I had the wonderful opportunity to expand my children’s emotional vocabulary recently using a book with drawings of fish.
Titled “Today I Am…”, the picture book is the Southeast Asian English version of the award-winning Dutch children’s book “Vrolijk” by Mies van Hout, which shows all the emotions a young child would encounter. Each double page spread is devoted to one fish showing a particular emotion, along with the word that expresses the same feeling. Mies van Hout’s drawings are characterized by strong, clear lines and radiant colours, and this school of fish has made a big splash in international waters, bagging awards and accolades aplenty.
I ran a couple of homelearning lessons with the book. When we first got it, we flipped to look at all the fascinating expressions of all the fish in the pages. Admiring art together was an enriching activity in itself. Subsequently, I read to each child one-to-one and identified common emotions and feelings like ‘glad’, ‘angry’, ‘shocked’ and ‘sad’ with them. We talked about things that made us feel glad, angry, shocked and sad. I listened to their stories. And it was amazing how much each of them, when given a listening ear, would say about how they felt and when they felt what they felt.
In addition, with Ben, I also took the time to provide scenarios to explain more complex emotions like ‘confused’, ‘jealous’, ‘content’ and ‘amazed’.
For Becks, since she loves to draw and colour, I asked her for the emotion she was feeling after we read the book and went on to “copy” the fishes on drawing paper and had her fill the white spaces with colours. She was feeling glad and happy that day, and this was what she did:
She’s into drawing and colouring fishes now, thanks to the book! Another Mies van Hout in the making, perhaps!
“Today I Am...” is certainly a good resource to have in my homelearning stock and I am really glad that we received it from Fish Book Co., a publishing company passionate about providing parents and teachers with tools to develop happy, healthy children. The team at Fish Book Co. has plans to create more educational materials and original content with the school of fish found in Mies van Hout’s book, and that I can’t wait to see!
*Giveaway: I have 5 copies of “Today I Am…” to give away (and open to international readers)!*
“Today I am __________ because ______________”
The 5 most interesting / creative entries win! Have fun!
Giveaway ends 20 August and results will be announced on 21 August on this same space. Let’s hear how you’re feeling today!
Disclosure: We received a copy of the book “Today I Am…” from Fish Book Co. All opinions here are my own.
P/S: Fish Book Co. is inviting budding artists below the age of 12 to participate in Singapore’s biggest children’s drawing competition, “Colour My Feelings”, on 28 September 2013 at 1 pm at the Rise & Shine Expo. “Colour My Feelings” is a drawing competition that encourages kids to express emotions through the use of oil pastels. Kids are invited to pick a feeling and illustrate a fish bursting with their chosen emotion. Get ready to see a wide gamut of emotions with a lively and vibrant school of expressive fish that day at the Rise & Shine Expo! More details of the competition here.
**So, who’s won the giveaway?**
I’d love to have everyone win this and would like to say a big thank you to all of you for participating and sharing with me how you feel! But I only have 5 copies of the book and am gonna give it to…
A very hungry Serene – Gawd’ I know how it feels to have your kids want your food! Why didn’t you eat her burger instead?
Supercalifragilisticexpialidociously-Mary Poppins-Sue – Now, that’s such a bubbly happy emotion!
Ecstatic Christine who actually looked forward to spending time with monkeys – Haha, fortunately, the monkeys belong to her!
Tired Jus who’s growing a baby for the third time – And I can identify with how tiring that is!
And Drained Candy – Hope this book will teach Junior how to express himself instead of screaming at you, babe!
There are more giveaways on the blog coming up! Thanks for taking part, everyone!