Introduction xi pots and pans. Is it their fault, they wonder. The sad reality is I had been a bit—ahem—prickly at times, and this book gave us a chance to discuss the fact that mothers have feelings, too, and that sometimes we all make mis- takes. Even mothers. Would I read this book at storytime? Probably not. But by demonstrating other books of SEL you are letting the adults know that books allow an easy way to approach a difficult topic, whether it’s about the fact that the teacher talked with you about your daughter’s bully- ish behaviors or whether you need to discuss the episode of racial stereo- typing that occurred at preschool. This book will cover some of the research that has been done about SEL and why it has become integrated into many schools’ curriculums. What concepts are they covering? What are the results? I’ll present information about child development. Then I’ll dive into specific SEL topics, offering titles, songs, rhymes, and activities that have been successful in my forty years of presenting storytimes. You’ll find the URLs for songs and videos that are current at the time of publication. I’ll conclude with my recom- mendation for storytime format so that you have the best chance at crowd control and audience focus. One last story of a story. When my daughter was about 4 I was gone overnight to a conference. She was staying with my mother, whom she adored. (The feeling was mutual.) Everything went fine until Jamie Rose snuggled into bed with Bobbie, her precious pink blanket, and she fully realized that I wouldn’t be there to sing the usual lullabies and repeat the traditional, “Good night/sleep tight/Don’t let the bed bugs bite./But if they do just squeeze them tight/And they won’t come back the very next night./ But they might!” At which point she always got a few tickles. But not tonight, when I was away. She was lonely, sad, and frightened, but she was also someone who bottled up emotions—until she couldn’t. That night her black eyes filled with tears, and my mother, a very wise woman, knew some cuddling was needed. So they rocked in the blue rocker, and they talked about me and what I might be doing right then. “Would you like a story?” asked my mother, and Jamie Rose quickly agreed. She loved stories! On my mother’s shelf was a picture book I gave Mom with these words inscribed by me: “For troubled nights, or joyous ones.” She was once a children’s librarian, so I knew she would enjoy the beauty of this quiet book. She understood that this book was just what Jamie Rose needed, so she brought it to the chair, Jamie Rose climbed back into her lap, and together they journeyed into the magic of Grandfather Twilight by Barbara Helen Berger. The story is of an old, white-bearded man who “lives among the trees.” Each night he takes one pearl from an endless strand of pearls in a trunk, then travels with his German Shepherd through the forest. “The pearl
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