Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Learning to Get Along

I really like this series. We got the first three books ages ago when they comprised the whole series, but now it's grown to about 15 books, covering topics like politeness, sharing, empathy, safety, fears, anger, listening, acceptance, giving, and participation. The author, Cheri Meiners, is a former elementary educator who now teaches at the university level. She does a nice job of breaking these topics down so they're approachable for the preschool/kindergarten set.
Pictures are bright and nicely rendered. They do an especially good job of conveying emotions through facial expressions. Also, the pictures are very multicultural: the central character of Understand and Care is Asian; Be Polite and Kind's central character is Latino. Other books do a similarly good job of including children of many races.

These books are also good ones for starting conversations about feelings, reactions, other people's feelings, behaviors...just about anything you might need to talk to your 2-6 year old about. My almost-4-year-old loves Understand and Care; she enjoys identifying how people feel from their facial expressions and we spent some time talking about what you might say to someone who felt afraid or sad or angry. Such a great springboard to talking about and teaching empathy -- how do other people feel? How can you use your imagination to figure out what they're feeling? We've been having a lot of tantrums around here lately, so Cool Down and Work Through Anger is looking like a good title for us to pick up. And we've been talking about blessing other people, so Reach Out and Give might be another possibility.
These may be available at your public library -- ours carries the first three titles -- and they're all available in paperback through your favorite bookseller. It might even be worth checking your church library, as they were popular with churches when they first came out.

Images courtesy of BarnesandNoble.com

1 comment:

  1. Great series for people who have behavior issues