Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
My First Feelings, both written and illustrated by Clara Donis-Girma, is a children's picture book which aims to help little ones identify and discuss their emotions. The book is exceptionally straightforward and employs the power of repetition with the main themes of happy, sad, mad, and scared. These four words are the backbone of the book and one of these four emotions is incorporated on almost every page of the text, with a young polar bear and its family to visually represent the feelings. For example, the young polar bear states, “When I am happy, I smile.” The illustrations are digital and the font is large, clear, and unobstructed by the artwork.
Teaching our youngest children appropriate ways to address and manage emotions is one of the most difficult tasks for parents to tackle. As adults, it sometimes feels as if we don't have proper control or understanding of what we feel and how we react. That is why books like My First Feelings are so important. Clara Donis-Girma does well in not reinventing the wheel in a day and age where simplicity seems to lose out to flashy graphics and over-explaining. My favorite part of the book is the end where the polar bear is surrounded by happy friends that the author has illustrated delightfully using different bear species. This is an effective book for the introduction of feelings to our littlest bears. Recommended.