Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The We Do Listen Foundation {#Giveaway (12/5) US & Can}

I've wanted to write up this post for over a week, but just couldn't find the time. Yeah, I could have done a quickie post... But I think The We Do Listen Foundation deserves more than that. This non-profit's mission is to help children learn to communicate their emotions effectively and find their own inner peace (how cool is that?!)

So, how do they do this? Check out the We Do Listen Foundation Web site. There, you will find FREE animated books, songs, posters and non-violent games. Additionally, the foundation sells nine Howard B. Wigglebottom books. The books are pretty darn great! Each one is focused on a subject that is important to children's personal growth, self-love, and general emotional well-being. Some of the topics covered in the books include: listening to what others have to say, bullying, anger management, divorce, peer pressure, and the need to belong. I received a book on the last subject for this review, and I love it!

My oldest was always pretty happy with himself. That is, until he decided to go to "real" school. The first month was pretty hard for him. His dad had cancer and was pretty sick at the time, so I attributed his quiet, withdrawn behavior to that. Then, I received a call from his teacher. It seems that he had started to make up unbelievable stories about himself - things he had done, toys he owned, people he knew, etc. - and the other kids knew that he was lying, the stories were just too amazing to be true. He wanted them to like him and thought this was the way to do it. After a long talk about listening to his own heart and being himself, then reassuring him that he would find friends who liked him just for who he really was, he managed to get past this huge speed bump. Within another month, he was one of the most popular kids in the class due to his empathetic nature (oh, and he was "totally cool" because he could draw neat pictures, too! LOL)

I really believe that the Howard B. Wigglebottom books, games, songs, and lesson plans would have prepared my oldest for his first taste of "I'm better than you because I _(fill in the blank)_" that seems to run rampant in classrooms.  In the book Howard B. Wigglebottom Listens to His Heart, written by Howard Binkow and illustrated by Susan F, Cornelison, Howard (a cute bunny who has the same feelings and makes the same mistakes that most children do) wants desperately to fit in. When his classmates laugh at him when they see him doing his very favorite thing, he vows to never do it again. Instead, he tries doing all sorts of other things that he thinks will make the other kids view him as being "cool".He screws them all up... miserably. He has a talk with his grandfather about the troubles he's having and, without telling him what to do, Grandpa steers Howard in the right direction. In the end, Howard is once again caught doing his favorite thing but, this time, he is cheered for it!

I am so glad to have this book for Little Guy. He's pretty self-confident right now, but you just never know when that confidence will crumble. It happened to my oldest! I've also been taking Little Guy to the Foundation's Web site to watch the animated versions of all of the Howard B. Wigglebottom books, play games, and learn new (catchy) songs. I've also taken some time to read over the lesson plans. There are some really great ideas in them! I think that, at three years old, it's the perfect time to introduce him to these concepts. Although I don't intend for Little Guy to go to school (he's 100% the unschooling type!), he'll still be around other children and need to be prepared for the inevitable.

I strongly urge you to go check out The We Do Listen Foundation's Web site and then head over to their online store. Right now, for U.S. buyers, all hardcover books are on sale for only $6 each (regularly $15)! And you can buy all 10 books for just $50. In addition to the Foundation's online store, you can find Howard B. Wigglebottom books nearly anywhere books are sold throughout the U.S. and Canada.

So, would you like to WIN your choice of a Howard B. Wigglebottom hardcover book for a special child in your life? Just enter in the Rafflecopter form below!