Monday, September 28, 2009

Nonfiction Monday, Guest Review, AND Series Review: Let's Work It Out from PowerKids Press, as reviewed by Ami

As I work in a public library, I often get requests from both parents and teachers for books on dealing with specific issues - bullying, making friends, and sharing are big ones. I recently received a dozen or so titles from this series that should fit the bill nicely.

The series has three authors involved; Rachel Lynette, Julie Fiedler, and Jonathan Kravetz. Some differences are obvious among the three. Lynette's start off with a situational story and asks a question such as, "How do you think that made her feel?" or "Do you think that was fair?" Fiedler and Kravetz, on the other hand, begin with a brief definition of the problem at hand (teasing, jealousy, etc.)

As a former teacher, I like Lynette's approach better. For the teacher or parent wanting to lead a discussion, the opener is right there. For the child who has just been given the book to read alone (although that seems like a cop-out on the adult's part to me), the beginning at least makes everything following feel more personal, rather than like a lecture.

Other than the beginnings, however, the books were very similar, and I appreciated how thorough and well-balanced they were. How to Deal with Competition, for example, pointed out that competition can be a good thing, and explained when it is and isn't. How to Deal with Fighting differentiated between fighting and simply disagreeing. We can probably all think of some adults who need to be reminded of those differences!

I loved some of the photographs that went with these books, and can imagine the fun they must have had getting some of them. Check out the cover for How to Deal with Anger:

You could have some fun with your kids asking them to show you their Angry/Jealous/Secret face!

A nice glossary and index round out the books, and rather than list a few web sites that will immediately go under, PowerKids gives a link to their home page which then has up to date addresses. Smart!

A great series to have in the school or public library.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for writing about these books - they were fun to write and I really do think they can help kids!