Nadine Haruni is the author of The Freeda The Frog™ Children’s Book Series. These books are a great resource for teachers and parents as they help children dealing with difficult subjects to talk about. At the end of the article, you’ll find some companion frog coloring pages and lesson templates.
Just like no two families are the same, no two kids would react the same way to every given situation. The books in the Freeda The Frog Children’s book series all address either difficult topics for kids or different types of family situations. They are designed to both help the kids who are in these situations, to make them realize that every family looks different, and also to create a level of empathy and understanding amongst their peers. Each book has its own separate focus, but is a continuation from where the prior
book left off.
Teacher Resources for Difficult Subject Matters
The books have been leveled and are aligned to national standards, and can be utilized as a useful tool for parents, teachers, guidance counselors, school psychologists, and therapists to open up a dialogue on an uncomfortable subject. I think we could all use some more helpful tools in our toolbox, right? Teachers can read these books to their classes so that nobody feels that these subjects are “taboo,” and that the kids who are experiencing these feelings, or are in a family that does not look like everyone else’s does, do not feel singled out.
There are currently three books released from the series, with a fourth one on its way, and there will ultimately be at least a dozen books, all tackling different subject matters. The first three books have won the Gold Mom’s Choice Award in the picture book category.
The first book, “Freeda the Frog Gets a Divorce” (ISBN: 978-1-63177-514-7), was released in May, 2016 and is a children’s book that deals with a tricky topic: divorce. The book is designed to help kids cope and recognize that they are not alone. It is also used to help their friends understand a little about divorce as well, and to be able to support their friends. Once the book was released, I had been informed by a number of parents and professionals that they had used my book as a tool to be able to initiate the divorce conversation with their young kids, students, & clients.
I felt it was really important to get this book published after I had been divorced with two young children (who were one years old and 4 years old at the time), and noticed that there were not really a plethora of books out there that were written at a child’s level to help the kids understand what was going on. There also were not too many books out there which helped parents figure out how to have this uncomfortable conversation.
After I published this first book and received positive feedback from various parents, psychologists, teachers, and the kids themselves, I realized that there was really a void in this arena and a need to have a book series out there to help these kids who are either going tough situations, or help them recognize that it is OK that their family might not look like everyone else’s family does. There needed to be a series out there to help kids embrace one another’s differences, not make anyone feel left out or isolated.
“Freeda the Frog and Her New Blue Family” (ISBN: 978-1-68401-132-2) is the second book in the Freeda the Frog™ series, and was released in May, 2017. This follow-up book (where Freeda remarries) is designed to promote tolerance and acceptance of blended families, whether they be step-families or families of mixed race, religion or ethnicity–an especially important message in today’s society.
The third book in the Freeda The Frog™ series, is entitled “Freeda The Frog Is On The Move” (ISBN: 978-1-68401-810-9), and was recently released on August 7, 2018. In this book, the new larger family needs to move to a larger lily pad to make room for everyone. This book focuses on the mixed emotions involved with moving to a new school and/or new town, and serves to help kids adjust to the move, as well as any other major life change.
The fourth book has an anticipated release date in May or June of 2019, and is entitled “Freeda The Frog Says Farewell To Her Fish” (ISBN no. 978-1-64307-285-2) . In this book, the family gets a pet fish named Goldie, who passed away. The book helps to address helping kids cope with the loss of a pet or other loved one.
Some of our other future book series topics will include: Special Needs’ kids, disabilities, a primary parent going back to work, death of a grandparent/parent, gay families, a new baby sibling, & adoptive families.
I am hoping that these books can reach and help a wide array of children who are going through these situations, and am working on promoting my books through social media (with a special focus on Instagram). I want to encourage everyone to follow me @Freedathefrog (and to tell their friends to follow us as well), to help spread awareness about our books so that we can have as wide a net as possible to reach a large mass of kids and families out there.
The books are being sold on various websites (including Barnesandnoble.com, Walmart.com, MascotBooks.com, Amazon.com, and booksamillion.com), are also being sold in select Barnes & Noble locations and other bookstores as well. There is a direct purchase link to Amazon on our website (www.freedathefrog.com), and I have also been doing a number of book reading/ signing events at various Barnes & Noble stores, other bookshops in the tri-state area, and at other venues (such as the NYC Intrepid Museum for Kids’ Week).
The tagline on our website best sums up what the series is all about, as the series is designed to be: “Helping families of all species, one tadpole at a time.”
**Further information about the books in the series, information about upcoming & prior book events, and direct purchase links can be found on my website (www.freedathefrog.com). Please Follow Freeda on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @FreedaTheFrog
Frog Lesson Plans from TeacherSherpa