Friday, August 5, 2011
First off, I need to acknowledge (without excuse-making) my absence last week – did you miss me? No Friday link-up – my apologies to anyone who came looking. I will offer an explanation, not an excuse: life got busy, and my writing, my blog, took a backseat. It was an intentional decision based on my priorities, but disappointing nonetheless. On the bright side, I’m back, life is marginally more under control, and the quiet on the blogging front was not an indicator of the quantity or quality of books we’ve been enjoying.
Worry-wart or Whiner?
I’ve complained vented before about B’s anxious tendencies: everything from refusing to get in the public pool for lessons (while diving to the bottom at home) to fearing costumed characters like Mickey or Smokey the Bear. While I work hard to alleviate his fears with explanation and preparation, a mom can only be SO prepared and can only give up SO much time for negotiation before she goes batty. Of course we like books that help with new experiences, and now is no exception.
My pick this week hits two REALLY important social-emotional points: some fears, while genuine, are downright unreasonable, AND being open to the unexpected can be very rewarding. Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend, by Melanie Watt is centered on Scaredy’s (genuine but unreasonable) fear of being bitten. He is afraid to make friends because they COULD be biters – like beavers, rabbits, or Godzilla. When he discovers a goldfish living nearby, he thinks he’s found the perfect friend: no teeth, not noisy or dirty, very predictable. After creating a detailed plan to win over his ideal friend, Scaredy’s efforts are thwarted by a curious and energetic dog. While initially terrified, Scaredy learns that the pup is not only friendly, but fun. And while he may have germs, teeth, and even a somewhat unpleasant odor, the dog makes an excellent friend. It’s been one of B’s favorite books recently, and I’m hoping the message is sinking in a little. The comical illustrations and quirky squirrel behavior are sure to incite giggles, but if those giggles also diffuse some tension and fear, it’s a double success. I’ve already requested the rest of the Scaredy series from the library – and hoping it makes an impression!
Appropriate for preschool, primary grades.
Tell me this fearfulness and excuse making is just a phase – then tell me what I can do to survive it!