It’s OK to feel the way you do
Written by Josh Langley
Released: October 2017
Book title: It’s OK to feel the way you do
Author: Josh Langley
Illustrator: Josh Langley
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing
Intended Audience: 4 and up
Author’s website: joshlangley.com.au
Tell us about yourself
I’m a daydreamer, eternal optimist and idealist. I’ve also been known to talk to trees and flowers to seek their counsel on important matters of the heart. They’re great listeners.
What is your book about?
Getting kids to recognise and make friends with their feelings and emotions. Often we get so engulfed by them, we feel powerless and often feel a victim to such intense emotions especially as we get older. I wanted to show kids that if they get a ‘feel’ what anger actually feels like and notice the emotion as it comes on they may be able to recognise the feeling earlier next time so they don’t get so caught up it.
It’s also about showing kids that having feelings and emotions comes with being human and it’s only natural. It’s important to get kids to open up and talk about what’s going on the inside. To get the inside, out and share their feelings. Hopefully by getting kids (especially boys) to talk openly when they’re young, we might avoid a tragedy later in life.
Who is your target audience for this book?
Children 4 to 11. However, everyone will get something out of it. I’m hoping parents will sit down with their kids and read it together so they can discuss the different aspects that come up.
What aspects did you find challenging about this book?
I had to really explore the relationship I have with my own feelings and emotions first. I’m not totally ‘friendly’ with own feelings either, but I’m always working on it. It’s an ongoing process. I know what approach works for me and that’s what I’ve put in the book. It’s what I would have told my 7 year old self which would have been something, warm, understanding and encouraging.
What does your book offer the reader that differs from others covering similar subjects?
I don’t beat around the bush. I talk straight to the child about what’s going on, what they maybe feeling and then give them something easy to do that may help. The illustrations are the extra element that helps kids engage with the messages.
How did the idea for this book come about?
It was mainly my partner’s idea. He highlighted the idea that feelings are such a huge thing these days and invited me to explore it as follow up to my previous book ‘Being You is Enough’. I was hesitant because I didn’t have a degree in psychology or childhood behavioural issues and felt I couldn’t talk from point of authority. However, after encouragement from a few other people and my publisher I felt I didn’t need to try and be anything I’m not. I could speak honestly from my own childhood experience, share what I know works for me and a come from a genuine heart centred space.
Find out more about Josh Langley
Josh Langley’s website: joshlangley.com.au
After failing high school twice and spending a ridiculous amount of time being unemployed, Josh went on to create a successful career as an award winning radio creative writer spanning 20 years. He’s published 5 nonfiction books and now give gives talks at primary schools and festivals and runs workshops on creativity.
In early 2016, Josh left his career in radio to run his own Advertising Creative business and pursue his love of writing and illustrating. He’s currently working on two new book concepts and a novel. He lives on 7 and a half acres in the South West of Western Australia with his partner and a bunch of neurotic chickens.