Lauren Rubenstein, Ph.D., Author
Shelly Hehenberger, Illustrator
Magination Press, Fiction, Sept. 28, 2013
Suitable for Ages: 4-8
Themes: Being aware of feelings, Mindfulness,Yoga
Opening: “Do you have a feeling that’s visiting today?/Can you open your door and invite it to play?/Can you ask what it wants, and then check it out?/Welcome it and listen to what it’s about?”
Synopsis from Book Jacket: Visiting Feelings harnesses a young child’s innate capacity to fully experience the present moment. Rather than label or define specific emotions and feelings, Visiting Feelings invites children to sense, explore and befriend all of their feelings with acceptance and equanimity. Children can explore their emotions with their senses and gain an understanding of how feelings can lodge in the body, as conveyed by the common expressions like “a pit in the stomach” or “a lump in the throat.”
Why I like this book: Lauren Rubenstein has written a very poetic and sensitive book that helps children explore their feelings. I wish I had this book when my daughter was young. She encourages kids to make friends with their feelings, get to know them, and find where they settle in their body. Rubenstein cleverly uses beautiful metaphors like: “Is it bright like the sun?/Dark like the rain?/Or is it a look you can’t even explain?” and “Is it warm or cold?/Sour or sweet?/Does it shiver with fear when the two of you meet?” and “How did this feeling enter your house?/ Did it barge right in!/Was it shy like a mouse?” Shelly Hehenberger’s illustrations are whimsical and dreamy lulling the reader along and adding to the rhythm of the story. The illustrations are created digitally using hand-painted textures and overlays.
Resources: A clinical psychologist, Rubenstein includes a double- page spread at the end of the book with suggestions on how to teach children to practice mindfulness and nurture their emotional intelligence. It is all about learning to stop and be aware of the moment. This is a wonderful book for parents and educators. She also believes in teaching children yoga. Proceeds from Visiting Feelings will be donated to the Go Give Yoga Foundation, where she teaches yoga and mindfulness to children and adolescents in Haiti.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.