When a Dragon Goes to School: Interview with the Author

Starting school is a big milestone. Knowing what to expect can help ease that transition. Caryl Hart’s new book, When a Dragon Goes to School, follows a dragon as it explores the routines and manners that children, will experience in preschool. Magination Press asked the author about creating this delightful new picture book, which is a companion to When a Dragon Comes Stay.  Magination Press: What inspired you to write When a Dragon Goes to School? Caryl Hart: The first book in the series, When a Dragon Comes to Stay, was so popular that my publisher, Nosy Crow, asked if I’d like to write a second book where the little dragon starts school. Of course I said yes straight away!   I remember only too well how difficult it was to settle my own children into school when they were small - we had lots of tears and leg-clinging, which was hugely upsetting at the time. Little did I know that, while I felt terrible for the rest of the day, my girls skipped off to have fun as soon as I was out of sight! Starting school is such a huge milestone for young children and creating fun, reassuring books is a great way to help prepare them. Our story includes common routines like hanging your coat and bag on a peg, entering the classroom, sitting in your special place, listening to the teacher and being kind to your new friends - all things that most children will experience during their first days at school. Children who are already familiar with the school environment can sometimes struggle to talk about their experiences and might not know how to tell their grownups when things don’t go quite right. Reading books like When a Dragon Goes to School can help open up this dialogue and give children the tools they need to process difficult, exciting, or new experiences, ultimately helping them feel happy and safe. MP: Why are manners in school so important? CH: Young children are often used to being the sole focus of attention at home, so learning to get along with others can be quite a challenge. Understanding school routines and learning to consider other people’s feelings help the school day run smoothly, which ultimately makes the experience a pleasant and rewarding one for everyone! Most children do actually want to behave in a way that will please the adults in their lives, and modeling appropriate behavior in picture books can help them work out what is expected of them. Demonstrating funny scenarios of what would never do is a funny and endearing way to discuss the behaviors they are aiming for.  MP: Can you recall a teacher that you had in school who helped you learn good etiquette? CH: I can’t remember anyone at school specifically teaching me about manners - my parents were pretty good at that!  I think learning good manners is just part and parcel of the fabric of school life.  We raise our

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When a Dragon Goes to School: Interview with the Author 2021-07-16T15:54:13-04:00

Build Independence with Great Books for Kids

In honor of Independence Day, here are some stories for kids about being independent. Whether it’s trying new things, overcoming anxieties, or making new friends, these stories can help your child strike out on their own. Too Shy To Say Hi by Shannon Anderson Shelli used to be content in her little world, thinking that her pet friends with feathers, fins, and fur were enough. But now, Shelli is determined to try to make friends with kids at school. Readers will relate as Shelli takes brave steps toward breaking out of her shell. Making friends can be tough, but this rhyming picture book will help navigate difficulties of shyness and social anxiety. Includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers by Elizabeth McCallum, PhD, with more information about shyness and social anxiety. “Nakata’s wispy, light brush strokes match the emotional impact of Shelli’s uncertainty, shimmering and delicate across the page... Echoes the inner thoughts some anxious children may have, hopefully making them feel less alone.” —Kirkus Reviews Hear Too Shy to Say Hi read aloud here. The Not-So-Scary Dog by Alanna Probst, MD Tommy’s fear of dogs is keeping him away from the birthday party of the year, so he and his mom hatch a step-by-step plan to overcome his fear in time for the party. This is a lighthearted, straightforward introduction to the concept of exposure therapy for kids dealing with phobias.  Includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers about how to support kids working through exposure therapy. Read an excerpt from the Note to Parents and Caregivers here. Hear The Not So Scary Dog read aloud here. Baby Blue by Judi Abbot Baby Blue lives in a blue world—everything is blue, from the trees, to the flowers, to the animals. When he accidentally tears a hole and a strange light pours in, he can see someone that isn’t blue—another little person like him, only they are yellow. Scared but curious, he overcomes his fear and introduces himself to Baby Yellow. With his new friend, he realizes that the world is full of new and wonderful things to discover. This sweet story encourages children to conquer their fear of the unknown and take a chance on new and different things. Hear Baby Blue read aloud here. Read an interview with Judi Abbot about creating Baby Blue here. Find Your Fierce by Jacqueline Sperling, PhD Teens will become their bravest and fiercest selves and overcome social anxiety disorder with this helpful, upbeat book written by an expert in the field. Social anxiety is tough, but teens don’t have to figure it out alone. This empowering book will walk them through strategies that work. From practicing mindfulness to relaxing their bodies, readers can train their brains to help them gradually get back to doing more of what they love to do. These tools will help teens manage anxiety in the future and keep it from managing them. This book uses evidence-based skills from cognitive behavioral therapy to give teens a toolkit

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Build Independence with Great Books for Kids 2021-06-29T01:28:07-04:00

How Can I Wait When There’s a Treat on My Plate?

Twins Dell and Pete are so much alike. They like the same games, they run the same pace, and they both love ice cream. But at home, they have a rule: only one sweet treat a day. When it comes to having a treat now or waiting for something better later, Dell and Pete are very different.  See how they face a series of humorous choices that test their ability to stay strong in the face of temptation. Hear author, Dan Graham, PhD, read How Can I Wait When There's a Treat on My Plate? aloud.

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How Can I Wait When There’s a Treat on My Plate? 2021-04-20T13:08:35-04:00