What We Are Reading – June 2014 – Feelings

What We Are Reading June 2014 Learning About Feelings

We talk about feelings a lot. Joshua is at the age where talking about people’s feelings as well as naming and understanding your own feelings is becoming increasingly important so we practice naming feelings and cement understanding through reading and modelling the correct behaviour. Joshua is spending time increasing amounts of time with other people outside of immediate friends and family so it is important that he learns to stand up for himself as well as understand that making people feel sad – or being hurt yourself – is a part of life and that there is an appropriate way to express and handle these emotions.

Here are a few books we have been reading lately that Joshua has been enjoying:

  1. Baby Happy, Baby Sad – Leslie Patricelli
    This one is a picture book showing things that make baby happy and sad. Very funny as the lack of words in this book gives us a chance to really improvise and talk about what baby is doing and why this makes baby happy or sad.
  2. When Sophie Gets Angry – Really, Really Angry… – Molly Bang
    This one talks about being angry (self explanatory from the title!). Anger can be dealt with in many ways and this one shows Sophie getting really angry but dealing with it by stepping outside, getting some fresh air and thinking about things to calm her down before she returns home happy again.
  3. When I’m feeling happy – Trace Moroney
    A longer book, quite wordy but a really good book that talks about how being happy makes you feel inside. This is part of a series of books which I love that goes through all the different emotions – happy, angry, sad, lonely, jealous, scared and kind.
  4. Today I feel silly: And other moods that make my day – Jamie Lee Curtis
    The illustrations are a bit out there but the message in the book is wonderful. This book goes through all the emotions a child might feel during the day and uses rhymes to make it fun. There is a bit at the end to talk about what happy, sad, angry etc faces look like and you can turn the little wheel to decide how you feel today.
  5. No No Yes Yes – Leslie Patricelli
    This one is interesting. On the surface it seems to be a book that might encourage what a lot of people would term as defiant toddler behaviour however it is actually a book about self control – while this isn’t technically a “feeling” it is something we need to learn and this book shows that while it might be fun to do something it doesn’t mean you always should because this might make other people feel sad. Lots of pictures of things we do – yes – and things we don’t do – no.
  6. No Matter What – Debi Gliori
    No matter what Small does or says, Large will always love him. This is a great message to send to your child, you might feel a lot of things during the day but at the end of it all your parents will still love you and love is a feeling that definitely needs to be identified and encouraged. Another great one about unconditional love is The I Love You Book by Todd Parr as well as Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney.

In explaining how to deal with feelings I have noticed Joshua treating his toys with more care and love. He tells me frequently now that he loves and misses each toy by name, as well as people. He is encouraged (but not forced to say sorry) and if he will not say it he will now more often than not just hug or kiss whomever he has upset or hurt before moving on. It has become so clear to me how important it is to explain actions and feelings and the consequences in preparation for the commencement of his journey toward completion of what Maria Montessori referred to as “Normalisation“. (For more information on the stages of Normalisation please see here.)

Do you have books that you can suggest for feelings? I would love to hear them. There are so many books out there and I have only touched on a few that we have read.


What We Are Reading – May 2014

What We Are Reading - May 2014

We have been doing a lot of reading in the last few weeks and I thought I would share what we have been reading lately. A recent refresh of the books in the baskets and it has opened up a new world of stories, adventures and an assistance in leap of vocabulary for Joshua.

Clockwise from top left:

  1. Play School – Nursery Rhyme Favourites
    Joshua adores nursery rhymes and has done since he was little but we have this from Play School (Australian TV show for those that are overseas) that Joshua was given as a birthday present. We do not watch the TV show however from the books we have Joshua now knows all the names of the toys – Big Ted, Little Ted, Jemima, Humpty Dumpty etc. And joyfully sings and knows all the nursery rhymes in the book. There are other books in the series that cover the most popular nursery rhymes and songs that children love to sing. Joshua’s favourite nursery rhymes are “The Grand Old Duke of York”, “Jack & Jill”, “Hey Diddle Diddle” and “Diddle Diddle Dumpling” and “Wee Willie Winkie”. So many to choose from and such a fun way to learn the rhymes together. There are also CD’s with the songs and rhymes being read and sang by the presenters of the show – more recent ones or older presenters who I remember growing up listening to.
  2. Shoes from Grandpa
    It has been interesting watching Joshua’s development. Joshua identifies the characters in this book with those people in his life and says Grandpa is “Nonno” and the little girl Jessie is “Sophie” (Joshua’s godsister whom he adores). So when I read the book it is “Shoes from Nonno for Sophie”. Lovely rhyming, introduces different family members and different articles of clothing.
  3. A Box of Bugs
    This is a great set of pop up books that Joshua received as a present some time ago. We have been reading through these and they are simple concept books, including opposites, numbers, colours and up & down. Joshua loves these and certainly knows how these concepts very well and these books have been so fun, he can now recite them by heart.
  4. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
    Joshua often asks for this book to read. The book covers colours, animals and has a lovely rhythm and rhyming and the distinctive illustrations characteristic of Eric Carle.  If your child loved the Very Hungry Caterpillar, this is one to read.
  5. The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear
    A sweet story about a little mouse trying to hide a strawberry from the big hungry bear and the only way to hide it is to…. share. Such a difficult concept for children to learn but this book covers sharing in a fun, lighthearted fashion.
  6. Down By The Station
    Great for listing different vehicles – trains, cars, trucks, any common transport vehicle is listed. It also lists emergency vehicles too which is useful.
  7. The Smartest Giant in Town
    I read this when I was younger and had forgotten about it until I read this to a friend’s child a month or so ago. Joshua loved it so much when we sang the little song to him that I decided to read this book at home. It is a fun book about a giant who gives all his things away to help his friends so the message is a positive one and about giving (rather than receiving) being the best gift of all.
  8. Play School – Jemima Gets Dressed
    I admit Joshua is a reluctant self dresser and would happily let me do it for him simply because it is easier for him. I bought this book in the hope that he would begin to enjoy dressing himself and it has helped. He loves the colourful clothing, the playful rhyming words and that Jemima is getting dressed too (he loves Play School characters). It is lovely to see him getting his own self motivation by watching his friends and reading books.

What books are you reading with your child? We love recommendations for books and would love to hear your child’s favourites.