Change Kid’s Behaviors with Kelly Bear

Today, as part of Perfect Picture Book Friday, I’m sharing Kelly Bear – Earth, one of a series of lovely picture books and workbooks that help parents and children talk about important issues and concerns. With Easter coming up this weekend, I’ve included a fun Easter craft at the end.


Kelly Bear – Earth

Written by Leah Davies

Illustrated by Joy Hallett

Publisher: Bureau for at Risk Youth (2008)

Ages: 4 and up


Energy conservation, environmental awareness, caring for the earth, making a difference, behavior

Opening Lines:

“Hi! My name is Kelly Bear and this is a book about me. I live on planet earth. It’s a wonderful place with plants, animals, air, soil and water. There is only ONE earth, so I’m doing all I can to take care of it. I want everyone to enjoy living here.


Little Kelly Bear finds many ways to help conserve resources and keep the environment clean. She saves water by taking short showers and turning off the water while she is brushing her teeth. Her family have their own vegetable garden and try to buy foods that have less packaging. Kelly Bear is careful not to open the refrigerator until she knows what she wants so she doesn’t have to keep the refrigerator door open and waste electricity. Her parents help by recycling plastic and glass and paper because “everyone on earth is part of one big family and we must work together to take care of each other and our planet.”

Why  I like this book

Children will love Kelly Bear! The text explains how Kelly Bear and her family contribute to the good health of the planet and the simple illustrations clearly show this as well. The author, Leah Davies, has been dedicated to the well-being of children for more than four decades. Her professional experience includes being a certified teacher, school counselor, instructor in the Family and Child Development Department, Auburn University, and director of educational and prevention services at a mental health agency.

How a parent can use this book:

From an Amazon review: “The Kelly Bear Beginnings Series of books is priceless. In a simple yet powerful way they engage young children and help them understand, verbalize and accept their feelings, improve their behaviors, and learn to care for their bodies. In this fourth book, children learn not to waste water, electricity and food, to recycle, and to keep our air clean. The book empowers the child and makes him aware of his environment. These books are invaluable in the classroom as well as in the home.

For those of you who fondly remember the wonderful Mr. Rogers and his Neighborhood, you’ll find a kindred spirit in Leah Davies. The friendly green bear, drawn by the author’s daughter, Joy Hallett, gives children a warm and fuzzy feeling of acceptance and trust.

The series covers feelings, behaviors, health, the environment and saying no to drugs, and it ends with an activity book that reinforces all of these concepts with fun creative activities. The series would also be an excellent vehicle for working with children in a counseling or school situation, as the questions Kelly Bear asks become a springboard for wonderful open discussions.”

You can find out more about this series of books and the author, Leah Davis here:

At the end of each book (and the books are short and simple and easy to get through) there is a parent/teacher page with suggestions about what to do after the book is read. This book on ‘Earth’ has various activities such as

  • Joining a group that is interested in managing our resources and that includes children.
  • Drawing pictures and writing letters to send to newspapers and legislators.
  • Planting flower and vegetable seeds
  • Making a compost bin to recycle plant material
  • Go on a treasure hunt to identify various trees, animals and plants

This book brought back very fond memories. When our oldest son was only 3 years old, we took part in a riverside cleanup. I have pictures of this sweet little boy, dragging a huge plastic garbage bag as we all picked up trash that littered the riverbank. This type of activity encourages a young child to be more aware of protecting the environment. Just as importantly, doing things as a family strengthens the parent-child connection.

Related Activities:

Let’s combine a craft activity for Easter with one for this book!



Photo courtesy

You know how much I love using paper bags for kid’s craft projects. Your child can use this bag for collecting jelly beans or Easter eggs.

You will need: 1 paper lunch bag, construction paper, glue, markers, scissors, yarn and a hole punch.

  1. Cut out eyes, ears, nose and bowtie from construction paper…this craft was made for Valentine’s Day originally so there are lots of hearts.
  2. Glue the pieces onto the front of the bag.
  3. Punch holes at the top of the bag and string the yarn through the holes and tie to make handles.
  4. Draw other features with the markers.

What other activities can you do as a family? Find hundreds of them in my book. No batteries required…powered by a child’s imagination and a parent’s participation!   Click this link to purchase a copyShow Me How Build Your Child's Self-Esteem, Positive Parental Participation

Celebrate World Environment Day: Read The Carrot Seed

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susannah Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of picture book writers, illustrators, librarians and others who contribute a picture book review and related resources for parents and others who work with young children.

June 5th is World Environment Day.  The theme for 2012 is Green Economy: Does It Include You?  According to Wikipedia, Green Economy is “growth in income and employment that is driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem.”

Does Green Economy include you?  How can parents become involved in lessening the carbon footprints of their family?  How can parents engage young children in environmental activities?

Here is the perfect picture book that can serve as a launching pad for a summer family vegetable garden that will inform, engage and involve kids in what will hopefully become a life-long concern for preserving the environment and living a healthier lifestyle.  The book is one of the hundred classic picture books recommended in Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  Please check out a stellar review of my book by Nancy Hatch on Spirit Lights the Way.

The Carrot Seed

Written by Ruth Krauss

Illustrated by Crockett Johnson

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers  (1945…and NEVER out of print since then!)

Ages: 2 and up


Determination, perseverance, self-esteem, gardening, self-reliance

Opening Line:

“A little boy planted a seed.  His mother said, “I’m afraid it won’t come up.”


From Amazon: “Ruth Krauss, author of A Hole Is to Dig, has crafted a story almost Zen-like in its simplicity. A little boy plants a carrot seed and waits patiently, tending to it carefully, while everyone around him insists that “it won’t come up.” His conviction is steadfast, however, and sure enough, a carrot worthy of first prize at any state fair springs forth from the earth. Krauss’s husband, Crockett Johnson (creator of Harold and the Purple Crayon), illustrated The Carrot Seed, and while the little boy is rendered with uncomplicated lines, all of his hope, confidence, and serenity shine through. The image that resonates most strongly in this minimalist tale is the unfaltering faith of the mild-mannered little boy. Young readers learn that standing your ground in the face of opposition and doubt can often result in twice the reward expected (even thrice the reward, if judging by the girth of this carrot).”

Why I like this book:

The illustrations: simplicity in its purest form!

The text: minimalistic and appealing!

The message: POWERFUL…believe in yourself, even when no one else does!

What a wonderful book for every young child…this is a story that encourages kids to stand up for what they believe in.  With World Environment Day coming on June 5th, this book can be a launching pad for starting a home vegetable garden this summer that will decrease your family’s carbon footprint.

Related Activities:

Plant a carrot seed, of course!  With young children, you can also take the butt end of a fresh carrot and plant that in a container of soil.  The carrot will grow profuse greenery that smells just like a carrot and can be cut and used to garnish salads and vegetable dishes.

You can find some great instructions for container gardening here.

There are lots of good tips for growing veggies with kids here.

Investigate your local community to see if there is a community gardening project that your kids can get involved in.

Lesson plan and activity unit for third grade based on the Carrot Seed.

Crockett Johnson’s Homepage has some interesting info on the Carrot Seed song.

Brighttub has a page of lesson plans and activities.

Scholastic has a page of lesson plans and activities.

Curriculum for The Carrot Seed.

Read about World Environment Day 2012 on Mauritius first-ever youth newspaper

Read about the 2012 Theme of Green Economy: Does It Include You on Wikipedia

Connect with world-wide events and celebrations on the United Nations site

San Francisco has been in the forefront of green mandates…Sophie Azouaou is the SF Green Living Examiner.

This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susannah Leonard Hill.  Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.  Her page is a perfect resource go-to for summer activities for kids!

The summer is a perfect time to be reading with young children!  Leave a comment on this post any time during June telling what books you are reading with your kids and you will be entered into the 2012 Positive Parental Participation Reading Challenge.  Each month we mail a lovely picture book to one lucky winner!  It could be you!

Sunday Post: Stairway to Self-Esteem

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…this week’s theme is STAIRWAY.

I always try to tie in the theme with something related to parenting.  Since the dictionary defines “stairway” as a passageway from one level to another by a series of steps, I’ve decided to outline the basic components or “steps” in the stairway to building a strong self-esteem that are found in the introduction to Show Me How!

How can we help our kids navigate the passageway of childhood and achieve a positive self-image?

What steps does a child have to climb to reach a level of high self-esteem?

  1. MASTER TASKS AND SKILLS…Let your child help around the house.

2.  VALUE ONE’S OWN STRENGTHS AND QUALITIES…Encourage your child in different pursuits.


3.      FEEL APPRECIATED, LOVED AND ACCEPTED…Spend loving and positive time with your child.


4.      LEARN TO EXPRESS FEELINGS…Allow your child to talk about his joy, anger and sadness.


5.      ACKNOWLEDGING AND COPING WITH FEARS…Share things you were afraid of as a child.


6.      FEELING GOOD ABOUT ONE’S BODY AND ONESELF…Celebrate the gift of life and dance.


I just got back from spending a glorious week in New Hampshire, taking care of my three-year old grandson.  His favorite book: Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss.  His favorite game: Soccer/kick ball.  His favorite TV show: Peppa Pig.  His favorite foods: Fresh strawberries and bananas. 

It was hard to leave to come home…I’m already looking forward to my next trip.

Here are a few websites with other resources and info on helping children build healthy self-esteem:

The SMH Library Project:


We are in the final two weeks of the Show-Me-How Library Project, so if you haven’t done it already, please nominate your favorite library in the comment section!  Twenty-five libraries will receive a free copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  NOMINATIONS CLOSE April 30!  Don’t let your library lose out on the chance of getting this award-winning resource for parents and teachers and your entire community.  A big thank you to all of those who have already spread the word about out this great opportunity via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterist, Google+ or by mentioning it in your posts!

Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post? 

And here are some other bloggers who are doing Jake’s Sunday Post:

I also wanted to mention that today is Earth Day 2012…how will you help observe this special day?  Children can get involved in local park and playground cleanups.  Perhaps you can take a walk around your community…bring a big plastic garbage bag so that everyone can help pick up litter.  Maybe there are special events going on in your neighborhood…why not check them out.