A captivating and feel-good book about kids' emotions.
Crying is good. Cry until your heart is content.
What is this picture book about?
Join Tom and his best friend, Oliver, as they go on an adventure to rediscover Tom’s tears … and the more sinister reason why he’s lost them in the first place.
This moving and poignant book strikes right at the heart of how we talk to children about their emotions and particularly, who can show them and how.
Like a warm hug you didn’t know you needed, this beautiful story will help you rediscover your own tears … as well as Tom’s!
This book is one of our favourites! But do the reviewers feel the same?
“As a teacher, one thing I’m extremely passionate about is emotions. Now thanks to this book, I am able to share why this is important with my children, daily.’ Hello Miss Emma
“As a dad myself, I know how important role modelling is. This book shows us that it's ok to cry. That it's ok to show emotions and that it's most definitely ok to talk about our feelings." Mr Loves Book Shelf
A little introduction from the author, Ethicool's Co-Founder Teigan Margetts. Why did you write this book, Teigan?
As a mum of two boys, I am SO tired of the “boys don’t cry,” message. Even though we certainly don’t tell our sons this, somehow they come home from kinder still saying it based on what their friends have told them.
When we tell our sons - or even our daughters - not to cry, we’re telling them to hide important emotions. Is this really what we want to encourage? I don’t think so. When kids (and indeed, adults), feel they can’t show their emotions, they either clam up and feel anxious or depressed, or they respond with violence or anger instead.
This was certainly a challenging book to write as the "real men don’t cry" message is so ingrained. I wanted to do so in a way that struck a chord both with the adult reading it, but also in a way that felt like a fun adventure, culminating in an ending where you’d want to hug all involved.
Why do we need a kids’ book about equality and emotions?
From the age of just two, children understand and start to absorb gender stereotypes. Universally, researchers agree that a lot of behaviour as adults is dictated by what we see, hear and are told in the first 1000 days of our lives.
When we tell young boys to be "real men" or to "not cry", what we’re really telling them is to hide their most important emotions. Doing so can have damaging consequences, including encouraging them to respond with anger or even violence. Seeding the idea that "real men don’t show emotions" also sets the foundation for unequal and sometimes even dangerous gender relations later in life.
Let’s raise a generation of little superheroes - both boys and girls - who understand that boys’ emotions are something to be shared and celebrated.
An excerpt from the story
"Oh no, Tom, how bad is it?" Oliver asked.
"It hurts so much," Tom winced. "But I can't show it - I'm not allowed to cry."
"Why?" Oliver asked, confused.
"Because I've lost my tears," Tom replied.
"Whatever to do you mean - how did you lose your tears?" Oliver asked.
"It all started a few months ago," explained Tom. "My dad told me that I'm not allowed to cry. He said I needed to be a real man. He said that if I cried that would make me a girl."
"Oh," Oliver responded, sounding surprised. His dad had never told him that.
My four year old son loves this book. At bedtime it’s one of the books he will pull off the shelf and add to the top of the pile. He asks so many questions as I’m reading it to him and I can tell he’s drawn in by every word and picture, thinking deeply about the story and it’s meaning. He always asks if Tom lands his kick flip at the end and I ask what he thinks happens. He says “I think he does”. Thank you for creating such an important book for young men.
What a beautiful friendship Tim and Oliver have in this story. The concept that 'Boys Don't Cry' in explored in a gentle and relatable way for children. I hope there is a follow up story where Tom and his Dad can reconnect on an emotional level.
My son is only four and he has already come home from kindergarten telling me that 'big boys don't cry*.' Tom's tears really helped me encourage him to stay in touch with those emotions and to not be ashamed of crying and needing love and affection.
*there is no way this is coming from the teachers it is definitely coming from other kids.
I really hope every child reads this book. Lovely story and great message.
This book is like a warm hug for your sons. I think they need this.
Really counteracts the idea that 'boys don't cry.'