'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 14 March 2017

Review: How are you Feeling Today?

Infants instinctively respond to faces within days of birth but it's not until around three years of age that children recognise feelings through facial expression and body language. Preschoolers at this early stage of social development want to be the boss of everything while very little is under their control: including their emotions.

Molly Potter's carefully chosen text and Sarah Jennings's child-friendly illustrations create an all-positive guide to behavioural options for emotions from happiness and boredom through to everybody's bug bear: anger.

Of course, there's no real need to do anything in particular when you're feeling good but it's only fair to explore the whole gamut. Considering all emotions from positive to negative is also a clever strategy that allows conversation about this abstract topic to begin from the earliest possible age.

Molly Potter's nibble-sized strategies are appropriately concrete for her intended audience. From "skip around" when you are happy to "close your eyes and take deep breaths" when anger overwhelms you, each idea is paired with a clear images that children will find easy to remember.

In the quiet of shared reading, children will be able to use How Are You Feeling Today? to safely explore emotions far from the heat of the moment and discuss what they might do when challenging feelings arise. It's true three-year-olds might not possess the self-control to use these strategies for a few years, but the power of this book is in the positive seeds it sows.

Molly Potter's wise words teamed with Sarah Jennings's preschooler friendly images creates a powerful social toolkit for parents, teachers and childcarers alike.

Title: How are You Feeling Today?
Author: Molly Potter
Illustrator: Sarah Jennings
Publisher: Featherstone an Imprint of Bloomsbury, $16.99
Publication Date: 1 September 2014
Format: Hard Cover
ISBN: 9781472906090
For ages: 3 +
Type: Picture Book