The ColorFeeling Picture Book Series Written by Esther Adler and Illustrated by Shrutkirti Kaushal

Book Review by Carla M. Paton

I have a background in Child Education and Development and a Masters in Psychology, and I found these books to be quite remarkable. In a world that rewards and prioritizes thinking skills over emotions and feelings, anytime we can encourage children to recognize and process their emotions, we are giving them and ourselves a great gift.

This series, written for ages three to eight, helps children focus on one emotion at a time. One of the ways that the books do this is by associating one color with one feeling per book. For example, in the Angry book, the color focus is red. Red for red-in-the-face, hot-tempered, and other fiery reactions that we see reflected in Lion’s flaming mane and features. Sad is associated with blue, Happy with yellow, and Jealous with green. Another way that the books help children to process their feelings is by showing how emotions express themselves physically. For example, in the Sad book, the blue Dinosaur’s body “feels tired and heavy.”

It is one thing to recognize feelings, and another to cope with them. All of the books demonstrate coping skills. In the second half of each book, the book asks the reader questions to consider such like what happens when they feel jealous, sad, happy, or angry. Then the child reader is given a series of things they can effectively do to work through the emotions in a constructive way. For example, in the Jealous book, the green jealous snake is shown asking Lion, “Can I play with your toy airplane?” and the caption that accompanies this picture is, “When I feel jealous I can ask to share.”

Another method that the books employ for helping children to work with their emotions is to have them work through interactive activities and with the aid of free worksheets. The quiet introspection and thought that the worksheet activities provide will give children a depth of reinforcement beyond the time spent with the colorful, charming characters.

In all the books, children will be happy to see all four of the characters returning and interacting in similar attractive scenes. When Lion, Chick, Dinosaur, and Snake look at themselves in their reflections, and in turn to ask the child reader, “What makes you angry, happy, sad, or jealous?” We can be sure that the question is taken to heart and that the answers will help and heal long after these delightful books are tucked away for the night. In conclusion, I give this book series my highest recommendations.

Using Picture Book to Stimulate Your Child’s Imagination

How Does Using a Picture Book Stimulate a Child’s imagination?

Most American schools have developed strong left brain learning environments. History, math, and language arts are all examples of concrete thinking that requires simple rote learning or practiced memory skills. This is a tragic state of education as school after school continues to cut the right brain learning avenues such as art, music and drama. These are the abstract, problem solving, and imagination stations of the kid’s brain.

This minimizing of abstract learning, combined with the instant entertainment of video games, software apps and the time consuming focus kid’s put on texting can dumb down their mind’s ability to think imaginatively.

It’s tough to convince an older child, who has already established patterns of text dependency to pick up a book, or draw a picture.

It’s easy to work with a young child, before they have become exposed to all the mind numbing techno toys if parents begin exposing their young ones to picture books starting from birth.

Story books with pictures are perfect for stimulating a child’s imagination and accelerating the early language learning process.

Picture Books Encourage Imaginary Pretend Play

Few children will incorporate the character of an action figure they have seen on a video game. However, a strong character featured in a picture book or simple children’s story will inspire further substantive adventures within private or social play times.

These kid’s books stimulate your child’s imagination by providing lingering mental images. Kid’s love to draw, picture books provide shadow images within the child’s mind to help them develop their right brained drawing skills. The more exposure to these picture books the greater their creative resources and imaginary adventures can develop.

Story Books With Pictures Fuel Emotion

Picture books fuel the emotions that lead to developing dreams and life direction. An image seen through a picture book can help to pull out the innate passion in every child in respect to their fears, personal achievement and goals relative to their comprehension. Imagination through visualization is the first step to achievement. If a child can see the picture book experience happening to them; such as hitting a home run, or singing a song on stage, will go long way to making it happen in their personal life.

Holistic Learning Benefits

The benefits of these books go beyond developing imagination. They are perfect for strengthening an early foundation for language and logic.

A picture book provides the reinforcement for first identifying sounds before a child’s mind understands that those sounds make words. Placing images with sounds accelerates the subconscious comprehension of tone, pattern and reading through word and picture association. Books with pictures help toddlers and pre-school aged children develop further language skills through:

  1. Help with story comprehension if all the words are not understood
  2. Pictures offer reading clues when a child begins practicing reading
  3. They help to develop a logical sequence of story; every story needs a beginning, middle and end

The love that a child feels from snuggling up into the lap of an adult to share a storied book is beyond compare. These relaxed times are the best times for a child to begin their imaginative learning in an environment of nurture and support.

Provide a double punch of learning value with a personalized picture book. These books quickly pull in a child’s imagination by weaving them into the story. Not just any personalized story will do however, it must have quality of content, relevant illustrations and a strong positive message. See example here.

Children’s Picture Books: The First Step to Developing a Creative Imagination

Every year many thousands of children’s picture books are published around the world.

The children’s corner in bookshops everywhere offer a wide range of new and old favourites, illustrated by some of the best illustrators available. Now comes the technological age where children’s books can be purchased electronically and are available instantly. This has opened up a new avenue for the children’s book illustrator and author alike. Very rarely do you find outstanding pictures with a relative storyline that can help to boost your child’s learning ability and imagination.

As an English Teacher sometimes I am asked by parents why I have chosen a book with very little text, or a book that offers a very short and seemingly unchallenging story. The answer to this question is quite simple. Children learn through pictures. Young children soon pick up the short text of a picture book, if it is shared with an adult who brings the illustrations on the pages to life. Children can then develop their own sense of the world through the pictures and relate short stories to their own rather big experiences.

From a very young age children speak in narrative style so it is easy for them to pick up the text of a short story and use it in everyday language. It is also through their own stories of everyday experiences that they define themselves and are able to express their ideas, hopes and emotions in language as well as in drawing and imaginative play.

I recently popped over to Amazon and found an ideal book for children who are just beginning to speak. There are two in the series at present and are vividly illustrated. The two books in question are: Jonathan the Red Head goes to bed and Jonathan the Red Head has a friend. What I found so appealing about these books is that they are so vividly illustrated and the stories are very real. Each and every child goes to bed each night and with the experience of reading the book with Mom the child learns the outcome of that particular experience and the child is then able to build up a simulated experience along with an adult who can make the story a reality.

Sharing picture books with your child is not only about developing your child’s language ability; it is also about giving your children a wider outlook on the world. The one-to-one interaction of sharing picture books gives a child an added opportunity to develop at their own speed, knowing that they are being encouraged by an adult that they look up to. As children share more and more books with parents and teachers their self-confidence develops. This can often be seen in the way they approach the unfamiliar and engage in new experiences.

Book two is ideal for a child who is just starting out in life. Maybe visiting a Moms and tots groups with Mom or even just starting out at kindergarten or school. Most children suffer from the apprehension of joining an established group, once in, most are able to play and relate to the other children. Book two is ideal for this as it shows the child that everything will be OK. When the adult explains and embellishes the book to the child it helps to develop the child’s imagination.

The Jonathan the Red Head series is a great start for new author Perl R. Brenner; the books show that she has a real flair for understanding what children need. It’s a shame that the books are only available on Kindle as these books would transfer perfectly into a paperback version.

I highly recommend these books as a source of early learning.

These books are available at both amazon.co.uk and amazon.com.