Friday, March 25, 2016

PBT Blog Series: Theological Statements for Young Children #5

Illustration from When Sophie Gets Angry - Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang
The 5th PBT theological statement for young children is: Feelings are not good or bad. What matters is how you act on your feelings.
For this post I’m offering lots of books for young children about feelings. Because there are so many, I’ll not go into detail about each book. Instead I’ll tell you how they are unique or particularly beneficial for young children to experience. Also, I might suggest a way to use the book.
Illustration from When Sophie Gets Angry - Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang
Then I’ll list the PBT books that I have already posted on this blog. My favorites of all are the 2 Molly Bang books which I posted about earlier this year on February 12, 2016. The two illustrations above and the one below give you a little taste of the quality of these books. A range of emotions are dealt with here, not just anger as the title of the first one might indicate. 
Being able to identify and put labels on feelings is a crucial first step for children (and adults!) to understand them. Then talk about appropriate ways and inappropriate ways to express their feelings. Everyone benefits when children (and adults!) can do this and then learn to work through their feelings appropriately. 
The first PBT book I offer is part of a series called The Way I Feel Books. There is a Note to Parents at the beginning and the multiple situations are very young child oriented. Besides this book in the series, the titles I found are listed next. There are lots of PBT possibilities in this series! All have the same initial author.
When I Feel Sad
When I Feel Jealous
When I Feel Worried
When I Feel Scared
When I Miss You
When I Feel Good about Myself
When I Care about Others
Picture Book: When I Feel Angry
Author: Cornelia Maude Spelman
Illustrator: Nancy Cote
Original Publisher & Date: Whitman & Co., 2000
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 2 and up, Toddler and up
Formats other than Book: Tablet

The next offering is a new book that’s great for encouraging adults to tell children that they too struggle with controlling their actions when they have strong feelings. This book’s text and illustrations use lots of fun similes such as “stubborn as a mule” or “clumsy as an ox” and emphasize that everyone (even adults!) feels these ways sometimes.
Picture Book: Wild Feelings
Author & Illustrator: David Milgrim
Original Publisher & Date: Holt & Co., 2015
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: Tablet

Actress Jamie Lee Curtis writes a wonderful selection of books that children really enjoy. On 12/4/14 I featured on PBT Is There Really a Human Race? Remember to look up earlier PBT posts by going to the Archive files on the right side bar. Click on the year and month. Then use the tabs at the bottom to go to newer posts or older posts. I have over 400 books on this blog for your benefit!

Curtis’ book about feelings has a girl’s point of view so some boys may not appreciate it. Girls will absolutely love it though! Cornell’s illustrations are very fun and full of details.
Picture Book: Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day
Author: Jamie Lee Curtis
Illustrator: Laura Cornell
Original Publisher & Date: Harper Collins, 1998
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: Not at present

Several times here at PBT, I’ve mentioned Todd Parr’s brightly colored and simply perfect books for young children. Note that there is a board book version of this feelings book and it has a set of corresponding Feelings Flashcards that you can purchase on Amazon.
Picture Book: The Feelings Book
Author & Illustrator: Todd Parr
Original Publisher & Date: Little, Brown, & Co. 2000
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 2 and up, Toddler and up
Formats other than Book: Tablet

This next book is quite old but not dated. It has lots of detailed illustrations and small text. You may want to read this book over a series of experiences and with a small number of children to allow them to see the illustrations and talk with you about their own feelings and experiences. Aliki (Aliki Brandenberg) has several other great books for young children including one on manners, one on growing, and one on hands. Her illustrations are often the jewels of her books.
Picture Book: Feelings
Author & Illustrator: Aliki
Original Publisher & Date: William Morrow & Co., 1984
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: Not at present

The next feelings book offers wonderful and large illustrations over a series of situations and feelings with different children. There’s a companion book by another author but still illustrated by Janan Cain called The Way I Act.
Picture Book: The Way I Feel
Author & Illustrator: Janan Cain
Original Publisher & Date: Parenting Press, 2000
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 3 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: Not at present

This book began as lyrics to a song written by award winning children’s recording artist, Laurie Berkner. My version has a CD inside the book. The illustrations are fun, and it’s about accepting all sorts of feelings. The score and text to 4 verses are in the back of the book.
Picture Book: The Story of My Feelings
Author: Laurie Berkner  
Illustrator: Caroline Jayne Church
Original Publisher & Date: Orchard Books, 2007
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 3 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: Not at present

The last two books are both by Mo Willems, a favorite picture book author and illustrator. I offer one from each of his two popular series for young children. His books are more about the characters and plot than the teaching of feelings so you’ll have to offer your own instruction in the context of the characters’ feelings. Be sure to point out all characters’ feelings and note how they change as plots develop. The first comes in a board book version.
Picture Book: The Pigeon Has Feelings Too!
Author & Illustrator: Mo Willems
Original Publisher & Date: Hyperion, 2005
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 2 and up, Toddler and up
Formats other than Book: None at present
Picture Book: My Friend is Sad
Author & Illustrator: Mo Willems
Original Publisher & Date: Hyperion, 2007
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: None at present

Other PBT books that connect with links to posts:
When Sophie Gets Angry… - 6/3/14
When Sophie’s Feelings… - 2/12/16        
Bear Has a Story to Tell - 6/22/14
Words are Not for Hurting - 2/16/15