Julia Cook is an award-winning children’s author who has published nearly 100 books on social and emotional development topics.
The goal behind Julia Cook’s books is to teach children through fun and memorable stories. Inspiration for her books comes from working with children and carefully listening to counselors, parents, and teachers, in order to stay on top of needs in the classroom and at home.
Julia Cook Books for Social-Emotional Learning
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I fell in love with Julia Cook’s books after my son read the book Soda Pop Head at school (which is a book about anger coping). It was the first time he ever came home and was able to tell me strategies used by the characters in the book.
He even drew a picture of Soda Pop Head on his assignment beside a question he didn’t understand – to express his frustration. This told me that he’s not just hearing these books but there is true comprehension.
And that is the difference between Julia Cook’s books and any other children’s book we’ve read about social-emotional topics.
We’re working through her collection now. The school includes her books in their curriculum and we’re adding them to our home, too. This post is a list of Julia Cook’s books, a link to purchase them, and it notes which skills are targeted by the book.
That way you can choose books that specifically target skills your child needs to work on.
My Top 10 Julia Cook Books
This is a great book for kids with ADHD. It’s Hard to Be a Verb is about a boy named Louis who has trouble focusing and always seems to be moving when he shouldn’t be.
Targeted Skills: Focus and attention, calming skills
Making Friends is an Art is a story about colored pencils. While all the other pencils have fun playing together and have special talents, Brown feels like a misfit. He doesn’t even know what his talent is.
Targeted Skills: Building relationships, social skills,
All of the responsibilities and expectations on kids can make them feel stretched beyond their limits. I’m Stretched! is a story that speaks to children giving them tactical tools to manage their stress in a healthy and helpful way.
Skills Targeted: Stress management
Louis is back (from It’s Hard to Be a Verb) and now he’s struggling with interrupting others. My Mouth is a Volcano is a story about how he learns to respectfully wait his turn to speak.
Targeted Skills: Manners, social cues, listening skills
A Flicker of Hope reminds children that dark clouds can be temporary and asking for help is always okay. We all have times when we need to borrow a little hope from someone else.
Targeted Skills: Resilience, asking for help, growth mindset.
Activities for Julia Cook’s Books
A lot of the books by Julia Cook also has an activity book available. You can also find tons of activities online, especially on Teachers Pay Teachers. You’ll also find some on teachers’ blogs.
Doing engaging, play-based activities with your child is an important part of helping them understand what they’re reading and also be able to apply the skills from the books.
Don’t just read the book and move on.
Choose a book of the week. Read the book and each day do a different activity to go along with the book, turning it into a complete learning experience.
Here are some resources to help you find activities
- Baditude Lesson Plan- This is a sample lesson plan from The Responsive Counselor
- Bubble Gum Brain Activity Book– This is the official activity book, created by Julia Cook as part of her collection
- Soda Pop Head Activity Book– This is Julia’s official activity book that pairs with her book Soda Pop Head
- Decibella Activities – Ms. D’s Corner has several excellent activity ideas to pair with Decibella and her 6-inch voice.
- It’s Hard to Be a Verb Activity Book – Get “hands-on” activities to improve their focus and organizational skills both in and out of the classroom.
- Making Friends is an Art Lesson Plan – This is another lesson plan created by The Responsive Counselor
- I’m Stretched Activity Page – Stories by Storie has a printable for this book, as well as some good questions you can ask your children to open up discussion on this book.
- Gossip and Rumors Activities – It was tough to find activities specifically for Julia Cook’s book Rumor has it. But, I did find these activities which can pair well with the book.
- My Mouth is a Volcano Activity and Idea Book – This is Julia’s official activity book to pair with My Mouth is a Volcano.
- A Flicker of Hope Activities – Once again, Stories by Storie delivers some great activities to go along with this book.
Does Your Child Struggle to “Use Their Words”?
I know my son struggles to use his words in certain situations more than others. He’s great with me – but an unfamiliar adult, or a peer? That can be hard for him.
That’s why I’m super excited for Julia Cook’s newest book – Herman Jiggle, Say Hello!
Herman Jiggle, Say Hello
Herman Jiggle is excited to make some new friends.
But first, he needs to figure out how to stop his tummy from doing flip-flops and his words from getting stuck in his mouth! He can’t seem to introduce himself or talk to others without getting nervous.
With Mom eager to help Herman overcome his nerves and learn to make a good impression, she teaches him some new skills like how to introduce himself, and how to start up a conversation.
This book is going to be released on February 18th, 2020. But, you can pre-order it now and get it on its release date!