Saturday, April 30, 2016

Review: Mad to Glad by Angie Harris

by Angie Harris
Illustrated by Stacy Heller Budnick
Picture Book Non-fiction
ages 2+
38 pages

Children are often told to "Pay attention!," but how do they do that when a child's emotions and thoughts change so quickly? Mad to Glad teaches children the following Mindfulness lessons in a fun and interactive way to increase their focusing abilities. The lessons included are,

Energy transfer: Using physical movement to change negative thoughts to a positive attitude of the mind.

Visualizations: Using a child's imagination to achieve goals.

Affirmations: Using positive phrases to build a child's confidence.

Focused breathing: Using the breath to become aware of the present moment.

This is a book written to help children learn ways to identify and handle negative emotions in an effective and focused manner.

Five negative emotions are explored and with each one, a different possibility to handle the emotion is explained. First the emotion is named. Then, an example of how this emotion might arise is shown through a situation kids ages 3 to 6 have probably experienced themselves. After this, an easy action which the reader can imitate is given. And to round off the emotion/action, the reader is asked to repeat a simple phrase which will lock into their minds. At the end, there is a Mindful Diary, but I didn't find an explanation of what to do with it.

This is a calming book with good advice parents, teachers or other leading figures can use to help kids deal with their emotions. The advice is sounds, and if nothing else, readers will enjoy imitating the methods. A nice plus is the diversity of characters in the illustrations.

The illustrations are nicely done and go well with the text. Through them, it's easy for young readers/listeners to understand exactly what is meant in the text.

The writing itself is informative and easy for kids to understand. A few things didn't flow as well as they might have, but that doesn't interfere with the main purpose of the book.

Summed up: this is a lovely book for parents, teachers or others to share with kids, who might benefit from a way to deal with more difficult emotions.

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