Thursday, May 24, 2012

From My Bookshelf to Yours: Gimme-Jimmy by Sherrill Cannon

Sherrill does it again! She has written another great book that will teach children morals in an enjoyable, non preachy way. Gimme-Jimmy is beautifully rhymed story about a bully named Jimmy. He snatches and takes what is not his. He never asks. He is very rude and  always demanding "Gimme". He learns a valuable lesson when his hand swells to an enormous size. He must be polite and not say "Gimme" for his hand to return to its normal size.

My favorite part is Jimmy's New Polite Rule:

"To try to treat others as I'd like to be,
To try to see things the way others might see,
To try to be helpful, and do what is right,
And to try at all times to be very polite!"

The illustrations, as always, are excellent. I have used this in therapy with my young clients and one of my four year old clients now wants to read it every session. We say the polite rule and she chimes in very loudly the last word of every sentence. Great job, Ms Cannon!

Interview with Sherrill Cannon

Reviews of other Sherrill Cannon Books

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mockingjay- Ms. Collins, I respectfully demand a rewrite!

I am extremely disappointed with this book. I typically don't write reviews on "popular" books or write one star reviews, but the author had me really invested in the series with the 1st two books. Man, what a disappointing letdown! If it had been the 1st book I would never had read the others. It seemed rushed. I lost all the interest and care I had for the characters. In fact I pretty much disliked them all. There was one well developed character and he was killed in one unemotional sentence. ( I almost missed it.) This happens at least one other time with another important character. I understand the anti war message but it seemed to overtake the story. There was endless dying and hopelessness. Yes, I know that it is a part of war.

Truthfully, the story was not well written. Was it even written by Ms. Collins? I am not saying this because I did not like the ending ( I liked who she ended up with but not how). I struggled not to skim. I wanted to skip chapters they were so dry. I feel like I could have skipped 3 chapters and 4 pages and ended up at the same place....Katniss, crying, hiding, running, blacking out or sleeping in the hospital.

 Katniss seems so dead inside. Even the Gale vs Peeta was not exciting. It seemed like the author was just putting up with the characters to get to her true end...making sure we received her heavily crammed down our throats anti war propaganda. I found myself very confused  most of the time. The only reason I finished the book was because I wanted to see what happened to the characters I grew to care about in the 1st two books. I would have rather stopped at "Catching Fire" and made up my own ending.

 I'm not sure this book should even be a YA, it is depressing and hopeless. Even the ending, which I guess is supposed to give some sense of hope, doesn't ring true. I respectfully demand a rewrite! Ms. Collins, take your time and  stay true to your characters so that this can be a triology that we want to read over and over. I'm not sure I will even read the 1st two again since I know that the third book brings so much hopelessness and depression. The good thing is when this book makes it to the movies it will possibly be changed for the better because I don't see how anyone could watch such a dark, depressing movie for two hours.

P.S. I am not bashing her work. I would never bash another author's work. I am just so disappointed I needed to get it out somehow!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Is Your Child a Blueloon?

Help!  I Think My Child Might Be Depressed!
Although clinical depression is often thought of as an adult disease, it can affect children as well.  Unfortunately, children may not have the maturity to understand what is happening to them, or they may feel powerless to change their situation, so they don’t speak up about what they are going through. It is up to adults to be on the lookout for signs of trouble, and recognize when a child needs help.
What to Watch For – Potential Warning Signs of Depression in Children:
Sadness, hopelessness, loss of pleasure or interest, anxiety, turmoil (anger outbursts)
Difficulty organizing thoughts (concentrating), extreme negativity, worthlessness and guilt, helplessness, feelings of isolation, thoughts of suicide
Changes in appetite or weight, sleep disturbances, sluggishness, agitation
Avoidance and withdrawal, clingy and demanding behavior, excessive activity, restlessness, self-harm
What to do:
Don’t minimize your child’s feelings, and reassure him child that depression is not something to be ashamed about –Some people have a hard time recovering from being sad.
Work hard to cultivate trust and communication with your child and be aware of the impact your own responses in life are having on your child.  You are your child’s coping instructor.
Allow your child the right to feel depressed and teach him that asking for help is ok – If he thinks depression is bad or not ok, he may try to hide his feelings from you.
Tell your child the truth and give him time to grieve.  By being honest, you are allowing your child to work through the pain.
Pay attention to the length of your child’s symptoms. If the symptoms linger for an extended period of time, or if you see severe changes in your child’s personality, seek professional help.
Although suicide in children is rare, it does happen.  Take it very seriously if your child says or acts like he wants to die.
If your child is experiencing frequent signs of depression that last for extended periods of time, it is crucial that you seek professional help. Children who are experiencing signs of depression do not automatically need medication.  Many children will respond to therapy alone. If you are uncertain where to seek help, contact your child’s school counselor or your family physician for a referral. 

Julia Cook is a national award winning children’s author and parenting expert. The purpose of her books is to enter the worldview of children and teach them to become life-long problem solvers. Her latest book: Blueloon is a creative story about a sad little balloon who is suffering from depression.  With help from the wise rock, Blueloon learns what he can do to “bounce back” to being the way he used to be – bright, round , and full with a very straight string!  Finally!  A book on depression  that works for Blueloons of all ages!  Available at  (and
Would you like to WIN a copy of Blueloon? Julia will give away TEN (10) copies. Just leave a comment here! If you use the anonymous feature be sure to type your name. Winners will be chosen by on Wednesday, May 9, 2012.

Click here to read My review of Julia's books and Julia Cook's Interview