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1. Sneak Peek: Resources For Social & Emotional Development

kids with disney books_web

Books are not only a great resource for developing reading skills, they are also a fantastic way to help kids develop healthy feelings and relationships. In the coming weeks, the First Book Marketplace will feature a collection of hand-picked books that address key aspects of social and emotional development.

In addition to the books, First Book has partnered with Molina Healthcare to provide helpful resources that teachers and parents can use to tie these engaging stories to healthy living. Teaching kids how to interact with others and manage their own emotions is an essential part of their development, just as important as their intellectual or physical development. These carefully curated books and resources are designed to do just that.

Here’s a sneak peek of the kinds of books and tips you can expect in the collection!

ICanHelpI Can Help by David Hyde Costello

A little duck gets lost until a helpful monkey comes along to lend a hand.

Brainstorm a number of situations that children may find themselves experiencing in which they need to ask for help. Next, identify who are the appropriate people in their family, school or community to ask for help in those situations. Examples could include calling 911 for firefighters in the case of a fire, talking with a teacher or parent for homework help, and visiting a doctor or school nurse if they are sick. This activity can be extended by role-playing. For example, one child can pretend to see a fire and call a firefighter for help. Then another group of children can pretend to be firefighters who come and put out the fire.

MyFriendMaggie

My Friend Maggie by Hannah E. Harrison

Paula knows Maggie is a great friend, but when Veronica says mean things about Maggie, Paula doesn’t stand up for her.

Letter writing, even when one doesn’t plan to give the letter to the addressee, can be a great tool for processing feelings and thinking through how to handle a conflict. Have the children write a letter from one of this story’s characters to another (such as from Maggie to Paula), explaining how that character’s actions made her feel. Encourage students to try letter writing (even without giving the letters) when they face conflicts with their friends to help them express their feelings and think through how they would like the situation to be resolved.

For more books and resources from First Book and Molina Healthcare, please visit the health and wellness section on the First Book Marketplace.

The post Sneak Peek: Resources For Social & Emotional Development appeared first on First Book Blog.

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2. Summer Holidays, Family, and the Writing Life…

Wait. You're staying how long?
We Canadians love our summer holidays, and other than major holidays such as Christmas or Thanksgiving, it’s the only time when we can get together with our families and just chill. This begs me to ask the question: Is it possible to write during the summer months? Um. Yeah. It’s a toughie, but I did manage to get some writing done. And I have been busy editing the second book in my young adult time travel series, The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret. So there’s a thumbs up for that. But when I read a recent post from Mirror World Publishing’s blog entitled It’s Okay Not to Write, I decided to put aside any guilty feelings of ‘not’ writing regularly in the summer, and just enjoy this hot, sunny season and time spent with my family.

The first Monday in August is our Civic Holiday, which is a roundabout way of saying ‘Public’ Holiday. It’s not a statutory holiday in the province where I live (Ontario), but if your employer is on the generous side, then you can probably book that long weekend away with no problem. The Civic Holiday weekend also marks the middle of summer—halfway to fall and five weeks till school starts. Sorry, kids!

When we lived at our cottage, it seemed like the busiest weekend of the summer, and since we were on a medium-sized lake, you had to take turns going out water skiing or tubing. Our kids usually ambushed visited us that weekend for food and fun-in-the-sun, and somehow they left their children behind. LOL! Thankfully, there was a lot to do around the cottage for the grandkids with swimming, fishing, boating, tubing, canoeing, reading on the beach (yes, I have a few readers), watching movies, and campfires. We found that the week just flew by! I truly miss those days, and I’m grateful for those cottage memories with our family and friends.

Now that we live in the ‘Banana’ belt of Canada (think Florida weather), and farther from some of our family, we see the kids less. Most of the grandchildren have their own lives now. Sigh. The bright spot is we do get to see our youngest grandchild (now ten), and have her for the week of the Civic Holiday. Yay! So I’ve compiled a list of things to do around in this area to keep the little minion busy, happy, and motivated. Read on…

1.      Baking with Grandpa (Grandma doesn’t do baking)
2.      A day at the beach…Holiday Beach to be precise!
3.      Movie night at Silver City in Windsor; granddaughter’s pick!
4.      Walking the Riverfront and catching a boat tour with Windsor River Cruises.
5.      Cooling down at the Toddy Jones Park Slash Pad, then heading over to the Waterfront Ice Cream Parlor.
6.      Visiting the Amherstburg Freedom Museum. This is a win-win, as I get to do some research for my next time travel book too!
7.      Heading to my brother’s pool for a swim. Thank God for relatives with pools!
8.      Catching up on Disney shows! (Grandpa is looking forward to this!)
9.      Keeping cool at the Devonshire Mall in Windsor where I’m sure someone is bound to score a gift or two.
10.  If time permits, going to Adventure Bay Family Water Park in Windsor. After a few hours there, we’ll be water-logged for the week! LOL!

Now, if we play our cards right, our granddaughter will look like this each night:

Nighty, night. Sleep tight.
I hope you have a safe and happy holiday with your family or friends, and enjoy the rest of your summer! Remember life is short, and no one who is on their death bed says that they wished they could have spent more time at work. Think about it. Relationships truly matter. Cheers and thank you for reading my blog!

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3. #842- – The Brownstone by Paula Scher and Stan Mack

The Brownstone Written by Paula Scher Illustrated by Stan Mack Princeton Architectural Press  1973–1/05/2016 978-1-61689-428-3 32 pages   Ages 3—8 “Living in harmony with your neighbors isn’t always easy, but it’s doubly difficult if you’re a bear in a New York City brownstone, trying to hibernate. Who can sleep through the Kangaroos’ tap dancing, or …

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4. #830 – The Island of Beyond by Elizabeth Atkinson

My calendar said today is World Read Aloud Day. As you can see, it’s wrong. This took place on February 24th. Not sure how I messed this up, but really, can’t any day be a good day to read aloud? If you know a middle grader who is unable to read, even if only for today, …

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5. Slavery contracts

Guy and Doll have agreed that Guy will act as Doll directs, and that Doll is entitled to use force or punishment to get Guy to do as she directs if he ever demurs or falls short. Guy has contracted to be Doll’s slave. Such contracts are familiar from fiction and from history; and some people may have familiarity with them in contemporary life. It is common for philosophers to argue that such contracts are impossible.

The post Slavery contracts appeared first on OUPblog.

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6. #822 – Chuck and Woodchuck by Cece Bell

Chuck and Woodchuck Written & Illustrated by Cece Bell Candlewick Press    3/08/2016 978-0-7636-7524-0 32 pages    Ages 4—8 “When Caroline’s classmate Chuck brings a woodchuck to show-and-tell, Woodchuck is so funny, their teacher says he can come to school every day! Woodchuck is friendly to everyone, but he’s especially sweet to Caroline. He gives her Chuck’s hat …

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7. #821 – Olga da Polga by Michael Bond & Catherine Rayner

Olga da Polga Written by Michael Bond Illustrated by Catherine Rayner Kane Miller    10/01/2015 978-1-61067-433-1 176 pages    Ages 6+ “With a head full of stories and a nose for adventure, Olga da Polga is also quite a handful. And when she moves into the Sawdust family’s garden, life for Noel the cat, Fangio …

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8. Mind this space: couple therapy

What happens in our relationships? This is the question that draws people into the profession of couple therapy. Therapists stand outside the couple in order to understand how their relationship systems and unconscious dynamics work. What is it that the couple have created between them? How can you restore the balance within that relationship?

The post Mind this space: couple therapy appeared first on OUPblog.

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9. #816 – The New Small Person by Lauren Child

The New Small Person Written and Illustrated by Lauren Child Candlewick Press    2/10/2015 978-0-7636-7810-4 32 pages    Ages 4—8 “Elmore Green started life as an only child, as many children do. He had a room all to himself, and everything in it was his. But then one day a new small person came along, …

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10. #811 – The Big Book of Hugs by Nick Ortner, Alison Taylor, & Michelle Polizzi

Yesterday, was National Hug Day (and Squirrel Appreciation Day, so I hope you hugged a squirrel). Yesterday was also The Big Book of Hugs release day, which could not have been a better choice. I am pleased to bring you a bear occupation I had known little about. Okay, I knew nothing about it, but …

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11. Infinite in Between by Carolyn Mackler

2015, HarperTeen

They are all beginning to converge on one of the most important days of their lives.  The month: September.  The place: high school in the small town of Hankinson.  The event: freshmen orientation...

Gregor is the quiet one.  He has a close-knit family and an older sister in high school who dispenses advice which may or may not be the best (you know how siblings are).  His best friend Dinky, whose nickname suits him, carries the excitement for both of them.  And although Gregor isn't enthused, he knows this is the day which will usher in the next four crucial years.

Zoe left beautiful Los Angeles to live with her aunt in Hankinson, New York.  Totally out of her realm, Zoe must make the best of it while her famous actress mother goes through yet another stint in rehab.  She knows nothing about her aunt, except the sisters don't get along, and she isn't told why. She's not looking forward to going to freshmen orientation, especially since everyone's seen the infamous video of her and her mother....

Jake has mixed feelings as well about becoming a high-schooler, especially after what happened last year.  His best friend Ted has moved on from him and is the guy all girls want to date - handsome, athletic, popular.  The problem is, Jake let him know how he felt about him and it changed not only their friendship, but his status in school.  Now, the game is to avoid his ex-best friend as much as possible during the next four years.

Whitney bounces and glows wherever she is.  Beautiful and popular, she makes friends easily, is involved in all kinds of clubs, and dates guys beyond their freshmen year.  The thing is, Whitney doesn't condone bad behavior, especially when her friends are being horrendously rude and because of her morals, she begins to be excluded from things.  Four years of icy shoulders is a long time, but can her sunny disposition melt the ice?

Mia dresses in black, wears her hair and make-up dark, and doesn't say much.  She is the anti-establishment of her parents and their country club tennis looks and isn't going to change.  Four years ahead of her is going to be a long journey, but she's ready for it because she has her endgame in mind- to leave this town as fast as possible.

All five of these teens are thrown together during orientation and are tasked with coming up with a "bonding" project to get to know each other more.  They don't run in the same circles, so they come up with the only solution they agree on.  Write a letter to their future selves and meet up on graduation day to read them.

And the next four years of their lives begin...

And this is where the reader gets to be the fly on the wall as we watch all five teens change and evolve physically, morally and emotionally.  There are turns in the roads for all of them in their personal and school lives. Their lives even weave and intersect at times in very interesting ways. What makes this novel so appealing is the reader will be able to see themselves or those they know in any of the characters and which makes this book become personal...the ultimate nod of an excellent YA novel.  As I posted on Twitter, this novel is  part Breakfast Club, part St. Elmo's fire, part New Year's Eve.  LOVED it!!

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12. A touching short story… ‘The Little Boy and the Beast’ by Uwe Heidschoetter & Johannes Weiland

Doesn’t it just give you the feels?

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13. What We Left Behind – Diversity Reading Challenge, 2015

Title: What We Left Behind Author: Robin Talley Publisher: Harlequin Teen, 2015 Themes: Gender, binary identity, lesbianism, transgender, genderqueer, pronouns, starting college, relationships, romance Genre: Contemporary YA/NA Ages: 14+ Source: ARC received from publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. (Quotes from the ARC therefor subject to change.) Opening: October           … Continue reading

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14. #776 – Bear and Bunny by Daniel Pinkwater & Will Hillenbrand

This month is Picture Book Month for those who love picture books, and Picture Book Idea Month if you are on the writing or illustrating end of picture books. Continuing with that theme is a wonderful, heartfelt picture book by Daniel Pinkwater and Will Hillenbrand. Bear and Bunny Written by Daniel Pinkwater Illustrated by Will Hillenbrand …

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15. Monsterland, by Michael Phillip Cash | Giveaway

Would you rather be a werewolf, a zombie or a vampire? Enter to win an autographed copy of Monsterland, by Michael Phillip Cash; plus a living dead themed travel mug and a $50 Amazon gift card! Giveaway begins November 14, 2015, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends December 16, 2015, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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16. Monsterland Blog Tour 2015 with Michael Phillip Cash

You've received a free VIP ticket to join us as we go on the Monsterland tour with award-winning author Michael Phillip Cash.

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17. #772-3 – Monster & Me Series by Paul Czajak & Wendy Grieb

Today is a special treat for me. I love the Monster & Me series by Paul Czajak and Wendy Grieb. Last year, I missed bringing you Monster and Boy’s Christmas story and Monster’s first party. So today I am giving you both. Consider it an early gift: a mashed-up double review. A first time venture …

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18. Monsterland, by Michael Phillip Cash | Dedicated Review

In this novel written for fans of the dystopian-horror genre, Cash delivers a gripping story with a Jurassic Park vibe.

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19. #735 – Scrap City by D. S. Thornton

Scrap City Written by D. S. Thornton Capstone Young Readers    10/01/2015 978-1-62370-297-7  352 pages       Age 10—14    “Beneath a small Texan town lies s city unlike any other . . . “Eleven-year-old Jerome Barnes isn’t expecting to find anything interesting in crazy Wild Willy’s junkyard. But then he discovers Arkie. Arkie …

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20. #738 – When a Dragon Moves In Again by Jodi Moore & Howard McWilliam

When a Dragon Moves In Again Written by Jodi Moore Illustrated by Howard McWilliam Flashlight Press        9/01/2015 978-1-936261-35-2 32 pages        Age 4—8 “If you build a perfect castle, a dragon will move in, followed by. . . a baby?! Preparations are in fll swing o welcome a new family …

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21. Double the Size, Double the Fun – Picture Book Reviews

If you’re looking for picture books exploring friendships of massive proportions, then these two latest delights are for you. Perfect for melting any sized heart!  Blue Whale Blues, Peter Carnavas (author, illus.), New Frontier Publishing, 2015.   On first glance, I noticed something different about Peter Carnavas‘ most recent creation compared to his previous works. […]

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22. #747 – ROAR! by Julie Bayless

Roar! Written and illustrated by Julie Bayless Running Press Kids     10/13/2015 978-0-7624-5750-2 32 pages      Age 4—8 “It is nighttime in the savanna, which means that it is time to play for one rambunctious lion cub! The cub tries to make new friends with the hippos and the giraffes, but roaring at …

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23. #750 – Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar & Troy Cummings

Little Red Gliding Hood Written by Tara Lazar Illustrated by Troy Cummings .                         Random House Children’s Books  10/27/2015 .                      978-0-385-37006-6 .                     32 pages   …

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24. #761 – Goodnight Hockey by Michael Dahl and Christina Forshay

Goodnight Hockey (Sports Illustrated Kids) Written by Michael Dahl Illustrated by Christina E. Forshay Capstone Young Readers     8/01/2015 978-1-62370-298-4 32 pages     age 4—8 “From the first puck drop to the final buzzer, Goodnight Hockey will have every hockey fan cheering. Rhyming text and energetic art perfectly capture the excitement and thrill of …

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25. #762 – My Wild Family by Laurent Moreau

My Wild Family Written and Illustrated by Laurent Moreau Chronicle Books   11/03/2015 978-1-4521-4423-8 32 pages     Age 4—8 “Sometimes there is more to family than meets the eye . . . An older brother is strong and respected, just like an elephant. A mother is stately and beautiful, but she prefers not to …

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