Monday, October 14, 2019
JP and the Bossy Dinosaur, written by Ana Crespo, reviewed by Klaudia Janek
Summary: JP is a vulnerable young human boy with an endless imagination. He sees himself a large, fearless, happy dinosaur. The book follows his journey to a dinosaur waterpark, where he feels bullied and threatened by the larger dinosaurs (the sign telling how big you must be to play in that area) that make fun of him for being small. He becomes sad, and unsure of himself -- why can’t he play with the other dinosaurs (children)? Fortunately, he finds a way to have fun on his own, and finds a happy place for himself. Other children join in JP’s fun. This book reveals the importance of emotional balance for children -- while many things may seem important and pivotal at the moment, there are better ways to deal with emotions than wallowing in them. The art used is colorful and vibrant, and the words are simple to understand, which will appeal to younger children and make it easier to understand. The drawings make the emotional of the character easier to understand, and the author’s intent comes across very well.
Straight Talk for Librarians: The main use of this book would be in the classroom and by school counselors. It could be used by teachers for emotional support for young children. It encourages trying to understand your emotions and how to deal with them. It’s not always easy, but there are ways to change your thinking that will allow you to have fun even if things started off in a way that makes you sad. It’s also important for parents, who will be able to better understand how children’s emotions can change on a whim from the slightest of stimuli. Parents will be able to better console and distract children from their small issues. The author has in fact written a series of these books, to also address anger and fear, which can be handled by parents and educators as well. As long as their emotions are handled effectively, the child will most often move on from the event unscathed and sometimes empowered to do bigger, better things. Sometimes reading about a character will help in understanding your own emotions because you have built up some of that background knowledge.