Book review: You Are Your Strong, by Danielle Dufayet, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin

Dufayet, Danielle. You Are Your STRONG. Illustrated byJennifer Zivoin. Magination Press, 2019. $17.99. ISBN 9781433829390. Unpaged. Ages 4-8. P8 Q9

When life is difficult, where can one find strength? This beautifully illustrated book explores children experiencing a wide range of feelings including worry, calm, scared, brave, sad, love, mad, gentle, and strong. The book counteracts feelings that cause children to feel uncomfortable with feelings that comfort them. Through adult modeling, children learn how to develop strategies to work through the uncomfortable feeling they experience, so they can find their own “inner strong.” The variety of diverse children and different family members helps this book feel inclusive. Starting with beautiful gold tones on the cover, to richly colored illustrations on quality paper, this book is beautiful and well done. The illustrations match the feeling that is being described. On the sad page, it is raining outside and the page is grey, while the mad page has red tones. It validates children’s feelings and at the same time, gives them strategies to work through the feelings and come to a place of resolution where the child feels more content. When describing Strong, the illustrations are magical, drawing the child in, helping them visualize what a gift their “inner strong” is. The book includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers that explains how parents/caregivers can validate their child’s emotions, pause before problem solving, model coping skills, develop a coping kit, and when they need to seek support.

Verdict: If you want a book that empowers exploration of children’s emotions and at the same time helps them develop self-awareness, internalize strength and then use that strength to promote their own calmness, this is the book for you. I highly recommend this valuable book.

November 2018 review by Tami Harris.

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