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Eleven-year-old Dee Lanson has just begun her last year of elementary school. Greeting the new year, Dee looks forward to spending time with her friends and friendly sports competitions between the boys and girls of the fifth grade. But when new girl Samantha seems to be spending more time with Dee’s closest friends, Sue and Ronnie, than she is, Dee begins to feel the deadly stirrings of jealousy deep within her heart. Finding the perfect opportunity to vent her frustrations, Dee takes it upon herself to teach Samantha a lesson she’ll never forget. But when events spiral out of control, Dee finds that there is much more to her rival than she ever thought possible. With the guidance of teacher Ms. Hersh, school counselor Mr. Kent, and Dee’s parents, Dee and Samantha both learn more about each other and themselves as they work towards a solution to solve a problem that can only be described as “gloppy.”

A wonderful slice-of-life story that covers the last year of elementary school, Dee’s coming-of-age adventure is a lighthearted tale that explores the host of new emotions that come with being eleven. Although Dee and Samantha are the indisputable stars of the show, there is also a rich supporting cast of fellow students and teachers. I liked the vibrant personalities of the students, ranging from stalwart Sue to practical joker Pete. I also liked the interactions between Dee’s parents and the fact that there was more to Ms. Hersh than met the eye. Dee is easy to identify with, as she struggles to understand the complex emotions roiling within her. The only detraction I really had was that I wish Dee was a little nicer to her kid brother, but arguments between siblings are normal, and their parents were good mediators.

A tale of friendship and solving problems brought on by overwrought emotions, Gloppy by Janice Laakko is a lighthearted journey through the fifth grade. Gloppy has a joyful tone, excellent storytelling, and a satisfying conclusion, and it’s the perfect choice for readers eight and above who love a solid school-year adventure full of discovery, mischief, and fun.

Pages: 129 | ASIN : B09BW479M9

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Garrett Bear: Finding Goals

Garrett Bear is a young bear attending the Character Zchool in the land of Character Jungle. Today in class, the students learn what a goal is and the difference between good and bad goals. Garrett’s first goal is to have 100 pots of honey. He realizes this may not be a good idea and should consider a new goal. Not knowing what to pick as a goal, he asks his friends and tries out what they want to do for their goal. After failing at several things, he goes home discouraged. There, his mom gives him sage advice, to think and look with his heart for the right goal for him, and not to try and live up to other people’s goals. Doing this, Garrett figures out what his goal will be.

Garrett Bear: Finding Goals by author K. Tang is a beautiful picture book that will capture children’s attention from the opening pages. All the animals in the Character Zchool have charming personalities and friendly attitudes. They all want to help each other, starting off this children’s story with a great moral message. The main focus of this educational story is to teach the concept of goal-setting and developing perseverance so that children can build on these skills later in life.

This imaginative world is brought to life by the charismatic illustrations of Michelle C. The characters will draw young readers into the pages and help them grasp the message that K. Tang is presenting. The world of Character Jungle comes to life, allowing readers to feel like they are part of the story as they follow Garrett through the process of finding a goal.

Garrett Bear: Finding Goals is a captivating picture book that teachers, caregivers, and parents can all use to help explain the concept of goals and how to set them for children. This educational children’s book is ideal for kindergarten and lower elementary students, but the message is also meaningful for older elementary students.

Pages: 32 | ISBN : 1737032600

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Garrett Bear Learning From Failure

Garrett Bear lives in Character Jungle and has set a goal to win this year’s rock climbing championship. The day of the competition comes, and Garrett does not succeed. He is disappointed and voes to never compete in rock climbing again. The following year the competition was announced, and Garrett told his parents he would not join in. Papa Bear asks Garrett why he does not want to compete, and they have a long talk about failure. Papa Bear explains that failure is not the end of the road, merely a stepping stone, and teaches Garrett how to process and move forward after failing to reach a goal that he sets.

This picture book written by K. Tang is a beautiful way to introduce the idea of failure to children gently and positively. First, K. Tang explains the different emotions of failure, disappointment, sadness, and frustration. She then presents readers with five steps to dealing with a failure and moving towards success. The five steps that the author outlines are simple and easy for children to understand and remember.

In addition to presenting the five steps for building success after failure, the author includes a guide for parents, caregivers, and educators on how to help children that are afraid of failure. This section has six steps adults can use to help children navigate this confusing and challenging time. The outcome of these steps is to learn failing is okay and how to improve in the future.

Garrett Bear Learning From Failure is a profoundly thoughtful picture book that brings to life the concept of failure in a manner that children will understand and process. The captivating artwork by Michelle C. allows children to feel engaged with the story and relate to Garrett. This children’s book is a must-have for school, classroom, and home libraries for helping children develop their emotional toolbox.

Pages: 32 | ISBN : 1737032627

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