Skills Children Learn

Kindness Is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler By Margery Cuyler

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Back of Book:
When Mrs. Ruler asks five of her kindergarteners to miss recess, she’s got a special plan up her sleeve. She’s about to teach a new golden rule:

KINDNESS IS COOL!

Soon the entire class is doing so many good deeds that their kindness bulletin board barely fits their classroom!
My Review:
As school is preparing to start, teachers are finding ways to not only teach their students academics but also lessons that teach morals, and empathy. Kindness is Cooler Mrs. Ruler is a fantastic story that allows readers to focus on ways that they can be kind. The story follows the students as they find ways to be kind in their school, as well as at home. I loved the idea of having a kindness wall in the classroom where students can share their acts of kindness with each other. As a teacher, I was thrilled to see this story in the fall Scholastic catalogs this year. I plan on using this book during the first week of school. I appreciate that in the back of book there is a 100 item list that gives acts of kindness that children can be a part of. This is a great story that teaches kindness and shows children and adults how they can help others.

Ages 5 and up

48 Pages

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Skills Children Learn, Tough Stuff

A Bike Like Sergio’s By Maribeth Boelts

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Back of Book:
Ruben feels like he is the only kid without a bike. His friend Sergio reminds him that his birthday is coming, but Ruben knows that the kinds of birthday gifts he and Sergio receive are not the same. After all, when Ruben’s mom sends him to Sonny’s corner store for groceries, sometimes she doesn’t have enough money for everything on the list. So when Ruben sees a dollar bill fall out of someone’s purse, he picks it up and puts it in his pocket. But when he gets home, he discovers it’s not one dollar or even five or ten—it’s a hundred-dollar bill, more than enough for a new bike just like Sergio’s! But what about the crossed-off groceries? And what about the woman who lost her money?
My Review:
I feel like more stories like this book need to exist in children’s literature. Ruben represents the feelings that so many children in America have. Many families in the United States do not have extra money for extra things. Bikes are not a necessity in many homes. I loved the dilemma that Ruben is presented with. I believe this is an excellent story to teach children about morals, as well as empathy. Readers can discuss what they would do if they found a hundred-dollar bill. This story makes for a great writing assignment topic. I truly enjoy reading anything written by Maribeth Bolts. She has a gift of connecting readers with the emotions of the storyline. I look forward to her next story.

Ages 5 and up

40 Pages

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Skills Children Learn

The Crayon Box that Talked By Shane DeRolf

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Back of Book:

 Quarrelsome talking crayons learn to appreciate one another when the narrator draws with them, thus showing them how each help create a bigger picture. The message of the book, to learn to appreciate rather than dislike other people’s differences, is conveyed.

My Review:

In honor of National crayon day and the retirement of the Dandelion crayon I wanted to review “The Crayon Box that Talked”. I read this book the first week of school to help show my students how to get along. I loved how the little girl in the story teaches the crayons that if they work together they can make beautiful pictures. This is a perfect message to children that everyone is unique and special.

Ages 4 and up

32 Pages 

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School, Skills Children Learn

The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes By Mark Pett

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Back of Book: Meet Beatrice Bottomwell: a nine-year-old girl who has never (not once!) made a mistake. She never forgets her math homework, she never wears mismatched socks, and she ALWAYS wins the yearly talent show at school. In fact, Beatrice holds the record of perfection in her hometown, where she is known as The Girl Who Never Makes Mistakes. Life for Beatrice is sailing along pretty smoothly until she does the unthinkable–she makes her first mistake. And in a very public way!

My Review: I have learned that even in Kindergarten children can be perfectionists and when they don’t get something right they completely fall apart. I have to remind them that no one is perfect and that everyone makes mistakes. Beatrice is a girl who does everything perfect until one day she doesn’t. Then she realizes that it can be okay to not be perfect all the time. This is an excellent story to read to any child who thinks that they must perform perfectly at all times.

Ages 6 and up

32 pages