Understanding Our Minds and Bodies | Health Series Nonfiction

There is something here for everyone in the family to help them learn more about their insides (and outsides).

Healthy bodies often fight with healthy minds for the spotlight since each is visible and they tug between each other for resources, but here we have some fun takes on what it means to really understand our bodies and minds in a healthy, balanced way. Teens can look at the exercise science aspects of what makes our muscles work while also learning about healthy eating and mental health practices connected to physical activity. Younger readers have a rainbow of emotional intelligence and joyful approaches to look forward to understanding what it means to be different physically and mentally. There is something for everyone in the family to help them learn a little more about themselves with these fresh, new series.



Gaertner, Meg. I Can Clean Up! ISBN 9781646195770.
––––. I Can Ride My Bike. ISBN 9781646195787.
––––. I Can Stop Germs. ISBN 9781646195794.
––––. I Can Swim. ISBN 9781646195800.
––––. I Can Tell Time. ISBN 9781646195817.
––––. I Can Tie My Shoes. ISBN 9781646195824.
ea vol: 24p. (I Can Do It!). North Star Editions/Little Blue Readers. Aug. 2022. Tr. $28.50.
PreS-Gr 1 –Confidence building situations are modeled with short texts to help children visualize the ability to do everything from chores to riding a bike for the first time. The photographs have a family setting and depict diverse abilities and races across the ­activities with the goal of showing every child that they can do what they put their minds to. Each title focuses on a feasible task that is broken down and reframed utilizing simple language for young readers. VERDICT A perfect choice for caregivers who are looking for a startup selection to help grow self-confidence in emerging readers.

Gleisner, Jenna Lee. Bedtime. ISBN 9781636906607.
––––. Eating Healthy Foods. ISBN 9781636906638.
––––. Exercising. ISBN 9781636906669.
––––. Morning Routine. ISBN 9781636906690.
ea vol: 16p. (First Routines). Jump!/Tadpole Books. Aug. 2022. Tr. $25.65.
PreS-Gr 1 –From breakfast to bedtime, these daily activities that children go through are explained with easy to understand sentences and photographs of children taking charge of their actions. For early readers who are starting to develop their vocabulary, the task specific words highlighted in the text can help build their language skills around things that they accomplish everyday. Parents and caregivers can relate and use the images to illustrate the normality of routines in children’s everyday lives. ­ VERDICT This is a great addition for preschools and families looking to show healthy routines for children to follow from modeled easy exercises to healthy eating at home.

Mather, Charis. Allergic Reaction. ISBN 9781636919676.
––––. Asthma Attack. ISBN 9781636919683.
––––. Autistic Distress. ISBN 9781636919690.
––––. Epileptic Seizure. ISBN 9781636919706.
ea vol: 24p. (My Emergency). Bearport/Fusion. Aug. 2022. Tr. $26.99.
Gr 1-3 –What do you do when something scary happens? Aiming to prepare children for health crises and alarming situations where emotions run high, each situation presented is explained in easy-to-understand terms with photographs that are realistic without causing readers undue stress. There are diverse people depicted in these situations – each experiencing their respective emergency. The best inclusion here is that of autistic distress, which is addressed with helpful, factual information and without stigma. VERDICT Families looking to prepare themselves for health emergencies that children might personally experience can rely on these books to help alleviate stress with age-appropriate explanations.

Peterson, Christy. Many Ways to Be. ISBN 9781728456188.
––––. Many Ways to Be a Family. ISBN 9781728456171.
––––. Many Ways to Be a Friend. ISBN 9781728456164.
––––. Many Ways to Believe. ISBN 9781728456218.
––––. Many Ways to Dress. ISBN 9781728456201.
––––. Many Ways to Eat. ISBN 9781728456195.
ea vol: 24p. (Sesame Street ® Celebrating You and Me). Lerner. Aug. 2022. Tr. $27.99.
PreS-Gr 2 –Familiar Sesame Street puppets pop up throughout this series to highlight the many ways they celebrate their families, communities, and themselves. Diverse representations of abilities, family structures, races, and religions are depicted throughout the series in the same seamless way one sees them pop up in the television show. This is a jubilant highlight of people, cultures, and abilities from across the world that encourages families to celebrate themselves and would be a welcome addition to public libraries for storytime and beyond. VERDICT The major themes across these titles are joy and understanding, which are sure to bring a smile to readers of all ages.

Schuh, Mari. My Life with a Food Allergy. ISBN 9781681528595.
––––. My Life with Anxiety. ISBN 9781681528564.
––––. My Life with Asthma. ISBN 9781681528571.
––––. My Life with Cerebral Palsy. ISBN 9781681528588.
ea vol: 24p. (My Life With . . .). Amicus. Jul. 2022. pap. $10.99.
K-Gr 2 –Step into the shoes of a person living with medical issues like cerebral palsy for a day. Using interviews of children who are experiencing the selected health situations, the author collects the snapshot of a day in each child’s life and takes readers through each part of their day from scanning ingredients before safely eating lunch to remembering to use an inhaler. The illustrations are shown throughout each title in a style similar to a picture book with the notable exception being the photograph of each child included in the back of the book which brings into focus that these are real kids with real lives. ­VERDICT Readers looking to expand their understanding of their peers will love this series and children with the same health situations will find the interviewees relatable.

Schwartz, Heather E. Facing Your Fear of Blood. ISBN 9781666355499.
––––. Facing Your Fear of Plane Rides. ISBN 9781666355512.
––––. Facing Your Fear of Shots. ISBN 9781666355505.
––––. Facing Your Fear of Storms. ISBN 9781666355536.
––––. Facing Your Fear of the Dark. ISBN 9781666355529.
––––. Facing Your Fear of Water. ISBN 9781666355543.
ea vol: 24p. (Facing Your Fears). Capstone/Pebble. Aug. 2022. Tr. $27.99.
Gr 1-3 –Things that make children’s hearts race with that tinge of heightened anxiety are explained in detail for a younger audience. There is a normalization without any shame for the specific fears addressed and then they are dispelled in a way that does not dismiss children’s feelings. Each fear is gently unpacked with explanations, some scientific illustrations, and photographs to both show and tell what is happening in each situation. While these are unlikely to free children from their feelings totally, addressing fears like darkness and plane rides gives a validation of the feelings that might assuage some anxiety. VERDICT Caregivers would benefit the most from this series as a way to address individual fears and to help develop empathy for others’ fears.

Wood, John. The Gold Book: What to Do When You’re Proud. ISBN 9781636918686.
––––. The Gray Book: What to Do When You’re Lonely. ISBN 9781636918693.
––––. The Green Book: What To Do When You’re Jealous. ISBN 9781636918709.
––––. The Orange Book: What to Do When You’re Confident. ISBN 9781636918716.
––––. The Pink Book: What to Do When You’re Confused. ISBN 9781636918723.
––––. The White Book: What to Do When You’re Stressed. ISBN 9781636918730.
ea vol: 24p. (Colorful Minds Tips for Managing Your Emotions). Bearport/Fusion. Aug. 2022. Tr. $$26.99.
Gr 1-3 –Using a color spectrum, readers are introduced to the expression of and understanding of different emotions they experience. For fans of Inside Out, this color coating style will feel familiar with some additional feelings added into the mix. Notably, the feeling of loneliness and stress help to explain what is going on in the mind when one feels each. Each colorful element of the mind spectrum is treated equally to show that there is no shame in feeling any of them. VERDICT This sort of emotional intelligence makes these titles very useful for schools, especially for counselors and social workers, and likewise can be beneficial for home use by parents to similarly explore this sort of emotional understanding with children.


Upper Elementary to Middle School

Evans, Nicole. Disability and Relationships. ISBN 9781668909133.
––––. Disability and the Media. ISBN 9781668909119.
––––. Disability Etiquette. ISBN 9781668909102.
––––. How to Be a Disability Advocate and Ally. ISBN 9781668909140.
Finke, Beth. Service Dogs. ISBN 9781668909072.
––––. What is the Americans with Disabilities Act? ISBN 9781668909126.
Hawley, Erin. Disability Pride. ISBN 9781668909096.
––––. What is Disability? ISBN 9781668909089.
ea vol: 24p. (Understanding Disability). Cherry Lake. Aug. 2022. Tr. $30.64.
Gr 3-5 –Written with the perspective of children with disabilities in mind, these titles address topics relevant to children and their caregivers. Important topics are discussed in each title such as service dogs, the ­media, and how one defines disabilities that are framed through the lens of children’s experiences in new ways. In particular, the information about the Americans with Disabilities Act is helpful for children’s ­self-advocacy and stands as a shining star in this series. VERDICT School librarians and parents will find these to be valuable resources not only for information, but also for developing understanding among peers.


Upper Middle School to High School

Alber, Aron. Female-to-Male Transgender. 96p. ISBN 9781422246979.
Lorenz-Coryell, Sarah. Polyamorous. 96p. ISBN 9781422247013.
Manetta, Lara. Bisexual and Pansexual. 98p. ISBN 9781422246948.
Quist, Jeremy. Asexual. 96p. ISBN 9781422246955.
––––. Gender Expansive. 96p. ISBN 9781422246986.
––––. Intersex. 96p. ISBN 9781422246993.
Ryan, Rin. Male-to-Female Transgender. 96p. ISBN 9781422247006.
ea vol: (Gender Identities and Sexual Expressions). National Highlights/Mason Crest. Aug. 2022. Tr. $26.95.
HighSchool –What does it mean to be LGBTQIA+ today? What is an ally? These and many more questions are delved into here. The topics cover everything from self identifying language to bi erasure. Each title’s subject is unpacked carefully and with consideration for multiple perspectives within the given community. While a bit verbose in some places, this is an important deep dive into LGBTQIA+ topics that expands and explains terminology, life experiences, and historical moments pivotal to queer teens. VERDICT Public libraries and high schools looking to expand their queer and trans nonfiction collections will find these titles to be invaluable to older teens.

Johnson, Cole. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). ISBN 9781422245996.
Lowder, Jay. Low Impact Training. ISBN 9781422246009.
––––. Mind and Body Fitness. ISBN 9781422246016.
––––. Strength and Bodyweight Training. ISBN 9781422246023.
Rozier, Kimber. Core Training. ISBN 9781422245958.
––––. Endurance Training. ISBN 9781422245965.
––––. Fitness and Nutrition. ISBN 9781422245972.
––––. High Energy Workouts. ISBN 9781422245989.
ea vol: 96p. (Fitness and Training). National Highlights/Mason Crest. Aug. 2022. Tr. $26.95.
HighSchool –An offering of titles that look at the exercise science based approach to being healthy, going beyond building up muscle and fad diets. Exploring concepts and practices in the fitness world today from high intensity interval training to the importance of mind and body connection. The inclusion of anatomy and physiology illustrations coupled with multimedia interactions helps bridge the home to school applications of the fitness content. The hidden gem of this series is its continued work across each topic to debunk myths and unhealthy habits, especially around exercise and eating. VERDICT A great addition for high school biology and physical education classes that would also be welcome on the bookshelves of students looking to build healthy habits at home.

Pivotal to readers understanding their own minds and bodies is also understanding the experiences others who have lives can see themselves reflected in. “My Life With” (Amicus) is an illuminating series that explores own voice experiences in relatable situations for children and families to feel understood. For younger children, “Sesame Street” (Lerner) brings a vibrant sheen of joy in one’s own experiences through their diverse representations across cultures, families, and abilities to let everyone feel seen. Both of these series also show how powerful confidence can be for children and families.The effort put forth here to reach people where they are, ­especially young children, is incredible and deserves both the praise and attention of educators and caregivers.

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