EQ Explorers – author interview on children’s books about feelings by Mars & Stars Baby
While there’s nothing more important than a loving parent to help impart that EQ toolkit to kids, sometimes even adults need a little extra help. And for that, there’s nothing better than children’s books about feelings to teach everyone – from toddlers to adults – new tools and language to learn about emotions.
“Happiness is a choice—how do you want to feel?” ~ Kim Linette in EQ Explorers (Children’s books about feelings)
If you’ve ever lived with a toddler, a preschooler, a teen, or kids in general – you’ve probably wanted to help them process their emotions at least once.
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That’s why I’m so grateful to have met author Kim Linette, the mastermind behind EQ explorers – an array of kids’ books about feelings.
These books put big emotions into the spotlight and teach families how to talk about them in a loving way.
And there’s more!
The EQ explorers website provides amazing activities and resources for parents and teachers to dive even deeper into developing kids’ EQ.
AND 100% of profits go to the Kapalua Cove Foundation that helps even more children all over the world
Tell us a little bit about your books:
The EQ Explorers: Little Adventures for a Big, Happy Life™ books weave magical stories of friendship and learning, designed to educate and inspire children with simple yet powerful—and proven—lessons of emotional intelligence (EQ). Studies show that EQ is a key component to living a happy, successful life. And—unlike IQ—EQ can be learned.
Each story stars a child and an animal who adventure together to discover and understand EQ principles, such as “happiness is a choice” and “be yourself—don’t compare.” The principles taught in each book (i.e. the morals of each story) have been proven to help boost happiness and healthy human connections. They are intended to benefit child readers and their parents and caretakers alike.
One hundred percent of profits from EQ Explorers go to help underserved children through Kapalua Cove Foundation. The foundation provides direct donations to charitable initiatives and donates books to orphanages, remote libraries, care centers, and more.
What inspired you to write children’s books about feelings?
I spent more than two decades learning and practicing the principles of emotional intelligence (EQ) that I share in each EQ Explorers book. I first learned about the concept of EQ while I was a young mother. At the time, I realized that I had *everything* I wanted—a wonderful marriage, six fabulous kids, a successful business and career—and yet I didn’t feel *happy* in the way I thought I could or should.
With the help of a therapist, I began to explore my emotional well-being—my ups and downs, self-worth, self-confidence, and more. Through these sessions, and through years of personal growth and work, I came to know and embrace EQ as a critical life skill and key to happiness.
Something else very powerful happened: as my happiness increased, my children’s happiness increased, too. As I shared and modeled the principles I learned with them, and in turn they incorporated these principles into their lives, they became happier individuals.
Research backs up what my family and I experienced. I was inspired to create EQ Explorers to help other parents fast track the lessons that took me over 20 years to uncover and internalize, and to share this emotional understanding with their kids in a fun, connected way—cuddling up together with a book.
What was your favorite part of writing?
I quickly realized that writing and publishing the books was not enough. I felt compelled to help nurture children all around the world—especially those facing socio-economic challenges—by providing the tools and opportunities they need to live happy, healthy, emotionally connected lives. That’s why one hundred percent of profits from EQ Explorers goes to Kapalua Cove Foundation—the foundation I created to give direct donations and donations of books to orphanages, remote libraries, care centers, and more.
As examples of our giving, we worked with Village Book Builders in 2019, funding a library build in Malawi which has dramatically improved the learning opportunities for children in the region. Recently, we donated to fund the purchase of critical equipment to outfit a new library-in-progress in rural Nepal: numerous webcam-equipped computers, a Wifi Router, and hundreds of English and Nepalese books.
For me, this is one of the most rewarding aspects of writing and publishing each book—knowing that every single book sold will help improve the lives and opportunities of children somewhere in the world who are full of hope and hungry for education.
What do you hope will be the main takeaway for kids and parents?
We all want the world for our kids. We daydream about their lives and their future successes in school, sports, careers, financial matters, relationships, and eventually creating families of their own. But more than any specific achievement, our hopes and dreams for our children typically boil down to one thing: whatever makes them genuinely happy.
Children (and adults alike) often fall in the trap of believing that happiness is determined by external factors: what happens to them, what they have, or how other people perceive them or treat them. In truth, no matter what happens to us or whatever comes or doesn’t come our way, we have a choice. We can choose to make the best of any situation.
The key principle of one of the first EQ Explorers books is the fact that “happiness is a choice.” In Wally Whale’s Might Tale, Wally knows that we always have the choice to choose to gratitude for what we have—and not get hung up or envious about what we don’t. This simple fact can empower children, helping them avoid the pitfalls of blaming or expecting other people or things to create their happiness. Instead, when they realize they have the power to choose their own happiness, they can put their time, focus, and energy into creating big, happy lives.
I can give you similar reasoning for the importance of each principle of emotional intelligence—those taught in the first five books in the series, and those in the books to come. My dream is that the generation who grows up with the EQ Explorer series will have a big head start in life. They will be able to save all the energy so many people waste, running in circles with faulty emotional patterns. Instead, they can skip all that and use their energy to create happy, emotionally fulfilling lives. They can become inventors, creators, entrepreneurs, or anything they’re passionate about. And above all else, they can develop deep, meaningful connections with others.
Author Kim Linette
Is there a part that everyone seems to love?
In addition to the EQ lesson imparted in each story, each book has additional elements to amplify the reader experience.
At the back of each book, you’ll find the “Let’s Explore” section, with conversation-starter questions and exercises to help parents and children dive deeper into the EQ principle taught in the book. The questions are designed to help kids understand how the lesson of the story relates to their personal experience.
You’ll also find a section at the back of each book with fun facts about the featured animal character in that story. Wonder why llama’s spit? Turn to the back of Lulu Llama’s Triangle of Drama to find out!
Finally, as you read each story you’ll notice a tiny character named Buddy Bee, buzzing about the pages. Buddy is the single connecting character featured in every EQ Explorers book. His fun and playful presence gives children the sense that they are alongside Buddy, witnessing and participating in each adventure together. What’s more, Buddy provides a focal point for children who are easily distracted. Encourage your child to focus by counting the number of times Buddy appears throughout each book (you’ll find the answer inside).
What kind of reactions have your children’s books about feelings received?
I think the best way to answer this question is by sharing two of the hundreds of reviews we’ve received.
“I read it to my six-year-old and we both enjoyed the story and cute illustrations. I was pleasantly surprised at how well my son was able to explain what the book taught him when we finished reading. The book shows that it’s best to be your own self—no one can do that better than you! My nine-year-old read the book to himself and also got the message. Now I can remind them “Don’t be Compare Bear” and they instantly know what I mean.” – Dave
“I was expecting to have my kids learn something valuable. What I wasn’t expecting was that I would learn something, as well.” – Ashley
Is there a message or a movement you want to send out into the world?
The EQ Explorers series is intended as a toolkit of stories and questions to aid parents. I know firsthand that parenting can be exhausting—so the books are a smart, fun, and easily accessible way to bring this important element into childrearing. I’ve created the content, so other parents don’t have to!
The series is intended to be edutainment—educational and entertaining, all at once. That’s why each story features a unique, lovable animal character. The animals help create a fun, non-threatening, and never-boring way for kids to learn valuable principles of emotional intelligence.
In my family, the characters, principles, and language from the EQ Explorers series have become part of our household vocabulary. “Are you Compare Bear-ing?” “Happiness is a choice—how do you want to feel?” “Don’t take it personally—he’s just thinking like a zebra.” These are all things you might hear in our home. When children become familiar with the EQ Explorer stories, family members can refer to principles of emotional intelligence with simple, common language. This can be a game changer in terms of communication dynamics. It makes expressing emotions more fun and it helps as a gentle way to bring up topics that could otherwise feel heavy or judgmental.
One of the unintended benefits of this series—something that I know to be true in my family, and that I’m hearing about from early readers of the books—has to do with the universal importance of the EQ principles within. While the books are written for children, the stories and principles open up dialogue for teens, parents, and family members of all ages alike. Something powerful happens when the entire family is, excuse the pun, but “on the same page.”
What’s next for you?
There is no end in sight with EQ Explorers—and that’s exactly how I want it to be! For one, I have at least 19 more books in the works, which is no small feat. Beyond writing and publishing the series, the work of Kapalua Cove Foundation is ongoing. My team and I are always looking for ways that we can work to genuinely improve the lives of children in need.
And there’s more!
In addition to the books themselves, we offer a wide array of resources for parents and teachers via the EQ Explorers website. Our blog provides a wealth of information about EQ and how it applies to the challenges of parenting. Our activities center offers free activities for kids correlated to each book in the series. And for teachers and homeschoolers, we’ve developed free lesson plans to help foster social-emotional learning. Please take a look and help spread the word!
Thank you, Kim Linette, for your wonderful children’s books about feelings and EQ. We can’t wait to find out what else you have in store!