Today I Feel by Madalena Moniz is a beautifully illustrated alphabet book about a range of feelings. Each page is a piece of artwork and describes feelings that are more complex in nature which can naturally elicit conversation. Although this book was intended for preschoolers, I find that it can be even more appropriate for older children because it allows you to discuss specific and more complex emotions. For example, on the first page, A for Adored, “What does adored mean?” Start this conversation with your child and ask the difference between “being adored” and “being adorable” Definitely different meanings…Start a conversation about when you have felt adored and if your child feels adored themselves.
Other feelings such as heroic, invisible and jealous are also part of the book with artistic visuals that help a child understand and represent that specific feeling. For example, the feeling of “invisible” can start an interesting discussion about feeling lonely or not being given enough attention. My children knew this feeling from one of our favorite books, The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig. What does heroic mean? Being a hero can mean different things. A character such as Superman is a hero, but the soldiers in our country are also heroes. Today I Feel..An Alphabet of Feelings is a valuable book in any children’s library because it’s a book that can read for many years to come. Labeling feelings in children is very important because young children can have trouble expressing their feelings and emotions if they don’t have the words for it. As adults, we have the language but for other children, specifically those with language delays and disorders can have trouble expressing themselves. Labeling and describing the emotions can be an excellent and effective therapy tool to be used by parents and educators. To help your child carry over these new vocabulary words, use the name of the feeling within a familiar context. For example, you can say “Your friend was kind when you fell down and scraped your knee. He helped you feel better by getting you a band aide”.
Are you a teacher? Check out these carryover activities for discussing emotions in the classroom.
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