Time Out With a Good Book

Looking back on blogs from previous Augusts, it seems this is often a time of year where things are happening, and people can be feeling a bit overwhelmed. Term 3 is always such a busy time of year, and the depths of winter mean that energy is often at a low point, so please be as kind to yourself as you can. Maybe take some time out with a good book!

Some of you may have seen Being a Dog: A Tail of Mindfulness (perhaps a good book if you or your class are feeling a bit overwhelmed) from earlier this year. Companion title Being a Cat: A Tail of Curiosity is now available. In this delightful picture book, we’re encouraged to be curious like a cat; to observe the world around us from unusual points of view and take the time to wonder about what we see. The reader is also encouraged to take time to let those around us know when we’re happy, and to find constructive approaches to work through being mad. This is another way to approach mindfulness for those who find sitting still difficult; to explore the world, and take the time to really look and learn.

This month we also have Jerry Craft’s newest book in his series of graphic novels centred around a group of friends from Riverdale Academy Day School, School Trip. Once again, it’s a time of change: Jordan’s been accepted into Art School for his high school years. He’s thrilled, but it will mean that he’s once again the new kid, so he’s got a lot to think about in deciding whether to go. In the meantime, Jordan and his friends (and some others he’d rather forget about) are off to Paris. Jordan’s already feeling a bit overwhelmed with the prospect of a new country and a new language, but things go from bad to worse when the French and Art teachers who were supposed to be supervising the trip are reassigned, and it seems like no one knows what’s going on! But life is what you make of it, and the kids from Riverdale are about to find out that sometimes great – and hilarious – things happen when plans go awry.

Friendships are some of the most important relationships we can have, but as we get older and we – and our friends – grow and change, things can get trickier. Friendship Survival Guide is here to help kids navigate the complexity of being and having good friends. When we’re very young, a friend may be a person who lives next door, or someone from our class who also enjoys playing cricket at lunchtime. But as lives become busier and more complicated – new schools, different family arrangements, demanding sport commitments – what we need from our friends also becomes more complicated. This handy book looks at what makes healthy relationships as well as the signs that a friendship may not be serving us well. Crucially, it also asks readers to think about themselves, and what they are already doing to be a good friend, and what they might need to work on. A fantastic resource for every classroom or school library, from year 5 up.

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