This article describes how literature, particularly crossover picturebooks, can be used to provide teachers and their students with a helpful perspective on the complex nature of problems, especially human problems with physical and mental health. We begin with an example of a picturebook that provides a unique perspective on the value of problems; namely, problems as unexpected gifts that can promote understanding, the first step in wellness. Next, we introduce crossover literature as an innovative genre for better understanding complex and controversial problems. Then, we share specific examples of crossover picturebooks, along with research-based instructional strategies, that teachers can use to provide themselves and their students a helpful and healthy perspective on mental wellness. We end with some final thoughts.

Author Bio

Dr. William Bintz is Professor in Literacy Education in the Department of Teaching, Leadership, and Curriculum Studies at Kent State University. He has taught high school English/Language Arts in Chicago, Illinois, and middle school English/Language Arts in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. He earned his Ph.D. in reading education at Indiana University. Prior to joining the faculty at Kent State, he was a Visiting Lecturer at the Armidale College of Advanced Education in Armidale, Australia, as well as an assistant professor at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky, James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky. His personal experiences and professional interests include literacy across the curriculum, K-12, collaborative teacher research, interdisciplinary curriculum, and using award-winning literature as “Way-In” and “Stay-In” literature to create and sustain student interest in content area topics where no interest currently exists. Currently, his professional interest is the use of Crossover Picturebooks, K-12. He can be contacted at .

Shabnam Moini Chaghervand is a doctoral student in literacy education, College of Education, Health, and Human Services, Department of Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. She can be contacted at .



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