I haven’t made new Creative Wellness Resolutions since 2018, oops! Back then, I defined them as “bringing my focus to creative maintenance instead of artistic output.” My son was a few months from turning two years old, and as he gained more independence and a little language, my creativity started peeking around the corner. Interestingly, I’m in a similar season of life now, in a few months, my daughter will be two, and I feel the same desire to raise my head, look around, and be inspired.
Do you have a favorite picture book? I have a few, and it’s so delicious when my kids choose one at bedtime that is both visually beautiful and a delight to read. My recommendation: Matthew Forsythe’s Pokko and The Drum. With a background in animation, graphic novels, and painterly illustration, Matthew Forsythe created a children’s book that I want to hold right up to my nose to see all the brush strokes and layers. The story is simple enough for very young kids to follow but has funny, subversive moments that appeal to my son and set it apart from the sea of moralistic picture books.
Our Interview is your kick-start to creation this year: we discuss Forsythe’s career as a working Illustrator, and he gives you permission to stop networking (yes, please).
I’ve been slowly listening to this super thought-provoking book about surrendering to your feelings instead of distracting yourself (hello nightly cocktails, hello wayyyy too many podcasts filling every moment of silence). The premise is that if you take time to sit in your feelings, you will live your life with more clarity and resonance. It’s got me thinking about how we teach our kids about their feelings, especially anger and frustration.
I’m still grappling with how and when to encourage my kids to express their big feelings. I’d love to raise them in an accepting, patient, judgment-free home, but listening to a thirty-minute tantrum is exceptionally depleting after a long day at work (or, anytime, really). So, at a loss and already overloaded on parenting books, I searched for the best picture books for kids about feelings. Here are our current favorites, all four-year-old approved.