Sunday, May 14, 2023

Things We Feel by Sylvia Vardell & Janet Wong {Mental Wellness}

Things We Feel
by Sylvia Vardell & Janet Wong is a gift to all readers. It's an alphabet book filled with emotion poems - one for each letter of the alphabet. I instantly looked at the table of contents and wanted to explore the emotions discussed. I found common emotions and some interesting ones; kooky, queasy, victorious, xenial, yucky, and zany. I was excited to use this book with my students and expand our emotion vocabulary.

Each poem has a two page spread with the left side being a full page emotion of child and/or adult physically showing what the emotion can look like. On the right hand side is the poem describing the emotion. The photograph can really help readers understand how to read the emotions of others. I haven't come across a book quite like this in my emotion book gathering journey.

This spring I had a first in my career. A reader found a post it note on the inside title page of a chapter book with some inappropriate words. I was really upset and grateful they were written on a post it note and not the actual inside title page. I had to process how to discuss this with our community and took the evening. I started our conversation by sharing what was discovered and reading the poems - upset, mad, and scared to share how I had been feeling. 

I think I'll keep this book quite handy to read poems titled amazed, brave, excited, and frustrated when we need to reflect on our joy, success, and perseverance.

The back of the book has a fabulous tips section for readers and parents with activities and web resources.

My bibliotherapy moment - there have been several...I'll share the first.

"When I am restless energy fizzes through me and I go all noodley"


  1. This is such a great anthology (no surprise!). I love the way you used it to help voice your own emotions in a difficult situation. Poetry for the win!

  2. I haven't read it yet, Mandy, but do know about it! Sorry about your own emotional 'find' & then having to process it with the students. Perhaps it will be a good thing to talk about it before someone does more? Enjoy your summer!

  3. Thank you this great review, Mandy. I'm proud to have a poem included in this anthology and hope it helps kids and grownups alike understand emotions better. Thank you also for sharing how you used it.

  4. YAY! So happy to see THINGS WE FEEL being spotlighted! I was grateful to have my first poetry publication included in this anthology, "Jealous." Sylvia and Janet and the Pomolo Book family are THE BEST!!

  5. Books and poetry to the rescue!