EP 10 Transcript: Social-Emotional Learning with Dolisha Mitchell

Ep SEL Transcript


“Supporting Social Emotional Learning with Picture Books: Guest Host Dolisha Mitchell @LittleBlackBookNook” 

0:36 C And welcome back to another episode of picturebookstagang, I am so excited to introduce another special guest for this week’s internet chat, Dolisha Mitchell. Dolisha is a curriculum specialist who speicalizes in SEL or Social EMotional Learning she is also a member of our Bookstagang Group and she just wrote a book list for PBS. So we are with an actual Celebrity folks.  I am personally super thrilled to be able to chat sort of face to face, I can definitely see faces in my screen.  And of course along with Dolisha are my two other brilliant cohosts, Kelly and Ale.

A; Helloooo..

K: I’m Kelly

A: I’m Brilliant!

K: Brilliant..and Ale.

A: Yeah.

C: Dolisha we are all so excited you’re here!

D: I’m so excited to be here and to like you said finally see faces.

K: Yeah

A: Yeah! Faces!

C: So I think we’re just gonna hop in to the burning questions on all of our minds right now and just sort of see where all of this conversation is up, so, what made you initially get involved with Bookstagram in the first place?

1:51 D: So last summer I was still like in a teaching contract so I have summers off.  So I always try to catch up on all the books that I thought I would read in the school year that I don’t. So I was kind of snooping around on some of my favourite authors’ pages and then I was looking at hashtags and saw something called #bookstagram and I had no idea what it was, I was like ‘ok.’ But then I clicked on it and was like, wooosh, what is all of this? All of these pictures and reviews and all of these different things. So I originally started with bookstagram on my personal page just to figure out what books I should check out from the library for like adult reads, then eventually I came across the kid lit picture book sides and given  that I was already working with elementary students, it just clicked. So I lurked around on my personal page for a while before I created my own. But I actually saw Corrie’s page, that was one of the first pages that I followed and after that I started internet stalking all of you, until I decided to start.  Just a little bit. Just until I started my own page and I was like “I think I should do this, I think I should get all the way in there and not just watch.” So that’s what really drew me in, just like seeing authors talking to…I don’t want to say regular people, but just like everyone on the interentat and publishers, I was like this is really cool, interacting in the community in like a fun not so drama filled way.  Social Media can be that way sometimes but bookstagram for the most part has been a really cool, chill, place, fingers crossed that it stays that way.  At least on the kid lit side.

3:44 K: Yeah I think part of it, there’s not a lot to get angry about with picture books most of the time.

D: right haha.

K: I’m also laughing a bit because Corrie was one of the first people I noticed on instagram as well.

D: Influencer!

C: Hashtag influencer, for real though I get like an adrenaline rush every time an author or illustrator comments on my posts. It’s like a really big deal.

K: Yes.

4:12 D: I honestly I screen shot them and save them.

4:14 A: I know! I’m always like “BE COOL! BE COOL ALE ACT LIKE THIS IS NORMAL!” Hahaha

D: I kinda wanna print them off and frame them but also like, that’s too far.

C: I definitely, this is the one Coco brag for the evening, I legitimately like teared up when Ibrim Kendi started following so, @thetinyactivists

4:37 K: Wow

C: Legitimately woaahhh

D:We need to write the levels. These are like levels of bookstagram.

K:That’s a big deal.

D: That’s a really big deal. 

4:49 C:So Dolisha you said that you started looking with your personal page, and now you have your book page. And can you talk a little bit about what it is and tell us what it is so people can follow you and also the origin of your account name.

5:05 D: Yeah! So I’m at @littleblackbooknook, it’s funny because people assume my page was named after me like finding Black books, like of course I’m looking for books written by Black authors and have Black characters but initially I just wanted to find diverse books that were focused on BIPOC so like the whole people of colour and then like, topics that people weren’t talking about as much which tend to be like the mental health social emotional.  Any topics that weren’t just like already out there so that was kind of my initial goal and then like honestly I really wanna get like books from publishers and be able to share and help people know what good books are and what good books aren’t?  Hahaha. But in my, at my house I have a lot, and I just have one of those huge IKEA bookshelves and it’s black and I have like floor pillows and that’s just where I chill and read books. So when I was trying to think of a name I tried a couple of others like right when I started my page, when you change your name every 52 seconds, but I landed on @littleblackbooknook cuz I’m like my book shelf my book nook area is black, so I stuck with it.  So that’s how it started.  But then I started finding different books I started focusing more on Social Emotional learning it just kinda grew from there so I could kind of focus on those two things.  There are so many accounts and so many great books out that I was kind of like I wanna focus on one or two.  So those things are near and dear to my heart and kind of what I was already doing at the time I was a social emotional learning coach so it kind of worked for me to stay with that and find books that helped teachers and parents in that area, so kind of helped developing the whole feel for @littleblackbooknook.

7:13 C: So Important. So can you tell us a little bit about how you got involved in SEL and if you could share details about what it means to be a Social Emotional Learning coach because I think that’s a term unfamiliar to a lot of people.

K: Definitely yes.

7:30 D: So I’d like to say I was doing social emotional learning in my classroom, before I knew what it was.  So I’m from rural south Georgia and my mom is very “I’ll give you the clothes off my back” kind of person to help you. So I feel like when I first got in a classroom you know your first year you don’t know what you’re doing.

A: That’s so true.

C: Facts.

D: So I just kind of was copying what everyone else was doing for behaviour management, and it wasn’t working.  So I was just like trying to bribe kids, you know I’m just being completely honest, you know do this and you’ll get that, ha, and it was a big mess.  So I started reading on how to work on more intrinsic, and getting them to feel like motivated to do what’s right and teaching the how to actually cope with how they’re feeling and big behaviours and creating like class agreements and all those things and that started working so I was like, ah, I think I’m on to something. But I seriously didn’t know what it was. But it was working. So, when I moved to Oregon my first job here was working as a Social Emotional Learning coach and that’s when I got my official formal training, so I had training in Trauma incomed care, I had a little bit of training in the brain science part, like what happens when you get upset or you get afraid or you know all those things.

K: Like a flight or fight response? Yeah?

9:00 D: Exactly. So I started getting training in all these things and was like wow this is like a legit thing, this isn’t just oooh if you talk about your feelings everything will be better. Like there’s actually like the wiring of your brain in why we behave and respond in the ways we do. So after I got the training in that I was like ‘this is this is for me’ this is an area that I really enjoy, at that point I wasn’t like a classroom teacher I was working with teachers? So, as a Social Emotional Learning Coach I was more of a coach so I would have a schedule I would go in the classroom to support teachers I would model lessons sometimes or help them umm kind of be like a, I don’t wanna say bridge? But maybe. Between them and the students to talk about how both of them are feeling. Helping the student convey how they’re feeling in the classroom.  And have the teacher share how they’re feeling about some of the behaviours they’re seeing from the student in the cl classroom and having like a conversation about it instead of the teachers trying to shame and the kids just react in big ways. So that’s kind of how I got into that and it was one of the most rewarding, sometimes stressful just cuz you know emotions and dealing with that all day. But I think at the end of the day when you learn how to communicate with children in a way that puts their voices in the forefront and you’re not trying to control them but instead trying to understand them and see where they’re coming from. It has been super helpful like growing how I think about it but also seeing teachers go from very rigid and strict and everything has to be this way to like “Why do you think it should be this way? Or What should we do?” So kind of giving up some of that control and noticing like oh this is going better now. Now I’m not having a power struggle every morning because I want that this way, and the paper turned this way, and the x there and the name in the corner. All the little things that we sometimes want done in the perfect way.

11:11 K: Mmhm It’s difficult to give up control sometimes though.

11:15 D: Oh yeah it was a big transition so I’m from south Georgia so you know sometimes southern roots, it’s very like adult driven, and you do as you’re told.

11:27 I think though that, I think that coming from the classroom myself. I think that a lot of people who are afraid to give up any power to their students. That comes part of an insecurity in their own power, do you know what I mean, and I feel this way to with my own kid when she’s just like “MYYY SOCKS THEY HAVE A THING ON THE INSIDE” and then she’s just flipping out, and I’m like I have to be in control…

D: Right

A: But I don’t know what to do about you socks all the socks are this way!

D: It’s like that fear like I’m the adult, I need to have this. Together. And like I just gotta let it go.

A: Yeah! Sometimes.

12:12 K: And we have to admit to our kids or our students that sometimes we just don’t know, why do you want it that way? I don’t even know why I want it that way.

12:23 D: Yes!  Right that moment of yeah I guess I could do it a different way.

12:26 C: So for some of our listeners who might be still you know, unfamiliar with Social Emotional learning, Dolisha can you sort of explain the sort of tenants of social emotional learning in general?

12:40 D: Yeah so a lot of people think it’s just like emotions and feelings but it’s so much more than that. I kind of feel like that’s the basic part, just helping kids learn how to regulate their emotions. But some of the more important parts are just like self awareness, helping them identify how they’re feeling about things how they relate to other people, feeling empathy, feeling empowered to use their voices. So that’s one of the things Social Emotional learning is big with also awareness. SO always think of it like with the social justice piece it goes right into SEL learning because if you’re not including that part of it and not helping them aware of those around them and how what they do impacts others and lending their voices to support others that’s another huge part of it. Another one responsible decision making we all know takes practice to learn how to make good decisions so sometimes you know, we get behaviour problems as we call them but it’s like a second grader, like you know we probably didn’t make all the right decisions when we were in second grade either so helping them to learn how to practice making good decisions or thinking through if you do this, what happens next? Or you have another options you could do this and what do you think happens next so walking them through that part and there’s the relationship building piece which is super important so like friendships and having healthy relationships and that component placing like, consent and like how to agree with people but also understand that you have the right to not agree with people and I think for adults that’s a hard one too.  So. LIke. Consent


C: So like teaching kids you don’t have to hug everybody if you don’t have to give a high five or even sometimes not wanting to brush your teeth or hair and helping them know why they should know why they should instead of forcing them to do it.  So those are just a few of them but a lot of times I use the Collaborative Academic Social Emotional Learning. They’re like one of the leaders in the field and they have five core competencies and they are’ broken down to the tee, and I actually think they’re in the process of adding an Equity or diversity piece which I’m really excited about because that was something that I did feel was lacking in that component. Like I said in my mind I put it in social awareness because that makes sense to me, but now they’re putting in so you don’t have to think “Oh maybe it goes here?” but it’s like no it goes here.

K: Bringing it to the forefront instead of making it nuanced.

D: So I’m excited to see how that works out.  But yeah Social Emotional learning isn’t like fluffy feelings it’s like really getting kids to understand, I think of like holistically how to be a good person and live a healthy life and be happy because at the end of the day. Because it doesn’t feel good to say as a former teacher, but like academics for me have always been like…i mean of course I want you to be smart and understand but at the end of the day if you’re really smart but you have no friends, you have no connection to people, you don’t feel good about yourself, I mean…I don’t know.

16:14 K: I mean how successful can you be as a human being who feels good and happy about their life if you have no social skills or emotional health no matter how smart you are. 

16:29 D: Right, that’s one of the things. Like coming out of the pandemic unfortunately, social emotional learning has just exploded everybody is like, give me! Give it to me! We want it now! In the past it was like, you know we really need to focus on academics, they have to get math, now they’re like alright, what was that you were talking about again? Hahaha I need some help with that. So hopefully that’s the one positive thing that will come out of this a little bit more attention to that with children..

17:00 K: And building the habit of teaching even after the pandemic.

17:07 A: Yeah!

17:10 D: Yeah like not just ‘it’s time for Social emotional learning’ it’s embedded in everything you do.

C: I really hope so.

D: Fingers crossed.

17:18 C: I am really glad you brought up the pandemic, like people are like, “THIS IS A TURNING POINT” it’s probably not a turning point, just because you thought of something doesn’t mean it’s a turning point for the world. What do you think are some of the implications of the pandemic positive and negative?

17:45 D: Well I know just from working from home and a lot of my friends are working from home, and trying to juggle working from home full time with their kids and trying to be a teacher when they were never a teacher before. Parents are stressed right now, like there’s a lot of external stressors, you know some people aren’t working as many hours or there’s sickness in the family so they’re having to care for you know  their parents or family members who are sick and they’re having to still work and some people are having to work harder than they did before the pandemic so juggling all of that puts a lot of extra stress on parents which also puts a lot of stress on kids because if your parents are stressed then they can feel it, even if you’re trying your best you know to try not to be extra sensitive to their needs. Like you’re not reacting in the same way because you’re kind of already, you’ve used all of your executive functioning skills just trying to get through work for the day so when they come along needing help or maybe they’re having big feelings too, some parents are just kind of over it. So I think on the negative side there’s a lot more extra stressors for parents that trickle down to kids. Then there are a lot of kids especially school age kids who are grieving the loss of their friendships because they don’t live in a community that they’re able to ride bikes or go for a walk with their friends in the neighbourhood some of them haven’t seen their friends since march and that’s super tough and if you’re an only child of even if you just have one sibling that’s still super tough you still wanna see your friends. So i think on the negative sides there’s a lot of loneliness. I know that statistics for depression is just going up and anxiety. So. I am concerned that as we go into the new year, it’s going to be almost a full year of this kind of socially distanced experience for not just adults but children. What, that’s going to lead to? I hope that we have some supports put in place by the time that they do go back to school or maybe before that.  But it’s kind of hard to tell right now. On the other side. The positive side I have seen, actually, even someone from our Bookstagang group talks about like a lot of parents they’re excited to be with their children more though. Before the hustle bustle of waking up gotta get to work take your kid to school you don’t see them again till like six or seven in the evening, making dinner put them to bed, start over, a lot of parents are really happy to have the opportunity to be there or be in the next room or take a lunch break with them.  Or help them with whatever school work they have and feeling more connected in that way and some families too are getting the slow down a little bit and like to enjoy those moments as a family together so it’s a little bit of a balancing act I’m sure? Like I can imagine how some families are working through it.

20:54 K: It’s not easy. I’m just nodding the whole time you’re talking cuz it’s like yes, all the good all the bad all at one time. And you know, I have an only child who hasn’t seen another child since March.

D: right.

K: And you know no matter what I do I can’t replace friends.

D: haha right, like I can be as fun as possible but I can’t be your friend like in that way.

C: Even if you’re wearing matching leggings you’re still not another four year old.

21:28 K: We do have a lot of pairs of matching legging and I mean Ale has two kids but it’s not the same thing as like..

C:I’m sure they get tired of eachother too.

A: They do get tired of eachother, yeah, but you know I’m one of those people that kind of goes from ‘this is wonderful’ to ‘this is horrible and it needs to end’ but like in the space of twenty minutes so I’m going back and forth and I’m like I don’t know how I feel.

22:00 K: Going from let’s keep them home forever to let’s send them away forever!

 22:01 A: I need some social emotional learning I think.

22:06 D: I mean this pandemic has really pushed all of us to get into those skills.

22:13 A: YEah I think I need a tutorial, some books, you got lots of books right?

22:20 C: I think she has a few books.

22:23 K: Actually on that exact note I’ll slip in with a question, do you have some recommendations for books for parents, in terms of harnessing some parenting techniques?

22:33 D: Yeah I should say I’m not a parent yet so I just tend to read more books on the science behind it or focusing on some of those things so I don’t have specific parenting books necessarily?

K: Even the science behind it all…ties it…

22:54 D: So I would say one of my favourite ones is called “The Whole Brain Child”

K 23:00: That’s also one of my favourites, I love that book.

23:01 D: Yay! It’s absolutely amazing that it’s one of the books I read when I started reading during my formal training. And just reading it and learning about the brain science behind it, I’m a little bit of a nerd so that really resonated with me but also as a teacher or a parent when you’re frustrated to the max with behaviour because honestly I’ll get overwhelmed too because they just won’t do what we want them to do or they just won’t stop but when you ground it in science and oh they’re brain hasn’t developed yet they haven’t learn to do that. It’s so much easier to have empathy for them. So that book just helped me be so much more empathetic when I was working with students who were having tantrums or flipping desks because just like man this must be exhausting and you don’t want to do all this. Who wants to do this? Noone would want to. So I think one of those books is one of of the first books I read that was kind of eye opening, like oh that makes sense ,the logical part of the brain and the emotional part of the brain are not on speaking terms right now they cannot get it together, it’s not their fault, we want to blame them but like they’re not talking it’s not hat fault. So i think we can remove that stuff and just be more empathetic, and talk it out.  And like “What happened, what can we do to help you feel better?” instead of just like stop it! Because that…always works.

24:36 K: Those have been like my parenting bibles, all of Dan Siegel’s books, so hearing those are your favourite books it’s like okay I’m on the right path. “The Whole Brain Child” just for our listeners as well it’s one of those books that breaks down things in such a super understandable way, Dolisha is talking about it like I’m nerdy and I love science but I think one of the things about that book is that it’s not very intimidating to understand all of the concepts in that book so it is a really good starting book when you’re talking about mindfulness with kids and how the brain actually works and all those executive functions

25:18 D: Right and if you google “Flipping Your Lid” they have the whole thing where you can understand the brain and use your hand and it kind of replicates how the brian works, so there are lots of ways you can learn about it even with kids. Like I’ve talked with kids about this, and they’re like “I’m flipping my lid Ms. Mitchell” and I’m like “okay what do you need? What do you need so we can bring the lid back down?” And so it’s good to teach kids about it at a certain age, like my emotional brain isn’t talking to my logical brain right now and just giving them the language to speak to that. Like some adults still don’t have that. So it’s good to practice with kids if we know we’re still working on it.

26:13 A: What age would you say you start talking about that with kids? 6, 5, 4 perhaps?

26:19 D: I mean my goddaughter is..four, she just turned four.  So…My best friend started with her maybe when she was two? Just identifying it for like for her. So if she’s crying saying “You look sad right now? Are you feeling sad?” So it can start that simple. So we wouldn’t start with the brain science at two, but we can start with simple “You look sad right now, you look excited, you look surprised, how are you feeling?” GIving them that emotional vocabulary. And they’ll start saying it from there and grow from there, and they’ll start saying it like “I’m so surprised or I’m so sad…because you took my toy or you made me clean up my toy.”  You know all the different reasons that they could be feeling that way.

27:08 K: Yeah so we just try no matter what emotion comes out especially if it catches us off guard “You look like X right now and maybe are you crying because of this? And maybe you could tell me why that is?” So we try to just name it and now at like four years old, four and a half years old we’re starting to see the effect of it coming back at us where like an emotion explosion will happen but then it’s like “ I AM FEELING VERY ANGRY AND I AM CRYING!”

27:40 D: Yeah! Because sometimes kids will shut down and you’ll have no idea what happend. Because they’re like shut down. So the more we give them the vocabulary to tell us what’s wrong then it’s easier for us to help them, like “I am angry because I broke my toy” and we can work on helping them solve that problem, but if they can’t even tell us what’s wrong then we have a long way to go because we don’t even know what happened at that point. For sure using that.  Another book I wanted to mention it’s from…Khan…”Punished By Rewards” So that’s also one of my favourites and it talks more about what I was saying I did my first year of teaching basically trying to bribe kids into being good until I realized it doesn’t’ work for long. That book is really good because it talks about how even teachers and parents do it but even our jobs and corporate america, ‘you’ll get a raise if you do this or you’ll do this’ like at the end of the day saying we really have to focus on the intrinsic value of what motivates people? Why should they care about what they’re trying to teach them. If they’re not that engaged in it or participating with it a lot of the time that’s a signal to us not to them, for us to say how can we make this better how can we make it more engaging how can we involve them in their learning. So I have a lot of friends that are doing homeschool right now and they’re going through that , they’re like “I created this fun activity and my kid doesn’t wanna do it.” and I’m like “well did you include things that they’re interested in?” Maybe like having them help you create the activity? And they’re like “They’re three!” And I’m like “try it out!” Maybe if they’re included? I think part of it the adult, setting out things how they want everything looks so nice, and pinterest ready, but umm kiddos don’t care about Pinterest ready.

29:49 A: They really don’t and I learned that the hard way teaching and as a parent. Especially when you see beautiful stuff, like Rainbow Rice, you guys know how I feel about rainbow rice.

Kelly: hahahaha She hates rainbow rice.

A: It’s all perfect for like two minutes, and then you’re vacuuming it literally six months later and they played with it  for two minutes? And you’re like why is everyone else’s kid playing with this? What have I done wrong? You know?


30:20 C: Everyone is lying. Nobody plays with rainbow rice for more than ninety seconds unless they can make a volcano like an explosion or like fireworks, and then you’re vacuuming it up for…

30:33 A: Okay. But you know what they do actually like? Water beads.

30:36 K: Those are awesome.

D: Yeah I like water beads!

30:40 A: Those are really good, but you know how it says on the package, good for two to three days? I was like tsk, I’m sure this is good for two weeks, what is this package? So we put it outside for like a week and a half and it turns into slime… and I found that the hard way. My toddler just took a whole..

30:57 D: Well I mean like that’s a new thing to play with hahaha.


31:05 A: It’s like somebody exorcised a ghost from Ghostbusters in my yard that’s what it’s like.  We’re ready for Halloween.

D: I was gonna say leave it up for Halloween for sure.

K 31:17:: Free slime bucket.

A: Gross.

C: So Dolisha thank you for talking about those adult resources, what would be some of the books you use to demonstrate sort of the importance of SEL to students?

31:35 D: Oh I have so many favourites but I’m gonna try to narrow it down to just like a few of my favourite favourites.  So I think the first one is “The Rabbit Listens”  and I really like that one because adults we just try to fix it and we don’t listen a lot of times I’m like, preaching to the choir. So like when I was working at schools I would be like, what’s wrong what do you need? Just take some deep breaths and come sitting here. Just trying to give all these things instead of just saying would you like to talk about it? And sitting there. Because a lot of times when you’re upset even as an adult you’re like I don’t wanna talk about but just saying ok I’m here when you do wanna talk about it.  Sometimes just that pause for five minutes and realizing oh they’re still there and not talking to me just sitting here can open them up to start talking. So in “The Rabbit Listens” all these little stuffed animals keep coming to the little girl playing with blocks, and her blocks collapse and so he has a moment because you know you’re working hard and your blocks collapse. And all these animals keep coming up to her. Why don’t you do this? Why don’t you do that? All this unsolicited advice. And then eventually this little bunny rabbit comes up and sits with her, leans on her a little bit, then she starts talking to the bunny rabbit and says “I worked on this, I’m so frustrated” and it doesn’t say anything the whole time. And eventually she’s like “you know I think I’m gonna rebuild it.” And she does. And I think it’s a really good reminder that we shouldn’t always try to fix other people’s problems, sometimes we need to listen and I’ve learned so many adult lessons from picture books, so like that’s like a good lesson for kids to listen but even with adults sometimes you just need a listening ear not someone to like solve the problem for you before you can even get out how you’re feeling they’re already throwing off a list of things to do to feel better and sometimes you’re not ready to feel better yet.

33:53 C: Sometimes you gotta wallow.

33:58 C: Sometimes you need to be able to to work through it. So I would say that’s definitely one of my favourites. I love “Ruby Finds a Worry” and there’s two others…

34:12 K: “Ravi’s Roar” and….

34:16 C: Is the other one “Mischa Makes friends” or something?

34:23 D: Maybe they’re all like similar, but different emotions. So I do love all of those because they like acknowledge how emotions can like come in out of nowhere sometimes and they do kind of follow you and stay with you when you’re trying to ignore them and I think that’s a good way for kids to think about it because sometimes they don’t even know what’s wrong. You know? You’re like “what’s wrong how can I help you and they’re just not sure they’re just not feeling like themselves. So just helping them think through that process.  Umm those three and then, I think it’s called, “When Sadness Comes” it’s by Eva? I really should have looked at these names so I had them ready.

35:04 K: We’ll put them in the show notes.

35:10 D: So “When Sadness Comes” it’s like a little blob at the door that comes it’s sadness, and sits with the kid, and then the kid like works through it, draws listened to music takes a nap and sadness is there with it. And by the end of the book it leaves. But I like that it shows you don’t have to rush feelings away sometimes you do just need to sit with them and get comfortable, settle in for a while and then of course at some point say, okay, it’s time, feeling better, time.  But of course they’ll be back at some point but just helping them kind of work through feelings and knowing most importantly that there are no bad feelings like it’s ok to feel angry it’s ok to be sad it’s okay to be embarrassed or surprised. Like all of these are emotions that come in, they roll in and we can roll them out too, but sometimes we can make kids feel that if they’re angry that they’re bad.  Like “I’m bad because I’m always angry” and that’s something that was brought to my attention when I worked with a lot of students, it’s like they felt “I’m so angry all the time” like they’re bad because they’re angry. And it’s like no, everybody gets angry. It’s more about learning the skill needed to manage our bodies when we’re angry and what we do when we’re angry so that we’re not harmful to others or to ourselves. Yeah those are my favourites for sure any of them that kind of doesn’t have someone else solving the problem for them usually?  And those that like, allow the emotion to come and go. And not let brush it away. So I think that’s an important message for kids to hear because I think sometimes we make them think that they should be happy all the time and we all know that’s not normal, noone is happy like a hundred percent of the time.

37:09 K: No it’s not and I think that there was a book that Ale has received a copy of and we will not name names but it has a line along the lines of “you should always feel glad” no matter how someone is making you feel. No! But like I think it’s really legitimate it ruined the entire experience.

37:31 A: It was a problematic book.

D: Toxic positivity.

A: Right! That was toxic positivity. Actually I read a really good one I don’t know if any of you got it, from Viking. “The Happy Book!” 

K: No

C: No

37:45 D: No but I saw that one on your page.

37:50 A: It’s so good but it’s so weird, it’s like in his head and there’s a trombone following him, but it’s like “all my feelings can live and that’s okay and I can just be sad as part of me” and I feel like when I was a kid that wasn’t a thing? It’s like you have to overcome your feelings to being happy all the time.

38:13 C: Yeah I think what you said about anger too Dolisha is super insightful because especially for people who are raised female? Then anger is particularly demonized.  And, there’s


C: Such an emphasis on being “good” and feeling like you have to be perfect and part of that is the toxic positivity.

38:37 C: Yes, I am working on that now. Hahaha

C:hahah We’re all…

38:43 D: from childhood, you know just feeling, you know recovering toxic positivity person.

38:47 K: Well you know to Corrie’s point when you have a female experience you get told on the street ‘just smile!’ and things like that and male presenting humans don’t get that. So. So you feel bad when you’re not smiling and, sometimes you just don’t wanna smile.

D: Right, and then they make a term for people who don’t smile hahahaa. Like that’s nice…

39:17: k: yes we have issues with that term.

D:Right right, or you look mean, like…okay.

C:Also unfortunately being told to smile is some of the nicer things I’ve been told on the streets by strangers. I could complain about the patriarchy all the live long day, but instead, I would much rather, talk about new releases that you’re super excited about coming out!

39:49 D: So I have a pile of books right now, hahaha

K: We all have a pile of books, ahaha.

D:That I am eager to get to, but I am really excited about reading “Class Act” By Jerry Kraft, I read “New Kid” I was a little late to the game with that one so I read that one, maybe just a couple months back it’s a graphic novel. I’ve been really trying to read more graphic novels because I’ve talked about it a little bit but my niece is a little bit of a reluctant reader and she’s in middle school and that’s what pushes me into the middle school lane a lot of times, she’s really into art so I’ve been working hard to find more graphic novels so I’m super excited about reading that one.  And planning to gift her both at the same time so it’s like you don’t even have to wait haha just read one and hop right into the next one so I know that one just came out recently I’m excited about, uh, I haven’t read “Julian at the Wedding”

40:51 C: I’m eagerly awaiting that one.

40:52 K: Ooohh so beautiful.

40:53 D: I keep seeing it on everyone’s page and I actually have it but like I said I’m really excited about this upcoming weekend, just catching up on all the new releases that I wanted them and now I have them literally in my house. I just haven’t been able to it’s like when you have the boxes of the Christmas present and you’re just like when is Christmas. But I have them and they’re mind.  But like I’m an adult I can open them. But I like to cherish them and wait I’ have time to focus on them with no interruptions. I’m like discipline! I have time set aside for you!

K:Such Discipline.

D: So I’m excited about those two, and if you can believe I still haven’t read “Jabari Tries” Either, what is wrong with me.

41:43 C: I’m confessing I haven’t either, I have it too, I just haven’t gotten to it yet.  I’m so excited. And I feel like such a dingus, that I haven’t read it. I want to cover myself in shame.

D: Right, I’m so excited and I even have it out of the box like it’s getting closer to me, like now I open it, it’s out of the box, it’s on the desk, next thing you know.

C: The Foot of your bed, you’ll just get up and stand in front of it.

42:18 D: Slowly

K: We will use this opportunity to plug the fact that Gaia Cornwall is actually coming on the podcast in a few weeks so stay tuned for that.

D: Wow that’s so exciting!

K: Yeah stay tuned for that. 2020 has actually had so many amazing picture book releases and of course we are all in a group that is judging a best picture book of the years awards so now we literally have 200 books in piles in all of our houses that we are all trying to judge so it is hard to get to all of them.

D:Right, 2020 has been a tough year but I feel like in book releases I am really impressed and I feel like this year people finally stepped out, and released some books that weren’t as..uhh…I dunno. And when I look back to last year’s releases and the year before I feel like we are headed in the right direction hopefully we stay in that direction but like the level of diversity in books that I saw released this year I hope it continues, new trends you know let’s keep it going. From this year on.

43:30 K: Yeah I think we’re headed in the right direction just I think there’s gonna be a rush in 18 months where it’s gonna be this flood because it’s how long the publishing cycle is, so the real tell on is it a trend is gonna actually be in like two, two and a half years from now which is kind of wild yeah. But yeah there’s gonna be a major rush of diversity in books in about 18 months.

D: Right so we’ll see who is really ready hahah.

44:33 A: I’ve also noticed some other trends, in the books, as we said we have 212 books that have arrived so far, uh hahaha,

D: you’ve been counting.

A: I haven’t read them all but I’ve been flipping through them. It’s too much to take in all at once.  THey’re really deep! Have you guys noticed that? They’re heavy subject matter, and a little bit, like some existentialism happening and very poetic and like compared to when we did this last year I think were a little more on the surface you know?

D: We’re gonna have like baby philosophers pretty soon.

A: And they’re beautiful but I kind of wonder when I do read them, what is my kid gonna be getting? Like how deep, is she gonna get on this? I dunno? So..guess we’ll find out.

44:55 K: There’s always a few book that you actually wonder if they’re written for children.

44:58 D: Oh yeah absolutely. Sometimes they make me feel really good but then i’m like hmm..that was for me.  And I appreciated it. But..hahahaha

A: Ahahah

45:11 K: Not for a 5 year old.

45:15 A: They’re picture books for an adult to enjoy and they’re beautiful but I just, I dunno my kid is a little more on the glitter and fart jokes level.

D:Hey you gotta mix it up, a little philosophy and glitter and a unicorn in the middle.

C: Glitter fart jokes.

45:35 A: Yes. A philosophical unicorn that has farting problems.

45”51 D: Glitter farts.

K: Glitter farts.

45:44 A: Are there any agents listening, I’d like to pitch that. 

45:49 C: She’d like to trademark that idea.

45:50 K: Ale’s ready to pitch that right now.

45:52 D: Trademark that!

A: Right now ready to pitch that!

K: Dolisha and Alessandra Pressent Glitterfart the Unicorn Philosopher.

D: Perfect.

C:I would read that at least once.

D: If that book came out, like, at least once, not twice.

A: It could be a scratch and sniff once.

D: Oh my god, too far.

C: ahahahahaha

K: Ahahahaha

D: Way too far.

46:23 A: I’ve got lots of angles working here.

C: A fountain of ideas.

A: Somebody write this down.

D: I’m for a brainstorm session.

C: It’s gonna live in infamy on the internet it’ll soon just be in the feed.

A:It’s right in the transcripts. ahahaha

C: Alright I’m gonna reign us back in because we’re getting loopy.

A:That’s probably a good idea.

C: Dolisha I’m sure you have to go live your life or eat dinner, live your life on Pacific time, we’re not on Pacific time, but can you tell us your favourite thing about bookstagram and then once more where people can find and follow your brilliant book recommendations.

47:17 D: Bookstagram? I mean I met all of y’all through bookstagram so that’s amazing to me, and my husband makes fun of me because he’s like ‘who are you talking to’ and I’m like ‘my bookstagram friends’ it sounds like I’m like twelve but that’s ok.  But I’m like you know I feel like a real connection with y’all and all of the other people I get to talk with through the interwebz and bookstagram and as I said I’m not big on social media like I have a facebook but I hate it there like I don’t really go there. I’ve deleted, my personal page before I kind of wanted to do the whole no social media thing but I couldn’t handle it. So. Bookstagram is the place for me.  Because there’s not a lot of drama, like I said, most people are like seriously there to share good book reccs or if anything if there’s drama it’s not really drama, it’s like a good like you said #librarianfightclub what do you think about this book? I think this and I think that and there’s always good insights I can get behind both sides most times, like good point! Zinger! Back and forth but it’s never like true hatred for the most part, I love being able to once again talk with authors like that, it makes me feel amazing, umm. Connecting with like I’ve learned so much from the other teachers part of the bookstagram world too, other activists and people that are doing some amazing things in their communities and then like the way that you can share ideas and like rally together to you know, give money to support people, bail people out, sending books to people, like whatever you need. I’ve seen people sharing books like creating like a bookstagram library situation it’s like hey I have this book you need this book I’ll mail it to you? You need this book I’ll mail it to you. So I think it’s one of those rare places on the internet where people are pretty kind to eachother for the most part, we’re all here for the books so there’s like no, external, I guess, purpose for being there I think all of us too are like not, most people don’t bookstagram to become like rich and famous so..

49:39 A: What?!

49:42 D: I mean it would be nice.

C: Shhh Ale’s out now, she’s deactivating tomorrow.

K: Laughing.

D: But I mean you know it’s not, I mean we’re really here for the books for the most for like if we really wanted to be rich and famous it would be like…I dunno.

C: Oh for sure.

D: Like protein shakes for sure.

50:04 K: Well that’s Ale’s side gig.

50:07 C: I need a protein shake to read all of those books actually.

50:11 D: Another invention there. So I think I dunno, so far it’s been like a positive place and I’ve connected with a lot of people that I mean I seriously ever would have connected because we aren’t living in the same environment, so a nice little ecosystem.

50:27 C:Yeah.

5:30 A: Yeah whenever I leave Instagram now to like briefly check in to the Facebook or Twitter world, I’m like Oh GOSH what have I done! Retreat retreat! This is awful. Everyone is angry.

 This is scary.

50:44 D: Of all the levels of scary Twitter is at the top.

50:48 A: It’s really bad


50:50 D: I’m afraid of Twitter.

A: A lot of anxiety there you know.

D: Yeah I don’t even like repost over in there anymore.

K: hahaha

C:Our posts automatically go to Twitter but I do not go to twitter.

D: Just send them over there all by yourself.

K: Out into space.

C: They’re old enough to be let outside by themselves, so they can handle their own… Dolisha thank you so much for chatting with us today it was a dream. You’re a dream. You’re brilliant. Soooo, if you enjoyed listening to Dolisha today you can follow her @littleblackbooknook  she also has a website and you should definitely go check out her PBS book list that she wrote because, like I said, genuine celebrity here today.  We interview a lot of celebrities in the picture book world but Dolisha is definitely at the top and you can also find any other episode of Picture Bookstagang wherever you listen to Podcasts and we are now on Amazon music which is pretty rad even though Amazon is…quite a company.  It’s

Kelly: ahah but you can listen for free there it’s fine we’re not giving Jeff Bezos more money.

C: And we’re not, we’re not giving any more millions of dollars than he already go, so, wealth redistribution folx.  I prefer Spotify.

A: Ahahaha

C:…have a wonderful night folx!

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