This is when a book such as Some Days Are Lonely can be of great help in assisting children to not only recognise their emotions, but also better cope with them.
As Little Bear progresses through the story, he experiences loneliness like a storm. His world is dark, and 'like cotton dipped in water' his heart feels damp. Ominous clouds fill the sky and he can hear thunder; he feels like he's the 'only one under the heavy, heavy skies that are about to rumble'. Matching the text perfectly, the illustrations are dark, bleak and foreboding.
But then the storm passes — just like loneliness does. Little Bear realises that, as dark clouds can lift from the skies, they can lift from his heart too. Now he has a friend with him, a little frog with a very bright umbrella, and there's even the chance of a rainbow!
At the end of the book, there are two pages of creative activities that children can complete, underlining the message that emotions are like the weather, sometimes good (or comfortable) and sometimes bad (or uncomfortable). There is also a 'Note to Parents', written by a psychologist, that explains the difference between emotions and moods, how to distinguish between aloneness and loneliness, and strategies parents can use with their children to help defeat feelings of loneliness.
Title: Some Days Are Lonely
Author: Young-Ah Kim
Illustrator: Ji-Soo Shin
Publisher: Magination Press, $15.95 RRP
Publication Date: April 2013
For ages: 4–8
Type: Picture Book