Sometimes I Feel Sad by Tom Alexander, Jessica Kingsley Publishers (£9.99)
Sometimes I Feel Sad is a moving, illustrated book which helps young children – especially those not in touch with their feelings – that sometimes it’s OK to feel sad.
Everyone feels sad from time to time, and it's not always clear why. This book explains that this is a part of everyone's life, and that you're not alone in feeling this way.
It also addresses how people react to children when they express their feelings – not everyone will listen or sympathise. In the book, the simply-drawn character tries different strategies to cope with feeling sad, and eventually someone explains: it’s OK just to feel unhappy sometimes.
Tom said, “My second children's book for Jessica Kingsley Publishers is a little book for small people who aren't always happy.
“This is a really simple book, but an important one for me personally. After I'd done it, I realised it was the most honest thing I'd ever written. It made me wonder if children's books were what I was meant to be doing all along.
“It's also the only time I've consciously ever sat down to draw anything, knowing it would be seen by other people.”
Book review: by Kate, 6, and Amy, 2
Kate said, “I like that it says sometimes people feel sad and they’ve got to cheer up. Some people sometimes feel happy because they’ve got a happy thing to think about.
“When people feel sad they can read it and it might make them feel better because it’s a happy ending. It says at the end ‘because it means I’m not alone’. It’s nice.”
When Mummy asked Kate who she tells when she feels sad, she said, “If a friend is nasty I tell the teacher or one of my family members and after we can solve it. Usually the other child is not mean to me anymore.”
Amy listened to Kate reading the book and loved looking at the bold colours. After reading the book, she began to play but got upset and came to Mummy to say, “Mummy, I feel sad!”
So although Amy is very young and often gets frustrated when trying to express her thoughts, she clearly took something away from this book: that children should try to articulate their feelings and find a trusted person to share their sadness with so they don’t feel alone – but ultimately, we all feel sad sometimes.
Sometimes I Feel Sad is ideal for younger children, especially in an EYFS setting or for children who have difficulty in communicating their feelings. It provides a platform for useful discussion around feelings and how others react to your sadness.