Jun 022024
Review: Oh, So Emo! – Dealing with Those Big Feelings
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Book Name: Oh, So Emo! : Dealing with Those Big Feelings
Author: Gayatri
Publisher: Hachette India
Type: Paperback
Length: 200 pages
Recommended Age Group: 10 years+

How do you define emotions? Very hard right? Emotions are still a mystery to me. There are times when I am perfectly happy and something ticks me off and I start sulking. Doesn’t it happen to us often that we don’t know why and what made us feel so sad or angry or vulnerable? Happens to me for sure. And when we as adults can struggle to handle our emotions it must be all the more challenging for our kids. When I joined kids book cafe I came across many amazing picture books to help our little ones deal with their emotions or feelings. And now that my little ones are growing up too soon, this book came like a perfect read to help them get ready for the big emotions.

Oh, So Emo! is like a practical guide to help older kids navigate through their emotions. The story is about a sun bird Sku and his bird gang being the guiding light in the life of 5 friends – Amit, Susie, Frenny, Moin and Neela. The story is about their turmoils and emotional baggage; how Sku helps them to understand their feelings first and then how he shows them the way to cope with those big feelings. 

Our kids are constantly facing immense pressure every day in some way or the other. Be it at school, a sport they play or a dance show they participate in – they are constantly on the go and have different challenges thrown at them. It is therefore very important that as parents we equip them to deal with any situation right from the beginning. Sku and the bird gang does that so beautifully. The most crucial thing is to first accept there is a problem. The next most important thing to understand is that it’s okay to have an issue and it’s absolutely fine to ask for help! And then the universe will conspire to help you set it right. 

The book instills some very important life lessons in a very non preachy way. Mental well being is the basis to a happy and healthy life and what better than teaching this to kids at an early age. They best understand this when told through examples which they can relate to. 

We read this book together and there were so many instances where my 11 yo could totally relate to it. This is indeed a great handbook for him to have as he starts middle school. A very relatable one is Amit’s story who has just left behind his friends and started new school since they moved houses. Divit was in a very similar situation when his division got changed as he started grade 6. All of 11 years, Divit has a very close group of friends and is a very emotional child. These friends have been together from grade 1 till grade 5 . So the reshuffling was a huge heartbreak for my boy. School suddenly became unbearable and he was very disturbed with the thought that he won’t be with his best friends in the same class. Did he cope with it? Yes! It took time but he could do it wonderfully! He found a routine to go find his friend gang during break. They still eat and play together. He knew how to handle his emotions with little help from us. This is how and why one needs a sku in life! Sku can be a parent, a friend, a teacher or even your own personal diary. But you need to understand that opening up to someone and asking for help is just a normal thing.

I strongly recommend this book be read by the parent and child together because that helps open them up through casual conversations. When kids reach a certain age they suddenly stop sharing everything with us. And while doing that many emotions stay bottled up inside. We need to tell our kids no matter what we are their Sku. We are here to listen, here to help, here to handhold them and here to guide them with every small or big emotion that they may find hard to handle.

This is an excellent book that normalises the age old stigma that mental health is a taboo! We choose to go to doctors only when we are physically unwell. But what about mental health? That is as important as physical health and it’s high time we all realise this and prepare the next generation to deal with it in a smarter and better way! 

What I particularly like about the book is the way it is structured. There are stories which just sound like one from our daily life, something we might have come across. So it becomes easier to understand and identify those emotions. And it surely helps to see how it is possible to overcome every emotional turmoil with the help of friends and a Sku in your life. 

Divit loved Amit’s story because that was exactly what he was going through when he read this. The fact that Amit could come out of his big dark mood and make friends again gave him the courage to feel it is fine to be in a new environment. It is a part of life and it will only help him make new friends. He also liked the way each emotion was summarised at the end of a chapter along with Sku’s do’s. He could actually note down his words for what that emotion means to him. And he absolutely loved the wheel of emotions which a beautiful depiction of all the different shades of our moods. 

I think overall this is like a full package – a guidebook to handle emotions told through stories and can be your own personal journal to refer to in times of need. It is about interpretation and how you want to use it.

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Disclaimer: Achira and her sons are part of the #kbcReviewerSquad and received this book as a review copy from the publisher via kbc.

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