Baby Book Club – January

Emotions and Feelings

For our first month of Baby Book Club I thought we’d look at books about emotions and feelings. Many toddlers and pre-schoolers struggle with identifying and expressing their emotions; goodness knows, I struggle with the same thing myself sometimes! It’s one of the reasons they (and we) have tantrums.

So, having a chance to explore, what they’re feeling, find different ways to show us and maybe even have a bit of a giggle over them, can only be a good thing.

Here are some of my favourite books on the subject but there are so many, I’d love to hear yours too.

My Many Coloured Days, Baby Book Club

My Many Coloured Days – Dr Seuss
This book is unusual because it isn’t illustrated by Dr Seuss – in fact, he wanted an artist “who would bring a new pattern of thinking to my words” and that’s exactly what happened. The beautiful paintings delve into Seuss’ exploration of emotions through colour and bring them to life with animals.. I read this book to my boys from a very early age – the rhymes and rhythm made it a real pleasure to read.

 

 

 

The Colour Monster, Baby Book ClubThe Colour Monster – Anna Llenas
The Colour Monster’s all mixed up, he doesn’t understand what he’s feeling. Once again, colour is used to identify a feeling but is also linked to the natural world of trees, sun, fire etc. I have the board book version of this but there’s a pop-up one which looks great fun and I wish I’d bought that one because I love pop-up books! The illustrations are great fun and the colour monster himself is very endearing.

 

 

No Matter What, Baby Book ClubNo Matter What – Debi Gliori
This gorgeous book begins “Small was feeling grim and dark.” and goes on to explore being in a bad mood and how Big will always love Small no matter what Small does.¬†Small pushes and pushes to see at what point Big might stop caring and the answer is ‘never’.
The version of the book I’ve read goes on to ask “But what about when you’re dead and gone, would you love me then, does love go on?” Quite a deep question for little ones but one that’s answered beautifully here. I’ve read that later editions don’t mention dying and the end has changed. I’ll leave it to you to decide if that was really necessary.
I love that this book doesn’t specify the relationship between Big and Small, meaning you can apply it to anyone you want. Once again, the illustrations are beautiful and add so much depth to the story.

 

Olive and the Bad Mood, Baby Book ClubOlive and the Bad Mood – Tor Freeman
Olive’s in a bad mood, so she’s mean to all her friends. It only takes a bag of sweets to cheer her up but what do you think’s happened to her friends in the meantime?
This is a great book for talking about how your mood can have an impact on people around you, something that young children might not really have thought of before. In addition, it just made me laugh – Olive’s grumpy face is so funny! I borrowed a copy from the library and I caught both my teen boys sneakily reading it, so it must be good!!

 

Huge Bag of Worries, Baby Book ClubThe Huge Bag of Worries – Virginia Ironside
This is a book for slightly older children – preschoolers and reception children at least I’d say. The language and ideas are more sophisticated and there’s lots more text. The visual element of Jenny carrying all her worries around with her in a bag is a striking one and works on lots of levels. If you have an anxious child, this book could help them to understand how they’re feeling and how to deal with it.

 

 

 

 

How Are You Feeling Today, Baby Book ClubHow Are You Feeling Today? – Molly Potter
Another book for older ones. This one looks at different feelings and gives you and your child ideas on how to cope with them. As such, it’s not a book to read from cover to cover but one you dip into, like a reference book. It needs an adult around to help think about what your child is feeling, there are notes at the back to help you do this.

 

 

 

One for the grown ups

 

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, Baby Book ClubThe Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake – Aimee Bender
If you’re interested in trying something new, I thought I’d add a book for the parents to try. When I was thinking about it, I realised that most books are about emotions and feelings, which made it hard to choose something. This book, though, is very specifically about emotions. Just before her 9th birthday, Rose discovers she can taste other people’s emotions in the food she eats. It’s an odd premise I know! The book follows Rose and her family as the years go by – her distant dad, sad mum and her brother’s clash with the world.
A note of warning, the writer doesn’t use quotation marks for her dialogue, which is a bit irritating and the books gets very surreal towards the end.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on it and any other book suggestions you might have.