Make no mistake, feelings can be wild at times. They often come along when we least expect it, sneaking up, and then bam. Grumpy, nervous, ashamed, shy, restless and the rest of their emotional buddies have a knack of sending perfect little worlds into meltdown. But with hugs, kindness, reassurance, teamwork, time and a few kind words, emotions do not have to be wild and uncontrollable. Big feelings can be wonderful and empowering, if we know how to embrace them…
Big feelings for little kids are explored in this clever, fun and emotionally-smart counting picture book. Children will be empowered to confidently talk openly about their feelings as they join a delightful cast of emotional animals on a count up to ten that explores those feelings that are often uncomfortable before counting back down and revisiting the animals and their situations as wild emotions are tamed and everyone has a happy ending, perhaps with the exception of the snowman.
This is such an inviting read; gorgeous illustrations of crocs, possums, penguins, bunnies, quokkas and friends combined with bouncy rhyming prose will easily keep the attention of young children and encourage them to engage with the text and situations presented. The thoughtful inclusion of numbers and emotions accentuated in different coloured text are a great aid in developing counting and identifying ‘feeling words’.
Filled with emotional intelligence, each playful scene portrays various emotions through relatable situations that children are likely to have experienced themselves. Adorable animals and cute scenarios offer a wonderful, age-perfect exploration of emotions and a reason as to why feelings present. Each spread is a brilliant resource in its own right. One grumpy Koala is presented kicking over their lego tower whilst a worried parent looks on. So many opportunities to develop emotional intelligence: Have we ever felt grumpy? What could Koala do to improve their mood? Does Koala need help from their parent? Cover the text up and children could develop their ability to read emotions, to reason why they think this and what they could do to offer support.
Emotions present for a wide variety of reasons and there is great capacity to explore each feeling in more detail. Used over time, Feelings are Wild has the potential to support children in understanding their feelings, acknowledging their emotions, taking ownership of feelings, taming big emotions, reading the emotions of others, providing appropriate support and being an all round emotionally intelligent individual. This is powerful stuff for a picture book.
Needs to be widely accessible, especially for young children. A must-have for the home, library and early years classroom to encourage positive and important conversations.
Recommended for 2+.
With huge thanks to Allen & Unwin for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.