Squidalicious Reviews


Liking Myself, & The Mouse, The Monster, and Me
November 1, 2009, 7:15 am
Filed under: books, review | Tags: , , , , ,

Liking Myself and The Mouse, The Monster, and Me are two very sweet self-help books for kids by Pat Palmer. They are full of good advice and exercises for children who need help strengthening their identity and self-awareness. I imagine they’d be especially nice for conversational kids with autism, but they’d be appropriate for any child whose self-esteem is affected by social challenges.

My youngest, almost-five Mali, appreciated the emotional permission granted by Liking Myself and its simple yet important messages such as “Anger is an OK feeling” and “It is okay to like yourself and be your own good friend.” She did not notice that these messages were gently reinforced and repeated in several different formats — she just liked that Liking Myself had games, and encouraged her to draw and write right in the book.

IndiaMouseMonster

Children who can read Liking Myself on their own should definitely do so, but I recommend reading Liking Myself with your child, at least once. Mali was much more willing to talk about her feelings when questions were posed “by the book.” And many of her responses were surprising — I think of her as a confident and content child, but when “the book” asked her what she liked about herself, she shrugged. Eventually she said, “I like that I have a great Mommy” (awww) but that was not an answer about herself. So we continued reading, and went over the book’s descriptions of nice traits some people have. She was then able to identify several excellent points about her excellent self. I don’t think the concept of “liking herself” had been posed to her before, and was glad to see her explore it. If you’d like to see her explore Liking Myself, click on either video clip:

The Mouse, the Monster, and Me is for older kids like Mali’s ten-year-old sister Izzy, and deals with thornier topics like assertiveness, handling criticism, and the difference between compliments and flattery. It reinforces its lessons with exercises and checklists. It is right up Izzy’s alley.

Both books are small, floppy, workbook-format paperbacks.  They are printed in black and white, and hand-lettered with homespun illustrations. I wonder if this lets them slide down more easily than the bright-colored, gender-based, and task-oriented American Girls self-help series. I certainly found them more self-friendly, if such a term exists — they focus less on finding solutions to common social problems, and more on helping children know, accept, and better themselves so they can be more confident and caring social beings in the first place.

If you’re looking for material to enable your child’s self-acceptance and social awareness, and especially if your child likes scripts or tends towards perseveration, I really do recommend Liking Myself and The Mouse, the Monster, and Me.

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Compensation disclosure: I received one free review copy of each book. I so heart free books!

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3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Thank you for the very astutue review of my two books Liking Myself and The Mouse, The Monster and me. Your point of view concerning how they seem to work for children was outstanding.
Thank you again.

Loved see and listening to your daughter!

Comment by Pat Palmer

It was my pleasure. Thank you, for writing such caring, helpful, thoughtful books.

Comment by squidrosenberg

I’m going to forward this link to our resident book buyer (the Viking), and we’ll get both. We need this around here.

Comment by Emily




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