The Way I Feel

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Author: Janan Cain

Recommended for Ages: 2 and older

 About: Helping identify and express emotions

"The Way I Feel” can be used to help children learn about and begin labeling emotions. Children need to learn how to label their emotions just like they need to learn how to label objects around them.  Once children learn to label emotions, they will be better able to express how they are feeling, recognize feelings of others, and also learn about how to cope with big feelings.

The story uses rhyme and colorful images as ways to describe emotions.  The pictures are vibrant and clear as to what the child in the image is feeling. The author gives examples of when a child may feel the particular emotion on the page, for example, with a picture of a girl trying to tie her shoe, the text says, “I’m frustrated because I can’t do it”.  The story includes a range of feelings, from proud and happy to angry and jealous, recognizing that all feelings are “a part of me!”

There are many ways that this story can be used to help children learn more about feelings. For example, you may pause and ask the children to give examples of times they have felt the emotion on the page.  You can also have children look at the picture and guess what the character is feeling, challenging children to read facial cues. You can join in with the children, making feeling faces or with older children, talking about what your voice might sound like when you are feeling a certain way.  Remember to help children label their feelings as they experience them!

I hope you check out this book and enjoy it as much as I do!


Grace Gardner, LCSW

Early Childhood Consultant

Early Childhood Consultant

Early Childhood Consultation Partnership