Wednesday, March 24, 2021

ReFoReMo Day 18: Author Lauren Kerstein Focuses on Feelings

As an author and critiquer, I focus on feelings, resonance, and the emotional arc of the story. The following mentor texts pack a powerful emotional punch.

I AM THE STORM by Jane Yolen and Heidi E.Y. Stemple/ Illustrated by Kristen and Kevin Howdeshell

 

“But when the wind and sea calmed, as hurricanes always do, we went back home. It’s okay to be scared.”

 









PARKER LOOKS UP: AN EXTRAORDINARY MOMENT by Parker Curry and Jessica Curry/ Illustrated by Brittany Jackson

 

““She is a queen,” Parker whispered, unable to look away, to move, to breathe. In that moment, Parker saw more than just a portrait—she saw a road before her with endless possibilities.”

 








I AM EVERY GOOD THING by Derrick Barnes/ Illustrated by Gordon C. James

 

“I’m the BOOM-BAP—

BOOM-BOOM-BAP

when the bass line thumps and the

kick drum jumps.

I’m the perfect beat, the perfect rhyme,

keeping everything on point and

always on time—”

 





DEAR EARTH… FROM YOUR FRIENDS IN ROOM 5 by Erin Dealey/ Illustrated by Luisa Uribe

 

“Your letter arrived on the wind. A whisper of hope in the night.”

 









THE REMEMBER BALLOONS by Jessie Oliveros/ Illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte

 

“Every time I almost reach it, but it always slips away.” 

 











Below you’ll find a collage of additional mentor texts. I included my latest, HOME FOR A WHILE (Magination Press/Illustrated by Natalia Moore). I poured out my therapist's heart into Calvin’s story, and hope it gives readers the opportunity to “feel all the feels.”

 

Reach deep inside. Make your readers cry, gasp, and laugh. Make your readers feel!





Lauren is giving away 2 different prizes to two lucky winners: 1) A 45-minute Zoom or phone consultation to discuss ideas, and assess viability, marketability, and the heart of your manuscript. 2) A swag package. To be eligible for prizes throughout the challenge, you must be registered by March 1, comment on each post, consistently read mentor texts, and enter the Rafflecopter drawing at the conclusion of ReFoReMo.


Lauren Kerstein is an author and psychotherapist. She is a Jersey girl at heart who currently lives in Colorado with her husband, their two dragons...er, daughters, and their rescue dog. Lauren is the author of the Rosie the Dragon and Charlie picture book series (Illustrated by Nate Wragg/Two Lions). Her latest picture book, HOME FOR A WHILE (Illustrated by Natalia Moore/Magination Press) moved into shelves February 2, 2021. Lauren also writes books in her field. Lauren is one of the founders of #ReVISIONweek, a judge with Rate Your Story, runs a critique business, and is a long-time member of 12x12 and SCBWI. Her writing goals are simple. Read voraciously. Embrace feedback. Grow each day. Work hard. Be passionate. Write courageously. Touch children’s hearts. You can visit her at www.LaurenKerstein.net, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram (@LaurenKerstein) and FB (https://www.facebook.com/laurenkersteinauthor).



179 comments:

  1. Two of these titles brought tears to my eyes. All of them made me feel something. Thanks for this great list of mentor texts.

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  2. Great post Lauren! Home for A While definitely has all the feels. Congrats! Thank you for the great list & collage of mentor texts that evoke feelings. Fun to see so many books of CPs & ones I adore (Yeah, Mother Bruce!) Thanks again.

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  3. Yes, touching our emotions and heartstrings is so important. Thanks for this reminder and for the great recommendations.

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  4. Thank you, Lauren. for your list of mentor texts that pack a powerful punch. Great list!

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  5. Fantastic selection to stir up emotion. Thank you

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  6. That's some bonus collage of texts with emotional heart, Lauren! Thank you so much for contributing to the world in all the ways you do. Looking forward to reading HOME FOR AWHILE. Congratulations on its February launch!

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  7. A treasure box of wonderful mentor texts that resonate with heart. Thanks for this list, Lauren.

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  8. Thanks for the great group of titles that make the reader "feel", Lauren.

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  9. Yes, so much emotional resonance in today's mentor texts, and also so comforting to children.

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  10. Thank you Lauren! This is a great list of poignant emotions. I love the additional collage, and I look forward to reading your new book!

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  11. You've included lots of my favorites!

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  12. Such a wonderful collection of mentor texts! Thanks for the post!

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  13. Thanks for the extended list, Lauren. Some old (and new?) favourites there. Feelings, resonance and emotional arc - definitely things to prioritise.

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  14. I love that books like these give new generations permission to feel all these feelings! So important!

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  15. Beautiful books. Thanks for sharing!

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  16. These are great examples and I'll have to see which I didn't read from your little collage. But this post reminded me that it doesn't have to be the whole story that gives you a feeling. Just a sentence to make you say "Aw!," "Wah!" or "Wow!" is what you need.

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  17. Lauren, these books that reach us deep in our hearts are so wonderful. We all need to be able to express these emotions and share them by reading or writing a book. TY.

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  18. Beautiful books. Thank You Lauren. I look forward to reading all of the additional texts you mentioned.

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  19. Such great books - and don't forget HOME FOR AWHILE :) Thank you so much for sharing all the feelings. Lynne Marie

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  20. These are all beautiful books. Thanks for the post.

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  21. Thanks for sharing these books, Lauren! I see a few of my favorites in your collage! I look forward to reading your newest release!

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  22. Thank you for the list of books that show deep feelings in really different ways.

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  23. I love picture books that pack an emotional punch and love that your writing brings out the therapist in you. I can't wait to read your book Lauren and thank you for the inspiring mentor texts.

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  24. Thank you for sharing so many great titles! The best books are the ones that bring out intense emotion.

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  25. Lauren - thanks for reminding us to dig deep and make our readers feel something! I also love your mentor text collage. Can't wait for your new book!

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  26. Reading your post brought back the glow I felt when I read these stories. Can’t wait to read yours.

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  27. These are beautiful goals: Read voraciously. Embrace feedback. Grow each day. Work hard. Be passionate. Write courageously. Touch children’s hearts.

    Thank you for sharing!

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  28. Hi Lauren! Great list. I need to read I AM EVERY GOOD THING. Thanks for sharing.

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  29. These mentor texts eased into the cavity that holds my heart. I look forward to reading Home For A While.

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  30. All these books are openers to important conversations. Thank you for getting us started with the list.

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  31. Great mentor texts about feelings. I have always loved - the remember balloons - what a beautiful way to introduce and explain to a young child the concept of an aging relative losing their memories.

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  32. Getting the perfect emotional punch is not always easy. These are great mentor texts.

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  33. I've used a few of these in your collage as mentor texts for one of my mss. It always leaves people in happy tears but yet still hasn't found a home. Someday maybe. Thank you!

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  34. Thank you for the great list and collage! They have so much heart.

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  35. Thanks for sharing these books that convey deep feelings!

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  36. Thank you for sharing such great titles that evoke a range of feelings!

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  37. Thanks for the bonus collage! I love today's books and focus!

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  38. I had no idea so many texts such as the ones you brought forward in the group BELOW the mentor texts existed and they made for enlightening extended learning for me. I thank you for bringing them to my attention!

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  39. Love your mentor list of books with heart. I will read them all!

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  40. Good list of books to read! Thank you for the snap shot of additional books. I loved DEAR EARTH...FROM YOUR FRIENDS IN ROOM 5. This book really made me smile to imagine children, sending a letter to an unknown entity, and then to get a response!!!! Their surprise wold be precious and exciting to witness. The emotions and feelings written into this story were well done. Thank you!

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  41. Thank you for your post and sharing your ideas!

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  42. Great mentor texts written with beautiful language. Thank you.

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  43. This is exactly the post I have been needing! Tying these books together set my imagination on fire!

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  44. Great selection, Lauren. And I'm adding Calvin's Story to my reading list too.
    thank you.

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  45. Thank you so much for all the additional titles!

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  46. Thank you for the recommendations. I can't get enough of PARKER LOOKS UP. Also, thank you for the reminder that our stories should make readers feel something.

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  47. Thank you, Lauren! I haven't read PARKER LOOKS UP: AN EXTRAORDINARY MOMENT yet, but can't wait after reading that powerful sample passage!

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  48. Great post, Lauren. HOME FOR A WHILE sounds like a book I'll love. It's a story many children will be able to relate to.

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  49. Love that phrase: "Feel the feels". Such great mentor texts. Thanks so much for the inspiration

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  50. Thank you Lauren for these picks most of which I loved and enjoyed and the way Dear Earth and the Storm weave the story from children to a storm's force. And the Remember Balloons sad but loved the boy connected with his grandfather.

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  51. Focusing on feelings and the emotional arc of the mc is something that resonates with me in my writing as well. Thank you for including additional mentor texts as unfortunately I was unable to locate some on the reading list.

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  52. I was very excited by this list of mentor texts as the emotion piece has been something I am struggling with as an aspiring picture book author. I am anxious to use the examples and some of those in the collage as well as Lauren's book on foster children as inspiration. I Am the Storm by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple, illustrated by Kristen and Kevin Howdeshell is an excellent book that shows how to deal with fear especially during different types of storms. It shows how to make the best out of a bad situation like having a party in the basement during a tornado, etc. It also shows that it is okay to be scared. "Nature is strong and powerful but I am too. I am Loud and fierce I am the storm" This is a very empowering book. Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment by Parker and Jessica Curry, illustrated by Brittany Jackson shows how one moment can transform your life. A young girl visits a art museum with family and friends and is mesmerized by a portrait of Michelle O'bama.She sees her as a symbol of hope and possibility for Parker herself. It shows that "anything is possible, regardless of race, class or gender." This is incredibly empowering for all readers. I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Bainess, illustrated by Gordon James is another empowering title that encourages readers to celebrate everything that makes them the person they are. In a powerful first person voice it challenges the reader by saying "I am worthy to be loved-I am every good thing that makes every good thing go like the center of a cinnamon roll-I am victory! I want it all!" This book is full of self affirming language and encourages self esteem. Dear Earth from your Friends in Room 5 by Erin Healry, illustrated by Luisa Uribe is a collection of letters from kids to the planet earth asking how they can to save the earth with replies from the
    earth that develops into a lasting friendship, a school Earth Club and hopefully lifelong habits. This will empower readers to become earth heroes as well. The Remember Balloons by Jessie Oliveros, illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte is an extremely touching story that focuses on the importance of memories especially when dealing with a grandparent's loss of memory due to dementia or other conditions. The little boy in the story comes to realize that when Grandpa no longer has memory balloons of his own, he needs to help Grandpa keep those memories alive and share them with his grandpa. This is a tender heart wrenching book that would be really helpful for kids going through this experience but is touching for all readers as well. All of these books really pull at the heartstrings. I hope to read Lauren's book, Home for A While when I can. I know many kids today have been in the foster child system and I am sure could relate. Thanks so much for all these suggestions!

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  53. I especially like the concept of remembering balloons.

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  54. LAUREN: This is SUCH an IMPORTANT topic! THANK YOU for the INSPIRATION to infuse our writing with emotions of ALL kinds in order to help our readers "feel all the feels." One book that does an AMAZING job in accomplishing this is THE HAPPY BOOK AND OTHER FEELINGS by Andy Rash. I am SO HAPPY, GLAD, EXCITED, THRILLED that this was introduced to me through ReFoReMo this year. And just seeing the book on your list, THE REMEMBER BALLOONS, was enough to bring back a wave of emotions, as I recalled the first time I read it. NOW THAT'S writing with a "powerful emotional punch"--right to the heart. I CAN'T WAIT to delve into the other books you've recommended, TOO--including the WONDERFUL examples of your own writing. THANK YOU!!!

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  55. I love the books you chose to share with us. Thanks!

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  56. Lauren, what a great selection of mentor texts! Thank you for sharing!

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  57. Thank you for sharing these wonderful mentor texts.

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  58. Thank you for this fabulous post on feelings, Lauren. I learned a lot about emotional arcs through the mentor texts you shared. PARKER LOOKS UP was so powerful.

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  59. Thank you for the great titles, Lauren. I just listened to you read HOME FOR A WHILE. Loved it!

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  60. This is another weak area for me. Thanks for the mentors to help me improve.

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  61. evafelder@hotmail.com

    Thank you Lauren for today's choice of books.
    I will write your list of GOALS in different colors and post it in a special place so I can read it many times a day.
    Your book Home For a While is wonderful, it will touch many children. I loved the breathing exercises and kneading the dough. I am sure that many adults would benefit following your instructions.
    As I never met my grandparents, The Remember Balloon is very special to me. This book is fabulous for kids who are faced with changes in aging relatives and friends.
    I just finished seeing an interview with Jessica Curry and her daughter Parker. How magnificent to be a child and create a book with your mother. They are writing their second book. She is inspiring many girls. I loved the line: "How could someone look so real and so magical, all at the same time?"
    I can not find enough words to describe how magical is the combination of Derrick Barnes and Gordon James. Two friends living in the same city touching so many lives. Every page is magnificent. All the colors displayed on a dark skin is so different from other illustrations. I think that I will start collecting their books.

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  62. Lauren: Thank you for the lovely collage of outstanding picture book titles that evoke motion. I look forward to reading HOME FOR AWHILE.

    Suzy Leopold

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  63. What a beautiful post Lauren! :) I read some of these titles and look forward to reading the rest.

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  64. Thank you for some lovely choices, these all have so much emotion.

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  65. Thank you so much, Lauren! I appreciate the reminder to focus on emotional resonance, and these are fantastic, inspiring mentor texts.

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  66. I still need to get my hands on Dear Earth...From Your Friends in Room 5. I've read the others, and, yes, they take the reader on an emotional journey. Thanks for the recs! Good luck with Home For a While!

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  67. thank you. You are so correct in your choices. Reading each one did bring emotions to the surface. I saw the same emotions in the eyes of my young listeners too. thank you.

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  68. The Remember Balloons and The Rabbit Listened are two of my favorites here. I recently purchased a copy of The Rough Patch because it was the first picture book that made me cry and for a book to move me like it did, I needed my own copy.

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  69. Such a good, foundational principle to think about when revising any PB manuscript. Books that touch the emotions make the greatest impact. Thanks!

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  70. Thank you. These are really great examples. The Remember Balloons is a personal favorite because it completely mirrored my feelings dealing with Alzheimer's in my family and gave me a tool to explain the condition to my little ones.

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  71. I love these books, and the importance of having something to guide a conversation around grief, happiness, inspiration, etc., with kids. So many times we tell kids not to feel, but really should talk about HOW to feel!

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  72. Parker Looks Up was fabulous and I read it each time it's been listed (I bought it) and I have seen that painting in the National Portrait Gallery and it is stunning! I want that dress! The book reminds me of the look of wonder in the eyes of young children and how I long for that delight in my own children now that they are older and harder to impress. The Remember Balloons made me tear up and touches close to home. I love your collage of covers - so many great texts in there. Thank you for sharing you doorway to heart.

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  73. Thank you for sharing your collection of meaningful mentor texts...books that touch the hearts of the reader (young and old). I noticed many are written in first person so the reader empathizes with the message. These picture books provide comfort and hope. This is an important post to remember...my new balloon is turquoise.

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  74. Thank you for stopping by and sharing these wonderful titles. I read The Remember Balloons when it first came out and it was a gift to go back to it and remember how wonderful and moving it is. And I Am Every Good Thing... WOW. Just incredible. Thanks again!

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  75. Wow,for lack of a better word for the way each of these books make you feel in 32ish pages. I loved Parker Looks U: An extraordinary Moment as the second part of the title really sums up the readers experience as he/she turns the page to see Michelle Obama staring at you from the gallery. You feel what Parker must have felt as she looked at the portrait. A wonderful selection. Thank you for curating them.

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  76. Thank you, Lauren, for sharing these beautiful texts that pack a powerful emotional punch. I look forward to reading HOME FOR A WHILE.

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  77. You've chosen some of my favorite books! I love I Am The Storm and The Remember Balloons. Thanks Lauren for the great post!

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  78. Thanks so much for this list, Lauren, and for the sample quotes from each. They helps illustrate your point of emotional content, and also help me since I can't always find every book on the daily lists!

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  79. This is such a lovely group of books. All the feels!

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  80. Thank you so much for this incredible list! Every single title was amazing. I Am a Storm by Jane Yolen is such a reassuring way for children to acknowledge their fears and finding positive ways to deal with natural disasters. I wanted to say "Amen!" to so many lines of I Am Every Good Thing. Dear Earth ...is such a beautiful, creative way of endearing the earth to children's hearts so they will want to take care of it. The Remember Balloons is so moving and helpful. Finally, Parker Looks Up is a powerful reminder that even little children can be deeply moved by art and representation. Thanks again!

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  81. These are all excellent books to draw out our emotions. I was especially touched by The Remember Balloon as my son was especially close to my dad. I remember at the funeral that my son said, "I'm never going to see him again." Broke my heart.

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  82. Lauren, can we be friends? I feel like we may be kindred spirits. These are my favorite kind of books. Our feelings are as important as the air we breathe, and I love that we can bring this insight to children by way of picture books.

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  83. Every single story gave me chills. Parker Looks Up was my favorite. Thank you for choosing such fine examples.

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  84. What an amazing and beautiful post and texts. Thank you your thoughtful suggestions. THE REMEMBER BALLOONS is one of my favorites though so many on your "extras" collage are all time favorites. Congratulations on HOME FOR A WHILE. I look forward to reading it.

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  85. These books are great examples of picture books that pack an emotional punch! Thank you for highlighting these & including the collage of other mentor texts.

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  86. Thank you for sharing mentor texts that focus on feelings and the emotional arc of a story.

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  87. You have shared such beautiful, heart-filled books. I'm going to dig into all the ones you have listed. It is amazing how such big emotions can be expressed in a 32-page picture books.

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  88. Finding the heart of a story can make all the difference. Great titles.

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  89. Great post with wonderful examples. I just read and loved PARKER LOOKS UP. Thanks, Lauren!

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  90. I loved, loved, loved I Am the Storm. As a former art therapist, I am naturally drawn to books that deal with emotions, and I'm very excited to move through your list of recommendations. Thank you!

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  91. Is anyone else feeling overwhelmed with all the great books to study? Wow!

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  92. Lauren, thank you so much for the list of books with heart and emotion. I've read some and hope to read them all, especially your Home for a While. Thanks again.

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  93. Great list! Lately, I've wanted picture books that make me laugh. It's been that kind of year and a half! Thank you!

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  94. I LOVE books with all the FEELS! Thanks for the recommendation. Looking foreward to buying your book!

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  95. DEAR EARTH… FROM YOUR FRIENDS IN ROOM 5 by Erin Dealey/ Illustrated by Luisa Uribe was a wonderful read. I love how the relationship between the children & the Earth grows into a wonderful friendship. Watching the children become, "The Earth Heroes," was a great transition.

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  96. Wonderful books for today. Thank you so much!

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  97. The collage is very exciting and helpful! I remember covers better than titles. Thank you!

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  98. Another fantastic round of remarkable children's books. Thank you for this inspiration!

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  99. Each of these books empowers kids in unique ways. Beautiful! My heart feels full. Thanks too for the extra list, via collage.

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  100. Your collage of mentor texts was interesting. You included quite a variety of styles and emotions.

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  101. Thanks for sharing this great collection! I think my favorites are I Am The Storm, and I Am Every Good Thing! Lots of feeling along with the positive messages in both!

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  102. Thank you, Lauren. Beautiful books with such emotion and heart!!

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  103. These are some great books that really hit that sweet spot by drawing in the reader and capturing their emotions.

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  104. A great list of books. I really enjoyed HOME FOR A WHILE.

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  105. comments by Rhonda Kay Gatlin Pulling out emotions is the heart of the stories. I thought these books fit right in today. I'm an emotional person and the books sent a rush of feelings. Making me feel heights and some lows of emotion. Good choice.

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  106. Love this list, Lauren! I Am the Storm is a new favorite. Thanks for sharing this wonderful selection of feelings books!

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  107. I love the notion of studying feelings in a set of mentor text. Thank you for the fabulous list.

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  108. Sharing Parker Looks Up on my Facebook group for parents and grandparents!

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  109. Picture books with a strong emotional arc are great texts to study. Your list is great, with several I've not read yet. Thanks!

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  110. I loved the Remember Balloons from the very moment I first read it and "I am the Storm" is also a new favorite in our house!

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  111. Just reread The Remember Balloons...yikes!

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  112. Oh to make a reader cry, gasp, laugh! I'm working on it. A sigh or a giggle would be great as well.

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  113. Thank you, Lauren, for sharing these mentor texts where the emotions linger long after we've read the final page. The word choices, subject matter, and structure in these books really pack a punch.

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  114. These are all great books and even though I've read some before, it's a treat to read them again and consider them as mentor texts.

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  115. P'toing! Those are my heartstrings being tugged. Thanks for these beauties.

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  116. Great list. I AM EVERY GOOD THING by Derrick Barnes/ Illustrated by Gordon C. James is a great one for showing, not telling

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  117. I love every book on this list, Lauren! Thank you!

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  118. I ditto the above - this is a great list! Thank you for putting them in one place for us.

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  119. OH my...all the feels! These books are so full of heart. Thank you for sharing these wonderful mentor texts!

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  120. The Remember Balloons gives me all the feels! Such a beautiful and important book.

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  121. Such a great list of big feelings books. Thank you, Lauren!

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  122. Those stories do serve quite the emotional punch. Thank you for the other recommendations.

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  123. I love your writing goals: "Read voraciously. Embrace feedback. Grow each day. Work hard. Be passionate. Write courageously. Touch children’s hearts."

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  124. Brilliant books to study. And that collage of more...my goodness. Thanks so much!

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  125. I am the Storm and The Remember Balloons were very powerful. I'm a Jane Yolen fan but seems to love books that talk about the blessings that come in a storm. Very solid ideas and concepts to study. Thanks for these suggestions. I enjoyed reading them. Even Parker Looks up reminded me of times I took my daughter to the museum, reminding me to pay attention to powerful moments.

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  126. Great suggestions. These mentor texts are spot on!

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  127. I think the feeling element of a story is the one-two punch that keeps a story with you after you close the book. Thank you for these mentor texts.

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  128. ...feelings, resonance, and the emotional arc..." - Boy, that's a recipe for success if I ever saw one! We should all strive for these ingredients in our stories. Thank you for these wonderful examples to study!

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  129. Thanks for the great list, Lauren. I love books that give children permission to feel and be themselves. I appreciate the collage you created.

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  130. What a wonderful list to study for packing in the emotion in what it looks like different ways. I also just watched the American Psychological Assoc reading of Home For A While. I am in awe of your story and structure, but most of all your touching book that the world needs. Congrats!

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  131. Thanks for a great list of powerful books, and congratulations on Home For A While! I've worked with many kids in foster care and was so pleased to see this.

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  132. Wow, what a great variety of 'emotions' topic books for young children. I'm inspired! As a child and person with 'big emotions', I find these great mentor texts and look forward to using them for my writing, as well as in work with children I know- Thanks!

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  133. Thank you so much for all those add'l mentor texts! It can be hard to find the balance between truly emotive writing for kids, and not entirely write over their heads.

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  134. Thank you for the focus on feelings. These books handle the heavy lifting well.

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  135. A great selection of titles here - thank you very much!

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  136. Each book was so well done. Hard issues and yet hopeful. Thank you!

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  138. OOPS!
    Hi Lauren--thanks so much for bringing these fabulous titles to my attention. Many of them are new to me. I caught your book launch presentation last month (was it with Second Star to the Right?) and really enjoyed it. Hope all is well with you! Take care.

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  139. Thanks so much for this great selection of Big Emotions titles.

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  140. Thank you for sharing your recommendations of "feeling" mentor texts with us!

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  141. I loved these stories. They're well written books that evoke a range of emotions.

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  142. PARKER LOOKS UP grabbed me as I read it, but THE GIVING TREE has been my all time favorite "emotional" picture book for many years. So many layers creating so many emotions for me. I hope one day I am lucky enough to create a masterpiece like that one from my own imagination. Thanks for sharing these great books with us.

    Donna L Martin

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  143. I love how stories can move us, can take us to new places in our hearts and minds. Great stories!

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  144. PARKER LOOKS UP remind me of a story my cousin, a former art teacher told me. Friends of hers took their child to a museum once a week and looked at one work of art for about 20 minutes and then left. In this book, we have a child connecting with a work of art.

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  145. Focus on feelings - these mentor texts do that so well. It takes a lot of practice to get that right.

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  146. I fell in love with EAR EARTH… FROM YOUR FRIENDS IN ROOM 5 by Erin Dealey/ Illustrated by Luisa Uribe, and purchased it! The letters back and forth was so clever. Thank you for your choices :)

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  147. I AM THE STORM! Wow, Jan Yolan does it again! But I must say, I equally loved HOME FOR A WHILE!! Thank you for sharing this beautiful story with us!

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  148. Love this post! And I love all the feels! Thank you, Laurie!

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    1. Whoops - Lauren! Dang autocorrect. So sorry!

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  149. Oh the feels! So important to get them in our stories! Thanks for these great examples!

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  150. Notice how two of the books were titled "I am" . . . With young children it is all about "look at me - see who I am - even though I don't know yet!"

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  151. Thank you for these mentor texts and important post. As a foster parent, I can't wait to read your HOME FOR A WHILE!

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  152. Powerful feelings, powerful moments, powerful stories!

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  153. Such wonderful books! And the reminder to feel is so important because sometimes we don't actually know what we feel and why...exploring this at a young age will pay off down the road.

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  154. This is an incredible list of mentor texts to support heart and feelings in my WIPs. Thank you! And seeing several favorites!

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  155. Great books for looking at the emotional journey. (And I love your list of goals for your writing!)

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  156. Thank you for sharing about the emotional journey!

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  157. Thanks for reminding me of some books I've been wanting to read!

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  158. I hadn't known about Yolen's I AM THE STORM and consider it to be powerful and amazing. Thank you for this list!

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  159. I cannot wait to read your newest book. The illustration on the cover of I Am the Storm is beautiful. A great pairing of illustration and text.

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  160. Lauren, thank you for this amazing list and all the bonus books too! I am committing to reading every single one of them. As someone who often "feels all the feelings" I have found it surprisingly challenging to write "sad." "Writing courageously" is going to be my new mantra!

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  161. Thanks for the recommendations. There were some goodies here. I enjoyed your new book and can see how the texts helped you make it your own. Congrats and thank-you.

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  162. Thank you for a great list of books that focus on heart and feelings.

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  163. Wow, Lauren, thank you so much! The mentor texts are some of my very favorites and your additional texts you listed below are beautiful! I can't wait to check on the ones I haven't yet read. Thank you again!

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  164. Such brilliant mentor texts. Love The Remember Balloons for its unique metaphor.

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  165. I’m so excited my library had all but one of your recommended books (even if I had read a couple before, I like re-reading with new insight). Thanks for sharing!

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  166. What excellent recommendations! I especially liked Parker Looks Up. It moved ME to tears to realize how much that experience meant to this young girl. All of these stories hit the mark when it comes to eliciting feelings.

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  167. Developing the emotional arc seems to be the most difficult for me, but what a list to explore and help me!

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  168. So many ways to tap into feelings and emotional arcs. I was moved
    by so many of these mentor texts, Lauren, and surprised in the best of ways
    (“Parker Looks Up”). The illustrations in “Dear Earth” tell their own heart-story.
    And “The Remember Balloons” is from such a unique perspective…and brought
    tears to my eyes. Thank you.

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  169. Thank you for these mentor texts. Such beautiful heartfelt books!

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