As a two and a half year old, Eleanor is very interested in practicing – and experimenting with – her emotions, and her vocabulary is also expanding at an unbelievable rate (spoken like a real mom, huh?), which are two of the reasons that I love the Llama Llama series, written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney. The stories use a simple rhyming scheme and natural language. The pictures are big and boldly colored with a grand quality, and Baby Llama’s facial expressions beautifully capture all of his emotions.
One of this things that I like best about these books is the opportunity to explore different ways to describe the same emotions: In Llama Llama Red Pajama, Baby Llama frets, whimpers, boo-hoos, pouts, and shouts – all ways of showing anxiety about being in bed alone before he falls asleep. “What is fret?” Eleanor will ask. “What is boo-hooing?” And we get to discuss what each of these mean, and how to express them. In the end, Baby Llama’s “llama drama” results in his mother reassuring him that she is “always near/ even if she’s not right here.”
Similarly, Llama Llama Mad at Mama allow us to explore anger and Llama Llama Misses Mama sadness and loneliness. For what ever emotion your little one wants to know more about, Little Llama is there for help.