Children’s Book Review: Boys Can Be Strong & Emotional
Follow Jimmy and his father in heartwarming and emotional story about finding what it takes to be a real man and the importance of a growth mindset. Empowering boys to embrace emotions.
In the book, Boys Can Be Strong & Emotional, Jimmy’s needs to climb the biggest tree in town, cross a river on his own and sleep in a cave. According to Jimmy’s father, Jimmy must show his manhood by doing these things. Throughout the book, we follow Jimmy’s journey as he faces the challenges of becoming a man and the lessons he learns along the way including how to embrace his emotions and more importantly how to communicate his feelings.
For some children, learning how to communicate their feelings come fairly easy, but for others, it is hard to overcome this concept. As a parent, it is our job to help navigate the complex world of emotions. However, as parents sometimes we don’t know how to do it ourselves or we just need a little bit of help! That is why I am so grateful for children’s books about emotions that teach children not only what emotions are but how to manage them.
Boys Can Be Strong & Emotional is one of those books that I am genuinely grateful for. My son has always struggled with managing his emotions. He does not know how to communicate his feelings through words, but through books such as these, we have been able to get him to communicate better. Many times boys are taught to hide their feelings, to be strong and never talk about their problems. However, this does more harm than good. Learning how to manage their emotions helps children adequately express their feelings and give them more confidence.
Boys Can Be Strong & Emotional helps children find new strategies to deal with their emotions during difficult times. This book also allows boys to realize that they can be masculine and show their feelings too. Esther Pia Cordova highlights how speaking your mind can benefit you and brings the concept of growth mindset to the story. (Check out Esther’s blog on growth mindset HERE)
Cute character designs, an eye-pleasing color palette and full-page illustrations in this children’s book really bring this book together. You just can’t help but fall in love with Jimmy, the adorable and loveable bear. Illustrator, Vanessa Chromik does an exceptional job depicting the concept of this book while keeping readers engaged.
Why and How to Use it With Your Kids
- Great gift to give to a child of any age
- Use as a resource to open discussion with kids about situations and problems
- Use in a variety of settings including homes and classrooms
- Children will begin to learn how to manage emotions in healthy ways
- Children will learn to express their emotions effectively and give them more confidence
- Encourage a growth mindset with your children
Where Can I Find Boys Can Be Strong And Emotional?
About the Author, Esther Pia Cordova
Esther Pia Cordova currently lives with her husband and son in Germany, where she grew up. Before that she lived in Boston. Esther has a Masters degree as well as completed a 3-month coding boot camp where she was introduced to the concept of a growth mindset. This a familiar concept and message that Esther has continually added to her stories and has even applied to her own life.
During her 3-month boot camp in coding, she often played with the thought of quitting, but she didn’t. During her boot camp, she was never allowed to say “I can’t do that” – She always needed to add the little and powerful word YET to it. “I can’t do that yet.” After finishing, she got an internship and then a job as a front-end developer.
Esther got excited to bring the concept of a growth mindset to as many kids as possible since she would have needed something like that when she was a kid. Now Esther is doing what she loves and is spreading the concept of a growth mindset to children and readers all over the world.
Q & A with Esther Pia Cordova
Q. What does your family think of your writing?
Esther: I have an amazing husband who supports my publishing journey right from the start. He is the one who encourages me to set the bar higher and higher. He always believed that my stories are worth to be shared with kids all over the world. He is the most caring and supportive husband; one can imagine.
Q. What was the most surprising thing you learned about creating books?
Esther: Through writing children’s books, I’m learning so much. The actual writing process is only a small part of what I do every day. Next, to writing, I need to maintain my website, learn SEO for marketing purposes, check my Amazon ads, do bookkeeping (not fun), research, be active on my social media platforms to offer content that goes behind just the books, answer emails from customers- the complete list is much longer. Especially when you self-publish you will need to have an open mind and be willing to learn. The surprising thing is that there are tons of people out there that are willing to help you in your journey. The children’s book community is really great. I’m excited to be finally at a stage where I can give back to first-time authors.
Q. What do you think makes a good story?
Esther: I think a good story encourages kids to think for themselves. I like stories with strong characters that also have flaws that kids and even adults can relate to.
Q. What advice do you have for writers?
Esther: Let yourself shine through in each story you write and don’t be afraid of asking for help. Having a growth mindset helps a lot.
Q. What do you love most about the writing process?
Esther: I love the most the impact I can have on people’s life. Shifting your mindset and challenging stereotypes is not an easy thing to do. So it helps to get confronted with the concept early on and as often as possible. Parents have the biggest impact on their kid’s mindset. So leading my good example is the best thing you can do for your kid. But it is hard to always keep a growth mindset also for me. Through my books, I can contribute a little at a time.
Q. Can you tell us about one of the most rewarding moments you have had as an author?
Esther: Hearing from my readers! Sometimes I receive photos or drawings from kids or parents write to me how their kids reference back to the books in difficult situations. It’s the most amazing thing to hear if my book got a kid from I can’t do that to I can’t do that, yet. These moments make my day.
Q. Are you working on anything at the present that you would like to share with your readers about?
Esther: I’m working right now on a book called A World Without Failures. The book is about a boy who hates making mistakes. Whenever something doesn’t work at the first try, he wants to give up. Until his dream of a world without failures comes true. David will go on a journey through a world without failures. An adventure in which cats can talk, refrigerators disappear and dangerous lions. The book will highlight how failures are actually a good thing and how important mistakes for successful learning. Something to internalize not only for our small readers. At the end of the book you one will find a whole page with discussion starter questions. So parents can dig deeper into the area of mistakes and growth mindset.
Q. What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
Esther: The currently released book, Boys Can Be Strong and Emotional is challenging the stereotypes that boys need to be strong and are not allowed to show emotions. Since I had a boy just a year ago, this is extremely important to me. I want my son to grow up into a caring and emotionally healthy human being. Like in all my book the theme of growth mindset is also present.
Check Out More Books In The Growth Mindset Series!
About the Illustrator, Vanessa Chromik
Q. What process takes place in creating your artwork?
Vanessa: I collaborate closely with the author, in the end, I feel like the characters are little creatures they create. I make the sketches, let the author give me an okay, and after the colors flow by itself placing the characters in scenery I would like to be in.
Q. Can you describe the artistic process behind your illustration creations?
Vanessa: Classical google research and I also like to go to children stores and check out books. Then i do simple black outlines. After I color it with Wacom and Photoshop. I usually use watercolor or brush tools. It’s handy as I can change into whatever color and move layers.
Q. Which page was the most fun to illustrate?
Vanessa: I like the pages where you can see all your friends together. It has something magical bringing characters you talked about before to life.
Q. How did you start your career as an illustrator?
Vanessa: I used to illustrate as a kid a lot after I did a bachelor in visual communication and advertising in Milan, and after a more specific course in digital illustration at NABA.
Q. Where can we find you online?
Vanessa: You can find me on Instagram @vanessasillustration
Don't Forget to Join Esther on Social Media!
All in all, my family and I have really enjoyed this book and we know you will too! Please feel free to leave me any comments or questions about this review. I look forward to hearing from you!
*This book was kindly sent to me by Author, Esther Pia Cordova in exchange for an honest review.