Rifka Schonfeld, an educator and expert in helping children navigate the challenges of social skills, designed this book for parents and children to use together. The book is meant to help simplify the complexities of daily life, and help children develop the mastery and self-confidence to effectively function in social situations.
The book has two sections. The first breaks the day down hour by hour and illustrates, through a series of comic-style vignettes, how to handle various challenges that come along with each part of the day, such as early morning routines or approaching a group of peers. Half of each double-page spread shows a child worried about how to handle the challenge. The other half shows the same child using the basic techniques and principles being taught in order to surmount the difficulties, and thereby feel in control.
The next part of the book is a guide designed for parents, teenagers, therapists, and educators who are dealing with issues underlying the challenges mentioned above. A short summary of each challenge is presented, as well as a number of suggestions as to how parents can help, and how children or young adults can minimize the issues associated with these difficulties.
The comic-style illustrations are colorful and appealing, and the language is non-threatening and easy for lay readers to understand. Together with professional help, and occasionally on its own, this book can be a useful tool to ease family stress during difficult years in child development.
While the illustrations are clearly geared toward an Orthodox readership, the advice given is helpful to those of any background.
Recommended for parents and children to use together.
Michal Hoschander Malen is the editor of Jewish Book Council’s young adult and children’s book reviews. She has lectured on a variety of topics relating to children and books and her greatest joy is reading to her grandchildren on both sides of the ocean. Michal lives in Great Neck, NY and Efrat, Israel.