Monday, June 21, 2021

The Grumpy Frumpy Croissant

          Everyone gets cross now and again.  In the book The Grumpy Frumpy Croissant, we find that even croissants do too! 

Mona K
       In this imaginative tale by Mona K., Croissant gets mad at his friends because he couldn’t be first and thought there wasn’t room for him.  As his anger escalated, his friends quickly became out of sorts too. Fortunately, his friend Milk suggests a technique that calmed everyone.  Korey Scott’s colorful cartoon characters are so expressive and make the story come alive.


Korey Scott








    A couple of surprises are included at the end of the book.  First is an illustrated recipe for croissants.  Sounds tasty enough I’m going to try out the recipe.  Following that are four black and white full-page scenes from the story for young readers to color.


          The Grumpy Frumpy Croissant is perfect for teachers and counselors to share with their early childhood students when talking about big emotions. 


Monday, June 7, 2021

The Teensy Weensy Virus


          Little did we know on January 1, 2020, we were entering a historic time that would turn our family life, our nation, and even the world upside down.  Because we had access to television and the Internet, adults began to learn more than we ever dreamed we needed to know about the global pandemic.  Before we knew it, we were on information overload.

         Meanwhile, our little ones participated in all the changes in their families’ lives without benefit of understanding what had caused them.  They had to stay home most of the time, wear a mask when they did leave home, endlessly wash hands, and receive many, many squirts of sanitizer.  No longer could they play with friends or visit their relatives like they were used to doing.


          Author SherriL. Rose, a retired pediatric and family nurse practitioner, was inspired to write The Teensy Weensy Virus because she wasn’t able to be with her grandchildren for months due to the Covid virus.  With her medical background it was important to her to include accurate information.  In a very simple, developmentally appropriate way, Rose explains what the virus is and how to stay safe and healthy.  She even wrote a song to the tune of “Eensy Weensy Spider” to encapsulate what the little ones need to know.  Enjoy a video of this song here.


          Megan E. Brawand created colorful, cartoon-style illustrations that will catch a preschooler’s eyes.  Even though she was just 15 at the time the book was published, her artwork has already been receiving public notice for a couple of years.


          The cover of this book says it is a book and song for preschoolers, but it will be enjoyed through the elementary school ages as well. There is also a Spanish version of this cute and helpful book, as well as versions in three other languages.




Saturday, May 22, 2021

A Teacher Like You

I received this precious book, A Teacher Like You, as a gift from one of my students.  Reading it brought tears to my eyes as I close out 48 years of teaching.  

Second grade teachers, Frank Murphy and Barbara Dan, have taught together at Holland Elementary in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, for years.  Both teachers champion social/emotional learning and leadership development.  Their collaboration on this book was sparked by those interests.  In their story they mention the many, many ways teachers meaningfully and positively touch the lives of their students.  

The illustrator, Kayla Harren, is very good at drawing people.  I love how inclusive she was with all the races and cultures represented in her lovely artwork.  

This lovely tribute makes a wonderful gift for your child's favorite teacher.

Monday, May 3, 2021

The Straight A Handbook


            May - that time of year when college graduations are beginning to happen across our nation. Soon high school seniors will be taking that measured walk as well. It’s an exciting end to that chapter of a student’s life.    

            It can be like a wedding with all the excitement and busyness leading up to the joyous affair.  Once the service and the honeymoon are over, however, it’s time for the real event--making a marriage work day after day, year after year.

            The last strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” will fade away, and the family celebrations will come to an end.  Graduates must squarely face what lies ahead: a trade school, a college education, a graduate degree, or a new career.  Now the questions begin: What are the next steps? Have I made the right choice?  Will I be successful? 

            Author, John Chuback, had those same questions and many more.  In his book, The Straight A Handbook: The 50 Most Powerful Secrets for Ultimate Success In and Out of the Classroom, Dr. Chuback lays out fifty life lessons he learned and talks about many influential people who helped him along his journey.  His was most definitely on a lengthy and challenging journey that included four years of college, four years of medical school, five years of general surgical residency, and two years of cardiovascular surgical training.  It took a lot more than simply having a goal to become a cardiovascular surgeon.  

        Dr. Chuback uses experiences from his life to illustrate his points.  Then he goes on to explain how his stories apply to the reader's life.  Some of his chapters include Staying Out of Trouble, How to Eat an Elephant, The Truth About Worrying, and Choose Your Friends Wisely.

            The Straight A Handbook would be a good gift to give a teacher of juniors or seniors.  Spending just a few minutes of class reading and discussing the concepts in this book can spark some good conversations at a time when those students are making some life-changing decisions. 

            Dr. Chuback’s book would make a wonderful gift for someone ready for the next leg of his or her life journey.  The nuggets he details are valuable to those going on to the academic world or into the work force.  Each chapter is an easy read that can be finished in a few minutes but should be slowly digested.  There is so much to glean from this book, no matter the age of the reader.  If young people apply to their lives several of the lessons that resonate with them, they will enhance their success.  Those striving for excellence in their self-development will continue to incorporate more of Chuback’s lessons.