I Say, You Say: Feelings! by Tad Carpenter (A Review)

About the Book

I Say, You Say: Feelings! by Tad Carpenter is a board book for one to three years that will introduce the youngest kids to emotions and how they expressed.

Who Is This Book For

The book is meant for parents who want to read to their young kids (aged 1-3) and help to teach them about emotions. It would also be great for nurseries and preschool classes.

Our Synopsis of the Book

This fun little book introduces young kids to concept of emotions and what they look like. It covers basic emotions (though we might quibble with whether or not a couple of the entries are actually emotions) including:

  • Happy
  • Grumpy
  • Silly
  • Sad
  • Excited
  • Sleepy
  • Hurt
  • Love

For each emotion, there is a colorful picture and the book follows the following format:

I say SAD, you say…

Then, as you raise the flap on the second page to find a description of the emotion:


In this instance, the words are accompanied by a green crying crocodile and an empathetic bunny trying to help. Other emotions follow a similar pattern of introducing the word and explaining what the emotion looks like behind the flap.

Amazon’s Synopsis

Here’s how Amazon describes the book:

I say, “Feelings!” You say, “Fun!” Explore the world of emotions with 8 lift-the flaps.

These colorful, playful books encourage interactive learning through prediction and repetition; but most importantly, they look really fun. –Dr. Robert Needlman, co-founder of Reach Out and Read and author of Dr. Spock’s Baby Basics

With I Say, You Say books, your little ones can:

· Understand emotions
· Predict outcomes
· Learn and play!

What We Liked

This book is colorful and fun. It is a great introduction for young kids to emotions they will feel and what those emotions look like. I wish I had this book when my kids were little.

What We Didn’t Like

Don’t get me started on whether or not Sleep is an emotion. 🙂 Seriously though, the only potential downside to this book are the flaps. They are on heavy card stock, but left to their own devices I can see little hands ripping a flap or two off over time, but I wouldn’t let that keep you from adding it to your library.


One of the greatest things we can do for kids dealing with difficult emotions is to prepare them ahead of time to recognize and name emotions. We recommend I Say, You Say: Feelings! by Tad Carpenter for parents who are interested in helping their kids begin to develop emotional awareness at a young age.

For more awesome resources for learning about and dealing with emotions, please visit our Hope 4 Hurting Kids Emotions Help Center.

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Written by Wayne Stocks
Wayne is the founder and executive director of Hope 4 Hurting Kids. He is a happily married father of four kids with a passion for helping young people who are going through rough times. In addition to Hope 4 Hurting Kids, Wayne previously started I Am A Child of Divorce and Divorce Ministry 4 Kids to help kids who are dealing with the disruption of their parents' relationship. These are now part of Hope 4 Hurting Kids. Wayne speaks frequently at conferences and churches on issues related to helping kids learn to deal with difficult emotions and life in modern families. Wayne lives with his wife, three youngest kids, three dogs and an insane collection of his kids' other pets outside of Columbus, Ohio. In addition to his work with Hope 4 Hurting Kids, Wayne is a partner in a local consulting firm, an avid reader, coaches his son's soccer team and is a proud supporter of Leicester City Football Club (and yes, for those in know, his affinity for the club does predate the 2016 championship). You can reach Wayne at wayne@hope4hurtingkids.com.