When I’m Feeling Happy, Sad, Scared, and Angry by Trace Moroney



 Did I mention that my baby is going to kindergarten this fall? Okay so she really isn’t my baby anymore, but my first child is going to kindergarten!!!! And I am freaking out more than she is so to prepare me . . . uh I mean her, we have been reading some books about going to school and other such related topics. We have a series of books, we bought as part of a Scholastic book order, called When I’m Feeling,  by Trace Moroney and this post is actually a review of all four books – When I’m Feeling Sad, When I’m Feeling Scared, When I’m Feeling Happy, and When I am Feeling Angry. There are part of some of the books I will be reviewing for the kindergarten collection.

I have had these books for a while and we use them whenever we are going to have a big change in our family, like a new baby (I’m NOT pregnant, thank goodness!!!), new job, and for the start of school. I think talking about feelings has many benefits one being that children often have a hard time verbalizing feelings and by reading about them provides them with the vocabulary to talk about them and also let’s them know that their feelings are normal.

From the back of each book

  • When I’m Feeling Happy – So many things can make you HAPPY. Playing with friends, a special treat – or just a big hug
  • When I’m Feeling Angry – When you’re really angry you feel like you’re going to explode. It’s okay to be ANGRY sometimes as long as you don’t hurt anyone.
  • When I’m Feeling Sad – Everyone feels SAD sometimes. It’s a quiet, lonely feeling. But it can often help to talk to someone about it.
  • When I’m Feeling Scared – Anyone would be SCARED of some things, like dangerous animals! But lots of other things aren’t really as scary as they seem.

Another thing I like about these books, is in addition to using language that small children can understand and adorable illustrations, there are additional notes to parents or caregivers about how to help children develop healthy self-esteem and that feelings are normal part of life. We can cope with them. I particularly like this

Happiness is more than just being successful. Helping your child gain self-trust needs to deal with failure, loss, shame, difficulty and defeat is as important – if not more so – than succeeding or being best.

Each book features the same little rabbit who goes through various scenarios that might cause these feelings and offers  some suggestions as to what children can do if they are feeling this way. These little gems of books are some of our family favorites and they have helped my daughter deal with anger and cope with sadness and fear. I wish I could give Trace Maroney a hug for writing these books as they have been invaluable. There are four additional titles I haven’t checked out yet, but I will called – When I’m Feeling Lonely, When I’m Feeling Kind, When I’m Feeling Jealous, When I’m Feeling Loved.

Trace Maroney’s website

What are some ways you personally you have used or ways you have helped your children cope with feelings or big changes?


Tale of Two Houses: How Would Your Life Be Different If You Were Not Literate?

I asked the teachers I was working with on Monday morning as part of a professional development presentation on literacy in the content area, ‘How would your life be different if you were not literate?’ My question prompted some good discussions on how our lives would be different.

I then showed them this picture of two model houses that were donated to our local library. Tale of Two Houses

The caption reads

This model was constructed entirely from scraps by an elderly man who did not learn to read until he was 60 years old. The attractive two story house symbolizes a life enriched by reading. The smaller structure, on the other hand, symbolizes a life in disarray due to illiteracy.  . . . The craftsman gave this model to library patron Clark Richards in appreciation for his efforts as a literacy volunteer.

So, How would your life be different if you were not literate?

Bookscoops Summer Review- on atrazine, peace and pink.

School is just beginning again for many of our young book readers (not to mention some of us older ones). So, we thought that we would do a quick re-cap of things we learned this summer so that all of you would know that we didn’t just sit and veg watching TV all day.

From Holly:

Do you remember when your teacher would ask you to bring an article to school or tell about a current event that relates to something you are learning about? Well, just this past Sunday I had one of those aha! moments that make you wish you were still in school because it would be an automatic A+. Okay, not really, I’m glad to be done with school, but here’s a tip for you science buffs out there. The New York Times published an article about atrazine, a common pesticide. Why did this ring a bell with me? Because of The Frog Scientist by Pamela Turner, which I just posted a review for last week. Prior to last week, I had never thought too deeply about our water supply, other than having our well tested periodically. Our tests always came back fine, so I never delved any deeper, now I’m curious. If you’d like to know more about atrazine feel free to click here for the article or here for more information about The Frog Scientist. You may be surprised (or not) to find that Dr. Tyrone Hayes has found scientific evidence that refutes the  manufacturer (Syngenta) safety claims.

What else did I learn this summer? I have a new favorite book called Pinkalicious! Having kids at home full time doesn’t allow for much uninterrupted posting time. It does allow for lots of book reading, though, so look for many more reviews to come soon!

From Cari:


I’ve spent a lot of time this summer getting ready for the school year. I will be working as a reading coach – which means I will be working at a middle school supporting teachers and assisting struggling readers. I also spent a fair amount of time at the swimming pool, attending events at the library, playing at the park with my kids and hunting gophers with a hand shovel (see my Grandma Dowdel post for more details). I’ve done a ton of reading, just not a lot of reviewing and we participated in the summer reading program at our local library.

Our Double Scoop of the summer

iwillsurprisemyfriendI Will Surprise My Friend by Mo Willems – the Dr. Suess of the 21st century. We highly recommend his whole series of early readers with Elephant and Piggie.

List of Books reviewed this summer

One Wolf Howls by Scotti Cohn, illustrated by Susan Detwiler

Peace Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson

Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Harry Bliss

The Frog Scientist by Pamela Turner, photographs by Andy Comins

Pinkalicious! by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann

Goat Nappers by Rosa Jordan

Other News and Upcoming Events at Bookscoops

Cari also participated in the Bloggiesta hosted by Natasha at Maw Books Blog – a party to improve your blog. It was a fabulous challenge to participate in and thanks to Natasha we have a new theme which, although Holly would have liked it to be pink (since she is a little obsessed with the color), Cari won out with the blue theme. After all since Holly gets a fun book like Pinkalicious then Cari should get a blue theme, right?  Or maybe it’s just because she is older.

hiccupotamusWe will be participating in a blog tour with Aaron Zenz, the cool dad of all the z-kids over at Bookie Woogie, for his upcoming re-release of his book Hiccupotamus – a fun book about a Hippo who gets. . . you guessed it – the hiccups. We will be hosting an author interview and a signed book give-away on September 12th. So please come and get to know Aaron a little more and see our review of Hiccupotamus.

The Frog Scientist by Pamela S. Turner Photographs by Andy Comins

the frog scientist by pamela turner nad andy cominsMy kids love to hunt for frogs! We have an ongoing family catch and release program at the local pond. So, it came as no surprise that my three boys were eager to get their hands on The Frog Scientist. I thought I might get trampled in the stampede for the couch! There was something for everyone inside- beautiful captivating pictures and short, concise picture descriptions that enticed my 3 & 6 year olds. Attention spans of young ones being what they are, my 8, almost 9, year old was my only child with the fortitude to read the whole book (although my 6 year old hung on the back of the couch and checked in frequently). We read it together and I don’t know who was happier to have such a fascinating book to read- him or me.

The Frog Scientist is written like fiction, with a fascinating storyline, alternating between frogs, and the frog scientist (aka Berkeley’s own Tyrone Hayes). Turner’s wonderful writing style sets a great tone for learning and is augmented by Comins’ beautiful, detailed photographs documenting the scientific process. The Frog Scientist satisfies various learning styles- the pictures draw you to read the story and the story keeps you turning pages to figure out exactly what pesticides can do to amphibians.

I highly recommend The Frog Scientist for grades 3 and up while allowing for the fact that children younger than this will really enjoy the pictures and could easily sit still for a chapter at a time. A thoroughly engaging introduction to biology and the scientific method, this book would be especially useful in classes where frog dissection will take place- I can almost smell the formaldehyde!

Peace, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson

book_cover_peacelocomationI absolutely love Peace, Locomotion. Jacqueline Woodson is a talented, talented writer and I am in love with her words. She is one of the few authors that make you laugh and cry at the same time, her words just ring with meaning and pull you by your heart. Really this would make the Doublescoop cut for our blog Woodson is that good, but alas if I want to post this before the end of next year I’m doing this one solo. I have read a few of her other books – including Show Way and Miracles Boys, which are on my list of favorites as well.

Lonnie lives with a foster family and his younger sister lives with another foster family as her foster mother doesn’t want a boy. He considers himself the keeper of the family memories because they lost their parents in the fire, and to do so her writes a series of letters to his sister to keep their memories alive especially while they apart. He plans to give her the letters when she turns 18.

I highly recommend Peace, Locomotion to anyone who loves a good coming of age story in the post 9/11 world. I also think this would be a good book to use in a middle school and plan to recommend it to my school’s librarian.

Jacqueline Woodson’s Website.