Facing My Feelings
by Jenny Quintanilla

"The way you feel today is okay!"

This storybook for young children explores a child’s way of dealing with life situations and the feelings related to them. It acknowledges that feelings aren’t right or wrong but that they just exist, such as feeling happy, sad, or mad. And it lets the child know that she may not understand why she feels a certain way. The book gives examples of times that a child might feel nervous, such as going to school or feeling sad that he didn’t clean his room as asked. It also addresses other feelings, such as being happy, excited, relaxed, and grateful. Each of these feeling states is described along with a short story. The narrative ends with information about keeping calm, such as taking deep breaths and staying positive.

The author’s book effectively shows that there are ways to change one’s feelings, which helps children know they are in control regarding how to react to them, even though they may sometimes feel out of control. It demonstrates how a change in behavior can lead to a change in feelings. The art that accompanies the book is well done and indicates the various feelings the children are experiencing, reinforcing the storyline. Although not every child experiences the same feelings as others in a given situation, Quintanilla focuses on those that often occur. For example, not all children are nervous about going to school, but some are. The first vignette is geared toward helping this latter group. Overall, the book offers an appropriate look into feelings and does a nice job at the end of the book by examining five ways of keeping calm.

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