Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

First Advisor

Murray Kelley


This paper presents several theoretical explanations of the emotional reality of young children. Its focus is the influential first relationship between the young child and his caregiver and how his emotional development is shaped within the confines of this relationship. It then examines what meanings the first relationship holds for the child's emotional reality during the toddler stage, defined as roughly 18 months to 3 years of age.

The paper turns then to a discussion of the particular emotional reality of a toddler in the childcare setting. What follows is an argument about the importance of acknowledging and labeling young children's present emotional reality in the childcare setting. Among other strategies, it discusses how bibliotherapy in particular can be used to address the emotional needs of young children in the child care setting.

Leading from the discussion of bibliotherapy, the paper examines the usefulness of teacher-made books versus ready-made store bought books for use with children in the classroom. The paper hypothesizes that teacher-made books are particularly effective because they can be tailored to best fit any situation in the classroom and to reflect the children's present emotional reality.

Lastly, the paper describes the creation of a picture book for infants and toddlers in direct response to their emotional reality at naptime and shares the children's responses to the book. Because of considerations of confidentiality, the book itself is available upon request at the Bank Street Family Center.


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