumultuous sibling relationship in a way that is realistic and heartwarming. A brief autobiographical sketch at the end of the book also introduces readers to the author/illustrator of the book and to her artistic writing process.
THOUGHTS: This graphic novel is perfect for fans of Reina Telgemar and Svetlana Chmakova. Middle schoolers, especially kids that are dealing with all the struggles of young adult friendships, will have no difficulty relating to Grace’s feelings and eagerly will devour this book to find out if the story’s characters find resolutions to their problems.
Graphic Novel Erin Faulkner, Cumberland Valley SD