Social Emotional Learning

Make New Friends and Keep the Old…

June 8 is National Best Friend Day. ...One is silver and the other gold. Friendship can be complicated. Friends make life fun and help you through rough patches but making friends and maintaining those relationships can be hard work. Enjoy these Magination Press stories that help kids explore the ins and outs of friendship.  Too Shy to Say Hi by Shannon Anderson This rhyming picture book will help kids navigate difficulties of shyness and social anxiety. Shelli used to be content in her little world, thinking that her pet friends were enough. Readers will relate as Shelli takes brave steps toward breaking out of her shell to make friends at school. Includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers with more information about shyness and social anxiety. Hear Too Shy to Say Hi read aloud Read an excerpt from the Reader’s Note in Too Shy to Say Hi Baby Blue by Judi Abbot Baby Blue is a little boy who lives in a blue world, full of blue trees, flowers, and animals. One day, he accidentally tears a hole in the world and a strange light pours in. Through the hole, he can see a world that isn’t blue, and another little person like him. Though Baby Blue is scared, he overcomes his fear and introduces himself to Baby Yellow. Hear Baby Blue read aloud Read an interview with Judi Abbot about creating Baby Blue The Friendship Book by Wendy Moss, PhD This book helps middle-grade readers figure out what they want out of their friendships, how to be a good friend, how to resolve conflicts, and much more. Full of practical tips, insightful quizzes, and relatable examples, The Friendship Book is the resource kids need to figure out friendship. Read an excerpt from The Friendship Book Band Together by Chloe Douglass Duck loves peace and quiet! When a rowdy band asks him to join the show, he agrees, but gets nervous to perform with them. Why would they want him to play with them? A charming tale about being with friends and making new ones. Hear Band Together read aloud Read an interview with Chloe Douglass about creating Band Together Giraffe Asks For Help by Nyasha M. Chikowore Gary the giraffe is old enough to reach the leaves on the trees all by himself. However, he simply can't reach on his own. With a little guidance from his friends, Gary learns that it's okay to ask for help. Hear Giraffe Asks for Help read aloud Read an excerpt from the Note to Parents and Caregivers in Giraffe Asks for Help Three Little Birds by Lysa Mullady When two birds go find worms, they don't invite their friend and his feelings are hurt. So he decides to start a rumor, which quickly spirals out of control. Can he make things right before it's too late? Browse our complete list of more than 20 books about friendship.

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Make New Friends and Keep the Old… 2021-06-07T23:33:53-04:00

My Story Friend: Interview with the Author

There is the person who tells the story. This is the storyteller. And there is the person who listens to the story. This is the story friend. Kalli Dakos' My Story Friend shows the journey of a child looking for his story friend. Magination Press interviewed Ms. Dakos about creating this beautiful picture book. Magination Press: What inspired you to write My Story Friend? Kalli Dakos: I’ve worked with students for over thirty years and have written over 3,000 poems about life in our classrooms and our schools. In order to write these poems, I had to listen carefully to the students’ stories.  I became a “listener” at a very deep level. For example, when I found a child “hiding in the bathroom,” I listened carefully to the story behind his decision to hide there and to the feelings that he expressed. Then I was able to write a poem that all students would understand. Children want someone to really listen to them. We are a very busy society and there are so many expectations put upon parents and teachers. But I believe that taking the time to encourage our children to share their stories and their feelings is a form of the greatest love.    MP: Why is it important for people to be able to tell their stories? KD: To be heard, to be understood at a deep level, is something we all crave. It helps us to feel that we are not alone in this world and that our Story Friend really has our best interests at heart. The child in my book went looking for this experience and found it with the old woman who had both the time and the heart to really listen to his story and the feelings behind them. He was amazed at how much the simple act of telling his story helped him to understand his problems at a deep level where the solutions could also be found. He learned the value of “listening” at this level and became a Story Friend himself.   MP: Why is it important for people to listen to other people’s stories? KD: Storytelling was used long ago before psychology and psychiatry as healing medicine, and the storyteller was often the most honored member of the tribe or society. It is this healing quality of storytelling that makes it so important through all of time.   MP: The boy in the book struggles to find someone to listen to his story. He doesn’t feel he can tell his family, and two other grown-ups tell him they don’t want to listen to his story. What does it take to be a Story Friend? How can someone become a Story Friend if they are not one? KD: It takes a great deal of practice to listen deeply to a child’s story. Adults want to jump in and either tell the child what to do or move on to something else that they think is more important. Their

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My Story Friend: Interview with the Author 2021-05-17T23:24:35-04:00

Elephant’s Music: Interview with the Author

We all need to belong, but it can be hard to find a way to fit in. In Elephant’s Music, Edward, the elephant loves music, but has no musical ability at all. This lovely picture book explores how Edward and members of his favorite band find a way for him to be part of the performance. We’ve interviewed author and illustrator, Monika Filipina, about the process of creating Elephant’s Music.  Magination Press: What inspired you to write Elephant’s Music? Monika Filipina: I usually take inspiration from my own experiences and the world around me. For this story the main character is a little bit like myself. I always wanted to have talent for music, but sadly I am terrible at singing or playing any instrument. I tried to play guitar and flute in the past, but it just did not work! I had to accept that I am tone-deaf and that I will not make it as a singer. I tried to find the crowd that likes to listen to the terrible noise, but that did not happen.  MP: Why did you choose animals instead of people as your characters? MF: I love animals. They are fun and very playful to draw, they can have imaginary colors and fantastic shapes. Drawing the animal characters will always be my absolute favorite, and I believe that it shows in the artwork, when the creator had fun making the art. For some reason when I think about a story, the first thing that comes to me is the main character is an animal - the lion, the cat, the owl, the rabbit, the elephant… It works subconsciously, it just happens in my mind. Animals are perfect for exaggerating specific features without offending anyone. This time the main character happened to be an elephant because it all started with a single drawing of an elephant who had no fingers to play violin. The funny thing is that in Poland we have a saying that “an elephant stepped on one’s ear” which is a humorous idiom for someone who sings off-key or is very unmusical, and another one “to move like an elephant in the porcelain warehouse” about someone being very clumsy. So, the elephant seemed to be the perfect character for the story! MP: Why did you choose music instead of sports, art, or some other activity? MF: It is very difficult to explain. This idea of a clumsy elephant trying to play violin came to me. Sometimes it is very hard for me to tell where the idea comes from… It just happens. I walk, or sit, or read a book, or exercise, and suddenly, I have an image in my head and it all begins. I have to stop and write it down so it doesn’t go away.  MP: Edward found a way to participate in the concerts by being the band’s biggest fan. But it wasn’t until the other band members recognized his percussion abilities and the monkeys gave Edward

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Elephant’s Music: Interview with the Author 2021-04-27T11:49:59-04:00