How Are You Feeling? + Why We Love Ms. Tiffany
How are you feeling today? As adults, we often answer this question with “fine” or some other generic response. Or, if we decide to engage in conversation, we can use our words to describe whatever emotional state we’re in at that moment. What about when you were a child? As a parent, how often can your children articulate the emotions they are feeling? When children are taught emotional intelligence, they are able to pay better attention, are more engaged in school, have better relationships and are more empathetic. I have listed some books that not only help teach children about emotional intelligence, but are fun to read as well!
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
From tired and frustrated, to determined and pleased, this book gives a whole rainbow of emotions to talk about with your child. Encourage your child to look at the body language of the crayons. How would they make this crayon feel better? What can they say out loud in times when they feel similar to this particular crayon? This book can spark creative individuality in children as well as encourage them to be open with how they are feeling.
Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang, illustrated by Max Lang
We all wake up on the wrong side of the bed sometimes. Sometimes, we do not even know why! This book explores unexplained frustrations and how we should not repress them. Children aren’t always bubbly and upbeat, and that’s OK. It’s healthy to recognize what we feel. Negative feelings can pass and, like Jim Panzee, we’ll feel better soon enough. Your child will love the colorful illustrations in this book and the funny dialogue between the animals trying to cheer up the grumpy monkey. Encourage your child to show empathy as they engage with trying to cheer Jim up.
Llama Llama Mad at Mama by Anna Dewdney
Aside from the beautiful illustrations, the fun rhyming and repeating words, and the elegantly written humor, this book is a great reminder that sometimes the outside world can be too much for little ones. Encourage your child to discuss the proper ways to display and respond to anger or frustration.
A Perfectly Messed-Up Story by Patrick McDonnell
This fun and hilariously interactive book is engaging as it teaches your child to embrace life’s messes. Little Louie wants to tell a story, but how can he tell a story if the story isn’t perfect? Use this book as an example of teaching your child to just take a moment and breathe – everything will be OK.
Tiffany Willis is the Youth Associate at the Suburban Acres Library. She has been in the Tulsa City-County Library for 15 years.
Why We Love Ms. Tiffany!
By Laura Raphael, Children’s Services Coordinator, Tulsa City-County Library
As a deeply doting aunt myself, I am naturally drawn to Tiffany Willis, youth associate (which means she caters to both children and teens) at the Suburban Acres Library, because she is FULL AUNT TIFFANY. You can’t have a conversation with her without mentioning one of her nieces, nephews AND great-nieces and nephews. (I can relate. Sorry, Emma and Ben.)
But what stands out about Ms. Tiffany is her undying curiosity about the young people who flock to her side every day – and her desire to do everything she can to connect with them. Her warm smile and gentle presence draw kids and teens in; her knowledge of books and interest in who they are keep them coming back.
She learned this lesson well from one of the library’s greatest children’s librarians ever, Ms. Beverly Jemison, who retired last spring. Tiffany worked with Beverly for nearly 15 years before stepping into her shoes.
“Ms. Beverly always seemed to enjoy working with the children,” says Tiffany. “With every program or storytime she did, it really looked like she was having as much fun as the they were!”
This is now her guiding light: What Would Ms. Beverly Do? – with a fun Ms. Tiffany twist.
In addition to bringing back storytimes and various drop-in events (recently, a candle-making program for all ages), Tiffany has been showcasing the newest books in colorful displays with extra, crafty bookmarks attached.
Oh, and did I mention she is a devoted aunt? Her oldest niece’s 3-year-old twins are the inspiration for many of her book displays and storytime songs (“Roly Poly” is a BIG favorite), and her tween/teen nieces (ages 12 and 14) keep her up to date on the latest crafts. Because of them, she’ll be starting a book and craft club based on the Goddess Girls book series.
During the Summer Reading Program (“Oceans of Possibilities”) this year, which starts June 1, Ms. Tiffany gives us one more reason to love her: She is creating a life-sized aquarium in the children’s area for families to “swim” through and find books and materials that will enrich their lives.
Drop on by – Ms. Tiffany’s welcome knows no bounds, and that’s one of the many reasons we love her!
Laura Raphael is the Children’s Services Coordinator for the Tulsa City-County Library.