Written by Bonnie Williams, illustrated by John Gordon
This book shows a pair of dinosaur friends: one who is a T-Rex and one who is a Pterodactyl. We see how since Pete the Pterodactyl can fly, he is really skilled at so many things the other dinosaurs aren’t. Teddy becomes sad thinking that he’s not as special as Pete since he can’t do the same things that Pete is constantly praised for. Another classmate of Teddy’s and Pete’s, Tina, kindly points out all the cool things that Teddy can uniquely do because of his personal attributes and abilities. In the end, Pete overcomes his jealousy and is content with his own abilities, and gets to fly with Pete.
During the reading:
- Right off the bat, you can help your child relate to the dinosaurs by asking them who their best friend is, and then what they like to do together (this can also help you get an idea of how they view their relationships and enjoy sharing information with you as you react really positively to it).
- When everyone cheers for Pete throughout the story, you can do fun things like raise your child’s arms and cheer with them or clap together or something like that to involve some physical movement and physical contact. That will be really enjoyable for your child to make it interactive as well as bond with you.
- When you get to the point of Teddy being sad that he can’t fly, really help your child to understand his feelings in that moment before moving on. This is a really common issue of comparing, especially for kids of the same age group, or siblings that are close in age/gender. It could be really helpful for them to actually label Teddy’s emotions in order to better be able to identify their own emotions (especially since they’ll probably face this same challenge in their life eventually). Children who are better at labeling emotions can better manage them personally and be more sensitive to others’ needs.
- Label the happy emotions he’s feeling at the end, too! Point out how it’s so awesome that he can do so many cool things because of his differences, and that if Pete couldn’t fly, Teddy wouldn’t be able to fly with him, so it’s great that they have different abilities!
- Ask your child what they think they can do that’s special. Looking at Pete’s special abilities could help give them ideas. For very young children, it’s hard to understand more abstract concepts like kindness and loyalty, so they mostly think of themselves in terms of concrete things they can do, like running fast, or what they do to play with their friends. You can make some concepts like kindness more concrete by pointing out how Tina was so nice to tell Teddy what he’s good at, and you are so nice by playing with your younger sister and telling her what she’s good at! It’ll be really meaningful to your child for you to notice and praise their positive traits and make typically abstract ones more concrete as you praise specific examples of them (like helping their sister). Or, if you know that your child is trying to accomplish something difficult and sticking with it, you can praise the process they’re going through more than the end result so that they develop persistence.
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