Cinderstella: A Tale of Planets Not Princes

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Cinderstella: A Tale of Planets Not Princes by Brenda S. Miles and Susan D. Sweet with illustrations by Valeria Docampo (Magination Press, 2016) is an updated take on a classic.  Currently, we are seeing a huge shift in picture books that promote strong female protagonists who don’t need a prince or anyone else to come and save them.  We have strong willed girls who are perfectly capable of determining their own destiny and that is what we have in Cinderstella.

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This story follows the same premise of a young girl, Cinderstella who lives with her step-mother and two step-sisters.  She is forced to take care of all of their needs and then when there is time her own.  Cinderstella has plans of her own though, she isn’t waiting for some prince to come and rescue her, she is too fond of her telescope and calculations to give up her interstellar dreams.  Cinderstella even has a fairy godmother who is convinced she wants all the usual things: a lovely gown, glass slippers and carriage; but not our smart girl.

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In this book, you will find something different entirely, Cinderstella is quite inclusive and includes her step-sisters in her interstellar adventures.  In doing so she showed her step-sisters a world of possibilities.

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Another component to the fantastic books published by Magination Press is that they offer notes to their readers with ways to offer support for families to encourage children to find interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).  They offer suggestions for parents, teachers and caregivers to use this book to foster conversations about STEM, talk about interests and goals and what it means to dream BIG!

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petite-stag-favoriteA huge thank you to Valeria Docampo for permission to use her incredible images, they are absolutely stunning.  As we read this story last night my petites, kept oh-ing and ah-ing at the illustrations.  They both immediately after reading declared they wanted to read more books about space, look through a telescope and make a planet mobile just like Cinderstella.  So in one simple read, this book became a Petite Stag Favorite for inspiring my petites to dream big, desire to learn more and engage with the text in a meaningful way.

Everyone Makes Mistakes

Many petites really struggle with making mistakes.  Often times it is a fear that they will get in trouble, or embarrassment that they didn’t get it right the first time, or perhaps they just don’t like to be wrong.  Whatever the reason may be many kids struggle with making mistakes and how that makes them feel doubt or shame.

As a teacher and a mom of two young girls teaching about making mistakes is a priority, how we react to making those mistakes can determine quite a bit.  Making mistakes helps to build stamina as well as provides learning opportunities.  However, if your petites are too concerned about making mistakes that they don’t take risks, or adventure or an opportunity for new learning then that is when problems can arise.

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Recently, I had the opportunity to spend some time reading Stickley Makes a Mistake: A Frog’s Guide to Trying Again by Brenda S. Miles and illustrated by Steve Mack (Magination Press); this book will be hitting shelves next month on August 16th.  This book is all about a young frog named Stickley.  He, like most petites doesn’t like to make mistakes, he strives for perfection and when he doesn’t attain it, well he doesn’t want to try again. As a teacher this was something that was all too familiar with little ones who struggle and make mistakes.   This book is filled with encouragement and support.

 Nobody’s perfect and good things can happen –  even when you make mistakes!

Stickley Makes Mistakes offers subtle ways to support children as they naturally make mistakes.  We love that the suggestions are to ask for help, feel proud for trying, practicing, how mistakes can sometimes be happy surprises and huge successes and that nobody is perfect.  This is incredibly important for our young girls.

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This book was published by the American Psychological Association and offers a parents, caregivers and teachers guide in the back of the book.  I love this approach, because the book is fantastic and with the incredibly helpful tips in the back the learning can be extended beyond the pages of Stickley.

I think that Stickley Makes Mistakes is a important book, one that should be in every single kindergarten classroom; because making mistakes and navigating challenging situations and problem solving skills are so incredibly important.  This book is a perfect read for preschool through third grade.  The tips in the back are ones all lower elementary teachers and parents should read and learn more about.

Thank you to Magination press for this wonderful book and use of the images for this post.  I received this book from Magination Press in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions and thoughts about Stickley Makes a Mistake are my own.  Magination Press, publishes many books to support the social and emotional well being of petites check out their website to learn more about these titles.