Book Review & Giveaway: “Bubble Gum Brain”


Being a blogger can sometimes come with some pretty cool perks. When I am sent the latest Julia Cook book, FOR FREE?! That’s the best. And when I’m asked to do a review and giveaway for my readers?! Even better!

My school counselor library boasts quite a few Julia Cook books already. She is one of my go-to authors to creatively address many social-emotional learning topics. Her latest book, Bubble Gum Brain: Ready, Get Mindset…GROW!, discusses one of my favorite SEL topics – growth mindset.

bubble gum brainI believe that teaching growth mindset explicitly is crucial for our students. I cannot wait to add this piece of literature to my future classroom lessons! In her usual creative fashion, Julia Cook uses two characters – one with a bubble gum brain (representing growth mindset) and one with a brick brain (representing fixed mindset). Readers will quickly see that having a bubble gum brain, one that can flex, stretch, and expand his/her thoughts, leads to a lot more fun and a lot more learning!

While I love bubble gum brain’s antics, I must say I have a soft spot in my heart for brick brain, who reminds me so much of many of my students, who struggle with new things and hold onto fears that block their growth. I know they will be able to relate to this character.

My favorite pages in the whole book are page 10 and 23, because both talk about THE POWER OF YET. I use this language with my students already, and this book will naturally fit into the conversations I am already having.

Another powerful message in this humorous story is that having a growth mindset is a choice! The words colorfully show that all of us can choose to stay stuck in our negative thoughts, or we can choose to try, make mistakes, and learn how to be hopeful. What an important, life-changing conversation for our children to have!

What I like most about Bubble Gum Brain is the way Julia Cook uses adventure and fun to draw young readers in, while teaching a critical social-emotional skill – growth mindset – in a very real, life-like way. I can already see so many uses for this book, including classroom lessons, individual “booster” sessions, as well as guiding parents to help their own children develop growth mindset using the convenient “Tips for Growing a Child’s Mindset” in the back of the book.

If you are interested in receiving a free copy of Bubble Gum Brain for your own library, please comment below with how you would like to use this book with your students. All entries will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on July 10, 2017. One winner will be chosen.

Good luck and thanks for reading! 🙂



Little book – Big lesson


One of the best parts about being a blogger is the chance to share ideas and resources that can help others who have and work with children. There is power and knowledge in collaboration! Today, I’m excited to join a virtual book tour of “Spoonful of Sweetness and other delicious manners” by author Maria Dismondy.

Spoonful of Sweetness

Review of the book

Who knew that children could exhibit acts of kindness from the time they are infants? Children’s author Maria Dismondy makes this point clear and encourages the teaching of kindness and other powerful traits in her new board book “Spoonful of Sweetness.”

Each sturdy page pictures super cute and diverse babies showing character traits through their play. The traits include kindness, friendship, responsibility, empathy, respect, and courage.

What I love most about this book is how simply each trait is written about and shown through the realistic play of each baby. I have always believed that children learn the most through play and discovery, and Maria captures this beautifully on every page. I love that Maria shows how simple it can be to help young children begin to learn manners – it’s as easy as waving, saying hello, smiling, and picking up toys! What a great start to life every child would have if these behaviors were modeled and encouraged.

As an Elementary School Counselor, I have much appreciation for families who model and teach their children pro-social behaviors from an early age. “Spoonful of Sweetness” is an excellent resource for any parent, teacher, or counselor who believes in setting their child up for social and emotional success, in school and in life!

Other children’s books by Maria

Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun

The Potato Chip Champ

Pink Tiara Cookies for Three

The Juice Box Bully (co-authored by Bob Sornson)

More about Maria


Maria Dismondy is a #1 best-selling children’s book author, former teacher, and highly sought-after speaker. Spoonful of Sweetness is her 5th children’s book. Maria has a passion for spreading an anti-bullying message and making a difference in her writing, public speaking, blogging, and charity work. She lives in southeastern Michigan with her husband and children.

Maria’s website: (go here for a FREE parent/teacher guide and a FREE coloring page!)

Maria’s Facebook page:

Book giveaway!

Maria was kind enough to offer a free, autographed copy of “Spoonful of Sweetness” to one of my readers! If you’d like to enter for a chance to get a free copy of this adorable book, all you have to do is comment on this post with a reason you’d like to have this book or how you’d use this book with the young children in your own life. All entries will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. Saturday, January 25, 2014. I will review all comments and pick one winner! I will contact you for your mailing address and Maria will send you your free copy.

Good luck and thanks for reading! 🙂