About Eileen Hanning

Eileen Hanning, M.Ed., has more than twenty years designing reading curriculum for underserved kids and training for their parents and social service providers about reading and child development. Her passion for children’s books and hands-on learning has lead her to review children’s books, learn, research and write about education, child development and toxic stress, and to create her own consulting company, ReadLearnReach, where she serves a variety of clients with their curriculum, children’s book and writing needs.
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Books to Help Your Child Develop a Healthy Self-Concept

In recognition of International Boost Self-Esteem Month, we’re highlighting some of our books to help your child explore and develop their sense of self. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when everyone’s usual experiences and interactions have been disrupted, kids may be feeling less self-assured. These stories can help you and your child explore ways to foster a positive self-concept.   Being Me: A Kid’s Guide to Boosting Confidence and Self-Esteem by Wendy L. Moss, PhD explores confidence and provides tips and advice to build it. It also provides tools to explore strengths and feel more confident in school or with friends.     Blossom and Bud by Frank J. Sileo, PhD explores body image and will help kids love themselves all around, no matter their shape or size.       Fantastic You! by Danielle Dufayet celebrates individuality and encourages children to practice self-care, including positive self-talk and self-compassion. Hear Ms. Dufayet read Fantastic You! aloud here.     I Want Your Moo: A Story for Children About Self-Esteem by Marcella Bakur Weiner, EdD, PhD, and Jill Neimark explores how it feels to not like yourself and how empowering it can be to embrace your uniqueness in a fun, rhyming picture book.     Lucy’s Light by Jo Rooks Lucy is a lightning bug and the most talented flyer in the squad. There's just one problem: she doesn't light up! A sweet story which shines a light on inner confidence, self-acceptance, and courage. Lucy learns that doing a good deed will always make you shine bright! Read a post about Lucy’s Light and fostering a healthy self-concept here.   Neon Words: 10 Brilliant Ways to Light Up Your Writing by Marge Pellegrino and Kay Sather provides writing prompts and activities to connect the word-organizing part of the brain to the free-ranging imagination. Playing with words can boost confidence and help you be more present in life. Print out sample pages from Neon Words here.     So Many Smarts by Michael Genhart, PhD explores and celebrates all kinds of smarts—nature smarts, people smarts, music smarts, spatial smarts, and more. Hear Dr. Genhart read So Many Smarts! aloud here.     Why Am I Blue? A Story About Being Yourself by Kalli Dakos Everyone is different, and accepting differences in oneself and others can be challenging. Why am I Blue explores this concept and helps children toward understanding and accepting their own as well as others' differences and similarities. Read an interview with Kalli Dakos here.   Nurturing a healthy self-concept is a life-long task. Sharing books and talking with your child about this process can help them learn to recognize their strengths and build resilience.

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Books to Help Your Child Develop a Healthy Self-Concept 2021-02-22T20:01:11-05:00

Books to Help Foster a Healthy Relationship with Food

As a parent or caregiver, it feels like you are always feeding a child. Helping your child develop a healthy relationship with food is an important parenting task. In recognition of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, February 22-28, we featured books about food and eating that can help you with a variety of concerns.     Princess Penelopea Hates Peas: A Tale of Picky Eating and Avoiding Catastropeas by Susan D. Sweet, PhD and Brenda S. Miles, PhD Once upon a time there was a princess named Penelopea. Penelopea lived in Capital Pea, where people ate peas by the pound — pureed, poached, and pan-fried! There was just one problem. Penelopea hated peas. So she came up with a plan — but it led to a catastropea of epic proportions! Eventually, in an effort to make peas disappear from the kingdom forever, she tries just one pea…then another… then another…and discovers they are positively pea-licious after all. Includes a section for parents and caregivers with ideas for introducing picky eaters to new options and encouraging children to eat a variety of healthy foods. “Picky eaters will relate to this story, and the end notes give parents lots of great advice on how to broaden their children's horizons when it comes to eating.” —Mom’s Radius Read interviews with the book’s authors: Meet Magination Press Author Brenda S. Miles Meet Magination Press Author Susan Sweet   Max Archer, Kid Detective: The Case of the Recurring Stomachaches by Howard J. Bennett, MD Meet Max. Max Archer, Kid Detective. Max helps kids solve problems. Max's friend Emily has stomachaches. A lot of them! So, Max and Emily investigate the big three causes of stomachaches — lactose intolerance, constipation, and stress — and determine what causes Emily's stomach to hurt. Without even realizing it, Emily has been under stress, so much that her tummy feels it! Using kid-friendly stress-busting strategies, Emily learns how to get back on track and feel better. Be sure to check out the extra fun activities at the end of the book. There’s a Q&A section at the end written just for parents. “With a casual question-and-answer format and colorful cartoon illustrations, the title follows Max's explanations to Emily — and the reader — about how digestion takes place and the three main causes of a stomachache: lactose intolerance, stress, and constipation…kids will enjoy learning about basic body functions, which are references in a diagram that traces the route of the digestive tract 'from start to rather gross finish.' A final section 'just for parents' adds more.” —Booklist   Full Mouse, Empty Mouse: A Tale of Food and Feelings by Diane Zeckhausen, PhD What can two little mice do when they are chased by the cat, hounded by the dog, and threatened by the deadly mousetrap? Billy Blue tries eating more food to soothe his distress, and Sally Rose stops eating altogether. But when stuffing and starving themselves don't help, they learn to look for answers in their hearts, and

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Books to Help Foster a Healthy Relationship with Food 2021-02-23T15:13:17-05:00

Make Kindness the Norm: Books About Kindness for Your Child

Kindness may seem like an old-fashioned idea, but simple acts of kindness are powerful! “Scientific evidence shows us the positive effects of doing kind acts for others as well as receiving or even witnessing kindness. Even the smallest act of kindness can change a life.”1 In honor of Random Acts of Kindness Week, celebrated February 14-20th, we’re featuring books about kindness. Share them with your child and help make kindness the norm. Grow Kind by Jon Lasser, PhD and Sage Foster-Lasser Kiko grows and cultivates her garden, harvesting and sharing the fruits and veggies with her friends, neighbors, and family. This delightful tale serves as a metaphor of nurturing relationships and community, while sharing kindness with others. Grow Kind is a gentle narrative based on positive psychology and choice theory, essentially about cultivating kindness. “Grow Kind is a wonderful book that helps teach children the importance of kindness and how small acts of kindness make a difference for others.” —Talking About Books for Kids Jon Lasser reads Grow Kind aloud in Magination Press Story Time. I See You by Michael Genhart, PhD I See You is an award-winning, wordless picture book that depicts a homeless woman who is not seen by everyone around her — except for a little boy. Over the course of a year, the boy is witness to all that she endures. Ultimately, in a gesture of compassion, the boy acknowledges her in an exchange in which he sees her and she experiences being seen. This book opens the door for kids and parents to begin a conversation about homelessness. In a "Note for Parents, Educators, and Neighbors," there are discussion questions and additional resources about helping the homeless. “About heart, compassion and connecting with others…the emotion and candor captured by this story are beautifully brought to life”. —Children's Books Heal   Big Brave Bold Sergio by Debbie Wegenbach Swimming with the Snappers makes Sergio feel BIG, BRAVE, and BOLD. But sometimes the Snappers' idea of fun gives Sergio "squishy" feelings. He doesn't like it when they start picking on a minnow named Gil...but it's hard to stand up to your friends! Includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers by Julia Martin Burch, PhD, on bullying, friendship, fitting in, and ways to discuss these issues with your child. Read interviews with the author and illustrator: • Meet Magination Press Author Debbie Wagenbach • From Sketch to Book at Magination Press: Jamie Tablason   Red, Yellow, Blue by Lysa Mullady Red loves being red! Apples, wagons, fire trucks — he thinks all the best things are red! Yellow admires Red's roses, but Red just wants to be left to mind his own business — why can't Yellow mind hers? But when Yellow and Blue go off to make frogs, shamrocks, and caterpillars, Red realizes that he may be missing out. The possibilities are endless when the colors work together! Includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers with more information on encouraging empathy and cooperation.   This is

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Make Kindness the Norm: Books About Kindness for Your Child 2021-02-16T14:42:02-05:00