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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Book Review: The Way I Feel Series


The Way I Feel Series
Author: Cornelia Maude Spelman
Illustrator: Kathy Parkinson 
Interest Level: Ages 3 and Up

Why They Are On My Bookshelf: This is such a helpful series on emotions for our students. They are in a basket at my peace table.  I introduce them in the beginning of the year and show students how to use them as a tool to overcome a challenging feeling. Each story shows children how to recognize the feeling and what they can do to feel better.



When I Feel Sad
"Sometimes I feel sad. I feel sad when someone won't let me play, or when I really want to tell about something and nobody listens. When someone else is sad, I feel sad, too. ... Sad is a cloudy, tired feeling. Nothing seems fun when I feel sad."

Children will take comfort in this story. Readers will recognize similar experiences in their own lives as this little guinea pig describes feeling sad when someone is cross or when something bad happens. Eventually our heroine realizes that feeling sad doesn't last forever.

When I Feel Scared
Children often feel afraid. This book, with its comforting words and illustrations, will help children address those fears and learn some new ways to cope with being afraid. First, a little bear describes some of the things that frighten him, like bad dreams or big, tall slides, or when his mother goes away. Sometimes, he just feels scared and doesn’t know why! But he learns there are things he can do to make himself feel better. A "Note to Parents and Teachers" reinforces the positive messages in the book.



 When I Feel Good About Myself
"I feel good about myself. Somebody loves me just as I am. I don't have to look like anyone else, be the same size, or do the same things. It's fine to be me."

This book offers children positive and upbeat examples about being themselves. The author portrays a very young guinea pig and friends feeling good about themselves through common situations readers will relate to. Together, the text and art will foster self-esteem and independence.
 
 When I Care About Others
 In today’s society, perhaps more than ever, young children need to develop empathy. In this simple book, the author begins by helping children see that when they are sick, hurt, or unhappy, others care about them. Children can then begin to see that others need to be cared about as well. Common situations will further a child’s appreciation for and understanding of what others feel and need.

When I Feel Jealous
A bear cub describes situations that make her jealous: when someone has something she wants, when someone is good at something she wants to be good at, and when someone else gets all the attention. "Jealousy is a prickly, hot, horrible feeling. I don't like feeling jealous, but—everybody feels jealous sometimes." The little bear finds ways to make herself feel better—she talks to someone about how she feels and then does something pleasant—and soon the jealous feeling goes away. 


When I Feel Angry
Anger is a scary emotion for young children, their parents, and caregivers. As this little bunny experiences the things that make her angry, she also learns ways to deal with her anger—ways that won't hurt others.






When I Miss You
Young children often experience anxiety when they are separated from their mothers or fathers. This newest title in "The Way I Feel" series features a young guinea pig who expresses her distress when her mother and father go away. "Missing you is a heavy, achy feeling. I don't like missing you. I want you right now!" Eventually the little guinea pig realizes that sometimes she and her parents can't be together. When that happens, she knows that others can help. "They can snuggle with me or we can play. It helps me to be warm and close to someone. They remind me that you'll be back."

When I Feel Worried
Everybody worries. Children worry, too—in new or confusing situations, or when someone is angry with them. This new addition to the acclaimed The Way I Feel Series uses reassuring words and touching illustrations to address a child’s anxieties and shows him ways to help him feel better. Cornelia Maude Spelman and Kathy Parkinson team up once again to provide a comforting and empowering book that’s helpful to all families. 





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