Sunday, July 26, 2020

A Bevy of Books by Michael Gordon

I am starting this week off with a group of picture books by one of my favorite picture book authors Michael Gordon.  Every day this week I will review picture books. I have acquired so many of them to review and put them on the back burner to read middle grade and young adult books. I usually collect picture books on my Kindle to read with my grandchildren. Due to Covid-19 I could not see my grandchildren this year. So I decided to read them for my own pleasure. I want to share the wonderful picture books I read with those parents who may not know what to pick for their children.

When I Get Upset
Another wonderful book to help young kids recognize and deal with their emotions. Younger kids often don’t know how to explain their emotions and therefore can’t deal with them. In schools and pre-schools they are seen as being rude, obnoxious or bratty. Maybe they need to sit with that child and read them one of Michael’s books to help them out. 

You A
re Kind                                                                           
Josh’s mom tells him they can’t go to the park to play because she has a lot of errands. On the way he asks what kindness is and if it is something you be or do. His mom demonstrates throughout the day what kindness is in all it forms. One of the most important lessons was when mom told him that he has to be kind to himself and learn to forgive himself when he falls short of the person he is trying to be. Parents need these messages as much as the children. As adults I believe we often forget some of these lessons. 

When I Am Worried 

Everyone worries. For children they often wake up feeling strange. It may be about something they know will happen that day. In the case of this story Josh had to get a shot. The fear of the unknown is what causes those worries to grow. This books shows Josh sharing those feeling with his parents so they can help him understand them.

The Way I Am by Michael Gordon

This is one of my favorite books by this author. I teach middle school and think every middle school student AND teacher should read this book. It seems that by the time kids reach middle school they forget who they are. They try to do what others do to fit in. Josh learns this lesson on the very first day of school. He bows to peer pressure and doesn’t enjoy himself. That is because he isn’t staying true to who he is. This book has a lesson that everyone of every age should learn.

Listening to My Feelings by Michael Gordon

Josh gets upset when his sister plays with one of his toys. He can’t control his feelings so he hits and shoves his sister. His mom explain to him why it isn’t right to do what he did. Then she and his dad explain some things he can try to help him when he feels like he is going to explode.

I Am Mindful by Michael Gordon

Understanding your feelings is the first step to dealing with them. For children they know they feel funny but don’t always know why or how to help themselves. This book shows several different feelings and how to deal with them. Although many of his books are similar I know that while one may not reach a child another might.

Today I Am Brave by Michael Gordon

Bravery comes in all forms. In this book we see James being brave in many ways. He accidently breaks a plate and tells his mom and apologizes. He stands and speaks in class even when he is scared. He stops kids from being mean to a new kid, he keeps trying at something he’s not very good at. He asks questions in class when he doesn’t understand. He learns that being brave isn’t easy, but it is the right thing to do.

When I Feel Frustrated by Michael Gord
I believe children feel most frustrated at a young age when they see other kids do things they can’t yet do. In this book Josh can’t win a race against his older sister. His dad says that being a winner isn’t always about winning. Being a winner is about the trying. He tells him that one day he will be older and stronger and that things will even out and he will win. He learns that sometimes fear holds us back and sometimes we need to focus and push on if we are going to succeed. I love these books that teach such life affirming lessons.

When I Am Angry by Michael Gordon
This book depicts Josh when he is angry. The tantrums he throws when he is angry reminded me of my children when they were young and my grandchildren now. The problem is that a lot of times parents get angry at their children’s anger and this just escalates the situation. This book show the parents remaining calm and talking with Josh. It also show practical ways they can help him deal with his anger. These are books that every new parent should be given when their first child is born. It will be there for them to help guide them when their children start expressing their feelings.

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