12 April 2020

The Day the Lines Changed

The Day the Lines Changed by Kelly Donner is a story about a line, a pandemic, and how change shapes us all.

The lines are going about their lives when suddenly lines start getting sick and everything the lines know about their normal routines change.

The Day the Lines Changed was written and illustrated by Kelley Donner and is designed to explain why the world appears to turn upside down during a pandemic. More importantly, it helps young children understand that things will again normalize. The different color lines are going about their life when something starts happening to their older lines. When this starts happening, schools close and the little lines cannot play with their friends in public places. One day something changes; one of the lines is different and can fight off what is making the older lines sick. From that point on, life slowly life returns to normal. I love the author’s story on why she wrote the book. Home with her three young boys, she struggled to find words to answer their questions. This book is her way to do just that.

If you’re looking to a great way to talk to your children about pandemics without introducing fear into the conversation, The Day the Lines Changed by Kelley Donner will be a fantastic resource for you. This simplicity of the topic and limited word count allow the reader to add in what they wish to answer any additional questions that remain, but at the same time, help comfort young minds with the knowledge that life will again be normal.

Rating: 🌪

Age Range: 2-8 years
Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: A Little Donnerwetter Book – Kelly Donner (March 19, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1733959580
ISBN-13: 978-1733959582


7 March 2020

Chubby Little Stubby

to the Rescue

Chubby Little Stubby to the Rescue by Beth Pysnack is an inspiring tale about following your dreams, despite any preconceived or actual limitations.

Stubby is tasked with finding a little boy lost in the woods, and he can’t wait to start.

Chubby Little Stubby to the Rescue by Beth Pysnack is a cute story about a little dog you wouldn’t expect to be a rescue dog and how he helps others. Frances Espanol provides heartwarming illustrations that bring little Chubby to life. This book gives children a little insight into what do to if lost, and how help might come. Beth Pysnack doesn’t focus on the fears a child might have in this situation, but instead she focuses on the joy a rescue dog has in finding a lost little boy and providing help. I like how the point of view of Stubby helps bring reassurance to the lost little boy and how the message of hope and joy is foremost in the story.

If you’re looking to teach your children about not judging a book by its cover, Chubby Little Stubby to the Rescue by Beth Pysnack does just that. It teaches us that despite the fact that Stubby doesn’t look like a typical rescue dog, looks are not as important as heart, and a willingness to do good. During a disaster and after, it is the willingness to try that is so important. This book is a good edition to your library because it teaches children about the importance of helping others.

Rating:    ☀️

Age Range: 5-6 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – First Grade
Paperback: 19 pages
Publisher: Xlibris Corp (August 22, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1796054674
ISBN-13: 978-1796054675

Train 4 Safety Press received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are our own.

21 February 2020

Aurora's Orchid

Aurora’s Orchid by Vicky Weber is a sweet and simple story that conveys a deeper meaning and appreciation for family and the memories made together.

In this story, Aurora’s family is brought together through the simple exercise of caring for a deceptively plain orchid that takes time to bloom into its true glory.

From the surface, the book seems to be a simple and sweet story of a family that blends in lovely aspects of the Hispanic culture. In reality, it is so much more than that. Aurora’s Orchid is about memories and the love families have for one other. Aurora’s Orchid tells its’ story through the growth of a rather plain, and slow to bloom, orchid that a family still lovingly tends to throughout the story. As time goes on and life changes, the orchid remains something all the family members cherish and engage. After Aurora passes away, her family is brought together by the memories of tending that orchid, which has in its own time, and in its own way, chosen to honor Aurora’s passing by blooming into a beautiful flower. The warm and caring illustrations of Viktoria Skakandi add to this story’s sweet sense of family and belonging.

Aurora’s Orchid is a book that subtly hints at the sadness death brings, but more importantly illustrates the importance of finding and building memories to cherish and reflect upon after a loved one has passed on. This book is not designed, in my opinion, to directly aid the grieving process, but instead to start the discussion of life and its limitations. As families change and grow, loss will become something to be dealt with. This book very gently starts that coming conversation and should be in every home.

Train 4 Safety Press received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are our own.

Rating:  ☀️

Age Range: 8-11 years
Grade Level: 3-5
Paperback: 33 pages
Publisher: Trunk Up Books (Dec 23, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1734212934
ISBN-13: 978-1734212938

12 February 2020

The Elephant in The Room  A Lockdown Story


The Elephant in the Room: A Lockdown Story by Alicia Stenard is a fantastic way to teach the lock-down concept without scaring children.

It’s National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day and a circus breaks down right outside the school. The children must go into lockdown to protect their sandwiches while the clowns round up the wayward circus animals.

The Elephant in the Room: A Lockdown Story by Alicia Stenard introduces the concept of a lockdown in a unique way. The news today is filled with misguided examples of lockdown trainings that are overly realistic. Kids don’t need smoke-bombs and “bad guys” to worry about. This book focuses simply on what is important for kids to take away in a lockdown drill: not panicking and following instructions. I love that the concept of a “bad guy” is absent. There is a reason for the lockdown, but the stress moves from the ‘scary’ reason for the lockdown, to focus instead on what to do, and how. Sadly, there is no one-size fit all for this topic, but this book does a great job keeping the topic age-appropriate. The illustrations by Greg Matusic are fun and fit the “frolicking theme” of a runaway circus.

If you’re looking to a great way to introduce the potentially scary, yet unfortunately necessary, topic of lockdowns, The Elephant in the Room: A Lockdown Story by Alicia Stenard will be a fantastic resource for you. Not only does it provide a no-fear way to learn about lockdowns, it also introduces a potentially new holiday to celebrate (National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day).

Rating: 🌪

Age Range: 3-8 years
Grade Level: Pre-K – 2
Paperback: 30 pages
Publisher: St Cyr Press LLC (Nov 18, 2019)
Language: English (Spanish version available)
ISBN-10: 1733992936
ISBN-13: 978-1733992930

11 February 2020

A Terrible Thing Happened

A Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret M. Holmes is a must have for all childcare programs and for anyone helping a child affected by trauma.

Sherman has seen something awful, and his best efforts to forget about it are not working. He feels bad and starts acting out, which gets him in trouble. Then he meets Ms. Maple, who helps him talk about what happened. Talking about it is helping, and now he feels much better.

A Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret Holmes is designed for children who have witnessed some sort of violent or traumatic event. The sweet illustrations by Cary Pillo help us understand what Sherman is thinking and feeling. This book does an excellent job helping a child “reflect” themselves in a way that doesn’t re-traumatize them. We never learn what Sherman has seen, and that’s ok. We don’t need to know. The goal of this children’s book appears two-fold. First, this story helps Sherman (and readers like him) feel better. Second, it helps caregivers recognize and perhaps identify, signs that might indicate that a child had witnessed a traumatic event instead of mistakenly chalking the actions in question up to bad behavior.

A Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret Holmes is a needed resource in all preschool and early elementary school classrooms. The book also contains additional resources and suggestions for caregivers trying to help a child cope and recover from a traumatic event. If you don’t have a copy already, and you work with young children, get a copy soon.

Rating: 🌪

Age Range: 4-8 years
Grade Level: Pre-K – 2
Paperback: 33 pages
Publisher: American Psychological Association/ Magination Press (Feb 1, 2000)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1557987017
ISBN-13: 978-1557987013

10 February 2020

The Ant Hill Disaster

The Ant Hill Disaster by Julia Cook is a heartfelt and encouraging book for children who have experienced a disaster and are afraid it could happen again.

Ant Hill School has been destroyed and a little boy ant is afraid to go back to school when it opens. His mother talks to him about the importance of continuing on, even (and especially) if things happen that we cannot control.

The Ant Hill Disaster by Julia Cook, with a foreword by the Michele Gay (Co-Founder of Safe and Sound: A Sandy Hook Initiative) is an attempt to find the words to talk to little ones about hope and continuing on, even when something terrible happens. The book stresses the importance of resiliency and coming together with family, friends, and even neighbors to find the courage to move on. The illustrations by Michelle Hazelwood are the right combination of sweet and funny, showing us the vulnerability of children, but not crossing into frailty. The events that led up to the need to release such a book are tragic, but as even adults cannot control everything in their environment, it’s comforting to know that there are ways to help our children cope and encourage them to understand that, together, we can get through even the worst disaster,

The Ant Hill Disaster by Julia Cook remains one of the best resources out there for talking to children after a disaster about how to move on, and at the same time it helps pre-disaster in teaching children that lack of control over the events around us is not terrible, but instead just something we have to accept. The biggest takeaway this book provides is the importance of community and family and how we can, and should, help each other. This book is one that should be in the bookshelf of everyone who works with children.

Rating: 🌪

Age Range: 4-6 years
Grade Level: Pre-K – Kindergarten
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: National Center for Youth Issues (January 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1937870278
ISBN-13: 978-1937870270

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Why are we doing reviews of other books not published by Train 4 Safety Press? We are doing reviews because we want to help you find the tools you need to help prepare for disaster, even it they are ours.

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