Conker is a chameleon who can’t change his colour like the others to show how he is feeling. He comes up with a plan to fit in but on his journey he discovers that it’s ok to be different and he can talk about how he is feeling instead. It is a gentle introduction into good mental health, how to over come disagreements and the benefits of talking about your feelings. It uses the zones of regulation to express feelings in colour. There are also carefully thought out activities on the back pages such as the self care scavenger hunt this is a really subtle introduction to encouraging self-regulation with suggestions such as:
· Hug someone you love (scientifically known to soothe, relax, reduce stress and trigger the release of oxytocin).
· Find something that comes from nature (being in nature, changing your focus helps to calm and re-regulate).
· Find something that makes you smile (smiling tricks your brain into releasing hormones such as dopamine serotonin and endorphins).
There are 10 self-care challenges in total to complete in the scavenger hunt that were designed to specifically either promote natural change to chemicals in your brain, incorporate the 5 steps to mental well-being or encourage mindfulness.
What our testers said
“I sometimes feel sad when I’m not allowed to play on my iPad.” – Boy aged 7
“So Conker can’t show how he is feeling because he can’t change his colour, he has to talk about them instead? It is better to talk about them.” – Girl aged 7
What our experts think
This book does a great job of explaining the importance of feelings and expressing them to a young audience. It brought up many discussions about different emotions and how it is good to be different, and we found the message of the story had a lasting impact – children returned to share their feelings more throughout the day.
When children struggle to describe how they are feeling it can be frustrating, so books like this which get them feeling more comfortable expressing themselves can really benefit their day to day life and communication. This, in addition to listening to others is an important part of developing empathy and helping children to grow into an emotionally intelligent individual. The activity pages at the back of the book are a lovely touch and help children to consolidate what they have learned from the story.
– Encourages children to identify and share different feelings
– Develops empathy, resilience and emotional intelligence
– Promotes listening skills