The Not Perfect Hat Club just hit the shelves and I couldn’t be happier. It tells the story of three perfectionists – a purebred golden retriever, who is a failure in the show ring, a skateboarding slam poet who hates taking tests, and a classical violinist who feels she’s a failure because she can’t play like Mozart. Through a series of adventures the three discover perfect is not an option and become the best of friends in the process. Here is what some of our readers are saying:
“Love what you do and the positive impact you have on kids!” – Lucie L, Supersonic Minds
“I am excited to see this project unfold both as an educator, and as a mom. I want our children to know that learning is messy, and that while striving to do one’s best is important, perfection is not. I want our children to appreciate the journey, to revel in the process, rather than limit their focus to the outcome or product. I want our children to grow up with curiosity and wonder, and to understand that creativity is within all of us, and can be expressed in a multitude of ways. As adults, I hope that this project will help us develop the courage to take risks, to try something new and to be vulnerable. Together, we are “perfectly, not perfect.”
– Christina Luce, 3rd grade teacher, New York
“This sounds exciting. It’s so terribly important to give our students the “space” they need to grow in their own way and not seek Perfection and at times unattainable “standards.” – Faige Meller, retired teacher
“Who gets to define ‘perfect’? You do! The NOT PERFECT HAT CLUB gives the opportunity for every child to recognize and be proud of what makes them unique.” – Julie Hertzog, Director, PACER’s Anti-bullying Prevention Center
Follow the adventures of Lance and his extra special person Reny as they learn to navigate the challenges of life by leading with their hearts!
Misunderstood and judged because of his color, size and breed, Lance is a pit bull on a mission to find his forever home. Everything about the world of humans is puzzling to him, from the plastic machine that roars and sucks at the floor to the strange contraptions called shoes that people wear on their feet. But Lance is determined to do his best, and is making lots of friends, until he meets Mrs. Krutch. Frightened of dogs because of an experience she had as a child, Mrs. Krutch would like to see pit bulls banned from the town. It will take a lot of hard work, persistence and an act of courage by Reny to persuade Mrs. Krutch to change her mind, but Lance’s new family and friends are up to the task.
Every child who has ever been misunderstood will enjoy this heartwarming tale of how kindness trumps fear and people working together can make a difference.
I am proud to announce that Lead With Your Heart is being featured by PACER! For every book sold, CritterKin will donate $1 to PACERs National Bullying Prevention Center. Order from their book club today: www.pacer.org/bullying/
Praise for Lead With Your Heart
“CritterKin was really the most enjoyable experience I have ever had in my 17 years as an educator. I wouldn’t change what we did, and I’d do it all over in a heartbeat!” – Erin Preder, Library Media Center Director, John R. Tibbott Elementary School, Bolingbrook, Illinois
“The kids loved Lead with Your Heart. I’m hoping that we can set up a Skype date soon- we miss hanging out with our CritterKin family! ” – Nada Noujaim, 2nd grade teacher, CT
“Such an awesome morning! Still smiling-Lots of great learning and creativity taking place! Love how Students are 100% engaged! So much fun..readingLead With Your Heart, writing, and drawing! Learning at its BEST!” – Monica Evon, Third grade teacher, Bellevue Elementary School, NE
“Thanks a million for the visit. The kids are still talking about it, and a few parents emailed to say thanks!! The kids were so happy.” – Erin Klein, Scholastic Top Teacher. MACUL 2014 Teacher of the year. Ed Tech Blogger, NWP Member, SMART Exemplary Educator, and ASCD Emerging Leader.
“Can’t thank you enough for what you are doing! Thank you, thank you, thank you!” – Christina Luce, Second grade teacher, Nate Perry Elementary School
Welcome to the wonderful world of mixed breed mutts where 8 goofy dogs embark on adventures full of teachable moments that include everything from avocados, muffins and hots dogs to the importance of training your person.
Each of the 8 mutts has been lovingly illustrated by Jena Ball (the writer and illustrator of the books) and is loosely based on a “real life” dog (see bios below). All the dogs have distinct looks, voices and challenges to overcome, giving kids the chance to see and experience life through their eyes.
Meet the Mutts consists of 10 chapters (divided into 5 sections or themes) with an innovative “Exploration and Activity Guide” at the end. The guide includes everything from more traditional activities such as Q&A and discussion sections to more creative approaches such as vocalizations, role playing, and art projects.
Kids who have experienced CritterKin reading and activity sessions naturally make the leap from the dogs’ lives to their own, asking great questions and offering to share experiences of their own.
I think you’ll quickly understand why kids agree with Doxie when he says “Meet the Mutts” is “Wow, Wow,Wow!”
The first book in the CritterKin series. Poco a Poco, which means little-by-little in Spanish, is a story that will not only delight your kids but teach them the invaluable lesson that animals (critters) are family (kin).
As an educator with more than 30 years under my belt, I have come to believe that children who are given the chance to love and care for pets learn empathy, understanding and responsibility. This in turn prepares them to become caring, respectful and responsible adults. We need as many of those kinds of adults as we can get, don’t you agree?
Copyright 2015 by Jena Ball. All Rights Reserved.