Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary, Intermediate
Author: Lauren Rubenstein
Illustrator: Shelly Hehenberger
Publisher: Magination Press
Visiting Feelings invites children to think of their emotions as friends and to get to know them through asking and answering questions and “look[ing] at that feeling with wide open eyes.” The text poses questions about how emotions look, feel, and taste, and suggests considering the manner in which they began and where in the body they are most present. The last several pages of the book remind children that feelings are neither inherently good nor bad and that they can, if welcomed in and observed without judgement, lead to insight and understanding.
Written by a licensed clinical psychologist and published under an imprint of the American Psychological Association, Visiting Feelings is a beautiful way to introduce young children to mindfulness and to help them develop emotional intelligence through exploration of feelings. By comparing characteristics of feelings to concrete items with which children are familiar (such as ice cream and rain), the text empowers children to gain greater understanding of their feelings. The book does not name any specific emotions, making it general enough to be used in many circumstances. Visiting Feelings is ideal as a discussion-starter for parents, teachers, or anyone wanting to discuss feelings with a child. A Note to Parents at the end of the book provides additional information and suggestions for helping children increase in self-awareness and emotional intelligence.