PPBF: Voices Are Not For Yelling

We're on a school holiday as part of a three-day Easter weekend, so I slept in this morning. Until 8:53. And wow, did that refresh. I hope you're all in an equally prayerful and peaceful place on this Good Friday or Passover or whatever it is you're celebrating in your corner of the world today.

Are you ready for today's PPBF?

Title: Voices Are Not for Yelling
Author: Elizabeth Verdick
Illustrator: Marieka Heinlin
Publisher: Free Spirit Press
Date: March 18, 2015
Suitable for: ages 4-7 (and up!)
Themes: respect, manners, feelings
Brief synopsis: Help young children develop an understanding of and appreciate for the power of their voice.
Opening page:

 Excerpt from Voices Are Not for Yelling by Elizabeth Verdick, copyright © 2015. Used with permission of Free Spirit Publishing Inc., Minneapolis, MN; 800-735-7323www.freespirit.com. All rights reserved.

Resources: Check out the book's page at Publisher's site {here}.
Read Calm Voices, Calmer Kids {here}.
Try Exploring Your Voice activities {here}.
Hear Voices of Courage talk about Healthy Relationships {here}.
Watch this Mindfulness clip for feelings management ideas.

Why I like this book:  This powerful little pick is a must for every caregivers' shelf as we model and teach feelings regulation. Just yesterday, I heard a first-grade boy using his voice inappropriately as he tried to get what he wanted. 
Let's listen in:
Boy 1, normal voice: Just go on to recess without me.
Boy 2: No, I'll wait for you.
Boy 1, a little louder: I said go on without me.
Boy 2: Why?
Boy 1, a lot louder: Just do it!

I call them over and we talk about a better way for that conversation to go. 
Because character counts, even when we think nobody's listening in. 
We push replay, to practice our new skills. 
And I can't help but wonder why we think that shouting, yelling, or using 
a mean voice is a good way to get our needs met. {Did someone just say modeling?}

Then along comes this teaching tool for our arsenal!

In my book, What's Under Your Cape?, I recall the first time I heard a speaker say that we should never, ever yell at a child. Her name is Ginger Robinson and, quite frankly, I initially thought I'd heard her wrong. Really? Never? Well, my children were 8, 7, and 3 so it was too late for that! {Insert nervous laughter}. She went on to explain that creating shame and fear in people by dominating them with our voice, tone, and words doesn't bode well for a healthy relationship. In fact, it wells up feelings of shame, guilt, and fear in those very people whom we love and want to help be better. Simple, right? 

No, not at all, because our emotions are so powerful and they'll take over if we let them. That's why it behooves us as parents, teachers, mentors, coaches, and human beings first and foremost to model what's right, then to arm ourselves with resources that will support us as we teach the future how to do it better. That's why we must practice, practice, and practice some more. And that's why I appreciate the enrichment tips and integration strategies in the back of the book and am grateful for this Best Behavior book series!

The text in Voices Are Not for Yelling addresses a child's indoor voice and an outdoor voice. Another way we've used it is in our cafeteria is measuring 
our voice volume in inches. 
Outdoor voice = 6-inch voice. 
Indoor voice = 1-inch voice.
My friend from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits uses numbers; click the graphic to go to TpT and download this fantastic freebie from her store. Thank you, Reagan!

We simply cannot afford to leave anything this critical to chance; if we don't teach them, how will they learn? Check out this book, then go to Susanna's blog to check out more new PPBF picks on this Good Friday.


  1. Elizabeth Verdick's books are wonderful for children. I love that they are in both book form for old kids and board books for young children. This isn't the first time we have reviewed similar books! And, here's another twist -- I have a review written on this same book. I hadn't released it yet because of the publication date. I'll run mine during a week day. I love all of your examples with kids at school and your activities! This is very well done.

    1. Thank you, Pat ... WOW! Please let me know when your review goes live and I will add the link here! Another connection? The illustrator went to UW Madison, my alma mater, who'll play in the Final Four against the Kentucky Wildcats tomorrow. On Wisconsin!

  2. This is a great series for children. I'm happy to see more of them! This looks wonderful. We have a bilingual version of Germs are Not for Sharing that we've really enjoyed.

    1. Yes! I used Hands Are Not For Hitting for the first time this fall with my preK littles and they really responded to it.

  3. I love your numbered chart here, I think this is a book that any adult reader will get a lot out of too!

    1. Thank you, Joanna, for stopping by and sharing your reflections. Reagan's charts make the intangible a lot more tangible, don't they?

  4. This looks great - thanks for sharing it, Barbara!

    1. My pleasure, Joanne. Free Spirit Press does an excellent job of providing quality materials and tools to help make our job as caregivers and educators easier!

  5. Wow, Barbara! Thank you for this book review. I have others in the series but not this one. I can see using this with my class but also with one of my students who tends to shout out at inappropriate times.

    1. If you like the others, you'll like this one, Sylvia! I'm glad I could recommend a new title for your shelf.

  6. I like the sound of this book for teachers and parents. Being yelled at is not a nice feeling. "She went on to explain that creating shame and fear in people by dominating them with our voice, tone, and words doesn't bode well for a healthy relationship" - so true. The voice level chart is great!

    1. YES yes YeS! This book is a keeper, for sure. Please come back once you've read it and let us know what you think.


I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!

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