Thursday, June 6, 2024

2 Children's Books Embrace Emotional Support for Youngsters [Reviews & 1 book Giveaway]

Social Emotion Learning with New Picture Books!

Foster and teach social emotional learning with picture books that discuss self expression, believing in yourself, understanding your moods, making friends, and learning to be brave. Important reads for little ones to learn problem solving and emotional acceptance.

Terrible Horses by Raymond Antrobus & illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max | Ages 3 to 7

My thoughts:  An interesting take on sibling rivalry and strife within the home. The young boy is pictured next to his older sister. He wants to be with her, share her things, have her attention, play with her, and be with her. But all of this annoys her to the point of quarreling. 

The young boy is an unusual child in that he takes to "pen and paper" and begins to write and draw a story about horses. It is about a little pony and lots of big aggressive, fast-trotting, pushy horses - Terrible Horses. Each time the boy has an argument with his sister, he writes in his book.

Later the sister finds the book and it moves her to console and pay loving attention to him.

An interesting take on sibling rivalry.

About the book: In a relatable tale about two siblings at constant odds, a child discovers that expressing himself through stories can help resolve conflict and generate understanding. Secret word: support

My sister is cooler than me. 

I want her friends to be my friends.

I want her things to be my things.

For one little boy and his older sister, fights are always waiting to happen—when he takes something without asking, jumps on her bed without asking, even wanders off without asking. And when they fight, they don’t use words: it’s all push, pull, hurt, hide. To cool off after, the boy retreats to his room to write and draw stories—stories about terrible horses trampling and galloping, while he is a lone pony unable to compete or speak or sleep. One morning, the boy wakes up to find his sketchbook missing, taken by his sister. What now? Will this make things worse, or could it help them to finally understand each other? With empathy and simplicity, Terrible Horses has much to say about using creativity to rein in anger, reflect, and see life through someone else’s eyes.

Gray by Laura Dockrill & illustrated by Lauren Child | Ages 3 to 7

ISBN: 9781536235463
Hardcopy $18.88 US
My thoughts:  This is an absolutely outstanding book. Very simple. Very direct. Very caring. Very understanding. 

The child is young and is not feeling like he usually does. He feels off color or "gray." He is bewildered. His mother speaks kindly and understandably to him helping him understand that even though he feels off, or "grey," it doesn't mean the brightness or the other colors have gone away. 

She explains that she loves him no matter how he feels.

The illustrations on this sturdy book are bold, eye-catching, colorful yet infused with lots of gray to illustrate the point of the book. There are eye grabbing (and finger stabbing) cutouts on the pages that lend interest and artistry.

I totally enjoyed and recommend this book.

About the book: Poetic words, evocative art, and die-cuts throughout combine to explore a child’s moods through color—or the lack of color—and offer a reassuring message of love and acceptance.

Today I feel gray.

But that’s OK.

Some days you may feel sunshine yellow or orange-balloon bright. Other days you’re gray, or even night-sky black—like a dark scribble on a page, a storm in the clouds, or a puddle in the road. Gray is when you don’t feel like yourself, or like you don’t belong. But however you feel, there are big hugs (red) and loving lullabies (blue) waiting, and even the grayest sidewalk is a canvas for you to fill with the colors you choose. A tender narration from British spoken-word poet Laura Dockrill and subtle, spare artwork from former UK Children’s Laureate Lauren Child offer a comforting read for young children that addresses feelings of sadness and assures them that they are never alone.

Begins June 6
Ends July 7 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only
 a Rafflecopter giveaway  

DISCLOSURE: I received a copy of the books to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's copy is provided and shipped to the winner by Candlewick Press, its imprints, or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.


  1. Such great topics for the little ones.

  2. One thing I really love about the blog is the continuous positivity. I know I’m always able to find something to smile about and a new book to share with the little ones.

    1. Thank you, LayDeeBugLove, positivity is one of my goals. I, too, love good books for the little ones


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