You don't have to know me well to know that I love to read. And it's hard for me not to bring that into my sessions with kids! I use books for most of my lessons, either as a jumping off point, the main focus, or related activity.
Since one of the best ways to pass the time at home right now is reading, I thought I'd put up a list of some of my favourite books. But I have So. Many. So I'm hoping to do a few lists. Today I'll be listing some of my favorite books to work on social thinking - whether it be problem solving, perspective taking, compromise, identifying emotions, etc. There are some great books that are created specifically for Social Thinking curriculums (like these), but I love using story books in addition to a more curriculum focused book. Really, almost any book can be used for social thinking in some way, but here are some of my favourites (in no particular order except roughly younger to older readers):
Horse Meets Dog by Elliott Kalan and Tim Miller
This is a delightfully hilarious story about a dog and a horse meeting for the first time. Dog things the horse is a huge, oddly shaped dog. Horse thinks the dog is some delusional, tiny baby horse. They can't figure out why the other doesn't like the same things they like. This book is short, full of laughs, and also a great one for discussing perspective taking and compromise!
The Monster Next-door by David Soman
This is a very cutely illustrated book about a boy and a monster who become friends...until one of them plays their music too loud! Then, all bets are off. The boy starts listing off all the things the monster did to slight him (really and imagined) and ends up in a broiling rage. However, after finding himself in the monster's house, he realizes that maybe he was a bit too harsh. This is a great book for looking at perspective taking, friendship, and emotional regulation.
Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees
This is a lovely book about overcoming preconceived notions about what you're capable of! If your child has ever said "I can't..." then this is the book for you. (It's available on Vooks free right now too!) Giraffe thinks he can't dance, so he is humiliated at the annual jungle dance...that is until a helpful friend gives him some support. Sometimes all you need to succeed is to be flexible and think about things in a different way!
Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham
One of my favourite books for targeting emotions. Poor Moose his having trouble waiting his turn in the alphabet, so he tries to take Duck's turn and gets in trouble. When he finally (finally! waiting is so hard!) gets to M, he finds out that his turn was given to someone else. He hits the red zone immediately and scares the owl and smashes a pie and knocks over a queen! However, he's able to calm down by the end and gets the reward he deserves.
Unicorn and Horse by David Miles
Another one available on Vooks right now. This is a great book about friendship, as well as dealing with feelings of jealousy. Sometimes it's hard to take another's perspective if we think they're too perfect!
Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
This is a great book for talking about perseverance. This book celebrates failures as a part of the process. Often the kids I work with see their difficulties as failures, so when we read this book, we talk about how we can incorporate all of the parts of who we are into ourselves and keep on trying! You can see astronauts on the ISS reading this book here!
Narwhal and Jelly by Ben Clanton
These books are a hilarious account of two unlikely friends. The stories revolve around a jellyfish and narwhal who are best friends. But just because they're friends doesn't mean they don't have their arguments! This is a great book for looking at themes of friendship, social problem solving, being flexible, perspective taking, and using your imagination. This book is great for reluctant readers.
Ape and Armadillo Take Over the World by James Sturm
Another cute comic book about two unlikely friends, this one delves much more into the conflicts that can arise during a play date. We can see what happens when one player wants to dominate all of the play (and also the world). It makes the other player have some big feelings. But don't worry! The book has a happy ending with ice cream!
Bird and Squirrel by James Burks
Yet another story of two unlikely friends and all of the bumps in their friendship. These books are hilarious and pretty easy reads for reluctant readers. I also find them great for targeting expected/unexpected behaviours (bird is almost always doing something unexpected!), perspective taking, and flexible thinking.
I'm curious to hear some of your favorite books! This is just a sampling of mine, and I love to expand my library regularly, so feel free to comment with some recommendations!
Carla Monteleone & Deborah Carter own and operate Grow Speech and Language Therapy in Vancouver, BC