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Emily's Picks: helping kids to understand their feelings


When fellow parents ask how I find time to read with a toddler at home, I tell them I read what I love! Here's a peek at what I’m enjoying and what my child and I are reading together, because finding books they love will help your kids read more, too.


What I’m reading: “Nothing to See Here” by Kevin Wilson. A woman stuck in a dead-end life takes a nanny job looking after the stepchildren of an old friend. It’s a cushy gig—except the kids have the disconcerting habit of bursting into flames when they’re upset. It sounds quirky, but feels real and grounded. Yes, it's about two children who catch on fire, but it's also about friendship, forgiveness and finding a way to live generously in the circumstances of your life, even if you're not sure you can.


What we’re reading: “When Sadness Is at Your Door” by Eva Eland. A child experiences sadness as an unexpected visitor in this short and gentle book. It’s an effective way to help kids understand that it’s okay to feel sad. The story also reminds parents and caregivers that we don’t always need to fix our children’s emotions; we can help them learn to sit with hard feelings instead.


Emily Calkins is the readers' services program coordinator for the King County Library System, where she specializes in connecting readers with stories, authors and each other. She is also the co-host of the library’s podcast, The Desk Set. As a reader, she likes flawed characters, atmospheric world-building, and anything with a slow-burn romance. When she’s not reading or listening to audiobooks, she’s cooking, gardening and spending time with her husband and toddler.

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