Endangered Species Book Review:

Endangered Species Have Feelings Too

by Alexandra Delis-Abrams, Ph.D.

Illustrations by Kim Howard

ABC Feelings

reviewed by Anita Lock

 

 

 

 

 

“It’s going to take all of us. We can’t wait for anyone else to do it. It’s up to you and me!”
Masterfully crafted by Alexandra Delis-Abrams, Ph.D.​, a passionate advocate for both animal welfare and the emotional wellbeing of children, ‘Endangered Species Have Feelings Too’ is a unique coloring book that not only gives youngsters something fun to do, but makes them acutely aware of the growing epidemic surrounding the world’s endangered animals. Twenty-six endangered animals narrate their own stories, providing space for children to write down their thoughts and expand their “feelings vocabulary”. To date the volume has scooped up two awards: Creative Child Magazine Book of the Year Award and Best Green Dr. Toy’s 2015.

Endangered Species Have Feelings Too is a coloring book specifically designed to educate young readers about the current condition of endangered species in our world. The intention of Delis-Abrams’ recent book is also to “empower and inspire young people to take action.”

Author of two award-winning books, Delis-Abrams has collaborated with long-time friend Howard to produce a hands-on book that is not only replete with eye-catching pencil drawings of animals for children to color, but also includes vital information that goes beyond traditional educational formats. Each of the twenty-six endangered species in this collection is presented in first person narrative (instead of third person) that is set within two succinct paragraphs. Their personal stories are further enhanced by their feelings, both positive and negative, about their environment. While the first paragraph captures their distinctive qualities, the second paragraph is most startling since children sadly learn how they have been and continue to be abused by humankind. Delis-Abrams’ use of positive “I” statements, such as “I feel bold” and negative ones, such as “I feel baffled,” makes it possible for children to understand that animals have feelings, too, even if they cannot communicate on the same level as humans. This association with feelings enables children to develop compassion for other species that not only inhabit, but also play vital roles in their world. Excellent examples of these essential roles include their part in the food chain and within the ecosystem to maintain balance in the environment and pollination for plant growth. Complete with a glossary of terms used in the narratives, a “What You Can Do” call-to-action page, additional resources for further research, and an animal card game, this is an excellent activity book that should be utilized both at home and at school.

RECOMMENDED by the USR

A little background about ABC Feelings:

Many ABC Feelings customers may be wondering what happened to the product line that has been in the marketplace since 1989. The following is a brief history since its inception. It was after a backpacking trip in The Sierra Mountains with a dear friend, when we starting chatting on the way home about feelings. Before I knew it I had a flash–why not correlate the alphabet with feelings instead of the typical associations to help a child build his/her feelings vocabulary. That was in 1986. Three years later, (1989) ABC Feelings Coloring Book was born which was followed by an “audio tape”, poster, flashcards, carpet, feelings dictionary, and other supportive items based on the idea of encouraging emotional literacy in children (really a disguise for adults). “Where was this book when I was growing up? Raising my kids?”, I heard from many. A participant at a teachers conference told me, “I’m chicken to bring up the subject of feelings in my classroom, because I don’t understand my own.” Fast forward: In 2014 I approached an illustrator friend of mine, Kim Howard, and requested new art for these important supportive tools. Kim said, “Why not Endangered Species?” The coloring book was in print shortly after our collaboration. So, in addition to supporting emotional literacy, the focus now is on endangered species. It depicts gorgeous illustrations, as well as text stating the characteristics of 26 species, as well as WHY each is endangered– each spoken in their own narrative. While speaking to a class of 5th grade students, I asked the question “How many endangered species do you think there are?” i took three answers: “96, 45, and 104.” The teacher was even shocked when I placed the figure of 44,415 on the blackboard. (That was spring of 2016.) This is a book for children and adults on the planet. I love this book, and I know you will also.

We have used Alexandra’s ABC Feelings cards and curriculum in our Toddler program for years and the children have always loved the faces and pictures that accompany emotional experiences. The material inspires conversation and provides a platform for increasing emotional intelligence in very young children. The Guides have always appreciated the experiences that unfold from the ABC classroom material.

I was so excited to learn about Alexandra recent project, Endangered Species Have Feelings Too, and bought a copy for every student. It is a fabulous way for the children to become educated about the status of 26 endangered species as well as continue to increase awareness and emotional vocabulary for older children. We shared the workbook with our Upper Elementary classroom this past year and as expected the beautiful words, pictures and information were invaluable to our students!

Liza Weekes, Executive Director
Pioneer Montessori School
Ketchum, ID 83340

“It is our immense pleasure to have you as an instructor of our ‘Parenting Workshop’ . Forty-six parents and teachers attended the session which was awesome. We are very much grateful towards you for your wonderful presentation on parenting. Our parents and teachers really enjoyed the session and the workshop you conducted. The workshop has been incredibly beneficial to our parents and teaching faculty. We have learned a lot about parenting, feelings, communication and character development into the classroom and home. We would like to thank you for visiting our school, sharing your experiences and expertise with our parents and teaching faculty. We hope your continuous assistance and visit in days to come.”
Medin Lamichhane, Principal, Ullens School, Kathmandu, Nepal

“Thank you so much for The Feelings Dictionary and Journal! Upon flipping through its pages, I realized how many feelings I wasn’t able to put into words, which I now can!”
Anthony, Venice, California, Age 15

“My ten year-old-daughter and I have been listening to your guided meditations at bedtime for several months now, and wanted to let you know what a wonderful help they have been to us. I love the idea of meditation and wanted to teach the practice to my daughter, but was not sure how to go about it. When we started listening to your tapes at bedtime, we both found them to be a perfect way to relax and let go of the activities and worries of the day. Inner Realms is particularly lovely- we have yet to get to the end of the tape before drifting off into a peaceful and contented slumber! We have set up a CD/Tape player by my daughter’s bed, and now whenever she has trouble settling down at night she puts on the tape, listens to your message and is soon soothed into a great night’s sleep. Other parents will want to know about this tool. Thanks for the great work you do! “
Ann and Kenza

“We have used the ABC Feelings poster, cd and book for over two years now in all of our 47 classrooms as part of our social emotional curriculum. Each and every one of our Head Start classrooms uses the poster in their “by myself area” along with the cd. We just added the laminated full-color placeman/mini poster in each room to give teaching staff a way to create another “quiet” place and appropriate activity for a child anywhere in the room. Our program loves these socially responsible education tools. Our teachers will be providing additional feedback at the end of this school year. Thank you for the valuable tools your company provides.”
Maralyn McNally, Education/Behavior Specialist, Macomb County Head Start, MI

“My grandson received The Feelings Storybook as a gift. I spent over one hour with him, reading it and answering the questions in the book, which prompted even more. He noticed the people’s names also began with the same letter. I didn’t. The book works! Congratulations. Nicely done.”
Laura Lauren, R.N., Author

“I like the authors approach and her whole theory of the importance of getting children from the earliest age to be comfortable talking about their feelings. I will be using the book to track different development differences of how Isabel responds at different stages of growth.”
Jason Rosenbaum

“My friends were amazed at the vocabulary my two year old daughter acquired after thanking me for teaching her about the feelings she had.”
Mother

“Thank you so much for these wonderful tools. By using them with my son, we were able to eliminate the deep anger and lack of communication of feelings he had retained due to earlier domestic child abuse. I am recommending them to all my friends who are parents.”
Barry Spilchuk, Co-Author, Cup of Chicken Soup for the Soul

“I bought your 101 Ways to Introduce Feelings Communication and Character Development into the Classroom or Home at the Character Education Partnership conference. It’s wonderful! Just reviewing it stimulates so many ideas, making it easier to approach the faculty. I will be using it to motivate and encourage our faculty towards a deliberate effort in character education.”
Alyssa K. Braffith, Kamehameha High School Honolulu, HI

“Our family counselor has my 7 year old daughter, 3 year old son and I working on our feelings as we go through a family separation from their father. It was so awesome to be able to say to them, ‘Yes, we have just the things to use in order to do that.’I told the counselor all about ABC Feelings flashcards and now he’s thinking about ordering some for all of his customers. Up until now, the counselor has been having the customer just draw their own feelings out on paper. Thank you for caring about everyone’s feelings.”
Ann Anderson, TX

“ABC Feelings, a coloring/learning book is adorable for little children, will stimulate conversation about feelings and help little ones and their parents.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

“I see your book as an excellent reference on ‘feelings’ for the creative teacher and parents. It’s a unique concept to relate the alphabet with human emotions. The child will see inside himself, identify with his feelings, and the adult will learn more about the child.”
Dr. Marcia Stillman, Doctor of Education, Transformation Training Center, Inc., Encino, CA

“I like ABC Feelings. It’s enthusiastic with an emphasis on emotional aspects, rather than the commonplace emphasis on materialistic aspects of childhood. This book should offer opportunities for parents to have meaningful discussions with their children. ‘
Michael Murray, Ph.D., Professor, Drake University, Des Moines, IA

“The book, ABC Feelings, makes me feel joyful, happy, loving and probably excited. Even the parts about being sad, lonely, and mad. I think the book is good for children to learn about their feelings and how they work. It makes me feel like I’m mature and can understand my feelings.”
Amy Martinson, Age 9, Ramsey Elementary, 4th grade, Coeur d’Alene, ID

“Alexandra Delis-Abrams has created in ABC Feelings a book for the child within us all. As I read from page to page I found myself stopping, glancing away and daydreaming about experiences from my own childhood and those shared with my children. This clear book reminds me—in its ability to carefully reach within and bring forth a powerful energy longing to be shared—of the flower whose gentle strength and sure growth splits the stone.”
O. Fred Donaldson, Ph.D., Play and Exploration Consultant, Temecula, CA

“Hooray for you! Finally a self-help book my husband can understand! We have been using your ABC Feelings to help us get in touch, recognize, and understand our feelings. It has opened up a form of communication that we have not shared before. I think every young boy should be issued one in kindergarden and identify and experience his feelings throughout his lifetime, rather then realize at age 30 he hasn’t got a clue as to what he’s feeling. We are active in a Bible study class and will be using it as a study tool, as well as to understand more fully our feelings and sharing within a group. I have given your book to more adults than children, we all need it! Thanks!”
Valaine Hoffmann, Auburn, CA

“I’ve used ABC Feelings products in grades K 3-5 for the past three years. They were used as a vocabulary builder—also for grammar, because the children had a limited vocabulary. The ABC Feelings products helped them to know what word to use to express their feelings. Before they didn’t know any of the positive words to use. Now they call me on my stuff!”
Roger Lickwood, Nuigsut, AK, Trapper School, Special Ed

“Alexandra’s material empowers children, parents and teachers by giving us words to promote empathy, understanding and harmony. I look forward to using this new book in the classroom and at home.”
Vi Conrad, Teacher and Mom

“I am a behavioral therapist working with children with autism and related disorders. I just received a copy of The Feelings Storybook from a friend, and love it. The Feelings Storybook is already a BIG favorite with the children who visit our center!”
Wendy Knowles, Program Manager, Northwest Behavioral Associates

“Your ABC Feelings products are the best products of this type that I have found for my psychological counseling practice.”
Dr. Kimberly Kiddoo, Coral Gables, FL

“I have been recommending your ABC Feelings products to my clients after seeing the benefits derived from using these wonderful tools.”
Ronald Rowe, Family Counselor, Chula Vista, CA

“As a physician in a family practice, and a parent of a 3-year old, when I find beneficial products like ABC Feelings, I recommend them to my patients. Thank you for creating these wonderful products.”
Kate Atkins, MD

“I have recommended ABC Feelings to dozens of my clients and have seen its effectiveness with their children as well as those of my family members.”
Phyllis R. Cazares, Ph.D.

“A couple of years ago, we were having difficulty with our son who was hyperactive. By using your ABC Feelings book and tape, we were saved from putting him on medication.”
M. Santell

“My 4 year-old son takes the poster to bed with him.” Mother

“A child doesn’t have to go through the terrible twos when you use the ABC Feelings products.” Mother

“These products are the most effective tools I have found for my counseling practice.” Counselor

“My 6 year-old son has had a reading and learning challenge. The ABC Feelings activity/flash cards have been a tremendous help in enabling him to improve these skills and abilities. He is a much happier child as a result.” Parent