Wednesday 9 December 2015

How Are You Feeling Today?

Written by Molly Potter
Illustrated by Sarah Jennings
Featherstone Education
An imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing 2014

Reviewed copy: Hardback, my own.

Back of Book:
Children have strong feelings, and they can't always handle them very well. Every parent knows what it's like to cope with an angry, hurt or wildly over-excited child. Perfect for sharing,How are you feeling today?is packed with fun, imaginative ways to help children understand and cope with emotions. This delightful book gives you the tools you and your child need to deal with those feelings-without it all ending in tears!

Ideal for starting conversations between you and your child about emotions.
Helps your child to recognise and deal with a range of emotions.
Accessible to children as young as six.
Includes a guide for parents and carers explaining about emotional literacy.
Acknowledges positive emotions as well as negative ones.

See below for more about this book....

More from Missus B:
The detailed blurb on the back gives you lots of info about the benefits of this book and it certainly delivers on all of it's promises. While the cover suggests that children 'as young as six' will enjoy this book, I think it could also be shared & discussed with children as young as four. As a pre-school educator, I can certainly recommend this for circle time or group discussion. 

The inner sleeve describes the book as a 'dip-in' and pages 4 & 5 show 12 different feelings, suggesting that, you turn to the page that matches how you might be feeling.
If you are feeling happy turn to page 6. If you are feeling grumpy turn to page 18....
Angry, bored, excited, jealous-there are plenty of emotions to choose from.

Each feeling is described in more detail, for example:

People feel scared when they are in danger or when they are unsure about doing something they haven't done before.
With cute and colourful vignettes, we are given lots of ideas about how certain feelings can be expressed....

Make up and 'excitement dance' using just your hands.

Make a smile collage. Cut out smiles from magazines and stick them on a large piece of paper. Draw some, too!

Try saying 'I am grumpy' in lots and lots of different voices.

Ask other people about times when they felt embarrassed. Find out who has the best story.

I love the cute and cheerful illustrations depicting a mix of race and gender.
molly potter sarah jennings
The book is packed with both sensible and wacky strategies for managing feelings: if you're worried, you could talk with a trusted person about your feelings OR you can imagine a giant Worry Extractor sucking your worries away!

I love that this book helps to generate discussion about feelings. Children can learn that, what we feel is important and they are encouraged to pause and think about emotions.

Feelings are explained through easy words and pictures your child can identify with. Little readers can think about a variety of coping skills they could try out. Most importantly, the book shows children that, expressing emotions is an important life skill and welcomes them to verbalise their feelings.

While 'How Are You Feeling Today?' tells the worried child to 'find someone you trust and tell them about all your worries', I think the same strategy should  be suggested more often throughout the book.When I share it, I also suggest that it's a good idea to speak to someone when you're feeling angry, grumpy, scared, jealous & embarrassed (because it's not given as a strategy on these particular pages.)  

How are you feeling today?is an excellent resource for parents, carers and professionals who want to support emotional literacy. The back pages give a 'brief' yet very informative guide for parents, along with a 'Feelings tracker' tool to help children reflect on emotions throughout a day.

In short:
I love this book! It helps children to name & self-regulate feelings. With inviting, colourful illustrations,children are offered LOTS coping strategies, both sensible and silly. 
The book is a great 'self-help' tool for children and a nice resource for adults who want to prompt discussion with a child.Ideal for use within the SPHE/PSHE curriculum.

Available at the below affiliate links. Also below, I've included related information you may be interested in.

Happy Reading, 
Missus B 


You may find other useful books in my list  on this page:  Feelings/Emotions 

Click here to check out more of Sarah Jennings' lovely art works.

For more about early childhood, social & emotional skills and  mental health/ well-being, check out Feelings Matter from the Australian Early Childhood Mental Health Initiative.

'My Emotions & Behaviours' & 'My Thoughts & Feelings'   from Kids Health, is a useful resource providing child friendly information and advice.

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