Wednesday, October 3, 2012

How Do YOU Feel?

Little ones have so much on their plates – from sunup to sundown, they’re learning. They learn the names of things, and the way to behave in the store, and what to do at the table, and why not to take the pacifier from the baby…. Sometimes there’s so much to learn that it’s overwhelming! At that point, they’ll probably act out. It’s a big help to them- and their grownups - if little ones have the words they need to talk it out, instead of acting out.

Fortunately, there are lots of books that can help build those language skills, and help promote peace at home. One new one is How Do YOU Feel? by Anthony Browne. A young monkey, clad in overalls and bright yellow sneakers, describes his feelings as he moves through illustrations to match. When lonely, he stands solo on a large white page; angry, he stomps his foot on a page turned black.  Happy, he jumps for joy! A child sharing this book with you may naturally ask about the pictures, maybe learning a new word that can help him tell you how he feels, when one day he needs to share. Being able to talk about and understand the pictures is also an important pre-reading skill.
The illustrations in some of Anthony Browne’s other books are almost surreal, but this little book is right on target, straightforward enough for even very young children, and concludes on a cozy note. (Little monkey gets sleepy – a nice bedtime tie-in, no?) It’s a sweet & simple conversation starter, and can help your little ones learn to name and talk about their feelings – and their friends’ feelings, too. Guest post by Joyce F.

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