I Am!: Affirmations for Resilience

Penguin Workshop/Rise. Oct. 2020. 26p. Board $9.99. ISBN 9780593222799.
Gr 1-3–A useful collection of affirmations paired with body movements for students. In her “Dear Grown-Up” note at the start of the book, Barbosa, an early childhood social emotional learning educator, references the negative messaging that she has heard students tell themselves: “I’m bad at…” or “I can’t…” The focus of these affirmations is not to deny emotions or experiences but rather to be able to experience the situations and move through and beyond them to a more positive space. Each spread of this board book is illustrated using modern, graphic strokes of color to capture different experiences that readers face and a statement to use to acknowledge the emotion and “move on.” Examples include “When you are feeling ignored, like no one listens to you, put your hands on your belly, take a breath, and say: ‘I am important!’” Students should be encouraged to use the language and body postures suggested but to also find ways to express themselves physically and verbally in their own manners.
VERDICT Honoring the emotional lives of children and providing them with tools to cope, this title would be useful in classrooms to help students with self-regulation and emotional well-being.

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