Big, Big Feelings

Big, Big Feelings
Co-Authors / Illustrators
  • Sean Julian
Publisher Name
Tiger Tales
Age Range
Release Date
October 17, 2023
A sweet story about BIG feelings that encourages children to use their words to name their emotions when feelings become overwhelming.

Willow is an adorable little sister--most of the time. Sometimes, her feelings get to be just a bit too much, and WAAAHHH!!--a tantrum ensues. But with a lot of love, support, and patience from her older brother, Willow soon learns that she has a superpower to help deal with those big feelings: her words!

Editor review

1 review
How to "Use Your Words"
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Willow's big brother takes good care of her and loves her a lot. The red pandas spend a lot of time outdoors, and when Willow hurts her foot on a rock, her brother helps her to navigate her emotions. Of course, he tells the rock it is bad, but also helps Willow process her feelings and get over her hurt and anger. When Willow can't find her favorite toy, he has her put her feelings into words, and allays her worry by helping her locate it. He reads her stories when she has a bad dream, but loses patience when she screams at a friend who borrows her sippy cup. He asks why she didn't use her words, and understands that sometimes it is hard, and a hug is the only thing that helps. He has a great idea, and the two make cards for different emotions, with the word and a representative face. When her friend William has a melt down after he drops his ice cream cone in the sand, Willow is able to help him use his words in order to process his emotions and make him feel better. The big brother is glad to see that Willow shares his "superpower"; using their words.

Good Points
Red pandas are excellent animals to use for this story of emotional regulation, as they are tremendously cute and appealing, and their faces are very expressive. I imagine that Willow is about two years old, so at an age where it is hard to understand her own feelings and how to deal with them constructively. The illustrations have a lot of nature in the background, with greens and golds during the day and purples and pinks at night.

Willow has a great big brother (whom I wish had a name!), who is very understanding and patient with her as she struggles to control herself. He is consistent in his message and thoughtful about helping her articulate what she is feeling. The emotion cards are a good idea that readers may want to copy.

Grandparents who were told (like me!) when they were young to just suck it up, or "I'll give you something to cry ABOUT" when they were sad should add this to their bookshelf so that they can have a more constructive attitude about emotions with the young people in their lives. Other great titles with current attitudes about managing feels include Jones' The Little Things, Knapman's Sometimes I Am Furious, Hokkanen's Kitty and Cat: Bent out of Shape, and McClean's My Bag of Feelings.
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