Helping a child learn to navigate his emotions is no easy feat. Little ones often cannot describe what they are feeling, let alone give an actual name to the emotions bubbling up inside of them (terrible twos and “threenagers” anyone?) Enter In my Heart: A Book of Feelings, by Jo Witek, with illustrations by Christine Roussey. This is an exceptional book to help any child understand the feelings he or she has that that are often times quite overwhelming — especially the ones that make them want to scream or cry.
This book takes the reader on a beautiful exploration through a young girl’s heart. There is no better way to offer a description than to quote from the first page: “My heart is full of feelings. Big feelings and small feelings. Loud feelings and quiet feelings. Quick feelings and slow feelings. My heart is like a house, with all of these feelings living inside.” What follows is a lyrical but simple guide through emotions such as anger and fear, happiness and pride, with each page giving the child a greater insight into his emotional makeup.
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This book is a must have for your home or classroom, whether to explore feelings one-on-one or to use as a read aloud at story time, which could then be a segue for various emotionally-themed extension activities. The illustrations masterfully use pops of color and imagery to describe a wide range of emotions, and each page features a cut out heart that decreases in size as the reader is able to come to a greater understanding of those feelings he bottles up inside. The narrative is empowering and enables children to give names to the their emotions, which in turn allows them to better articulate and describe what they are feeling. This is a treasure, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Want the book? Get it here! In My Heart: A Book of Feelings, by Jo Witek. *This is an affiliate link.