Posts Tagged ‘emotions’

Children’s Books to help explain our pandemic

Posted on April 25th, 2020 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts shares free, downloadable books to help explain a pandemic to children.

Free picture book downloads for parents and caregivers who are trying to explain the current pandemic and the need for social distancing to children.

It is important to note that all of these picture books are meant to be read aloud and discussed with children by a parent, teacher or caregiver. These stories are not intended for children to read independently. We strongly recommend that adults read the books before sharing them with a child.

We will update this article as more books are published digitally. Please contact us or leave a comment if you are aware of books that should be included. Thank you.

I will be Patient... written and illustrated by Jose Fraguso

I Will Be Patient written and illustrated by José Fragoso

Advisor: Dr. Castrejón, Gregorio Marañón Hospital, Madrid.

Picture book to help explain a pandemic published digitally and free of charge by NubeOcho.

#IWillBePatient

Also available in Spanish.

Appropriate for preschool children, I Will Be Patient shares a reassuring message that healthcare workers and scientists are working hard to help us. Briefly acknowledging “armchair quarterbacks” who complain, the author quickly transitions to positive, child-appropriate messaging about how each one of us can make a difference.

  • Washing hands
  • Physical distancing
  • Staying home
  • Staying in contact with family members, especially grandparents
  • Doing homework

Bright, colorful illustrations are a highlight of this story for young children. Sharing factual information and a message of hope and encouragement, we especially liked the frothing handwashing bubbles and the (eventual) return to the fun and friends found at playgrounds around the world.

Download a copy of I Will Be Patient from the publisher’s website here


Coronavirus A Book for Children will help parents explain a pandemic to children.

Coronavirus A Book for Children written by Elizabeth Jenner, Kate Wilson and Nia Roberts and illustrated by Axel Scheffler

Consultant: Professor Graham Medley Professor of Infectious Disease Modelling, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Picture book to help explain a pandemic published digitally and free of charge by Nosy Crow

Listen to the audiobook, read by Hugh Bonneville

Appropriate to share with children aged 5 years and up, Coronavirus A Book for Children provides detailed information about how viruses are spread, symptoms experienced by people who are infected by a coronavirus, why people are worried about the disease and why we need to physical distance.

Detailed, engaging illustrations feature a racially diverse community and individuals with mobility impairments.

Extensive afternotes provide additional resources for children and adults.

Download a copy of Coronavirus A Book for Children from the publisher’s website here


My Hero is You was developed by the (UNICEF) Inter-Agency Standing Committee Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings, and supported by global, regional and country-based experts, in addition to parents, caregivers, teachers and children in 104 countries. It was illustrated by Helen Patuck

Picture book to help explain a pandemic published digitally and free of charge by IASC

Also available in Arabic, Chinese French, Russian, and Spanish

Appropriate to share with children aged six and older, My Hero is You is a metaphorical picture book that sees Sara discover ways to make a positive difference while travelling to destinations around the world on the back of a dragon.

“Remember our story. You can keep those you love safe by washing your hands and staying home. I am never far away. You can always be with me when you go to your safe place.” “You are my hero,” she whispered. “You are my hero too, Sara. You are a hero to all those who love you,” he said.

from My Hero is You

My Download a copy of My Hero is You or read it online.


Right now, I am Fine written by Dr Daniela Own and illustrated by Bulce Baycik

Right Now, I am Fine written by Dr. Daniela Owen and illustrated by Gülce Baycik

Picture book to help children manage anxious thoughts published digitally and free of charge on the author’s blog

#rightnowIamfine

A narrated copy is available on YouTube and an accompanying coloring book is also available for download

Written specifically for children who are experiencing worries, fears, discomfort, or nagging thoughts during challenging times, Right Now, I am Fine will give children (and adults) very specific steps to take when experiencing troubling emotions, especially anxiety.

Simple, straightforward language and easily-implemented suggestions make the ideas shared in this picture book accessible to children of all ages. We can almost hear the author’s soothing voice and recommendations, helping us to cope with our worries and fears.

“It is important to remind ourselves that we are fine, right now.”

Dr. Daniela Owen

Download a Copy of Right Now, I am Fine


A Kids Book About Covid-19 by Malia Jones

a kids book about COVID-19 written by Dr. Malia Jones

Children’s book to help explain Covid-19 published digitally and free of charge by A Kids Book About, Inc.

Dr. Malia Jones is a social epidemiologist

Also available in Spanish

a kids book about COVID-19 relies on text and graphics to share information and is best suited to children aged 5 years and up. It includes a thoughtful, reassuring introduction for parents, a fact sheet and recommendations for follow-up questions and discussion.

We especially liked the author’s reference to “cocooning” and encouraging children to about other creatures that live (for a while) in a cocoon. Families who choose to print a kids book about COVID-19 could suggest that children color it as an extension activity.

This book publisher requires an email address.

Request a link to download/print a kids book about COVID-19 here.

LIVE with epidemiologist Malia Jones

Ask your COVID questions to Dr. Malia Jones of Dear Pandemic! Get Malia's FREE e-book, A Kids Book About COVID-19, here: akidsbookabout.com/pages/covid-19To play with the computer models from this chat, head to: ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/For at-home hands-on STEM activities, download our NEW Lesson Plans:sciencewithsophie.com/guides

Posted by Science With Sophie on Tuesday, April 7, 2020


Talking about COVID-19 with young children

Talking About Corona Virus-19 with Young Children prepared by UNICEF LACRO Early Childhood Development team and reviewed by the Health, Child Protection, and Education in Emergencies areas

Illustrated by Sol Diaz

Available in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

An interactive book that includes cut and paste activities and an opportunity to draw or have an adult scribe. The content in Talking About Corona Virus-19 with Young Children is most appropriate for preschool-age children.

Choose your preferred language and download Talking About Corona Virus-19 with Young Children here


The Big Alone written by Alex Avendaño and illustrated by Jan Avendaño

Picture book about physical distancing and feeling lonely published digitally and without charge on the sisters’ website

Available in English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Tagalog

#TheBigAlone

An absolute delight, The Big Alone captures the loneliness and sadness experienced by children and adults who are physical distancing. Charming, black and white digital illustrations beautifully convey emotions through facial expressions, especially eyes.

The realization that being physically separate does not have to mean “alone,” is uplifting and inspiring.

Download The Big Alone here


Oaky and the Virus by Athol Williams and Taryn Lock is a picture book about staying well during the CoronaVirus pandemic

Oaky and the Virus written by Athol Williams and illustrated by Taryn Lock

Children’s book to help explain viruses published digitally and free of charge by Theart Press

#OakyFun

Theart Press is a South African publisher specialising in inspirational books. All book profits go to READ to RISE which is a non-profit organization that promotes youth literacy in South Africa.

​Oaky and Oaket are brother and sister. They love to play with their friends. When a virus threatens their community, they are determined to stay well. They can’t trap the virus because it is too small to see. Instead, they learn a song that reminds them to wash their hands, wear a mask and stay home. They are both disappointed that they can’t see their friends but they resolve to read, play with toys and bake a cake.

Suitable for preschool-age children, Oaky and the Virus is part of a series of books about Oaky and Oaket. Afternotes include questions about the story and ways to extend learning.

Download a copy of Oaky and the Virus here


Children’s Books about Anger, Grumpiness and Bad Moods

Posted on October 13th, 2018 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts shares picture books about anger and bad moods

Picture books to help a child understand and cope with anger

When my youngest son was very young, he was frequently impacted by the negative effects of artificial food dyes. Sadly, we did not realize what was happening with him for quite some time. For years, we were puzzled by apparently random bouts of anger that were, in fact, a result of eating or drinking a trigger food, beverage or even medication.

Thankfully, we did eventually figure out what was happening and the instances of uncontrolled anger pretty much disappeared. Along the way, we used picture books to help our children understand anger and give them words to describe their feelings and techniques for managing frustration and bad moods.

Please leave a comment and let me know about your favorite books for exploring this theme.


Children's book about anger and being in a bad mood

Bad Mood Bear written by John Richardson
Small format picture book about feeling angry published by Red Fox a division of Random House

When my children were young, we had a wonderful collection of Red Fox Mini Treasures. These were small-format picture books from many well-known, accomplished children’s book authors and illustrators. One of our favorite Red Fox Mini Treasure books was Bad Mood Bear. If one of my sons had a rough day, reading this story was one way to help him understand and learn to manage strong emotions, including anger. In addition to depicting a tough day, Bad Mood Bear also shows that the opportunity to feel and behave better may be just a short nap away.

You may not be able to find a new copy of this picture book but I did not want to leave it off my list of children’s books about anger.

Bear mooched around, kicking stones and growling. A fly buzzed around his nose
‘Buzz off!’ screamed Bear, flapping his arms around in a temper.

Bad Mood Bear (Mini Treasure)

Bad Mood Bear (Mini Treasure) at Amazon.ca


Picture books about anger and bad moods including Finn Throws a Fit

Finn Throws a Fit! written by David Elliott and illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering
Picture book about a child’s temper tantrum published by Candlewick Press

Usually, Finn is happy and loving but when Finn is upset, everybody in the household suffers. Using thunder, lightning, flooding, hurricane winds, blizzard conditions and an earthquake to describe Finn’s outburst, Finn Throws a Fit! will delight young readers and their parents.

With no explanation given for the upset, there is a good opportunity for an adult to ask probing questions such as,
Why do you think Finn was upset?”
“How did Finn’s parents and his dog feel when Finn was upset?”
“What could Finn do next time he is upset?”

Finn Throws a Fit! at Amazon.com

Finn Throws a Fit! at Amazon.ca


Children's Book About Anger and Feeling Grumpy

Grumpy Bird written and illustrated by Jeremy Tankard
Children’s Book About Anger and Feeling Grumpy published by Scholastic

This is a picture book about anger and grumpiness that I have read dozens, if not hundreds of times. It is a book that I shared over and over again with a child that I helped to overcome a speech delay. The delightful, repetitious text was exactly what I needed to prompt dialogic reading

He was too grumpy to eat.
He was too grumpy to play.
In fact, he was too grumpy to fly.
“Looks like I’m walking today,” said Bird.

I arrived for each appointment with a briefcase filled with picture books, puzzles, games and other activities. More often than not, Grumpy Bird was selected by my student and we enjoyed reading about Grumpy Bird spending time with friends (even if he was not enthusiastic about their company) and, eventually finding himself transformed into a happy, social creature.

Grumpy Bird at Amazon.com

Grumpy Bird at Amazon.ca


Picture book about being angry How Do Dinosaurs Say I'M MAD?

How Do Dinosaurs Say I’M MAD? written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Mark Teague
Picture book about expressing anger and frustration published by Blue Sky Press an imprint of Scholastic

Part of the How Do Dinosaurs series of picture books, this story not only describes behaviours that might happen when a child is angry, it also suggests ways for a child (or dinosaur) to deal with angry feelings.

he counts up to ten,
then after a time out,
breathes calmly…
and then…
he cleans up his mess

Dinosaur fans will love the detailed endpapers and the notations within the book that identify the species of each of the dinosaurs.

Some readers have commented that it is unfortunate that the dinosaurs do begin by behaving badly. Their behavior includes ripping books, throwing a mug, kicking and defiance. We agree with these observations but, unlike several books about anger, grumpiness and bad moods, this book did include suggestions for managing strong emotions.

How Do Dinosaurs Say I’M MAD? at Amazon.com

How Do Dinosaurs Say I’M MAD? at Amazon.ca


Childrens books about anger, The Day Leo Said I Hate You


The Day Leo Said I Hate You written by Robie H. Harris and illustrated by Molly Bang
Picture book about emotions and anger published by Little, Brown and Company

When young children feel anger, it can be a frightening experience for them. They may be completely overcome by frustration and may be unable to control their words.

Here we meet Leo, a little boy who has been told, “No” more times than he can count. His mommy doesn’t want him to roll tomatoes across the floor and she doesn’t want him to drop string beans into the fishbowl.

Leo announces that he hates “No.” Mommy calmly says that she understands his feelings but, “There are some things you just should not do.” Leo decides that his bedroom is the best place to be but, when he begins drawing on the wall, his mommy is certain to be annoyed and it is not long until he cannot contain his emotions any longer. He shouts, “I HATE YOU.”

Strong, bold Photoshop illustrations are sure to resonate with children who have felt overpowering emotions.

A valuable resource for families, The Day Leo Said I Hate You! is a reassuring story of enduring love – even when it has been a very long and extremely emotional day.

The Day Leo Said I Hate You! at Amazon.com

The Day Leo Said I Hate You! at Amazon.ca


I'm So Grumpy written and illustrated by Hans Wilhelm

I’m So Grumpy! written and illustrated by Hans Wilhelm
Beginning Reader Story About Being in a Bad Mood published by Scholastic

Beginning readers are sure to enjoy this simple story about Noodles’ bad mood. He doesn’t like his food, he doesn’t want to go for a walk. He wishes that everyone would leave him alone. Repetitive text and appealing illustrations will support young readers as they enjoy this fun story and the thrill of reading independently.

There are a total of 32 books about Noodles that are perfect for new readers. Check out this page of resources, including posters and a teacher’s guide.

I’m So Grumpy at Amazon.com

I’m So Grumpy at Amazon.ca


A children's book about bad moods Stop Bugging Me! written and illustrated by Daniel Cleary

Stop Bugging Me! A Smudge Book written and illustrated by Daniel Cleary

Picture book about grumpiness and needing time alone published by Blue Apple Books

Smudge needs some time alone and his friends just don’t understand. He is reluctant to tell Piggie where he is going and soon Mouse is curious too. It is not long ’til he has an entire parade of friends following and annoying him.

Someone apparently awoke on the wrong side of his bed this morning, is therefore in a foul mood, and would rather not be escorted to the store where he plans to make a mysterious purchase.

An exasperated Smudge finally tells his friends that he is on his way to buy underwear!! A fun twist that young children will enjoy, this is an uncomplicated story that will remind readers that alone time and privacy are completely acceptable.

We liked the artwork – it appears that the story has been written and illustrated in a notebook. Illustrations appear to be created with pencils and erasers. Could be very inspiring to young authors and illustrators!

Stop Bugging Me: That’s What Friends Are For (A Smudge Book) at Amazon.com

Stop Bugging Me: That’s What Friends Are For at Amazon.ca


Children's books about bad moods and emotions including The Very Cranky Bear


The Very Cranky Bear written and illustrated by Nick Bland
Picture book about friends and friendship published by Scholastic

What a delight! Four young animal friends decide a dry but dark cave is the perfect place to take shelter from a downpour. They have just settled into a sociable game of cards when a weary, bad-tempered bear chases them out of the cave and into the rain. Three of the pals decide that the bear’s misery must be due to his rather nondescript appearance. When their ill-advised makeover does nothing to improve the bear’s mood, it is left to a plain but thoughtful sheep to make the cantankerous bear comfortable.

Gigglepotz.com Teaching guide for The Very Cranky Bear

The Very Cranky Bear at Amazon.com

The Very Cranky Bear at Amazon.ca

Our Pinterest Board About Children’s Emotions, including Anger and Bad Moods

Picture Books About Worries and Fears

Posted on June 24th, 2018 by Carolyn Hart

Explore these picture books with children who have worries and fears.

Help your child learn to manage worries and fears with these picture books

Some children deal with new experiences and people with relative ease. For other children, there are reasons to worry about meeting new people, trying unfamiliar activities and beginning school. Anxious children may anticipate all sorts of dreadful outcomes that parents, caregivers and teachers don’t even consider. They may anticipate problems and focus on them, certain that outcomes will be unpleasant or even dangerous.

Enjoying these picture books together will provide opportunities for children to watch as a picture book character successfully overcomes fear and worry and manages a first day in a new classroom, sleeping in a dark room or listening to a thunderstorm.

Picture books for children who have worries and fears including David and the Worry BeastDavid and the Worry Beast written by Anne Marie Guanci and illustrated by Caroline Attia
Bibliotherapy about anxiety published by New Horizon Press

David and the Worry Beast was written especially to help children cope with anxiety. David’s worry beast causes him to worry when he plays basketball, when he’s at home and when he is at school. His anxiety grows and grows until he learns specific steps to cope with his worries. In addition to providing tips for children, the authors also have suggestions for parents.

David and the Worry Beast: Helping Children Cope with Anxiety at Amazon.com

David and the Worry Beast: Helping Children Cope With Anxiety at Amazon.ca

Franklin's Blanket is a picture book about a child's security objectFranklin’s Blanket written by Paulette Bourgeois and illustrated by Brenda Clark
Picture book about a security object published by Kids Can Press

When Franklin’s favorite blue blanket goes missing just before bedtime, he is distressed and has trouble settling down to sleep. Franklin tries to remember where it might be. The following day, Franklin visits his friends and discovers that they also have comfort objects that help them to manage challenging situations.

Franklin’s Blanket features familiar characters and offers gentle reassurance about managing emotions, including fear, with a Teddy Bear or a cozy blanket.

Franklin’s Blanket at Amazon.com

Franklin’s Blanket at Amazon.ca




Storytime Standouts looks at Noni is Nervous, a picture book about dealing with fears and worries surrounding starting school.Noni Is Nervous Written by Heather Hartt-Sussman and illustrated by Genevieve Cote
Picture book about managing fears, especially with starting school published by Tundra Books

There are things that make Noni feel anxious, including her relationship with a friend and world events. When we meet Noni, she is particularly concerned about starting school. Her family members reassure her that all will be well but Noni likes the comfort of home and being near to her mama.

Noni imagines all sorts of things that could go wrong at school and is relieved when she doesn’t get lost, her teacher isn’t a monster and she is able to open her juice box.

Noni Is Nervous will comfort children who are contemplating a new experience. Suitable for boys and girls aged four and up, the cheerful illustrations depict a racially diverse classroom and enhance readers’ understanding of the emotions that Noni is experiencing.

Noni Is Nervous at Amazon.com

Noni Is Nervous At Amazon.ca

The I'M NOT SCARED Book can help children deal with fears and worries.The I’m Not Scared Book written and illustrated by Todd Parr
Picture book about dealing with worries and fears published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Todd Parr writes about and illustrates several typical childhood fears including fear of the dark, of dogs, of starting school and of getting lost. Illustrations show both boys and girls (and a bear) in a state of being afraid, encouraging readers to take a closer look and gain understanding.

Bright, bold illustrations are well-suited to a small group read aloud. Children are shown with a variety of skin colors including blue and purple.

A good choice for a preschool or kindergarten classroom.

The I’M NOT SCARED Book at Amazon.com

The I’M NOT SCARED Book at Amazon.ca

Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears is a story that can be used to explore themes of worries and fearsLittle Mouse’s Big Book of Fears written and illustrated by Emily Gravett
Award-Winning picture book about fears published by Macmillan Children’s Books

Little Mouse draws, writes and creates collages to express fear. A fascinating and engaging format that includes cutouts, a foldout, a flap to lift and nibbled pages, Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears is a relatively dark picture book that is best-suited to older children (aged 5 or 6 and up). Winner of the 2008 Kate Greenaway Medal for distinguished illustration, this is an inspiring book that could be used to encourage young readers to express emotions through artwork and writing.

Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears at Amazon.com

Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears at Amazon.ca

Wemberly Worried is a picture book that can help children deal with fears and worries.Wemberly Worried written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes
Picture book about worries and fears published by Greenwillow Books

Wemberly is a little mouse with big worries. All day long, she finds reasons to worry at home and away from home. Her family tells her not to worry but that is easier said than done. When it is time to start school, Wemberly’s fears seem to multiply. She worries all the way to school.

Fortunately, Wemberly’s new teacher introduces her to Jewel. Jewel has not joined all the other mice, she is standing off to one side, observing. Before too long, Wemberly and Jewel are sitting together and Wemberly’s worries have subsided.

Wemberly Worried is a thoughtful, reassuring story that will provide reassurance to young mice (and children!) who are concerned about starting school. illustrated thoughtfully, not only are skin tones (hair color) diverse, Mr. Henkes also includes a young mouse who uses a wheelchair.

Wemberly Worried at Amazon.com

Wemberly Worried at Amazon.ca

Picture Books About Worries and Fears are a great resource at home and in classrooms.


Meet Author Darla Woodley (Interview)

Posted on October 13th, 2016 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts interviews children’s book author Kelly Santana-Banks
Storytime Standouts interviews D Woodley author of  Red Socks Go With Absolutely Anything Red Socks Go With Absolutely Anything is Darla Woodley’s first book. Darla is a self-proclaimed shutterbug, with her camera never far from arm’s reach and a goal of capturing the many activities of her two boys, she is always on the lookout for how to capture magical moments. Many of these special moments are recorded in this book.

AuthorTwitter account @RedAnything

Instagram redsockswithanything

Facebook page www.facebook.com/RedSocksGoWithAbsolutelyAnything

Author Website

Tell us about your latest published children’s book. Who do you think should read it? What are you most proud of?
My book is entitled Red Socks Go With Absolutely Anything. It is a Children’s Picture Book but I actually think it is a good read for all ages. Red Socks Go With Absolutely Anything is based around our family tradition of wearing red socks as an unspoken method of support and encouragement for friends, family or anyone that may just need a lift in spirit. The story sees the character going through a number of “firsts” and intimidating moments and shows the reader that sometimes words are just not needed to show that someone is thinking of you or cheering you on. The main character’s gender is ambiguous on purpose so as to allow the reader to develop a more personal connection to the story. Red Socks Go With Absolutely Anything

I am most proud of the impact that the story has on its readers. I love hearing how someone is heading out to purchase a pair of red socks for themselves and/or their family members. I am especially thrilled when a reader tells me that they are looking forward to initiating their own unspoken method of support and tradition based around the idea of red socks.

Red Socks Go With Absolutely Anything at Amazon.com

Red Socks Go With Absolutely Anything at Amazon.ca

Was it difficult for you to get your first book published? What suggestions/words of encouragement do you have for aspiring authors/illustrators?
I am not sure if I would say it was difficult to publish my first book. Challenging? Yes, definitely challenging. I chose the self-published route and being new to the book industry I found myself constantly on the computer or my phone doing research. I cannot tell you how many links I emailed myself to read and check on and how many tabs were open on my desktop at once on a regular basis. I was extremely fortunate to have a few connections that I could contact, bounce questions off of and verify information that I had found through research. The entire process can be a rather lengthy one when opting the self-published route as there are many services, options and research that should be done to ensure that you end up with an end product suitable to your standards.

To aspiring authors/illustrators I would suggest that they do their research regarding the publishing process and what it takes to ensure that you end up with a polished and very professional book. I would also explain how it is a never-ending process of promotion and self-promotion. For a new author it is a constant challenge to get your name out there in the literary world.

Tell us about your experiences sharing your book with children. Has anything unusual / endearing / funny / unexpected happened?
I have such great memories and experiences of sharing Red Socks with children. They are such a wonderful and inspiring group to share the story with!

I have shared the story with children in grades 1 through to grade 6 and was very pleasantly surprised at the comments and discussions with the grade 6 individuals. I wasn’t sure if they were going to be too “big” for the story but they were an awesome group of kids with insightful questions and comments. With that particular group I have great memories:
– I had a couple of girls approach me and tell me about a book they are writing together and how they were inspired to keep their project going and not give up.
– One child came up and told me how great he thought the story was and then secretly handed me a piece of his favorite gum by way of a handshake. He then gave me a wink to confirm the passing of the forbidden gum. (we were all sitting in the library)
– Another child was so inspired by the story that he suggested that they have a wall in the school dedicated to Red Socks displaying the book’s lines “I feel strong. I am ready. I can do anything.” I am so proud of him as he later inspired so many others at a local track competition with his determination to run and finish in a relay match.

I always have fond memories of visiting and reading with the younger grades. I experienced my first “heckler” when I was reading to a grade 2 class and she was in the front row asking me why the socks were not blue. I love the little discussions (that sometimes turn into battles) when I ask the class if they think the protagonist is a boy or a girl. I enjoy the fact that we get off course during the reading as our discussions take a different direction at times when they all want to share their version of the character’s experience.

How do you stay connected with your readers? Have you gone on book tours? Do you engage on social media or through a website? Do you visit classrooms, libraries or bookstores?
I use social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a website) in an effort to stay connected with readers and those who might be interested in learning more about Red Socks. I have done a few book signings and look forward to doing more. (The book signings are something that I need to push myself to do as I am usually very much a “behind-the-scenes” type of person.) I do thoroughly enjoy visiting classrooms and look forward to those in the coming school year.

What are the joys of being an author / illustrator? What do you derive your greatest pleasure from?
I am a first time author so it is so very thrilling to see the book displayed in a bookstore or to hear from someone else that they spotted Red Socks in a bookstore. My greatest pleasure is having someone tell me that they enjoyed the story and are looking forward to initiating their own tradition based on the idea of Red Socks. I have it set up so that when books are purchased an additional copy is printed and then donated to a local school, charity and/or organization that can benefit from the message within the story. I am so happy to say that books have been sent to Australia, Maui, England, Northern Ireland, Toronto, various States, Saskatchewan, BC and throughout Alberta so far.

What are the biggest challenges of being an author / illustrator?
Being a first time author and one that is self-published, the biggest challenge is actually getting the word out about the story. The entire experience is new to me and full of challenges and unknowns and I find myself constantly having to do research regarding the industry and push myself out of my comfort level at times in an effort to bring Red Socks to new readers. I am thankful though as this challenge offers me an opportunity to be an example to my two boys of how one should never give up and always be willing to put themselves out there.

Bullies Never Win – an anti bullying picture book by Margery Cuyler

Posted on December 11th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart


Bullies Never Win - an anti bullying picture book by Margery Cuyler reviewed by Storytime Standouts
Bullies Never Win written by Margery Cuyler and illustrated by Arthur Howard
Anti bullying picture book published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

Jessia and Brenda are in the same first-grade class. In Jessica’s eyes, Brenda is perfect. Her hair is perfect, her homework is perfect and her clothes are perfect. Jessica is a worrier. She is frustrated by her clothing, her knees, her barrettes and making mistakes at school but mostly she is frustrated by Brenda’s bullying.

If Jessica got all her homework right, Brenda would say, “I bet you cheated.” So Jessica hid her homework.
If Jessica wore a new skirt to school, Brenda would say, “Your legs look like toothpicks.” So Jessica started wearing pants.
If Jessica scored at kickball, Brenda would say, “You were just lucky.” So Jessica stopped playing kickball.

Finally Jessica reaches the breaking point and she tells her mom about the bullying she is enduring at school. Mom encourages Jessica to tell her teacher about the bullying. Jessica is not sure that is the solution. She spends a sleepless night, trying to decide on the best strategy. Finally, Jessica decides to tell Brenda that Bullies Never Win!”

At last, Jessica can stop worrying and relax. She has spoken her mind and silenced her bully.

Mr. Howard’s illustrations, especially those of the characters’ facial expressions are a highlight of this excellent anti bullying picture book.

Written from the perspective of the victim, this resource is recommended for kindergarten and older children.

Add this anti bullying picture book to your bookshelf –

Bullies Never Win at Amazon.com

Bullies Never Win at Amazon.ca

Lesson plans for Bullies Never WIn

Literature unit from edHelper.com

Lesson plan from Spoken Arts Media

Bully vs Friend activity from Scholastic

Here Comes Hortense! written by Heather Hartt-Sussman

Posted on April 18th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart


Storytime Standouts looks at a picture book about family life, emotions and social situations, Here Comes Hortense! written by Heather Hartt-SussmanHere Comes Hortense! written by Heather Hartt-Sussman and illustrated by Georgia Graham
Picture book about jealousy, emotions and blended families, published by Tundra Books



When a six year old boy, his grandmother and her new husband go on vacation to a theme park, all is well until Hortense arrives. Hortense is Bob’s granddaughter and she is suddenly a threat. Nana shares her hotel room with Hortense, she sings “Lavender’s Blue” to her and she sits next to her for all the scary rides. To add insult to injury, Hortense even devises a special name for Nana!

Nana’s grandson is despondent. He can’t believe that Hortense has taken his special place with his grandmother.

It is not until Nana and Gramps take a ride in the Tunnel of Love that the two children are able to gain perspective and learn to like each other.

Note: Here Comes Hortense! is a follow up to Heather Hartt-Sussman and Georgia Graham’s picture book titled Nana’s Getting Married

Here Comes Hortense! at Amazon.com

Here Comes Hortense! at Amazon.ca



Pink by Nan Gregory and Luc Melanson – Simply Wonderful

Posted on June 9th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Pink by Nan Gregory and Luc MelandsonPink – written by Nan Gregory and illustrated by Luc Melanson

We’ve all seen them, “The Pinks,” Vivi calls them, but not out loud. Every day at school they parade their glory – from hair bows to tippy toes, every shade of perfect pink.”

Poor Vivi would love to be just like “The Pinks.” Her rather ordinary world is not at all pink. She lives, with her blue collar parents and her baby brother, in a brown working class world that leaves her yearning. Her parents are not unaware of her desire to be a “Pink,” they have had their share of disappointments but they have found ways to accept and live within their means.

One day, when Vivi is running an errand for her mom, she discovers the ultimate pink treasure. She sees a beautiful doll, dressed in a cascading pink bridal gown. It is displayed prominently in the window of an exclusive neighbourhood shop. Vivi feels she must have it so she does chores and small jobs all winter to earn money. She saves and saves in order to buy the beautiful doll. She is certain that having the spectacular doll will enable her to live like the wealthy “Pink” girls she sees at school.

Pink is a marvelous story that is both poignant and thoughtful. Vivi wants so much to be a “Pink” and her young heart is filled to bursting with desire for the doll. When Vivi witnesses one of the “Pinks” leaving the store with “her” doll, she is heartbroken but ultimately enriched by the experience.

It would have been so easy to create a magical happy ending and have Vivi’s world become a pink one. Thankfully, Ms. Gregory understands that life is not always fair and that if we take time to look, beauty (and especially pink) is all around us. When sharing this thoughtful story with a child, be sure to take note of Mr. Melanson’s illustrations and especially his masterful depictions of Vivi’s emotions.

Very highly recommended, for children four and up.

Pink at Amazon.com

Pink at Amazon.ca

The Day Leo Said I Hate You, a picture book about anger

Posted on March 10th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

You may also be interested in visiting our page about children’s books that reflect diversity.

Taking a look at a picture book about a child’s frustration and anger…

Storytime Standouts reviews of a picture book about dealing with emotions The Day Leo Said I Hate You
The Day Leo Said I Hate You written by Robie H. Harris and illustrated by Molly Bang
Picture book about anger, frustration and emotions published by Little, Brown and Company

When young children feel anger, it can be a frightening experience for them. They may be completely overcome by frustration and may be unable to control their words.

Here we meet Leo, a little boy who has been told, “No” more times than he can count. His mommy doesn’t want him to roll tomatoes across the floor and she doesn’t want him to drop string beans into the fish bowl.

Leo announces that he hates “No.” Mommy calmly says that she understands his feelings but, “There are some things you just should not do.” Leo decides that his bedroom is the best place to be but, when he begins drawing on the wall, his mommy is certain to be annoyed and it is not long until he cannot contain his emotions any longer. He shouts, “I HATE YOU.”

Strong, bold Photoshop illustrations are sure to resonate with children who have felt overpowering emotions.

A valuable resource for families, The Day Leo Said I Hate You! is a reassuring story of enduring love – even when it has been a very long and extremely emotional day.

The Day Leo Said I Hate You! at Amazon.com

The Day Leo Said I Hate You! at Amazon.ca


Zero Kisses for Me by Manuela Monari- Not Even a Tiny Bit Bleah

Posted on March 6th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts thinks Zero Kisses for Me is GreatZero Kisses for Me written by Manuela Monari and illustrated by Virginie Soumagnac
Picture book published by Tundra Books

I have the good fortune to share read alouds with children regularly in my classes. I always look for engaging stories that will hook my students. Sometimes I am lucky enough to find a book that doesn’t just hook the kids – some books have children talking about the story a week later and begging for a reread. Zero Kisses for Me is one of those delightful books that children love to see, listen to and cheer about.

Life is tough when you’re always being kissed.” When you’re kissed before you go out in the rain and when you’re kissed and called, “Honeybunch” or “Flower Bud.” By the end of the day, you can be “tired of being everybody’s tootsy-wootsy… huggy-bear… kissy-snooks.” You might even demand, “No more mush!” And, you might exclaim, “BLEAH” – the perfect word to make a story memorable and a great word for young children to hear and relish.

Fun illustrations add to the atmosphere in Zero Kisses for Me and convey the little bear’s determination and frustration beautifully. A great read aloud for boys and girls, aged four to six, especially those who enjoy many, many kisses each and every day. Although not a Valentine’s Day book, this would be a terrific choice to reach for on February 14th.

Zero Kisses for Me at Amazon.com

Zero Kisses for Me at Amazon.ca

You will also be interested in our Valentine’s Day printables. Storytime Standouts is on Pinterest – Check out our Valentine’s Day Board


A Screaming Kind of Day, Listen as Scully Shares Her Story

Posted on March 2nd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

A Screaming Kind of Day by Rachna Gilmore is much more than just a story about a deaf childA Screaming Kind of Day – written by Rachna Gilmore and illustrated by Gordon Sauve
Winner of the 1999 Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature, Text

A Screaming Kind Of Day introduces Scully, a young, hearing-impaired girl. She awakens and opens her eyes to her brother’s face, teasing and taunting. A noisy chase begins and is only stopped when mom intervenes. She is studying for a test and has little patience for her children and their screams. The grey weather outside matches Scully’s mood and, when the rain eventually comes, she wants to go outside to experience the rhythm and intensity of the storm. Careful to avoid her mom, Scully sneaks outside to dance, touch, smell and feel the wild weather. Before long, Mom is at her side and is angry. Once inside the house again, Scully resists going to her room and shouts, “I hate you.” Before long, restorative sleep calls and Scully rests. When she awakens, the Screaming Kind of Day has been washed away and harmony has returned to the family.

After dinner I sit by the open window.
No rain.
The sky is silky pink with licks of lavender.
The green smells full and glad.
I sigh and look at Mom. “Can we go outside, Mom? You know, wait for the stars?”

Much more than a story about a deaf child, A Screaming Kind of Day explores family dynamics and provides reassurance at the end of a challenging day. As well, it encourages the reader to appreciate the sensory impact of a rainstorm and to consider conflict from several perspectives. A lovely story to enjoy with children aged four and up.

Rachna Gilmore’s Teacher’s Guide for A Screaming Kind of Day

A Screaming Kind Of Day at Amazon.com

A Screaming Kind of Day at Amazon.ca

You may also be interested in our page titled “Diversity.” We highlight picture books and chapter books that celebrate and inform us about human diversity including learning disabilities, physical disabilities, allergies, single-parent families, interracial families, same-sex parents, aging, death and more.

Don’t miss our page of quotes about diversity.



Stop Picking on Me, A First Look at difficult childhood issues

Posted on February 21st, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Stop Picking on Me is part of A First Look series that examines difficult issues. Very helpful classroom resource for bullyingBullying doesn’t happen by accident, it is a deliberate, repeated act. Bullying can take many forms. It can be physical and/or emotional. Emotional bullying happens directly (verbally) and indirectly (for example, doing something behind the victim’s back).

Stop Picking On Me written by Pat Thomas and illustrated by Lesley Harker is part of a series that looks at difficult issues. Other titles in the A First Look At series examine death, disability, health and fitness, sibling rivalry and family break-up.

Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

Stop Picking On Me begins by explaining that bullies may look the same as other people but they behave differently, they hurt other people with their words and/or actions. The book goes on to explain that bullies sometimes victimize people they perceive to be different and that bullies have often experienced bullying themselves. The need for each of us to feel loved is explored and bullying’s impact on the victim is looked at. Suggested ways to cope with bullying include talking with someone about the problem and feeling good about oneself.

Endnotes include suggestions for using the book with a child, additional resources and a referral to Parents Anonymous

This book will be most effective if the various observations and suggestions are discussed and explored thoroughly. It could be used together with a role playing activity or an examination of a situation from different points of view.

Good for kindergarten and older

Stop Picking On Me at Amazon.com

Stop Picking on Me! at Amazon.ca



Kathryn Otashi’s One is an Enlightened Look at Bullying. Don’t Miss It!

Posted on February 17th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

One is an Enlightened Look at BullyingOne written and illustrated by Kathryn Otashi
Anti bullying picturebook published by KO Kids Books

Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

“Red was a hot head. He liked to pick on Blue, “Red is a great color,” he’d say. “Red is hot. Blue is not.” Then Blue would feel bad about being Blue.”

Red is a loud, brash bully while Blue is a quiet, introspective color. When Red relentlessly picks on him, Yellow, Green, Purple and Orange witness the unkind words and are sympathetic to Blue but they fail to act. The don’t tell Red to stop the abuse. When none of the colors speak up for their friend, Red is emboldened. He grows larger and larger until all of the colors are afraid of him. Thankfully, a newcomer appears, “with bold strokes and squared corners…One stood up straight like an arrow and said, “No.”

Featuring bold, dramatic illustrations and a deceptively simple storyline, One delivers a terrific anti-bullying message. A great read aloud, One offers many opportunities for discussion and the inspiring illustrations will encourage artists young and old.

One at Amazon.com

One at Amazon.ca


Roller Coaster: Fasten Your Seatbelts, It’s Going to Be a Wild Ride

Posted on February 8th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts reviews written and illustrated by Marla Frazee Roller Coaster – written and illustrated by Marla Frazee



Here we share a child’s very first roller coaster ride. Excitement builds as we wait in line, stare at the twisting structure, buckle our seat belts and prepare for the exhilarating ride. In Roller Coaster, Ms. Frazee’s illustrations capture the riders’ emotions with great humor. We can’t help but reminisce about our last trip on a roller coaster – and look forward to our next! Wheeeeeee!

32 pages, Ages 3-7

Roller Coaster at Amazon.com

Roller Coaster at Amazon.ca



Kate Can’t Wait – Are You Dealing with an Impatient Preschooler?

Posted on February 2nd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts writes about Marilyn Eisenstein's Kate Can't WaitKate Can’t Wait – Written by Marilyn Eisenstein and illustrated by Miranda Jones
Picture book published by Tundra Books





Do you live with an impatient preschooler? Kate hates long car rides, waiting for her hair to grow and for her juice to be poured. Her mother constantly reminds her that some things are worth waiting for.

This message is brought home when Kate moves to live on a farm with her mom. Kate meets a new friend who gives her some young strawberry plants to cultivate. Together, the two girls nurture the strawberry plants, watching them grow and finally enjoying a delicious reward. Miranda Jones’ pen and watercolor paintings depict Kate’s strong emotions effectively.

24 pages, Best for children aged 3 to 7

Kate Can’t Wait at Amazon.com

Kate Can’t Wait at Amazon.ca

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