Friday, January 27, 2012

Book #27: My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss, Illustrated by Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher

Image from Better World Books
This luminous book describes and illustrates the many feelings and emotions that people can go through in a day, a week, or an hour. Each color is associated with a different emotion. The vivid paintings capture the highs of a yellow “busy, buzzy bee” day and the lows of a gray, motionless day. The narrator points out that sometimes you can have such a mixed-up day that you just don’t know who or what you are, but that in the end it’s ok, because you will always be you.

The rhyming scheme of the book makes the text roll of the tongue easily. The illustrations are painted with bold strokes and vibrant colors and feature animals and a small figure with arms and legs outstretched, something like a paper cut out.

Available as a picture book and a sturdy board book, this story is a great way for children to understand that constantly changing emotions are part of the universal human experience. Some kids have the ability to verbalize their feelings, but many children, especially those who struggle with language skills, have a harder time expressing what’s going on inside.

Once you’ve read this book, you use it as a way to figure out what’s going on emotionally with your child. Ask them to tell you what color their day is or have them point to the picture in the book. Create your own many colored days book by cutting out paper figures in different colors and making a page for each color. Have the kids draw pictures around the figure that express that emotion for them. If your child can write, you can use this printable and paste it to each page. If they can’t write yet, have them tell you how they feel on that colored day and write it on the page as well. This is something that you can continue to add to as the kids work through different emotions or you can stretch this project out by picking a different emotion to draw and talk about each day.

Talk about other ways you can express your emotions besides colors. Play music or show abstract paintings and ask the kids what color or emotion they think it communicates. There’s no right or wrong answers, the idea is to discuss the different ways to express your feelings to others in a healthy way. This is another book that lends itself well to incorporating yoga (see also my post on Blue Chameleon). Check out the suggestions on the OMazing Kids Yoga blog.


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