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Monica Portogallo praises the new addition to a series of picture books that help children learn to process their challenging emotions.

I’ve heard people say that for men in our society, anger is the only socially acceptable emotion; therefore, some men learn to express emotions like sadness as anger. As the mother of two boys, I always appreciate resources that help kids process a variety of emotions in a healthy way, especially ones from a Catholic perspective. That’s why I have really enjoyed the Handling Your Emotions book series from Ignatius Press, and the newest addition to it, Sadness, is no exception. 




Sadness presents three short stories where kids experience sadness and practice the virtues of altruism, hope, and gratitude to cope. Using simple language, this book explains to children (and to their parents in the parents’ section) what sadness is, how to recognize it, and strategies to get through it.   

Since this is a children’s book, I invited my third-grader to also read and review it. He enjoyed the stories, saying they were good examples of things kids might go through. He thought this would be a helpful resource for kids dealing with sadness. As for the parents’ section, I found that it offered some helpful, concrete suggestions for parents going through the potentially overwhelming situation of having a sad child.  

Triggers for sadness—the death of a loved one, a friend moving away, and others—are unavoidable in this world. With resources like Sadness, though, they might be just a little bit easier for our kids to handle. 

Ask for Sadness at your local Catholic bookseller, or order online from Amazon.com or the publisher, Ignatius Press.




Copyright 2023 Monica Portogallo
Images: Canva