What to Say When You Don’t Know What to Say
Illustrated by Hilary Jean Tapper / text by Davina Bell
This book has made the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s 2023 Notable list in the Award category for Picture Book of the Year.
I’m not brave enough today.
Maybe next time.
You’re hurting my feelings right now.
You can cry. I don’t mind.
What to Say When You Don’t Know What to Say is a gentle, warm-hearted and thoughtfully crafted picture book revolving around the theme of emotions and processing/expressing them.
On each page we are presented with a wonderfully illustrated scenario, along with a written response that might be appropriate. The response may be a way to try and resolve the issue, or to simply acknowledge the situation and express and/or validate one’s feelings of the moment.
The book covers a wide range of situations, from little everyday things (being brave enough to ask for help) to bigger moments (processing the loss of a pet). And its power lies in always encouraging responses to be honest and open (to oneself and to others), to include empathy and understanding, and to look for positive outcomes.
By reading through these scenarios together, discussing the topics and big feelings they may invoke, parents will have a wonderful resource to help guide their children through some of life’s more awkward, tricky or plain unhappy moments. Always emphasising a thoughtful approach through patience and tolerance, What to Say When You Don’t Know What to Say is full of “empathy, kindness and words from the heart” – from back cover.
Thoroughly recommended reading for all ages.