Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Shimmer the Glowworm Finds Her Glow by Shelby Herman


So, I know this isn't the kind of book that I usually review (or read!). But I am working on my master's degree in mental health counseling, and I want to work with children. For a while, now, I have been meaning to start a book collection that I can use in counseling with children.

So when this book came to my attention, and I had an opportunity to get a copy to review, I decided that was a sign that it's never too early for me to start collecting children's books that can be used for counseling, and this happened to be the PERFECT one!

The story is all about self-esteem:
The story follows Shimmer, a glowworm who has a low glow and goes on a purposeful journey to find it. She discovers along the way that helping others find their glow is what makes her glow show.
For parents, teachers, caregivers and others with children from 2nd through 5th grades on their shopping list, Shimmer the Glowworm is a gift that keeps on giving as it teaches children through the power of story how to give to others and appreciate themselves. "My ultimate goal is to spread a message of hope, inspiration and self-empowerment/self-discovery and encourage children to build strong connections with their inner-beings and with each other," shares Herman. 
Helping children to learn about the connection between social emotions and being aware or mindful of themselves and others is shown to have long-term positive benefits. According to a new study conducted by The Greater Good Science Center at the Univeristy of California, Berkeley, by helping children "become aware of and then embody the connection between their emotions, thoughts, and bodily sensations; students are better able to regulate their emotions, which then impacts things such as their behavior, stress levels, relationships, and ability to focus."
Through Herman's in-person engagement with the readers of her book in educational setting like libraries and elementary school classrooms, she has seen first-hand the impact the story is having. Among the book's critics include a 2nd grade student in Arizona, whose book review highlighted the character's journey: "I loved Shimmer the Glowworm. My favorite part was when Cray turned rainbow colors. I could show m glow I would be helping others like Shimmer did it." 
Additional reviews by parents and teachers note how the story "teaches kids at a young age to help and inspire otehrs;" and how the book has "such a great message and my 2nd grade class loved it too."
 To complement the children's book, Herman also offers Show Your Glow, an upliftinf song with powerfully inspirational lyrics to add a bit of music to the postitice message advocated; as well as 'ME TREEs', created by Herman to empower and inspire children to discover their unique qualities about themselves and to find their own treasure, ME TREEs are currently being used in classrooms to teach mindfullness and awareness. Herman is currently developing a children's musican to expand the reach of the inspirational Shimmer the Glowworm story through song; as well as regularly scheduling author visits with school, libraries and with organizations where young children and families gather. 
Disclaimer: I only read the book. However, I am interested in hearing the song and getting more info on the musical and the way the book is being used in schools.

I thought this book was great! It was clever and would be perfect for teaching children about mindfulness and increasing self-esteem.


Also, I love the illustrations in this book! Shimmer and the other animals are so cute!


The only note I had was: The text switches from black to white at certain points. There were a couple of instances when the black text would have been easier to read if it was white, because of the dark background. Not too bad, though. Just a thought.

Overall, I was very pleased with this book. I plan to read it to my nephews to see what they think. Then, I will put it aside as the beginning of my children's book collection to use in counseling, later down the road.

I encourage you, if you are a school counselor, teacher, or a parent; check out Shimmer the Glowworm!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.