Author: Jeron Ashford Frame

5-Year-Olds Concept

In this award-winning children's book with illustrations by R. Gregory Christie, a boy explores the ranges of moods and emotions that he and his family members feel. He learns that even the bluest moods do not last, especially with the love and support from a family that makes it feel all “golden.” Read Yesterday I Had the Blues with your five-year-old to explore the concept of feelings, and to help build important pre-reading skills like oral language and beginning writing.

Before, During and After Reading

Oral Language

Introduce the book. Read aloud the title of the book and names of the author and illustrator. Talk about the pictures on the cover and ask your child what he sees. Point out that the “Blues” in the title is actually in blue and ask what color the other words are in. Ask your child if he knows what “the blues” are and if he or anyone else he knows has ever had them. Does the boy on the cover look like he has “the blues”?

Oral Language

Discuss what you read and see. As you read, talk about the ways the words and illustrations capture different moods and feelings. How do the colors change on the pages? How does the boy look on the page when he says he had “the go away, Mr. Sun, quit smilin’ at me blues”? How does he look on the page when he has the “runnin’ my hand along the hedges greens”? Ask your child about what it could mean to feel blue or green or pink. How are those feelings reflected on the pages? Explain any words, like indigo and drapes, which may be unfamiliar to your child.

Beginning Writing

Ask your child to draw how he feels today. Provide paper and an assortment of crayons or markers, so that your child can choose the colors that best fit how he feels. As your child draws, ask about what he’s drawing and about the colors he’s using. Connect or compare the colors with those used in the book for certain feelings. Help your child write his name and word for the feeling he feels today.

Looking for more books about feelings and emotions? Try these:

Explore more reading activities for five-year-olds, or take the Reading BrightStart! Preschool Reading Screener. The screener can help you determine if your child is on the path to reading readiness, and provides a free plan for moving forward.