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Helping Children Validate their Feelings

When Sadness is at Your Door written and illustrated by Eva Eland, published by Random House.

We all have a wide range of emotions, and I appreciate how Eva Eland normalizes sadness specifically in her picture book When Sadness is at Your Door. Like most knocks at the door, sadness can come about rather unexpectedly. Eland's simple text and equally spare illustrations allow the reader to join the child in an emotional journey from a safe distance.

The narrator of the story personifies the emotion and describes how it feels, "[Sadness] sits so close to you, you can hardly breathe," what one might do with it, "Find something you both enjoy, like drawing," and how to accept it, "Maybe Sadness doesn't like to stay inside [...] Go for a walk in the trees."

This would be a great story to talk about all kinds of emotions, how they make us feel, and how we can live with them without feeling overwhelmed by them.

Imagine It!

What is your favorite emotion? What is your least favorite emotion? Imagine one of these emotions as some sort of being like Sadness is in this picture book.

Imagine what it looks like. Imagine how it acts towards you. Imagine how you and the emotion could get along.

Write a story or draw a picture about your emotion, or do both like the author did in her book.

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