It’s always great to have books to go to when addressing various student issues. Today, I’d like to share four titles you may want to consider using in your school counseling program. Three of the stories are by Stephanie Jensen, and the fourth story is by Rosalinde Block.
The Princess Priscilla series is by Stephanie Jensen. Priscilla is a bumble bee who helps students learn about feelings with Princess Priscilla and the Mood Ring Rainbow, acceptance and belonging with Princess Priscilla and the Great Beezilla and bullying with Princess Priscilla and the Bully-Bee Day.
In Princess Priscilla and the Mood Ring Rainbow, Priscilla is excited to wear her new mood ring. Priscilla experiences a rainbow of moods as she goes throughout her day. She goes from happy, jealous, embarrassed and bored to feeling joy, anger, confusion and sadness, and her mood ring changes colors with each feeling. I love how this book shares the ways Priscilla deals with each of the feelings she experiences which provides students with go to strategies.
In Princess Priscilla and the Great Beezilla, Priscilla demonstrates what acceptance looks like to the other bumble bees when a beetle wants to play with them. Iris the Beetle wants to play with the bees so badly, she attempts to disguise herself as a bee so they will accept her. However, because beetles are larger than bees, she ends up being called “Beezilla” by the other bees. Although her friends refused, Priscilla still welcomes Iris to play. She doesn’t judge Iris and encourages her to “bee” herself. Iris washes away her disguise and enjoys being with her new friends. I love how this book not only encourages children to accept and be who they are, but it also leads them to be accepting of those who are different from them.
In Princess Priscilla and the Bully-Bee Day, Priscilla wakes up in a bad mood and spends the day disrespecting her classmates and wanting everything her way. As the day progresses, none of the other bees want to play with her and they say she’s a “Bully-Bee.” Her mom, the Queen, reminds her that “hurtful words sting” and as a princess, she needs to use her words for good. The next day she apologizes and feels much better using words that are “sweet like honey.” I love that this book includes discussion questions and reproducible activities at the end. It also includes a list of social skills to teach with the story including taking turns, being a friend, making an apology, accepting an apology, reporting bully-bee behaviors, asking for help and accepting “no.”
The fourth book is called Julia Morphs and Learns to Accept Herself by Rosalinde Block. This book is just right for young girls needing a boost to their self-esteem. This story is all about self-acceptance and illustrates an excellent example of how to appreciate who you are regardless of what you look like. Julia compares herself to her best friend Abena who is a slender rabbit. She summons the “wishing fairy” and asks to become a rabbit. Her wish is granted, but it doesn’t take long before Julia is faced with the challenges of her new self. She could no longer fit her clothes and her classmates were scared when they realized the new little rabbit was in fact Julia. As her day continued to go downhill, she was reminded by Abena that everyone has their own strengths. Abena told Julia all of the things she does so well, and Julia decides to summon the wishing fairy once more. She feels much better when she wakes in the morning, back to her normal size and feeling “peaceful and very wise.” I love how this book demonstrates how important it is to accept your own uniqueness.
These stories can be used for classroom lessons, small groups or with individual students. I’m glad to have them as part of my collection!
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