The Colour Monster

A book about emotions

Happiness, sadness, anger, fear and calm. As adults, we understand these emotions – but in the mind of a four-year-old, or even an 11-year-old (especially if they have special needs), these can be confusing or hard to explain.

This is what Anna Llenas tries to do with her book The colour monster. The story is told by a little girl who introduces the reader to her friend, a little monster, who is very confused because his colours are mixed up together. She tells him this is because his feelings are mixed up too, and offers to help him sort them out into bottles.

Do you know how to recognise an emotion?

Emotions are something we constantly feel and can happen when actions or feelings stir a certain response within us. We may feel emotions from a situation, an experience, or from memories. They assist us to understand the things we are experiencing and to express the way those things make us feel whether they are good or bad.

In psychology, when we talk about emotions, we identifies two groups: primary and secondary. What I will explore today, and what you can find in this book, are the primary emotions.

Primary emotions are the body’s first response, and they are usually very easy to identify because they are so strong. The most common primary emotions are fear, happiness, sadness, disliking and anger.

If some of these emotions combine together, you could have feelings such as joy, envy, anxious, shame and so on. These are called secondary emotions.

The writer tries to describe different settings. For example fear is a grey monster in a scary black forest, anger is especially effective with the red monster appearing to jump out of the pages, mouth opening wide.

The book has been very successful, and it is possible to find different version of it, even a pop up edition.

So, ready to interact with you child and let him explore his feelings?

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