Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Book Review | Cool Kind Kid Handbook #1

The following book review was originally written for The Books Magazine edition May/June 2014 . This is an updated version with new hyperlinks for purchasing the Cool Kind Kid Handbook 1 and its CD.

While reading through Cool Kind Kid Handbook 1 by creator of "Cool Kind Kid" Barbara Gilmour, we saw an area in the book activity in which an alien from outer space asked "Why are you doing that?". It got us thinking, if aliens were to visit the planet Earth, what would they think of our world today? Would they find a people of a generous nature, with mannerable social skills, caring, respectful, and practicing the Golden Rule with others?

In the Cool Kind Kid Handbook 1, Barbara Gilmour, Sydelle Mason, Ed.D, and Wendy McDermott, Ph.D, help parents and caregivers, eductors and counselors, to effectively assist young children in developing adequate social skills and successfully reject bullying within their peers.

The handbook is an activity book designed to help the parent/instructor introduce social etiquette in a fun way through Q & A exercises and catchy-fun songs and lyrics. The message? It's okay to be a "cool kind kid". The handbook demonstrates various circumstances in which kids can be kind to others - at home, at school, with their neighbors, in their community etc. This book is very practical and down-to-earth, and encourages kids to look for opportunities to be kind.

When we think of the Golden Rule -"do unto others as you would have others do unto you" - we see that it requires action. Just as Love is an action word, not just something you feel; the Golden Rule requires action too for it to be a practical, tangible experience. Cool Kind Kid fully explores the real meaning of this principle, and gives sound practical advice in areas in which the Golden Rule can be applied. The book encourages children to be "cool" at home, at school, at play, in their neighborhood and community. Then it goes into detail, giving parents/instructors/counselors wonderful tips and objectives on accomplishing this task.

One commendable aspect of the book is that it is interactive. Parents/instructors are not just simply regurgitating suggestions from the book; but they are required to ask the kids various questions on topics addressed, and then discuss the answers together. Also, kids and parents are encouraged to put into practice what they have learned from these 'training' sessions within various social settings and environments.

We liked that it wasn't the cookie-cutter format of creating good citizenship, but that the authors explored the avenues that have long gone neglected in our society. The issue of proper manners and respect for others are resounding key factors in the book.

Cool Kind Kid Handbook 1 is a guide book that should be kept by parents and caregivers as an instruction manual and activity book in which adults can refer to from time to time. For example, you may want to choose the objective 'character building' as a project for your kids. Parents are encouraged to read and involve their kids in the corresponding activities for the project. Remember to make it fun! What better way to learn and grow!

The book highlights a lot of role playing. This is important because children learn by emulating what they have seen and heard. For instance, acting out the polite and rude ways of using the magic words is a profound teaching tool that will definitely leave a more lasting impression in the minds of young children.

Cool Kind Kid is timely and appropriate for our society today in which bullying seems to have taken over as the "new norm". The book is refreshing and it reinforces those lessons that sets us high above the animal kingdom and makes us who we are, humans.

Which takes us right back to the beginning of this article. If aliens were to visit our planet, what kind of people would they find? Well, we hope, amongst the harsh realities of our world, they'd find honorable, upright citizens in our children and young adults; after all, they are our future. A future with honest, kind, and honorable citizens, is the kind of future we should all strive for.

For more details view the website: http://www.CoolKindKid.com/

[This book review of Cool Kind Kid, Handbook #1 is written for The Books Magazine - May/June 2014 edition]

The Cool Kind Kid CD (Single)

There are 17 original songs that can be used as teaching tools in providing young children with the proper social skills necessary for our society today. Each song (single), sold separately, costs $0.99 and can be downloaded on a MP3 player. Here are some of the titles:

  • Magic Word Mambo
  • When the Telephone Rings
  • Polite to Me
  • Rude Rudy
  • The Best Friend I Can Be
  • School Rules
  • Manners Matter Everywhere

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