Illustrated fiction has the potential to help many young children manage everyday feelings of worry, stress and anxiety. Freya's Funny Feeling is a 40 paged, A4 sized paperback picture-book aimed at children aged 4-7 years. Inspired by conversations with children, our story recognises and acknowledges uneasy feelings experienced in various social situations.
Using the analogy of the butterfly cycle, the story cleverly draws an association between Freya's anxious feelings and the commonly used idiom 'the butterflies in your tummy ' enabling young readers to visualise the two concepts simultaneously.
Freya's Funny Feeling tells the story of a little girl who notices a funny feeling in her tummy, coming and going during different situations. Despite her attempts to make the feeling go away, she eventually speaks to her parents who explain that the funny feeling may have something to do with stirred-up emotions, which feel like butterflies in her tummy.
Our story addresses Freya’s initial difficulties, then sees her make friends with the butterflies who resemble another protagonist, in turn helping her to eventually accept and manage her emotions. Young readers are taken on a journey that recognises the funny feeling and acknowledges it, then gives it a visual metaphor, which children can reckon with and have control over (imaginatively) whenever they feel that feeling.
Readers are also reassured that other children and adults also experience similar emotions therefore normalising the butterfly feeling. Importantly, Freya's Funny Feeling provides much scope for both adult-child and peer-peer discussion as well as modelling the importance of seeking support via grown ups or friends.
Freya’s Funny Feeling is the outcome of conversations with children Samia has worked with and so she is incredibly grateful to every little person for inspiring her to write this story.