Monday, April 11, 2016

Book review: Jack Feels Big (plus a chance to win)

We in the Cake household feel pretty strongly about people being able to express their emotions in healthy ways - one of the main take-home lessons I got from a great book I reviewed last year was that boys in particular are often discouraged from dealing with their feelings, and are taught from a young age to bottle them up. So when I saw the (now completed) PledgeMe campaign for Jack Feels Big, I thought it was worth getting behind.

Obviously it's good for all children to have tools for managing their feelings, so this book definitely isn't just for boys, but I like that the lead character is male in this case. The author has aspirations to publish another version with a female lead, but unfortunately the initial funding didn't get far enough to achieve that - I daresay if this book does well that might not be too far off, though, so if you're interested keep an eye on the Jack Feels Big Facebook page for updates.

The book is comprised of five stories, each of which deals with an emotion children might struggle with. At the start there are some notes about how the book is intended to be used. The aim is to teach the vocabulary so that your child can express their feelings, and though each story has a resolution, understanding and communication are the main objectives. With that in mind, each feeling is given in Te Reo Maori and New Zealand Sign Language (with illustration) as well as in English.

Each story is simple but relatable - Jack feels overwhelmed by having to tidy his room, or frustrated that he can't complete his tower of blocks - and though our Little Monkey is a bit young to work through the reflection page at the end of each one, the simple narrative and bright pictures already appeal.

It's a simple concept but a very welcome addition to our bookshelf - and hopefully it will bring both enjoyment and understanding to our kids over time.

I've been given two copies to give away to one of you lucky folk (so you can keep one and give one to a friend), so if you think this would be a great addition for your bookshelf, hop over to my Facebook page and comment on the post there to get in the draw.

Alternatively, you can order the book directly from, and until the 10th of May you can get 15% off using the code MrsCake. It's only $20 to start with so that's a pretty sweet deal!

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