Sometimes I’m a Baby Bear, Sometimes I’m a Snail: Ways to Say How We Feel (Moira Butterfield)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Sometimes I’m a Baby Bear, Sometimes I’m a Snail: Ways to Say How We Feel, written by Moira Butterfield and illustrated by Gwen Millward, a fantastic look at emotional autonomy and expression.

The truth is, there’s nothing wrong with feeling different day to day. Sometimes, you might feel playful and social like a puppy, while other times, you may feel quiet and happy to be alone, like a snail. Both are okay! Just like it’s okay to feel cuddly and kissy one day, like a baby bear, but would rather not be touched the next day, like a no-hug bird. It can sometimes be difficult to express these emotions, and sometimes we can feel trapped in an emotion we don’t like feeling. For both, it can help to talk about how you feel with a trusted friend or loved one, and find the animal inside that might help you feel better. The most important thing to remember is that there are many ways to feel, and that all of them are healthy, normal, and deserving of respect.

Marvelous. With friendly and encouraging (if slightly uneven) text, Butterfield explores a number of themes that are critical for young readers developing emotional and physical awareness, such as autonomy, consent, identification, and communication. Combined with Millward’s colorful and charming artwork, which features a healthy diversity of skintones, hairtypes, abilities, and religious expression in addition to emotions, kids are given a fantastic guide to understanding their feelings, not just by category, but by how they process and share these emotions as well. The consistent theme of bodily autonomy is particularly welcome, and the backmatter features a great note on how to discuss this and other important aspects of emotional development with young children. The length is great, and JJ and both loved it; she understood the concept right away and immediately began utilizing it to express her own feelings. Overall, this one was a real treat, and has the potential to be a helpful tool for educators, caregivers, and kiddos. Overall, Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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