Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy, Sad & Everything In Between - Book Review

                                                          Quote of the Day!

                                        Books like friends, should be few and well chosen.
                                                                - Samuel Johnson

Title:  Happy, Sad & Everything in Between
          All About My Feelings

Author:  Sunny Im-Wang, Psy. D., SSP
Illustrator:  Alex McVey
Ages:  4-8

This book is all about Emotional Literacy.  What is that you may ask? Well let me enlighten you on that very important subject.

"Emotional Literacy is the ability to identify, understand, and respond to emotions in oneself and others in an appropriate and healthy way." It is a tool that we can give to our children that will let them understand and manage their emotions thus making more sense of their world around them.
"Emotional Literacy involves: * Identifying the emotion, *Recognizing emotions in oneself, *Knowing ways to manage and regulate emotions, and, *Empathizing with others."

About the Book:

The mind and body is connected. Our emotions can trigger reactions in our physical bodies allowing us to intervene, identify the emotion and change them if necessary to something more positive and healthy.

The narrator of the book's journey is an adorable little girl name Kai.  She greets the reader from the get go with open arms, a wide friendly smile and a demeanor that invites you to participate with her in this book's adventure.  The illustrations are fantastic and the colour pallet is vibrant, funky, playful and very appealing to a young reader.

The various emotions are listed and thoroughly explained throughout the book so a child gets a clear, concise understanding of what that particular emotion is all about.  I will chose the one that I liked a lot to give you an idea of how the book is set up.  I chose the emotion "Silly".  The author asked you to "Think About It:  "What makes you feel silly? What do you do when you're feeling silly? She gives a detailed explanation of exactly what the definition of "silly" is and then offers suggestions on how you can handle "silly" if it pops up in you. Some of her ideas are: take a deep breath and relax yourself, sit down quietly and look around you, draw a picture.  The visual for Kai acting sills priceless!

The book also includes kid-friendly, research-support skills for relieving and managing difficult emotions, such as anger and frustration.  These skills include mindfulness, which is the practice of being in the moment and recognizing how emotions feel throughout the body-not just how they register on our faces, which too often is the only way kids are taught to identify feelings.  Don't forget to check out the last page...remember the commercial on t.v. that said a cup of coffee is good to the last drop...well this book is good to the last page.  You will see Kai leap high into the air, arms outstretched, face upturned, happy and free because the truth has been given to her and she is free to interact with her emotions in a new way.

Application:  This book is wonderful for parents to share with their children but would also be excellent  in classroom setting.   Along with reading and discussing each emotion presented, I would make an individual emotions chart to distribute to each child and let them track their emotions throughout a period of a week or more.  I would lay out different senarios in the classroom and have the children record how they emotionally would react to that particular experience.

About the Author:   

Sunny Im-Wang, Psy.D., is the founder of lilSprout Press.  She is a pediatric psychologist with a dual credential as a school psychologist, who has been active as a clinician, researcher, consultant, lecturer, author, and workshop facilitator for over a decade.

Im-Wang's professional expertise and personal journey inspired her to start lilSprout Press in 2010.  lilSprout publishes research-supported books and resources that help parents, educators, and kids learn essential life skills in fun and engaging ways.  Through years of working in various settings from school districts to hospitals, she saw firsthand how educational materials on parenting and child development, when delivered in accessible language, could empower parents and children - leading to positive outcomes in their lives.  Her appreciation of this grew deeper, when in 2004, she had her first child and entered the ranks of busy working moms, who scrambled to provide the best care for their children, while still meeting professional obligations. She is committed to empowering parents with the latest  and most reliable information on how to raise happy, healthy children, and to creating tools for teaching and learning that can be integrated seamlessly into everyday life.  She knows that parents are busier than ever and what they need are skills that can be easily implemented, no more assignments and tasks.  Each lilSprout book and product provides activities that engage, challenge, and delight children.

Book Review Rating:   8  (Fantastic)

Read on and read always!  
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