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Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: Stretch It, Shape It

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  780 ratings  ·  145 reviews
Learn how much your brain can grow! The perfect introduction to growth mindset, Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: Stretch It, Shape It is: A growth mindset book for kidsA teacher must-have for classroomsThe best resource for anyone to teach growth mindsetDid you know you can stretch and grow your own brain? Or that making mistakes is one of the best ways your brain learns? Awa ...more
Hardcover, 24 pages
Published December 13th 2010 by Little Pickle Press (first published 2010)
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 ·  780 ratings  ·  145 reviews

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Rachael Janos
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The 32 page non-fiction children’s book, Your Fantastic Elastic Brain, was written by JoAnn Deak and illustrated by Sarah Ackerley and published in October 2013 Scholastic Inc. Your brain helps you do many things like think, remember, and name things you see and what you hear. Your brain helps you do all the things that make you, you! This book helps student with their growth mindset and realizing that you are allowed to make mistakes and those mistakes help your brain. It shows the many differe ...more
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: informational
Summary: This book explains the parts of the brain and how these parts work together to function in children friendly way. The book explains how the brain helps use to see, learn, remember, hear, and feel. The book explains how mistakes help us learn and includes little characters that add humor to the content of the book.

Review: I would recommend this book to 2nd grade and up because some of the book contains a lot of information about the power of our brain. The illustrations in the book pair
Reba Walton
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book that teaches children about their brain. I am working with my students on learning about growth mindset. This book backs me up when I tell my students that their brain grows the more they use it and that they can learn and improve from their mistakes.
Mar 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book’s full name is Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: Stretch It, Shape It. It’s written by JoAnn Deak, Ph.D., and illustrated by Sarah Ackerley.

First off, the illustrations are wonderful. Children of all color are included, as are a little mouse and owl who help guide us along on the journey into the brain. The colors and illustrations are gorgeous, including the ones of the brain. And for parents who read the book to their kids, the big words are sounded out, for example: Cerebellum (SAIR-uh
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
My son just turned 5 and it's just a bit too old for him, but I read it to him anyway because I want him to internalize the message of the book because of Carol Dweck's research on growth mindsets. He requested that I read it to him tonight, which is my metric of child book approval. If he asks me to read it to him, I assume that he likes it.

I already knew what the book was about from YouTube, but this book managed to exceed my expectations because it also teaches kids to have a growth mindset
"This is awesome, Mom." We thought she was just looking at the book, but when we sat down to read it together, she could tell us information from the pages before we had a chance to read them. Our daughter also loved the sidebar comments from the mice.

There are lots of big concepts but Dr. Deak has brought them into focus for young kids. They can easily grasp the idea of having to stretch and that when something is hard it means you need to spend a little extra focus on it. Read more at the Read
Cortney Perkins
This book provides information to students about the brain, something students use everyday but may not fully know what the brain does and how much work the brain does. It has great pictures and I love the idea of bringing a rubber band or something elastic to give students an idea of how the brain feels. I could even ask them if they have stretchy elastic in their pants or shorts so that they can visually see how elastic the brain is. It is a great read for all ages because it provides knowledg ...more
Rebecca Collins
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was recently introduced to this book after it was brought to my attention during a staff meeting about growth mindset. I'm an NQT who is working in a school where growth mindset is a big thing at the moment, and having a Year 3 class it is quite difficult talk to them about it without getting too technical. Although this book does include some scientific vocabulary, it is clear and colourful and communicates the message that your brain is an amazing thing and that you should learn from mistake ...more
Erin Buhr
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a completely fascinating non-fiction book about the brain for young children. My preschoolers have wanted this one on repeat for days now while they soak in all of the information and I have no doubt it would appeal equally to early elementary schoolers. The book describes the brain and its parts from the amygdala to the cerebellum in applicable, accessible ways for young kids. By describing the brain through your emotions, experiences playing soccer or the piano and wonderful illustrati ...more
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
It is hard to imagine a Kindergarten kid getting excited about a picture book about brains, but my son was very excited about this book. He was so excited about this book that he picked it out when he earned a free book for reading 100 books in just over a month. (Yeah, my kid uses his brain.) :)

I didn't read all of the denser writing when I read the book to him tonight, but the lighter text and the illustrations were so engaging that I think my son chose well.

Christina Baker
Sep 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a good introduction for the girls to what the brain does. I like its emphasis on the elasticity of the brain (though it's possibly over-done...but maybe it's worth repeating so many times) and the fact that trying new things and making mistakes is how you strengthen your brains processes. My crew needs to hear that...often. Not too detailed (short enough for a 2-year-old to survive) and plenty colorful, and easy to understand. But definitely just an introduction. ...more
Mar 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I read this book with an almost-7 year old boy and I think I liked it more than he did! It's fun and informative and inspiring. Recommended. ...more
Sep 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great book, lots of knowledge and use of scientific words was well done. Really good pictures too. Think this would be a good one for kids. Read in fall 2020
Baby Bookworm
Jan 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: our-reviews

This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

Hello, friends! Our book today is Your Fantastic Elastic Brain, written by JoAnn Deak, Ph.D. and illustrated by Sarah Ackerley, an introduction to the functions of the brain and the importance of exercising it.

Your brain: you know you have it, you probably know where it is, but do you know what it’s for? Did you know what it can do? Why, right there between your ears is the most amazing organ i
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
This book is great for students in grades 3-6 in the informational genre.

It is all about the brain and its ability to expand as you learn more things. It teaches about specific parts of the brain and how they impact you every single day. It is full of examples of how to take advantage of the brains ability to expand and remember things, as well as fun, vibrant pictures that all kids will enjoy. Not only does it teach about the brain, but it teaches students not to give up when learning new thin
Elena Neumann
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: informational
In this book, JaAnn Deak teaches readers about the parts of the brain that contribute to growth mindset. She uses friendly and adorable creatures to take readers on a journey throughout the brain and the processes that contribute to building connections and exhibiting a growth mindset. After reading this book, you'll not only learn about the brain and its amazing components, but you'll develop your very own desire to take on a growth mindset in your everyday life!

I love this book because it trul
Abbie Wise
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I gave this book 5 stars because it was different from other informational books that I have read. This one was more of a story, and the illustrations were cartoon like and super cute. The book all around was aesthetically pleasing.

Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: Stretch It, Shape It is an informational book about a brain. It closes in on how important it is to work out your brain during the first ten years of your life. Just how you can exercise your body, you can train your brain but with differ
George Crowder
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book reiterates a half truth I've heard frequently espoused by well-intentioned teachers: that making mistakes is beneficial to brain development. In and of itself, making a mistake makes it more likely you will continue to make the same mistake because of the brain's functioning. Doing something wrong creates a neural network that will replicate the mistaken action.

Making a mistake is only beneficial if the mistake is recognized; the faulty thinking or actions which created the mistake ar
Oct 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
Three stars from me because that rating means, “it was okay.” I wanted to really like or love this book. But the parts that stand out to me most after putting it away and just thinking about it before writing a review are those that involved the mouse and the owl. They interjected a little bit of humor, but overall, I felt like the book couldn’t figure out its target audience and threw a lot out there, hoping something would stick in the reader’s mind . The variety of illustrations of kids in ac ...more
Melissa Ganka-Collins
I liked the mix of brain facts and science explaining how they affect feelings and growth. My son found this kind of info very useful from his therapist when he was getting help for his anxiety to understand what was happening in his brain, however I am not sure what to do with this book. As a K-6 librarian I want to use it and recommend it, but it was very wordy and will not make a good read-aloud. The sentences are redundant. Too hard for young readers but not sophisticated enough for older re ...more
Steve Holden
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
A big focus in my building and classroom this year is growth mindset. It's a great philosophy to teach and promote to kids, and I love that we're learning and applying it as a staff. This is a great book within the approach, as well as a lot of science about the brain itself. My class enjoyed this, however, and it made for a great discussion. As a read aloud, this is a challenge - both with vocabulary and text features - but I managed alright it seems.

I'll continue to add books and read alouds
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great intro to neuroplasticity. I have only two criticisms. Here was a missed opportunity to tell kids they can "sculpt" the amygdala too. They can have some control over their feelings. Skipping this might leave behind the ones that need it most.

The sculpting metaphor needed a little development: the young brain is like a forest with very few trails. How you use your brain, or let it use you, and even the thoughts you think, make "new trails through the forest". The more you use a trail, the ea
Ann Maass
Apr 26, 2020 added it
Shelves: non-fiction
Twin Text: I’m a Duck by Eve Bunting
Content Area: Guidance/Counseling
Interactive Strategy: KWL chart
Ask: What are some things that you are scared to try?
Read I’m a Duck and fill out the K part of the chart for what they know about trying new things.
For the W part of the chart, ask students what they would like to know about how the brain affects the way we approach new experiences.
Read Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: Stretch It, Shape It and compare the information to how the little duckling’s
Emily Younker
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Genre: Informational

Help children learn about their brain including the structure and what each area does for YOU. This informational book educates children on the brain but also stands as a motivational book. Readers are encouraged by the idea of stretching their brain to grow the muscle to become better. They learn how making mistakes is a necessary part of growth for every human. A unique feature of this book is the informational illustrations that offer more information to the text,
Olivia Hoist
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: Stretch It, Shape It by JoAnn Deak
Nonfiction: Informational, Grades 2-4
This factual book on the human brain is awesome for students in elementary school. I liked how there were facts in the main text, and then facts that pertained to the text off to the side on some pages. The pictures also helped me grasp the full understanding of the text, and I think that they are very kid friendly. This would be a great read during a science lesson in elementary school
Brianna Knight
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For first through fifth grade.
The book explains the anatomy and impact of the brain on the body especially for children ages birth through fifth grade.
The book has illustrations that engage the reader as well as side notes that can be entertaining. It breaks down a complex topic to simple terms so students can better understand it.
I'd use the book to do a lesson on the brain but also to spark students to be able to ask questions and possibly plan a science lesson around how the brain works.
Mayra Rosales
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: informational
This is a great nonfiction book because it not only teaches readers about the different parts of the brain but also about some great life lessons! There is a lot of great information in the book. At the end, the author does a great job of summarizing it all, so students can take away the most important information of the book. the book has illustrations (not “real-life”) pictures, but they work well with the book.
Dec 02, 2015 rated it liked it
cool and very detailed book
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excuse the pun but this book blew our family’s minds. We learned a ton and enjoyed went page!
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: k-3-non-fiction
Although the growth mindset book "Your Fantastic Elastic Brain" is geared for K-3, any readers can't help but think about which part of their brain they're using as they go through their busy day. The bright simple illustrations, featuring activities the brain triggers is enlightening, and the subtle message about how trying new challenging activities, and feeling proud even if they take more effort is an empowering one. Author JoAnn Deak slips so many scientific definitions into this slim book, ...more
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