About The Whirlpool of My Emotions
The Whirlpool of My Emotions is a children’s book written by Chloe Galmes. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. A spoiler alert is in place.
What I did enjoy in the book The Whirlpool of My Emotions
: I loved the idea of using weather imagery to describe emotions. I loved the fact that the book both wanted to describe the emotions and their complexity and speak of what to do when this happens. I love that the font was clear and legible, that the layout was sparse and easy to read and great for a child learning to read. The fact that the book acknowledges emotions especially big emotions is commendable. This may make a difference in a child, letting them know that it is ok and definitely human to feel these whirpools of emotions.
The book is succinct and that makes it quick to read. The pictures really illustrate the emotions and paint a local feel of the subject. That all makes it easier to read and makes a child eager to complete it.
What I enjoyed less in the book The Whirlpool of My Emotions
Content wise, the illustrations were on point but the style could have hinted at something more magical underneath all the chaos of big emotions. I felt the abstract word “emotions” was overused at the detriment of more specific examples. Showing different types of specific emotions (sad, angry, etc) rather than just constantly referring to it as “emotions” would have made it clearer and more easily understandable for its targeted audience. The reader only gets that on page 14 unfortunately, the only time when it is clearer and more relatable “When I am upset, it feels like I am lost in a tempest”. I would have loved to see more of that pattern. Besides this, if it explained how it feels as it does with its weather imagery, that would have complemented the description.
The explanation of how to get rid of the emotion was not convincing at all. Sitting down sounds like a good start but it is definitely nowhere near a full solution. It missed the opportunity to be more specific, e.g., mentioning breathing to help calm down, sitting to help settle down (rather than just mentioning sitting) and so on, would have clarified things further.
There was something about the description of emotions that made it feel a bit to generalised. Saying “my emotions are like a sandstorm / a whirpool” etc, make it sound like all emotions are like that. This highlights the need to make the emotions described a little more specific and the potential dangers or confusions of not doing so.
The book claims that it will help a child “identify their emotions”. I think rather that it will help a child identify that they are having an emotion, not necessarily which one. This is admitedly a great start indeed but not the same thing. It also says that it will help a child “validate their feelings”. I do think that it is true in the case of big feelings. Big feelings are definitely those that may make a child feel like they are weird or don’t belong. By addressing big emotions, this book definitely acknowledges that they exist. Just that recognition may make a child grateful and more comfortable to know that they are not alone in that feeling. Thirdly, the book mentions that it helps guide children “to cope with their emotions”. While acknowledging their feelings and sitting down sound like great start to coping, I am not sure that I will call the process described meditation, let alone “the basics and benefits of meditation”. I cannot begin to imagine how sitting down is anywhere enough to help a child “do away with their sad feelings”. I really think that the book does less than it promises, even though what it does is a good start.