Local mom writes book series amid pandemic to help children 'understand their feelings'

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The purpose of the book series is to allow parents, teachers, and caregivers an opportunity to begin conversations with children about emotions and life experiences.
The purpose of the book series is to allow parents, teachers, and caregivers an opportunity to begin conversations with children about emotions and life experiences.

A local mother of two has taken it upon herself to help our little ones identify and manage their emotions amid the Covid-19 pandemic by writing a read-along book series aptly named Little Books, Big Feelings that reminds them that feelings are universal and they are not alone.

A 2020 study revealed that the pandemic can often have consequences on the mental health of children and adolescents due to isolation from their peers, uncertainty regarding their future and the stress surrounding the health of their family members and friends.

The study detailed that children could be experiencing feelings of fear, anxiety and sadness and often lack the language and maturity to understand and vocalise their emotions.

Read: It's Storytime! There's a Fire on the Mountain

Lesley Scott, who is the author of the Little Books, Big Feelings series, told Parent24: "I was inspired to write the books after speaking to friends and family with younger children and realising that the uncertainty around Covid-19 and the lockdown was causing the children anxiety."

With recent the movement of South Africa to Level 4 lockdown, given the third wave of the pandemic, schools have been ordered to have shut their doors by Friday 2 July, leaving many children with a bundle of feelings they cannot quite express and parents at a loss as to how to reassure their children.

"I believe that it is important for both children and adults to understand their feelings," Scott explained. "If we are able to identify and describe the emotion we are feeling, we can take steps to regulate that emotion."

Also see: What exactly are therapeutic stories and how do they work? 

The book series contains 4 books, namely: I Have Butterflies in my Tummy: a little book about anxiety, My Heart is Heavy: a little book about sadness, Sunshine in my Smile: a little book about happiness, and I've Lost my Calm: a little book about anger.

Reading Book
Little Books, Big Feelings
Reading childrens book
There are Butterflies in my Tummy: A little book about anxiety.
Reading book
My Heart is Heavy: A little book about sadness.
Reading book
Sunshine in my Tummy: A little book about happiness
Reading book
I've Lost my Calm: A little book about anger.

Scott described the book series, which is ideal for children between the ages of 4 and 9,  as both a resource and a "helpful tool" to navigate through the emotions that may come up during these uncertain times by "giving emotions a voice".

The books were illustrated by character design and illustration artist Rachel Rossouw, who embraced the Little Books, Big Feelings project and contributed her talents for no upfront payment.

The books will shortly be available in Afrikaans and isiXhosa, and are currently available on Amazon both in English and Italian.

To learn more about the series, you can visit their webpage here.

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