I remember reading Dr. Seuss as a kid, and enjoying it thoroughly, but I must say that I am impressed with the wide range of children’s books that are available these days. Little Aiden: A Feelings Book for Toddlers by Albert Choi is a very good example of exploring a topic that has, occasionally, been taboo for children. In this instance: expressing and feeling all available emotions, regardless of positivity or negativity, and being allowed to do that.
I thought the content of the book was fairly straightforward. Each page had a different scenario, and little Aiden was feeling a particular emotion. Then, the book said, “that was okay”. It ran the gamut from happy to sad to frustrated to embarrassed to joyful etc. It seems simple, but I really liked how powerful it is, simply because it has often been dictated to children (and adults) that only expressing certain emotions—if any at all—is acceptable. Which is bunk. So I really liked that this was such a powerful message in such a simple form.
I also really liked the illustrations. They really explored the emotions well, in such a way that can be difficult with words (especially for children). How do you explain frustration to a toddler? Well, seeing a picture of a ball that’s just out of reach, and the associated facial expressions, can paint the emotion splendidly. Combined with the words, and being told that it’s okay to feel emotion, I think the book is very illustrative.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to any parent wanting to teach their children about emotion and expression. It’s also just great for looking at pictures! Very good book!