The Way I Feel
By Janan Cain

The Way I Feel
By Janan Cain

Children's book review by P.J. Rooks

A book about understanding your emotions

Ages 2+

Right now, I am happy. But, you know, in ten minutes or so when you come around and tell me that I've got to get out of my pajamas and actually get dressed and act like a human for the day, well, look out! I don’t want to get dressed! I'm going to throw stuff! And I'm going to scream! And I'll rant and kick! You just wait! You have no idea how wild I can be! I'll be so… so… uh… something.

What's the word? What's the word?

Could your little one use some help here? Janan Cain has just the thing.

The Way I Feel is, hands down, the best exploration of emotions that we've ever found.

Cain covers a wide range including

  • silly,
  • scared,
  • disappointed,
  • happy,
  • sad,
  • angry,
  • thankful,
  • frustrated,
  • shy,
  • bored,
  • excited,
  • jealous,
  • proud, and -- whew!... kids a handle on some extremely helpful vocabulary. Not that they always use it correctly, of course (my own daughter is fond of saying "I'm brave of that!") but it sure does help.

The Way I Feel

In The Way I Feel, Janan Cain's vivid illustrations and jaunty rhymes get right to the point and are very easy to understand.

"Silly is the way I feel when I make a funny face/
and wear a goofy, poofy hat that takes up lots of space..."

...says one cross-eyed kid under a huge, whimsical hat with lots of google-eyed tentacles.

An angry, fiery-haired person glowers from within a lightning bolt in an all-red page and later, one proud kid who has just dressed herself is pleased as punch in a hyperbolic skirt of pink, blue and green, mismatched boots and prison-striped shorts, just for starters.

A work-from-home graphic designer and illustrator, it took Janan Cain the better part of two years to put The Way I Feel together (according to her bio at Parenting Press) -- mostly due to the frequent interruptions that define a stay-at-home mom's day. I'll bet that by the time it came out in print, she was feeling ratherperseverant . Hmmm…. that one's not in there. Well, maybe it's better to start with the basics. At any rate, we were thrilled to get our hands on this great book of feelings.

Webmaster's note: This website offers a special set of books to help you and your child deal with emotions and behaviors.

Read more of P.J.'s reviews.

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