I am so excited about Julia Cook’s latest book, I’m Stretched. Children and adults today are busier than ever. That’s why it is so important to recognize the signs of stress and have multiple strategies for managing time as well as stress. This book does a fantastic job of sharing realistic ways kids can work through the stress in their lives. I want to share more about I’m Stretched along with a few activities to use with this book.
I received a copy of this book from the National Center for Youth Issues (NCYI) in exchange for an honest review.
All About I’m Stretched
Written by: Julia Cook
Illustrated by: Stephanie Dehennin
I’m stretched! I have so much stuff to do.
Gotta be here…Gotta do that…Where did I put my shoe?
I feel like a rubber band that’s stretched and about to break.
I have places to go and things to do and a great big project to make.
In this story, the main character is feeling overwhelmed. She feels forgetful and doesn’t feel she has time to stop and eat breakfast.
Like many children, she has homework to do, but isn’t sure when she will have time to get it done. She’s feeling stretched.
She starts to feel a lump in her throat and knots in her stomach.
When she tells her mom about the way she feels, her mom explains that she’s feeling stressed.
Mom explains that sometimes stress can be a good thing. She recognizes that this isn’t one of those times, and begins to help her daughter cope with stress in different ways.
Mom explains that eating and sleeping better are a good start, but that people also need to schedule “ME TIME” every day – even if it’s just a few minutes.
She also offers to listen. Sometimes people just need a special someone to vent to about stress and worries.
Next, they make an action plan. They start by identifying the things she can control, and the things she cannot.
Finally, this book shines the light on reality. While these strategies are helpful, they might not work every time. Kids need to know that at times, the stress might lessen, but not completely go away.
“I still feel like a rubber band sometimes, but now I control how I stretch.
Well, most of the time.”
Stress is a part of life, and in our fast-paced society, children often feel an unbelievable amount of pressure to balance family and friends, school and homework, and extracurricular activities. All of their responsibilities and expectations can make them feel stretched beyond their limits. I’m Stretched! is a captivating story that speaks to children and adults alike, giving them tactical tools to manage their stress in a healthy and helpful way so they can face the pressures of life and find joy in being who they were meant to be.
I love that Julia Cook uses her experience as a counselor to tackle tough issues children face today. Kids will relate to the stress the main character is feeling and this book shows several ways kids can cope with stress. This book would be a great addition to a school or classroom library.
I’m Stretched Activities
These 8 questions will help guide your discussion while reading the book.
I have also added this activity to help students think about all of their activities and commitments at the top of the page. Then, students color all of the activities they might try the next time they feel stretched.
You can grab these questions and the activity page here:
Where to Find This Book
Here are just a few of my favorite books written by Julia Cook.
I have also shared more about these Julia Cook books here on my blog:
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If you enjoy this resource, you might also like these book activities.