Thursday, May 24, 2018

Frango & Chicken Book Review


Frango & Chicken

Set in Brazil and with a mix of English and Portuguese, Frango teachers a valuable lesson: Difficult does not mean impossible. #FrangoandChicken #NetGalley #ChildrensLit #PictureBookElena Stowell (Author, Illustrator)
thewordverve inc
Children’s Fiction, Picture Book

Publication Date: May 15, 2018


Set in Brazil and with a mix of English and Portuguese, Frango teachers a valuable lesson: Difficult does not mean impossible.

The story starts with Frango asking his chicken to get him a pencil, paper, an envelope and a stamp. We see Frango writing a letter, and at first I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. I chalked Frango's lack of hands up to the artist's style. However, as the story continues Frango's lack of hands becomes increasingly noticeable. Despite this difficulty, Frango still rides his bike, works in a grocery store, and does jiu-jitsu. He shows that difficult does not mean impossible.

Frango & Chicken is an inspiring read with an important lesson based on a true story. While the real Frango does not have a chicken, he says he does have friends who act like the chicken. Fifteen "After Reading" questions round out the book.

Frango & Chicken is an inspirational addition to any classroom or personal library.

If you’re interested in reading Frango & Chicken, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon

*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Best Growth Mindset Picture Books for Kids

Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset. 

It’s a hot topic these days.  Many kids today, however, don’t know how to have a growth mindset. For a variety of reasons a child might be trapped in a fixed, I-can’t-do-it attitude. 

Using picture books is a great way to model ideas, strategies, and tools on how to develop a growth oriented mindset, one that allows students to work through their struggles and to not give up when things get difficult. 

The books below range from on-the-nose examples of what to do and what not to do, extended metaphors, true stories of perseverance over difficulties and adversity, and mantras or phrases students can adopted into their own vocabulary to develop a growth mindset.


Best Growth Mindset Picture Books #growthmindset #grit #picturebooks




GROWTH MINDSET BOOKS

Grade:  PK-2nd
Best Growth Mindset Picture Books #growthmindset #grit #picturebooks
A girl has the most magnificent idea, but when she tries to make it, the pieces just don't come together. Try as she might--and she does try and try and try again--the most magnificent thing will just not become magnificent like she wants. Even her assistant, a very adorable dog, knows it's just not quite magnificent enough yet. Her frustration mounts with each failed attempt. How can her assistant help her?

A very important lesson is wrapped in a sweet story with a cute dog: hard work and perseverance pay off, but sometimes it's important to take a step back and gain a fresh perspective. A good read for teaching grit, problem solving, and managing frustration.

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Grade:  PK-3rd
Best Growth Mindset Picture Books #growthmindset #grit #picturebooks
A child has a problem and it just won’t go away. As he avoids it and ignores it, his problem just becomes bigger and bigger. Finally, he decides that even though it might be hard, he should face the problem, and he realizes the problems can turn into something completely different.




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Grade:  K-4th
Best Growth Mindset Picture Books #growthmindset #grit #picturebooks
Set in Brazil and with a mix of English and Portuguese, Frango teachers a valuable lesson: Difficult does not mean impossible.

The story starts with Frango asking his chicken to get him a pencil, paper, an envelope and a stamp. We see Frango writing a letter, and at first I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. I chalked Frango's lack of hands up to the artist's style. However, as the story continues Frango's lack of hands becomes increasingly noticeable. Despite this difficulty, Frango still rides his bike, works in a grocery store, and does jiu-jitsu. He shows that difficult does not mean impossible.

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Grade:  PK-1st
Best Growth Mindset Picture Books #growthmindset #grit #picturebooks
How do you write a story if you don't know how to write words? With a little advice from his big sister, a boy sets out to do just that - write a story even if he doesn't know how to spell whole words.

Within this boy's experience crafting his squiggly story, Larsen takes us through the writing process, and reminds us that, "It's your story. You're the boss."

A reminder good reminder that when you want to do something, sometimes you simply need to start.

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Grade:  K-2nd
Best Growth Mindset Picture Books #growthmindset #grit #picturebooks
Lou and her friends love adventure! Building fortresses, rescuing wild animals, being race car drivers, or being a deep sea diver - it's what they do. But when a pirate adventure needs a ship, and their ship is up in a tree, Lou knows she'll have to sit this one out. She's never climbed a tree before and she doesn't think she can. She avoids the ship, she makes excuses, and she comes up with SO MANY REASONS not to try. Lou simply cannot climb that tree.

Her friends, however, finally give her the oomph she needs to try and climb. And as Lou grabs on and starts to climb, she struggles and she pulls herself and... she doesn't make it. But that's okay. As she and her friends run off to play a new game, she knows she'll try to climb that tree again.

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Grade:  K-3rd
Best Growth Mindset Picture Books #growthmindset #grit #picturebooks
Beatrice Bottomwell has never made a mistake! She’s so perfect that she’s known around town as “The Girl Who Never Makes Mistakes.” So what happens when Beatrice makes her first, and very public, mistake?



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Grade:  K-2nd
Best Growth Mindset Picture Books #growthmindset #grit #picturebooks
Rosie loves inventing and dreams of becoming an engineer. Rosie decides to help her great-great-aunt Rose achieve her unfinished goal of flying, and Rosie helps in the best way she knows how: by building a contraption that can fly! 

However, the contraption doesn’t work as Rosie expects and labels the whole thing a failure.  Her great-great-aunt Rose sees it differently though. Rose shares with Rosie that you only fail if you quit.


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Grade:  K-4th
Best Growth Mindset Picture Books #growthmindset #grit #picturebooks
Vashti is exasperated because she just can’t draw.  Her art teacher tells her to, “Just makes a mark and see where it takes you.” Though Vashti angrily makes a mark to be done, it actually beings a surprisingly and creative journey for Vashti that shows we can do more than we think we can.


*Bonus Books: Ish & Sky Color

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Grade:  PK-2nd
Best Growth Mindset Picture Books #growthmindset #grit #picturebooks
A boy loves stars so much, he wants to catch one. But how can you catch a star? He tries several ways to catch a star, but to no avail.  And just when he feels like giving up, he learns that things aren’t always what we expect.




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Grade:  PK-3rd
Best Growth Mindset Picture Books #growthmindset #grit #picturebooks
Based on a true story, Emmanuel reaches for his dreams despite being born with a deformed leg.  He hopped to school (over two miles each way), played soccer, and became a cyclist. Emmanuel’s message is clear: disability is not inability.

A great, true story about triumphing over adversity.


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Best Growth Mindset Picture Books #growthmindset #grit #picturebooksGrade:  PK-2nd

Beautiful Oops! can be summed up simply as it’s not only okay to make mistakes, but mistakes are actually opportunities to be creative and make something beautiful.






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Grade:  K-3rd
Best Growth Mindset Picture Books #growthmindset #grit #picturebooks
Amelia is up for anything!  That is, as long as there aren’t any bumps along the way.  Skateboarding? Oh yeah! (Until she falls off.) Building a swing set? Sounds like fun! (Until she whacks her thumb). 

If there is any small set-back, Amelia is done and worries that she’s a failure. But with help from her dad and self-reflection, Amelia realizes that she needs a “gonna get it done” mindset. Success doesn’t mean never having difficulties. Success can mean many different things.

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Grade:  1st-3rd
Best Growth Mindset Picture Books #growthmindset #grit #picturebooks
As RJ goes through is day, he gets different kinds of feedback, and he’s not sure what to do with it.  When hanging out with his friends, they compliment him. What do you do with a compliment? When his teachers and parents tell him that he does many things well, but that he needs to work on a few things, he wants to argue and make excuses.

As the story continues, RJ learns how to respond to all types of feedback: how to accept and grow from both positive and negative comments.

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Grade:  PK-3rd
Best Growth Mindset Picture Books #growthmindset #grit #picturebooks
This book teaches positive self-talk and through repetition, kids quickly pick up on the “I can handle it” mantra. When they’re in a tough situation or dealing with difficult emotions, they can think or say, “I can handle it.”

Perfect for giving kids the tool of positive self-talk to help them handle difficulties in life.

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Grade:  1st-3rd
Best Growth Mindset Picture Books #growthmindset #grit #picturebooks
Enna doesn’t believe in herself.  She’s often heard saying, “I can’t do that!” But when she dreams of many possible future versions of herself, she realizes that she can be any version she wants over time and with dedication. With a new growth mindset, she realizes that instead of saying, “I can’t do that,” a more realistic phrase is, “I can’t do that, YET!”

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LIST OF ALL GROWTH MINDSET BOOKS



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Hedgehog Book Review


Hedgehog
With a twinge of humor and good illustrations, kids will like Hedgehog and it will make them think twice about greediness and sharing. #HedgeHog #NetGalley #ChildrensLit #PictureBook 
Ashlyn Anstee
Tundra Books
Children’s Fiction, Picture Book

Publication Date: May 8, 2018


Many animals are getting ready for winter, and many bunk up together. Hedgehog, however, likes the hedge all to himself. Grasshopper, who lives under the hedge, is much more accommodating.

When other animals run out of room and ask to live in the hedge, Hedgehog gives a resounding, "No!" each time but Grasshopper welcomes them to her home beneath Hedgehog's. As more animals come, Hedgehog grows more and more territorial and more and more angry, until a twist makes him rethink everything.

With a twinge of humor and good illustrations, kids will like Hedgehog and it will make them think twice about greediness and the importance of sharing.

If you’re interested in reading Hedgehog, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon

*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Simon and the Big, Bad, Angry Beasts A Book about Anger Book Review


Simon and the Big, Bad, Angry Beasts 
A Book about Anger

Simon and the Big, Bad, Angry Beasts is a great tool for teaching children the danger of letting anger out in nonconstructive ways and for modeling a better approach to anger. #SimonAndTheBigBadAngryBeasts #NetGalley #Emotions #SocialStory #PictureBook #ChildrensLitIan De Haes
Flyaway Books
Children’s Fiction, Picture Book, Emotions

Publication Date: April 26, 2018


The first time Simon gets mad, he pounds and pounds on his door until a ram appears and helps him pound on his door. Simon thinks this ram is great. It can knock anyone over who makes him angry. The next time Simon gets mad, the ram turns into an alligator who snaps at people when Simon ins't happy. As Simon keeps getting mad, his imaginary animal changes and grows with his anger until it becomes a terrible dragon that is out of control.

Simon would rather play with friends but his anger and the dragon have driven them away. What can he do? Simon decides to find a quiet spot, lay down, and concentrate until his anger and the dragon leave him.

Simon and the Big, Bad, Angry Beasts is a great tool for teaching children the danger of letting anger out in nonconstructive ways and for modeling a better approach to anger. After the story, information for parents and teachers is included along with follow up activities and ways to teach children mindfulness.

Simon and the Big, Bad, Angry Beasts is a great addition to every home and classroom library!

If you’re interested in reading Simon and the Big, Bad, Angry Beasts: A Book about Anger, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon

*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.



Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Howl like a Wolf! Learn to Think, Move, and Act Like 15 Amazing Animals Book Review


Howl like a Wolf! 
Learn to Think, Move, and Act Like 15 Amazing Animals

Kids will learn a whole lot more than just how to howl in Howl like a Wolf!. From sliding like a penguin to transforming like a frog, kids will learn all about a variety of animals and how to realistically pretend to be them. The book is informative and encourages kids to get up, get moving, and try out these animal characteristics for themselves. A great book for imaginative play! #HowlLikeAWolf #NetGalley #Nonfiction #ChildrensBook #AnimalsKathleen Yale (Author)
Kaley McKean (Illustrator)
Storey Publishing
Children’s Nonfiction

Publication Date: April 17, 2018


Kids will learn a whole lot more than just how to howl in Howl like a Wolf!. From sliding like a penguin to transforming like a frog, kids will learn all about a variety of animals and how to realistically pretend to be them. The book is informative and encourages kids to get up, get moving, and try out these animal characteristics for themselves. A great book for imaginative play!

If you’re interested in reading Howl like a Wolf! Learn to Think, Move, and Act Like 15 Amazing Animals, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon

*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.

Monday, May 14, 2018

How Big is an Elephant? Book Review


How Big is an Elephant?

How many polar bears would you need to make an elephant? And how many lions would you need to make a polar bear? How Big is an Elephant? is a fun play on the concept of size. Kids will really enjoy the concept and the illustrations. #HowBigIsAnElephant? #NetGalley #PictureBook #ChildrensLitRossana Bossù
Annick Press
Children’s Nonfiction

Publication Date: April 10, 2018


How many polar bears would you need to make an elephant? And how many lions would you need to make a polar bear? How Big is an Elephant? is a fun play on the concept of size. Kids will really enjoy the concept and the illustrations.

If you’re interested in reading How Big is an Elephant?, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon

*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.



Thursday, May 10, 2018

How to Spot a Sasquatch Book Review


How to Spot a Sasquatch

J. Torres (Author)
How to Spot a Sasquatch is a fun graphic novel with great illustrations and humor throughout the story. Kids will enjoy it!  #HowToSpotASasquatch #NetGalley #GraphicNovel #MiddleGradeAurélie Grand (Illustrator)
Owlkids
Children’s Fiction, Graphic Novel, Middle Grades

Publication Date: May 15, 2018


As kids go out for a camping trip, Jay wants to see a Sasquatch. While the other kids make fun of him or roll their eyes at him for thinking they're real, Sass a Sasquatch watches the group and plays tricks on them from afar. A series of events eventually brings Sass and Jay together, but can Jay tell others about Sass? And what should Sass tell her parents? 

How to Spot a Sasquatch is a fun graphic novel with great illustrations and humor throughout the story. Kids will enjoy it!

If you’re interested in reading How to Spot a Sasquatch, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon

*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.



Monday, May 7, 2018

Quote of the Week

In a good book the best is between the lines. #read #books #quote #readbetweenthelines

Inky the Octopus: Bound for Glory Book Review


Inky the Octopus: Bound for Glory

Inky the Octopus thinks he should be thankful for his life in his tank, especially since he eats like a king, but his heart wants something more. He's curious about life outside the tank. So what is an octopus to do? Break out to find the open ocean of course. And when his tank lid is left ajar one night, Inky finds his opportunity.  #inkytheoctopus #picturebook #netgalley #childrenslitErin Guendelsberger (Author)
David Leonard (Illustrator)
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Children’s Fiction, Picture Book

Publication Date: April 3, 2018


Inky the Octopus thinks he should be thankful for his life in his tank, especially since he eats like a king, but his heart wants something more. He's curious about life outside the tank. So what is an octopus to do? Break out to find the open ocean of course. And when his tank lid is left ajar one night, Inky finds his opportunity.

Inky the Octopus is a fun story based on true events. The true story is detailed in the back of the book along with a few other true octopus tales and some fun facts about octopuses.

If you’re interested in reading Inky the Octopus: Bound for Glory, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon

*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.



Thursday, May 3, 2018

Ellie, Engineer Book Review


Ellie, Engineer
Ellie, Engineer - Ellie’s the kind of girl who has a tool belt strapped over her skirt. She’s got an engineer’s brain and wants to design, create, and build whenever she has the chance and her best friend Kit’s birthday gives her just that. #EllieEngineer #NetGalley #MiddleGrades #Books #ChildrensLit 
Jackson Pearce
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Children’s Fiction, Chapter Book, Middle Grades

Publication Date: January 16, 2018


Ellie’s the kind of girl who has a tool belt strapped over her skirt. She’s got an engineer’s brain and wants to design, create, and build whenever she has the chance and her best friend Kit’s birthday gives her just that. Ellie will make Kit the best doghouse ever created, but to do so she needs to enlist the help of her friends (who are girls) and the neighborhood boys. The two groups don’t get along, and Ellie has to navigate the two plus Kit’s concerns as she tries to build her friend the best birthday present ever.

I appreciate that Ellie, Engineer has a central female character who “breaks the mold” of stereotypes, but at times the book hits this theme a bit too on the nose. Overall Ellie, Engineer has a good story that kids will like, but I found it a little superficial at times.

If you’re interested in reading Ellie, Engineer, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon

*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.



Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Best Picture Books About Friendship


Friendship is important, but it’s not always easy. Often kids think that their friends need to like everything they like or play the game they want to play.  But friends are people too.  They have their own likes and dislikes.  Sometimes friends get into arguments. Sometimes friends disagree. And sometimes friends can be mean to each other.  It happens. But, we can also make up and move past our differences.  

Friends don’t have to be the exact same, and they shouldn’t be.  How boring!  These picture books are great reads for any kid who is learning how to be a good friend.


Best Picture Books about Friendship #childrenslit #picturebooks #friendship



FRIENDSHIP BOOKS

Grade:  PK-2nd

When Gerald gets some delicious, refreshing, tasty, ice cream he wonders if he should share it with his best friend Piggie. Gerald worries and worries.  He knows Piggie will like this flavor, and he probably should share it, but it’s sooooo good!  What will Gerald do?

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Grade:  PK-2nd

You can never have too many Mo Willems books!  In this Elephant and Piggie book, Piggie wants to share his slop with Gerald.  Piggie *loves* slop and he wants Gerald to love it too.  Gerald, however, is a little weary.  What should friends do?



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Grade:  PK-2nd

When a boy has an argument with his best friend, he goes in search of a new one only to realize that sometimes best friends may be a little different... and that's okay!



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Grade:  K-3rd

Stick and Stone become friends after Stick saves Stone from a situation with a pinecone.  But when the tables are turned, can Stone save Stick?

A good book about making and helping friends.


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Grade:  K-2nd

Shy loves birds, but he only watches them.  He’s never met one because he is so shy. When a real bird comes along, what will shy do? He’d love to meet the bird, but can he overcome his worry and fears about stepping up and meeting someone new?

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Grade:  K-2nd

Hunter loves doing things with his best friend Stripe. One day Stripe shows up to school looking to cause trouble.  Should Hunter follow along? Stripe is his best friend.  What should he do?

A great book for kids who have a friend that tries to pull them into trouble.

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Grade:  PK-1st

A classic Frog and Toad book! Frog and Toad are friends who so much together – writing letters, swimming, telling stories, and finding lost buttons.





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Grade:  PK-2nd

Mean Jean is the Recess Queen, and all other kids wait for her direction.  No one would dare kick, swing, bounce, or have any fun if Mean Jean hadn’t given her approval.  But everything changes when a new girl comes to school and decides to befriend Mean Jean.

A book about conflict resolution where kids solve their own bullying problem through friendship!

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Grade:  K-3rd

Summer was great until Jeremy Ross moved in down the street. Jeremy quickly topped the narrator’s enemy list, but fortunately his dad has a secret recipe for getting rid of enemies.  As dad works on making the pie, the narrator has an important job to do for the plan to work: he has to spend the whole day with the enemy and be nice to him.  It’s a hard job, but the narrator decides to do it, and after playing with Jeremy for a day, he realizes that maybe Jeremy isn’t so bad after all. 

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Grade:  PK-3rd

In this book (part of a series kids love!), Scaredy Squirrel wants to make a friend.  He chooses the perfect friend—one with no teeth—and despite some worry, he prepares everything he needs to make a good first impression.  But things take a surprising turn!

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Grade:  PK-2nd

Pearl is a lovable porcupine with a bug heart.  But how can she give hugs and not hurt others with her quills?





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Grade:  PK-K

In rhyming verse, examples of what dinosaurs do not do and do do when playing with their friends provides a fun way to discuss how to play nice with others.





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Grade:  1st-3rd

Roxy the Raccoon wants to do things with her friends like see Beaver's house, kick a ball around with the squirrels, or watch the sunset with Cherry the Chipmunk up at the top of the tree. But Roxy uses a wheelchair and can't do those things with her friends. Thanks to some quick thinking on her friends' part, Roxy and her pals figure it out! 

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Grade:  PK-1st

A boy meets a robot and they have a great time playing, but when Bot gets switched off, Boy isn’t sure what’s wrong.  Boy thinks Bot must be sick, but his usual tricks of applesauce and reading a story don’t work. Boy falls asleep and when Bot powers back on, he is worried about Boy! Boy has powered off, so Bot tries all of his tricks to help Boy: oil and reading instruction manuals. Boy + Bot is a fun and humorous story of new friends.

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Grade:  PK – 3rd

Stinker is a smelly dog waiting to be adopted. Though many families and people seem interested in him, Stinker's stink drives everyone away. With the help of his cat narrator, Stinker breaks out of the pound. Is there a human (and friend) for every dog? Can Stinker find his?



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Grade:  PK-2nd

Max the kitten and Bird the bird decide to be friends, but Max's plan to chase Bird and then eat him up doesn't sound like a good idea to Bird. Since they are new friends, they decide to make a plan: Max will help teach Bird how to fly, then Max can chase (and maybe eat up) Bird.

With help from the library and another bird, Max and Bird try to tackle the art of flying and become better friends along the way.

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Grade:  K-3rd

Bella always wants to win. If Bella loses she gets really upset. When Bella realizes she won't win a tent making competition at summer camp, she decides she would rather give up than lose. But, with a little help and guidance, Bella realizes that trying your best is better than being a sore loser and she learns to have fun along the way.

I Want to Win! is a social story that helps illustrate how to be a good sport – a key skill for friendship.

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Grade:  K-2nd

Rabbit is a whiner! And even understanding, supportive friends like Bear eventually get fed up with all that complaining. Using an earthworm as an example, Bear helps Rabbit see how good Rabbit's life is in comparison to the little earthworm's life.



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Grade:  PK-3rd

Elephant wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. He is grumpy, but a surprise hat changes his mood. Elephant goes to show Zebra but he’s grumpy too. Elephant cheers up his friend by sharing his hat. Together they march off to show their friends, and each friend having a grumpy day is cheered up by the parade coming their way. A great book about sharing, friendship, and cheering others up when they’re down.

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Grade:  PK-1st

Rabbit and Mouse are two friends with very different personalities. The book uses just four words, “Good news. Bad news,” and is driven by the illustrations that show Rabbit as an optimist and Mouse as a pessimist.  How can these two friends navigate obstacles together?



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Grade:  PK-1st

Leonardo is a terrible monster.  Not a scary, frightening monster. No, Leonardo is terrible at being a monster.  He can’t scare anyone! But Leonardo is determined, and he finds the perfect kid to scare, but once he scares him, it isn’t as satisfying as he hoped. Leonardo realizes that rather than being a terrifying monster, maybe he could be a good friend instead.

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LIST OF ALL FRIENDSHIP BOOKS


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