Children's book on feelings goes for a sequel, featuring female character video

STUFF.CO.NZ

Adam Millen is looking to crowdfund a sequel to his children's book about feelings, Jack Feels Big.

Adam Millen's favourite feeling is frustration. 

That is, his favourite out of the five feelings which make up his first published children's book Jack Feels Big. 

After successfully crowdfunding the project, Millen spent a year putting the book together with illustrator Matt Haworth and released around 400 copies. 

Adam Millen talks about his book Jack Feels Big with the kids at Bell Block primary school.
ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ

Adam Millen talks about his book Jack Feels Big with the kids at Bell Block primary school.

Millen, 28, has now gone back to PledgeMe to source backers for the next instalment, Sophie Feels Big - volumes one and two.

Sophie Feels Big volume one would deal with the same five feelings as Jack - overwhelmed, persistent, brave, lonely and frustrated - but give kids a female protagonist to relate to, Millen said. 

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Sign language of the five feelings in Jack Feels Big was important for author, Adam Millen.
ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ

Sign language of the five feelings in Jack Feels Big was important for author, Adam Millen.

Out of the five feelings, he said "frustrated" was one kids really understood, he said. 

"It's one kids very quickly identify with, and they understand, they see the picture and they know what Jack's feeling."

Millen is an engineer by day, but had come across several parenting blogs on the topic of teaching kids feelings which stirred up his creative brain, he said. 

Jack Feels Big was well received by both parents and teachers who back the book and it was important he create a female character, Sophie, this time around, Millen said. 

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"Last year I read an article laying out how important it is for kids to know the names of their feelings and though it would be great to make a book with stories to teach them those words. 

"Sophie Feels Big volume two will introduce five new feelings and those get to get chosen by those who are backing the crowdfunding campaign," he said. 

"I'm really keen on seeing ashamed be part of it, I think that's an important word for kids to have a concept of both in themselves but also how they relate to other kids." 

The names Jack and Sophie were chosen through statistics as some of the most common children's names of the last seven years, he said. 

Millen toured several New Plymouth schools and preschools in the past week to introduce kids to the story. At Bell Block Primary on Friday, his book captivated two classes of young kids, who quickly took to learning the sign language for each of the feelings. 

Millen said he had worked with Lisa Masters, from New Plymouth, to put the New Zealand Sign Language actions into the illustrations of the book. This was not only to relate to children who may not have developed language yet, but also children who were part of the deaf community, he said.

 - Stuff

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