Author: Elizabeth Verdick

18 to 23 Months Nonfiction

Every child has a moment when they are feeling really upset. Every parent has a moment where they just need a little extra advice to help their child during an emotional meltdown. In this book, you'll find tips, advice and simple solutions for helping your child handle her emotions and calm down. As you look at the book together, your child will see illustrations that identify what different feelings look like in others. This book can be used to encourage conversations about sensitive topics, too.

Before, During and After Reading

Choose the right time to read this book. Read this book at a quiet time and have a mirror available. Talk about what it means to calm down and why a calm-down time might be important.

Introduce the front cover of the book and talk about what you see.  Look at the picture on the cover and ask your child what she thinks the story will be about. You might say: Can you find the girl? What is she holding? How do you think she is feeling? What do you think this story will be about?

Bring attention to the feeling words. Hold up a mirror and ask your child to show you what a sad face looks like, a mad face, or a happy face.

Demonstrate deep breathing as a way to calm down. Demonstrate how to breathe in and out slowly. Ask your child to do the same. Encourage your child to say the little chant with you, or to show you how she can hug herself. Talk about the last page of the book, what the children are doing, and how they might be feeling.  


Create a calm-down space in your home.  Find a spot in your house and make it a calm-down place. Let your child help you put things there that are soft and cozy. Remind your child to use the calm-down place when she is upset and remind her of some things she can do to calm down.

Sing the song If You’re Happy and You Know It. Change the words to different feelings or actions. For example, you might sing: If you are mad and you know it, stomp your feet.

Explore more books for toddlers 18 to 23 months, or browse easy, age-appropriate at-home activities.