One of the most basic tenets of emotionally literacy is to first recognise what one feels, and put a name to the various emotions that one experiences. An individual who is aware of the nuances of the different feelings and emotions that they come across, have won half the battle when it comes to dealing with them. In “Are your emotions like mine?” (AdiDev Press) Chitwan Mittal and Shruti Hemani take the youngest readers through a gamut of emotions as they introduce emotional literacy for children.
The picture book features a young girl, the protagonist, and her stuffed toy, a lion. Each page is vividly illustrated as she experiences a range of emotions, often together and at the same time. As the young reader dives into the book, they look at the myriad emotions that exist through the eyes of the little girl and the lion.
This book is apt to start conversations around emotional literacy for children. On one hand there is a literal vocabulary of emotions, that is, the names of the different emotions that a child can feel, such as angry, sad, scared and so on. At another level there are the actions that are used to express the the emotions. For example, the girl laughs aloud when happy or bites her nails when nervous.
Tying these concepts together is the fact that we all experience all these emotions at different times and sometimes even at the same time. More importantly, we are not alone in this and others also have similar experiences.
The illustrations are done by Shruti Hemani, an architect and urban planner by profession. Here, she uses simple line work inspired by traditional folk art from Rajasthan, India.
“Are your emotions like mine?” by Chitwan Mittal and Shruti Hemani introduce emotional literacy for children and paint a vivid picture of the emotional mindscape of a child. Meant for toddlers, the book is a great addition to the home and school library. It helps children identify and name emotions that they experience, setting a stage for lifelong emotional literacy.