Bound To Stay Bound

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School Library Journal - 02/01/2020 PreS-K—A young boy is excited to play trains with a new friend, but fails to notice the other boy's anger and frustration when he proceeds to completely take over their playtime. The tension continues to build until the two begin a tug of war that threatens to derail the new friendship before it has truly begun. Fortunately, a teacher finds a way to help the young boy learn some social cues by using traffic signals to indicate his friends' emotions and identify when things may be going wrong. The text is very simple with easy-to-understand dialogue. Illustrations are in ink and pencil on watercolor paper, and are primarily in red, yellow, and green with touches of pale blue. VERDICT A wonderful choice for anyone seeking books on social-emotional development or for use with helping kids on the spectrum better understand social cues.—Jessica Marie, Salem Public Library, OR - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 02/01/2020 In this Little Senses title, part of a series designed to help children on the autism spectrum or with sensory issues to develop tools for processing their feelings, what begins as mutual fun for two boys playing with a train set becomes contentious when the blond boy takes over, unaware of his dark-skinned playmate’s growing frustration. A struggle ensues, and when the blond boy, also upset, goes to sit alone, an adult shares a book using traffic-signal colors to gauge others’ feelings (“Friends have traffic signals too”). For example, green features a happy train (“Say: ‘This is fun!’”); red is a frowning, angry train (“Say: ‘What’s wrong?’”). The tactic proves helpful when the boys’ playtime resumes, deterring another possible conflict. Cotterill, who’s on the spectrum herself, relies predominantly on dialogue and expressive pencil-and-ink illustrations, which nicely telegraph the emotions and reactions in the two boys. Kids, as well as their adults, will likely appreciate the supportive, thoughtful, and positive approach to dealing with emotions and responses, along with the themes of sharing, collaboration, and being considerate of others. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.

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