This fun kids book of acceptance and identity has become one of my new favorites! Diane Alber's I'm NOT Just a Scribble will speak to both children and adults alike!
Scribble is unique and enjoys his differences until one day he meets a house, a sun and some clouds that refuse to play with him. At first, Scribble is sad and angry, but then he refuses those feelings and chooses to be happy. The others eventually decide to ask Scribble to play. He forgives them and together they create a beautiful picture of fun and acceptance that is sure to put a smile on anyone's face!
This is a story about Scribble,
whose lines would cross and wiggle.
Tiny loops would start him small,
bigger swirls would make him tall.
The rhythm and rhyme of the text will capture children's attention from the beginning along with the fun, simple illustrations depicting Scribble's antics.
Soon they'll be drawn into this book of acceptance and begin seeing themselves as the character of Scribble where they will learn a grand lesson of identity - we're all different and different is not bad...it's good!
"If you agree with Dorothy Briggs’ assertion in Your Child’s Self Esteem that “self-esteem is the mainspring that slates every child for success or failure as a human being,” then a crucial job for every parent and every teacher is affirming and building self-esteem in each child."
Scribble can help children understand they are special just like they are. Their self esteem does not have to be based on what others think or a certain mold.
Scribble starts off feeling great about himself, but that soon changes as he tries to make friends. Use this book of acceptance as a conversation starter to talk about how a child sees himself/herself and how it makes them feel.
Scribble makes choices about how he feels; this sets a great example for a child and how to deal with emotions in a positive way.
Discuss the feelings Scribble has throughout the book. Scribble can change colors; colors give children a tool to discuss various emotions such as red (angry), blue (sad), yellow (happy), green (calm), etc. Work out a chart for your child; when they need to express how they are feeling, they can draw Scribble in various colors! They may also learn it's okay when they feel mixed up and unsure of how they feel.
Draw Scribble's emotions using colors and simple expressions as in the book. This could even be used as an emotion chart to keep and use.
Scribble initiates making friends, and doesn't give up when he is not accepted immediately.
Scribble forgives and doesn't hold a grudge.
This acceptance book points out important conversation techniques such as greetings, asking questions, apologizing, etc. The characters also use polite words like please.
Working together - By the end of the book the characters create a beautiful work of art by working together. What they could not create on their own, they could as a team.
Scribble was able to share something he knew that the others did not. He introduced them to color. We all have something to give and share with others.
Scribble becomes a multitude of different colors. Have children name the various colors from simple names for toddlers (green) to more specific names for preschool and older kids (moss green or sea green).
Art - Drawing can be an avenue for expression. Creativity enhances learning. This book of acceptance contains simple drawings a child can duplicate using their own unique format. Even before reading, you could ask them to draw a house, a sun, clouds, and a Scribble. Then compare and see how each one is special and unique...not wrong, but different. For younger children, I created a coloring sheet where the only "drawing" they have to do is scribble!
As with any rhyming book, allow your child to finish the second line with the rhyming word. Then go back and together think of other words that rhyme with each. Compare how they look alike: small - tall-ball-wall, or day-play-way-say, etc. This will help them connect the sounds (phonemes) with the actual letters and patterns.
This book of acceptance and identity offers a wonderful lesson in forgiveness. It reminds me a little of the story of Joseph found in the Bible - Genesis 37-50.
Joseph could have held bitterness and anger against those who meant him harm, but instead he chose to trust God.
God had a plan and Joseph trusted God.
How were both Scribble and Joseph treated wrongly? How did they choose to act? How could they have reacted in a way that would not have pleased God?
God honors and blesses us when we make good choices. Also, we really only hurt ourselves when we choose to hold on to anger and bitterness. No one can really "make" us angry, we have a choice for how we react.