Thursday, August 8, 2019

Children's Author, Linda Ragsdale, Shares Positive Messages That Will Get Kids Talking About their Feelings in These Three Picture Books (Review)

Disclosure:  I was sent book samples from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

One of my favorite things about reviewing children's books is that I am introduced to new authors and their work.  And, with my "Welcome in Summer with a Good Book" feature I found myself adding new children's authors to my growing list of favorite authors to keep an eye out for future releases.  One author in particular who I found myself going back to her books to share with my girls was Linda Ragsdale.  What drew me to this author is that she writes books that are not just entertaining for kids, bu that also touch upon important life lessons or topics to help parents discuss proper behavior with a young child.  Her books opened up the lines of communication between my girls and I after reading each story, to talk about the main points the author was trying to get across, and how the book and characters made my girls feel.  I also asked the if there was an instance in their life that they felt like the characters, or saw friends dealing with similar issues.  

Books like these are great as they get kids talking about their feelings, and how they should treat others.  I found my girls opening up more and sharing stories on how they felt left out or different in new social situations due to the color of their still, as they are part Latina and part Caucasian.  My youngest even shared how one of her friends was being picked on because she looked different, and that this book should be shared with all kids, so that they know how to handle situations where either they are being picked on or bullied, or need to stick up for a friends.  Just hearing my girls talk freely and opening, after listening to me read Linda Ragsdale's books, made me smile, as I could tell they were comprehending the story and the important messages the author was trying to convey, but also how they are growing up and maturing, and can stop situations and have coping skills and ways to address and manage them.  Here are the three books that have become favorites at bedtime with my girls and I, and that are definitely worth picking up to share with your kids, or even donated to your child's classroom come the fall.  Teachers will love the messages of the stories, and the illustrations in each book draw kids in and keep them entertained from start to finish.

About this Book:

""A sturdy addition to the bad-mood shelf." -Kirkus

This wordless picture book is a thought-provoking exploration of disruptive feelings. Readers may interpret these as anger, anxiety, or even a creative brain storm.

Follow along as a mood pesters a young boy and ends up rubbing off on all those around him. After a frustrating day under his version of a little dark cloud, he discovers that ultimately working through your feelings and emotions begins with you. The wordless pages inspire readers to "read" the story as they apply their own interpretations to the young boy's plight."

My Thoughts:

Even though this book doesn't have any words, it will still be enjoyed by kids and adults, as they can talk about what they see in the illustrations and what messages both the author and illustrator are trying to convey to the reader.  If you have a moody child who is learning how to control their emotions, this book may be good to share with them, to remind them that they are not alone in feeling angry, anxious or moody at times.  But, that with coping skills, they, too, can work through their emotions in a positive way.

About the Book:

"Sometimes things aren't always what they seem… sometimes they are better. When a young explorer comes upon a dragon he quickly learns he shouldn't jump to conclusions. This is no ordinary dragon. This is a Peace Dragon and she is spreading a message of peace the whole world should hear. Join them in this journey that teaches about love and trust and the importance of embracing others for who they are, not how they appear. The Peace Dragon is a non-profit dedicated to teaching and spreading peace throughout the world. Each book in the Peace Dragon Tales series from Flowerpot Press is an extension of this mission and will help teach children the power of words, the importance of acceptance, and the enormous benefit of seeing and accepting the world with an open heart.The series is perfect for campaigns that aim to reduce racism, bullying, and prejudice, and turn children toward unity, kindness, and acceptance."

My Thoughts:

When I first heard about this book, I was eager to receive a review copy, as I wanted to share it with my youngest daughter in particular.  She can at times just to conclusions and see things her way, and not how others are seeing them or that they should be seen.  Both of my girls were able to pick up on the messages of acceptance and kindness, and related it to times in their life that they felt bullied or looked at differently because of their mixed race.  Many of the classes we attend outside the house are with Caucasian children, so they sometimes feel a little awkward or different when they come together in a new group, as they know they look different.  Some kids don't notice their skin color, while others are quick to point it out, and this makes my girls feel out of place and different.  I wish I had this book to share with parents, whenever I see my girls feeling out of place, as a way for parents to remind their kids that we shouldn't be judging people on their appearance or skin color, and should embrace everyone for their difference as that is what makes us unique. If we teach our young children this positive lesson early in life, maybe we can cut down on the bullying and prejudices kids encounter in schools and in their daily lives and interactions.  

About the Book:

"PB and Jeli are best bear friends. They play ball together every single day, until the day Jeli gets sick. After the doctor prescribes medication, Jeli begins to feel better but to her surprise, the medication turns her fur purple! With the help of her colorful and caring friends, Jeli learns that there is more to who you are than what shows on the outside. And that maybe being positively purple is positively perfect!
Positively Purple explores the power of empathy and friendship in building a child's self-esteem. Self acceptance is a strong theme running through the story, with a clear message that change in your appearance does not change how your friends feel about you."

My Thoughts:

This is another great picture book that addresses how appearances should not be the basis of how we look at and treat people.  In this cute story Jeli's fur turns purple after medicine she is given.  Feeling self-conscious about her appearance, she feels different and that hurts her self-esteem. But, thanks to caring friends, they remind her that they are her friends no matter what she looks like, and that she shouldn't be worried about how she looks or what people will think of her.  Another great children's book filled with positive themes and messages that parents and children will pick up on when they sit down and enjoy this book together. Then, you can talk further about the ways to build up your self-esteem and/or accepting others including friends and strangers for their differences.


I could go on and on about how great these three books from Linda Ragsdale are.  They are so good that I have lost count on how many times we have read them.  And, when I am not reading these books to my girls at bedtime, my girls are pulling them from the bookshelf to read on their own, or to flip through the pages.  So, if you are looking for new books to pick up to share with your kids, I highly recommend the three books above.

Disclosure:  I was sent book samples from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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