Reading/Interest Level: Primary, Intermediate
Author: Judith M. Glasser and Kathleen Nadeau
Illustrator: Charles Beyl
Publisher: Magination Press
Understanding emotions and how to cope with them is something everyone must learn. This book focuses on helping children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) tackle this task. Twenty emotions are described with real-life scenarios, noting that some emotions feel good and others do not. This work helps children identify their “feel good zone” and “upset zone” and develop strategies that will help them feel good more often. Some strategies involve building routines and habits (e.g., eat enough protein, get adequate sleep). Other strategies teach children how to deal with specific negative emotions (e.g., shift attention when frustrated). Short games and quizzes are scattered throughout to keep the reader interested and engaged. While the suggested audience is children 6-11 years old, there are sections for parents, teaching them ways to help their children set goals and appropriate rewards for their efforts. Website resources and additional readings are offered for both parents and children.
Written by two clinical psychologists who have collectively worked with children with ADHD for over 30 years, Learning to Feel Good and Stay Cool offers a straightforward guide to recognizing emotions and knowing how to manage them. The book incorporates many illustrations, some comic book style, which help emphasize points and break up the teaching narrative. While young children may find it difficult to get through this chapter book without help and encouragement from an adult, it is worth the time. An emphasis on self-reflection and identifying warning signs for getting upset will help children begin to understand what environmental and internal factors trigger certain emotions. The tools and strategies offered can help children back off from those triggers and remain in the “feel good zone,” although some tools were repeated throughout the book and at times felt redundant. A particular emphasis on problem solving was valuable because it empowers children to respond to situations responsibly and confidently. Children are wisely encouraged to ask their parents or other trusted friends for help working through their emotions and problem solving. Overall, children and adults too are sure to learn something and be motivated to develop new emotion regulation habits.
Emily Darowski has a Ph.D. in psychology and is the Psychology Librarian at the Harold B. Lee Library.