Today's books are all about social emotional learning. There are three of them, which means you also have three new prizes to earn chances for winning.
Social emotional books, often denoted as SEL books, are intended to help guide young children in navigating difficult issues. Loss. Anxiety. Depression. Loneliness. Disagreements. Topics that many children experience, but have little resources for navigating through them for the first time. That is why books like these are so important.
The four stories shared below handle tough topics masterfully, with text that is easily accessible and with emotions stemming from situations that are relatable. The wonderful thing about picture books is that they aren't just impactful for children -- they can be equally meaningful for adults.
I highly recommend the books below for all readers, not only to help deal with their own situations, but to help develop empathy for others.
Moonlight Memories written by Amanda Davis, illustrated by Michelle Jing Chan (Worthy Kids 2023)
Mama had been gone almost a month, leaving Piper feeling empty.
This inspiring, heart-warming story shows how a girl named Piper moves through the grief of losing her mother by using art and the night sky to help capture her memories. The ending is especially uplifting as Piper shares what she has learned with her father in order to help him. For children of all ages, this touching story shows that the power of healing can be found in ourselves through connections with others and the world around us.
Learn more about Amanda Davis books at her website.
Anzu & the Art of Friendship written by Moni Ritchie Hadley, illustrated by Nathalia Takeyama (Albert Whitman & Co 2023)
Anzu twirls under the origami collection in her new room.
“Are you ready?” Ojiisan asks.
I’ve always found origami creations wonderous and beautiful, although at times making them can be tricky. Understanding the art takes patience. What I love about this book is that on the deepest level, that art of learning origami is similar in many ways to the art of making new friends. It’s not always easy.
I also love this story for the truth it shares in a child's perspective about the difficulties that can be faced with fitting-in, particularly when adjusting to a new classroom. I also love the relationship between Anzu and her grandfather, the perseverance shown in Anzu as she interacts with the kids around her, and the friendships and understanding that are eventually forged. This book is a must-read for any family or school that will inspire exploration in both the art of origami and practice in kindness.
Learn more about other books written by Moni Ritchie Hadley at her website.
Whatever Comes Tomorrow written by Rebecca Gardyn Levington, illustrated by Mariona Cabassa (Barefoot Books 2023)
Tomorrow may bring endless sun or swirly, snowy skies. Tomorrow may bring new hellos, or difficult goodbyes. . . .
So begins this beautifully written book to help guide readers toward feelings of calm and reassurance for whatever worries may be troubling them. I particularly admire how the worries presented in each illustrated spread are balanced by hopeful phrases and images. In this way, the book opens itself up to discussions of how hurtful or anxiety-filled experiences can lead to new understandings, or perhaps how worries can be viewed from alternate perspectives. The colorful illustrations offer a beautiful balance and leave an uplifting impression that will surely lead to multiple readings.
Discover more books at the author's website!
Too Much! An Overwhelming Day written by Jolene Gutierrez, illustrated by Angel Chang (Hachette Books 2023)
Alarm clock BEEPS! I quiver-quake. The noise in loud and my ears ache.
This would have a been the perfect book for my own family members that struggled with sensory overload condition when they were young. What a blessing this book will be for those that struggle with it now. It's a perfect book for ANY child actually. Who hasn't know a child to experience feelings of overwhelm, especially if they are tired or stressed? Not only does this story offer reassurance, it shows children how to recenter and soothe themselves. Thus, it's a must-read for all.
The comforting rhyme and wonderful illustrations bring together a tangible and reassuring story.
Visit Jolene Gutierrez's website to learn about her other books.
1) a 30-minute AMA meeting with Amanda Davis
2) a copy of Anzu and the Art of Friendship (US address) from Moni Ritchie Hadley
3) a 30-minute AMA meeting with Rebecca Gardyn Levingon
4) a copy of Too Much! An Overwhelming Day (US address) from Jolene Gutierrez
How do you earn entries?
1) ✔ Reply to each blog post with a comment = 1 entry
2) ✔ on social media = 1 entry for each share (let me know where you shared)
@SKWenger on X
@skwenger on Blue Sky
@SKWenger_books on Instagram
@SKWengerChildrensAuthor on FB
3) ✔ your library to order the books = 1 entry for each (let me know you did this!)
4) ✔ leave a review on Goodreads, Amazon, or BN = 1 entry each (let me know you did this!)
Lastly, be sure to follow the authors and myself on social media so that you can be connected if you win!
Winners are selected November 2nd, so there is plenty of time to participate.