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.

Books for No Name-Calling Week

GLSEN’s No Name-Calling Week, January 17-21, is a week organized by K-12 educators and students to end name-calling and bullying in schools. This week aims to disrupt anti-LGBTQ+ harassment and bias-based bullying, and invites LGBTQ+ students to assert what they want to be called. Magination Press has several books addressing bullying, name-calling, and LBGTQ+ inclusion in observance of No Name-Calling Week. They’re So Flamboyant by Michael Genhart This fun and funny bird’s-eye tome to individuality, community, and harmony follows the reactions of a neighborhood full of birds when a “flamboyance” of flamingos moves in.  “Feathered friends are flustered when flamingos move into the neighborhood… This story is a welcome springboard for age-appropriate discussions of assumptions, stereotypes, and inclusion. Engaging wordplay makes a serious point about inclusion.”  —Kirkus Reviews   Hear They’re So Flamboyant read aloud. Read an excerpt from the Author’s Note.   Jacob’s School Play: Starring He, She and They by Sarah and Ian Hoffman Jacob—star of one of the most banned books of the decade according to the American Library Association—is back in his third book and ready to put on a school play! While learning their lines and making their costumes, Jacob’s class finds itself unexpectedly struggling with identity, and what it means to be “he”, “she”, or “they”. Jacob’s School Play is an engaging way to introduce young readers to non-binary people and the pronoun options available to us all. Learning that individuals are more nuanced than how others see them is a developmentally important milestone and helps foster respect of one’s self and one’s peers. “This straightforward and important book that honors everyone will help adults have thoughtful conversations with young children about gender identity, particularly the message about respecting someone's choice to use ungendered pronouns…”  —Booklist Hear Jacob’s School Play read aloud. Read an interview with Jacob about understanding pronouns.     Papa, Daddy, & Riley by Seamus Kirst Riley is Papa’s princess and Daddy’s dragon. She loves her two fathers! When Riley’s classmate asks her which dad is her real one, Riley is confused. She doesn’t want to have to pick one or the other. Families are made of love in this heartwarming story that shows there are lots of ways to be part of one. “A little girl with two dads confronts homophobia…. Sweet if not groundbreaking….”  —Kirkus Reviews Hear Papa, Daddy, & Riley read aloud. Read a post by Seamus Kirst about the power of inclusion.   Ouch Moments: When Words Are Used in Hurtful Ways by Michael Genhart, PhD Hearing a mean or hurtful word hurts a lot. When other kids say something mean or hurtful, it is hard to know what to do. Ouch Moments: When Words Are Used in Hurtful Ways explains these "ouch moments" in kid-friendly terms, offers practical strategies for what kids can do to help, and empowers kids to stand up to mean and hurtful language. A Note to Parents and Caregivers by Kevin L. Nadal, PhD, provides more information about microaggressions, and strategies for

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Books for No Name-Calling Week 2022-01-14T12:24:17-05:00

Healthy Holiday Eating

The holidays are filled with food. Family gatherings and holiday parties nearly always feature big spreads, and treats appear from everywhere. It can be a challenge to manage all the food and stress of the holidays.  Here are some books about food and eating to spark a conversation about healthy holiday eating. How Can I Wait When There’s a Treat on My Plate? by Dan Graham, PhD It’s hard for some kids to wait for something that they really want! A marshmallow now or ice cream later? In this lively, rhyming picture book, twins Dell and Pete face a series of humorous choices that test their ability to stay strong in the face of temptation. Includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers that explores techniques to help kids build impulse control and learn to delay gratification. “Pete and Dell are sweet-toothed brothers who learn strategies to help them delay gratification in this rhyming picture book… A solid conversation started on topics of self-control.” —Kirkus Reviews Hear this story read aloud. Here are some tips from the Note to Parents and  Caregivers: Turn your face: Temptations can become less powerful if we stop looking at the thing we want. Take some space: Putting some distance between ourselves and the tempting object can make self-control easier. Distancing ourselves from current emotions can also boost self-control.  Imagine: We can use imagination to change the way we feel about something tempting.  Do something fun: Distracting ourselves by doing something we enjoy can help shift our focus from the thing we desire to the fun we are having. Read the whole excerpt from the Note to Parents and Caregivers in  How Can I Wait When There’s a Treat on My Plate? 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! “Princess Penelopea Hates Peas is the story of a princess who cannot be convinced to try her peas, no matter what the king and queen do. The book offers parents an opportunity to encourage kids to try new foods. There is a note to parents and caregivers in the back that provides useful tips for getting children to eat a variety of foods. The accompanying illustrations are whimsical and colorful, and help turn a topic that some children may hesitate to embrace into a book that is a great deal of fun to read.” —Foreword Reviews

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Healthy Holiday Eating 2021-12-02T23:26:35-05:00

National Adoption Month: Focus on Foster Care

November is National Adoption Month. This year, the focus is on helping teens in foster care find permanent families. Magination Press's books about foster care explore the foster care experience for young children. Maybe Days: A Book for Children in Foster Care by Jennifer Wilgocki, MS, and Marcia Kahn Wright, PhD, addresses the questions, feelings, and concerns children in foster care most often face. It also provides basic information that children want and need to know, including the roles of various people in the foster care system and whom to ask for help. The foster care experience can create feelings of uncertainty, mistrust, and inadequacy. Home for A While by Laura Kerstein shows how respect, kindness, and understanding can help a child build resilience and recognize their strengths. We interviewed her about creating Home for A While. Magination Press: What inspired you to write Home for A While? Laura Kerstein:  Hope inspired me to write Home for A While. For years, I worked with children in and out of foster care. They struggled to make meaning out of their worlds and of themselves. I wanted to write a book that not only paid homage to them, but also offered a way to help ALL children see their strengths. I longed to add some light to dark times, and highlight the incredible resilience and fortitude of the children with whom I’d worked. I also wanted to offer emotion regulation strategies that any child might embrace. Finally, I worked with wonderful, caring foster parents, and I wanted to show the positive ways a person can impact another. So… I hope this book gives children and families hope. MP: Why do children need books about the experience of foster care? LK: All children need to see all different types of families represented in books. As Dr. Bishop said, books need to be “windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors.” Children need to not only see themselves in books, but also learn about the lives of other children. As authors, we have a responsibility to make sure all children are represented in literature. I wanted both the children with whom I worked to see themselves in a book, as well as other children to see a different type of family situation. MP: Do you have experience with foster care--as a child, as a parent, or as a practitioner? LK: For years, I worked with children in foster care, on the brink of foster care, or who had been in foster care in the past. The children with whom I worked were so incredibly resilient and strong. Calvin is a combination of all of those wonderful children. MP: Tell me about Maggie, the foster mom. Who was your inspiration? LK: I have had the opportunity to work with incredibly caring and committed foster parents. Just as Calvin is a combination of many different children, Maggie is a blend of many different foster parents. Fun fact: I chose the name Maggie because we had the most amazing, intuitive,

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National Adoption Month: Focus on Foster Care 2021-11-15T14:08:17-05:00