Chapter One THE RESEARCH: WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT SEL? Indeed, though we often place more emphasis on IQ, it is arguably chil- dren’s emotional intelligence—the ability to recognize and control their own feelings, as well as to read and respond to the feelings of others—that plays a much greater part in determining their later success. —Lise Eliot, What’s Going On In There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life, p. 290 “We’re moving and our son is very anxious about leaving his friends. Do you have any books that might help him?” “My daughter is having a lot of tantrums when we go shopping. I can’t figure out what is upsetting her. Are there any story books about controlling temper tantrums?” “I have a class- room of kids who can’t seem to understand about taking turns and being patient. I’m just wondering if there’s something I could read aloud to them so we could talk about it more easily.” Back in the day, when I began my life as a children’s librarian, we called it bibliotherapy. The selection was slim, although we could occasionally find a didactic, stereotypical Berenstain Bears book about the topic or refer them to a classic such as The Little Engine That Could for a child who dem- onstrated a short attention span, or recommend The Little Red Hen when the request was for encouraging a child to help around the house. But
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