Title: Grin and Bear It
Author: Leo Landry
Description: Bear wants to be a comedian but suffers from stage fright. He and his friends come up with a creative solution to his dilemma.
- understanding humor
- reading non-verbal communication through body language and facial expressions
- gaining comfort in learning that many people get nervous
- problem solving
- inferencing and predicting
- handling discouragement and failure
- valuing friendship from giver and receiver perspectives
- understanding theory of mind
Why I liked this book: The bear with stage fright is relatable to kids and adults of all ages. When Bear is embarrassed, his friends help him problem solve rather than laugh at him. The first four chapters are titled: A Dream, A Plan, Ready, and Showtime depicting steps we want our kids to follow for any challenging assignment or task. The illustrations make me want to hug this book!
Ideas for this book:
- Read the 7 short chapters over a period of several days to allow time to explore all this book has to offer. Discuss the steps to accomplishing something that the kids want. Have them create the idea, make a plan, and prepare before diving in.
- Discuss words and terms like “stage fright”, “embarrassed”, “rehearse”, and “nervous”. This is a great opportunity to also discuss physiological responses to anxiety and ways to help decrease it through deep breathing, yoga, visualization, and other ideas.
- When Bear falls apart, ask the kids to offer suggestions on how to solve his problem. What should he do? Give up? Try again? How could he be more successful the next time?
- Discuss what good friends would do if they saw someone struggling like Bear.
- Have kids practice and tell jokes to one another. It’s a great way to help them understand humor both through spoken words and body language. What makes a joke funny?
- As always, I love having kids act out stories and this is a great one for that.
Submitted by: Jill Perry, MHA, MS, OTR/L
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