A well-crafted resource for youngsters and anyone else interested in personal self-improvement.

I Am Awesome!

A HEALTHY WORKBOOK FOR KIDS

A fun debut workbook to help tweens and teens develop self-esteem, created by former health and physical education instructor Richards.

The author draws on more than 40 years of experience educating middle school children, and her book offers chapters on developing six types of maturity: personal, emotional, physical, social, intellectual, and ethical. Each one opens with a three- to four-paragraph definition and description of that chapter’s topic. Several activities follow that allow children to explore that topic in depth, including quizzes, fill-in-the-blank games, and graphs. The author also gives readers the opportunity to draw pictures, record personal experiences, and more. One activity, “Adult Interview,” provides a list of questions for children to ask parents or guardians about their early lives, including, “What would you change about your childhood?” The fun activity pages are designed so that readers can easily put them down and resume them later without confusion. After this interactive portion, Richards provides a page of “inspirational thoughts” on the topic, encouraging introspection and introducing children to authors, philosophers, and historical figures (including Samuel Johnson, Maya Angelou, Winston Churchill, Pablo Picasso, and many others) that they may encounter later in their education. Richards quotes Mother Teresa in the chapter on ethical maturity: “It is not how much we do, but how much love we put into the doing.” Finally, each chapter concludes with suggestions for goals that children may set for themselves (such as researching a topic of particular interest, keeping a reading log, or reading aloud to preschool children), strategies for accomplishing them, and graphs to chart their progress. The book doesn’t contain any large blocks of text, which will appeal to readers of all levels. The colorful illustrations and graphics enhance the work but seem more appropriate for children at the lower end of the recommended 8-14 age range. Younger teens may say the workbook is “uncool” but secretly like it; tweens, however, will adore it, and even adults may benefit from its recommendations. Richards presents the concepts, which may be new to younger readers, in a clear, easily understood manner without condescension or preaching. With some explanation by adults, the workbook could even function as a read-aloud for younger children. In general, it’s an excellent way to encourage reflection in kids of all ages.

A well-crafted resource for youngsters and anyone else interested in personal self-improvement.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-937333-06-5

Page Count: 200

Publisher: First Steps Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2016

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A fact-filled but easily digestible skin cancer primer for ages 8–12.

LITTLE CHARLES HITS A HOME RUN

In this informative children’s picture book, a young ball player squares off against the deadly carcinogen in the sky—the sun.

Standing in right field on a cloudless day, Charles is less worried about his Little League game than the hot sun beating down on him. His dermatologist dad has schooled Charles and his family in the perils of skin cancer caused by UV radiation in sunlight, so they’re all now paragons of solar vigilance: Charles’ sisters model the long sleeves, wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses that everyone over the age of 6 months should wear when outdoors, while his mother carefully takes shelter under an umbrella table. Yet as the game wears on, Charles suddenly notices his pinkening arms and cheeks; leaping into action, he dispenses an emergency ration of sunscreen to everyone on both teams. “ ‘Thanks, Charles,’ whispers Emily, the opposing player who makes his heart flutter; ‘You’ve saved the day.’ ” Barrow, a cancer education advocate, and Crutchfield, a University of Minnesota dermatology professor, weave an impressive amount of information about skin cancer around Charles’s small-scale heroics. Young readers will learn about the science of solar rays, how to recognize possibly cancerous spots on the skin, and how to use clothes, shade and sunscreen to protect themselves. Also, they’ll understand why tanning beds aren’t just a threat to health but a target of dermatological scorn. Sigmund’s storyboards and explanatory graphics are colorful and catchy, although Charles appears to be wearing a left-handed mitt on his right hand. The authors’ “SunAWARE” protocol is a rigorous one: apply sunscreen every two hours, cover up almost religiously and take meticulous notes about skin blemishes. It’s a lot to ask of kids, but the book distills these lessons into a useful, engaging teaching tool that should find a welcome place in homes, school libraries and pediatricians’ waiting rooms.

A fact-filled but easily digestible skin cancer primer for ages 8–12.

Pub Date: June 8, 2012

ISBN: 978-1592984725

Page Count: 59

Publisher: Beaver's Pond Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2012

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