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[Monday Reading] Empowering 2019 Picturebooks On Mastering One’s Emotions

"When Sadness Is At Your Door" by Eva Eland | "You Are Your Strong" by Danielle Dufayet and Illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin.


It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Myra here.

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community. 

When Sadness Is At Your Door

Written and Illustrated by Eva Eland
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers (2019)
ISBN: 0525707182 (ISBN13: 9780525707189). Book borrowed from the NIE Library. Book photos taken by me.

Fats has reviewed this title a few months ago, and I have been intrigued by it ever since. I thought that it would make for a good addition to our Social and Emotional Learning Bookshelf and I was not mistaken.

In this picturebook, the young reader is walked through the complexity of sadness: how one can feel overwhelmed by it, such that one is utterly consumed by it, like a walking/talking bubble of grief.

As a clinician, I appreciated this powerful illustrative rendering of emotion that makes it easy for a young person to navigate through the grief, locate it, name it, befriend it, transform it.

I remember in the interview that I conducted with Benjamin Alire Saenz for the White Ravens Festival in Munich, he mentioned something along the lines of: when you sing to your monster, you tame it. This book is an excellent primer on how to do just that.

You Are Your Strong

Written by Danielle Dufayet Art by Jennifer Zivoin
Published by Magination Press (2019)
ISBN: 1433829398 (ISBN13: 9781433829390). Book borrowed from the NIE Library. Book photos taken by me.

While the first book shows young readers how they can be bigger than their sadness, this one shows them how to own their strength.

Told in a lyrical voice, each page shows very specific instances (that most children will be able to relate to, quite easily) when scared creeps in and how it can gradually slip away. More than just fear, it also features anger, anxiety and grief – emotions that tend to be overwhelming, requiring courage to wash them away.

The story is also done in a gentle way that is neither preachy nor didactic, but credible. The artwork by Jennifer Zivoin is likewise glorious, adding an even more empowering layer to the narrative.

Both stories realistically portray how frustration, worry, misery can be difficult to deal with; yet young readers are also made to feel that they are tougher than said emotions and give them specific handles on how you can be your strong.

#WomenReadWomen2019: 30 (of target 25): Netherlands (Eva Eland is a Dutch author based in the UK).

Danielle Dufayet and Jennifer Zivoin are from the USA.

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Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

9 comments on “[Monday Reading] Empowering 2019 Picturebooks On Mastering One’s Emotions

  1. crbrunelle

    I’ve read both and enjoyed them both. I think children will be able to connect with these.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wendi Lee

    When Sadness is At Your Door seems perfect for my daughter, who has been grappling with big emotions lately. Thank you for sharing!


    Liked by 1 person

  3. When Sadness is at Your Door sounds like a great book to help students understand their emotions. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jana Eschner

    I really enjoyed When Sadness Is At Your Door and think it would be a great book for a shelf of calming books for those who are experiencing overwhelming emotions. I would love to check out You Are Strong! Thanks for sharing and have an awesome week!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Both of these books look important. When Sadness Is At Your Door is now available at my library. I’m looking forward to reading it. I’ll look up You Are Your Strong too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As a parent, When Sadness is at Your Door is one I know I will use as T gets older to discuss emotion. It is wonderful!

    Happy reading this week 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I remember really liking When Sadness Is At Your Door. It has a very similar message to the children’s movie Inside Out where the young girl can only heal and move forward when she is allowed to stop and feel sadness. Such a simple message, but so hard for many to swallow. Thanks for the shares this week, Myra!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: [Monday Reading] The Grounded Sorcery of Girls’ Bravery And Courage in 2019 Picturebooks – Gathering Books

  9. Pingback: [Saturday Reads] Of Silence and Reading – Gathering Books

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