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My Mouth Is a Volcano

Printable Version »

Author: Julia Cook

Illustrated by: Carrie Hartman

Recommended for Ages: 4 and up

About: Social skills and impulse control

This book is a wonderful way to teach children about being polite, not interrupting and empathy. The situations described use witty word play and illustrations that keep children laughing while learning a social lesson. This story is good for children heading to Kindergarten to help them build impulse control when waiting their turn to talk. The main character, Louis finds that he always gets into trouble for interrupting. He then learns how it feels to be interrupted by the other children in his classroom. He experiences frustration, impatience, and anger at being interrupted. Eventually, Louis is able to feel proud of himself, when he learns how to control his “volcano” mouth.

As an Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant I use the book My Mouth Is a Volcano, in many preschool classrooms. The examples show preschool children situations they can relate to, allowing them to build their understanding and empathy. The book teaches children ways they can hold their thoughts until it is their turn to speak. To support the lessons learned through this book, I encourage teachers to use a “talking stick” that the children hold and pass to each other when it is their turn to speak. The “talking stick” helps the students know whose turn it is and signals others that it is their turn to listen. This can be helpful during circle time and during show and tell. What activities can you come up with?

Overall, the book My Mouth Is a Volcano is a great resource for teachers and children that helps lay the foundation for the impulse control and social skills children need to be successful.

Reviewer: Nneka Steele, MA, M.Ed
Early Childhood Consultant
Early Childhood Consultation Partnership