Storm in a Jar | A Children’s Book about Anger and Grief

We were sent a pre-release copy of the deeply moving ‘Storm in a Jar’ by Samuel Langley-Swain of Owlet Press, for review, so read on for our thoughts on this fantastic children’s book about anger and grief.

When Owlet Press first messaged me to ask whether I would like to review a new children’s book, of course my answer is pretty much always going to be a yes. They only have the most stunning and meaningful children’s books available, and I knew this would be no different.

Cut to yesterday when this book arrived, and well, wow… There’s no words to describe the emotions that hit me just from a few seconds glance. All I saw was the accompanying poem, and scanned the book and that was it. As someone who has lost one of their closest grandparents, it hit me hard!

(Accompanying poem) *Get your tissues ready!*

Storm in a Jar

by Samuel Langley-Swain
illustrated by Katie Cottle

A Children’s Book about Anger and Grief

In this deeply moving story, the main character, Arlo, starts to struggle with his emotions after his beloved Nana dies. He misses his favourite things about her, and he doesn’t know how to deal with any of these feelings of emotions.

Gradually Arlo goes from feeling really sad, to really, REALLY angry. These emotions are all written into the storytelling beautifully by the author. Written in a way which I’m sure would brilliantly explain to children on a child friendly level what was happening inside of them.

Teaching children to feel their emotions…

I think one of the most important messages in this book, is that we should never bottle up our feelings and emotions. By releasing whatever it is we are feeling, we will allow it to be and then let it go. I think this is one of the most valuable lessons we can give to our children.

Whether emotions are ‘positive’ emotions or ‘negative, we need to allow our children to feel them and let them out without scolding them for it.

This book is about supporting our children in their expressing of emotions, and letting them know we love and support them no matter what. Often we can join them in their sharing with an ‘I feel that way sometimes too, and it’s okay’.

A lesson that all feelings are valid…

I think that one of the lessons we have failed to teach children (and grown ups for that matter) for a long time, is that even negative feelings and emotions are valid, and worthy of acknowledgement. I really feel that this children’s book gives support to that conversation. I feel this conversation is vital to be having with all children and parents.

This book is a fantastic way to use storytelling as a means of explaining what is happening with us mentally and emotionally. I think it will be extremely useful for so many people, not just children.

Not just a book about grief, but a great talking point.

This book is about a boy who experiences these emotions due to the death of a loved one. So would be fantastic for any child who has experienced this. But I really feel that more than that, it’s a book for any child who has struggled or is struggling with expressing what they are feeling.

It will open up conversations both you and your children may be struggling to have.

Would I recommend it?


As a child who struggled with my mental health. As a mother of sensitive souls. As a human capable of all of the feelings. As someone who took until adulthood to acknowledge all of my feelings and emotions as valid, in order to move through tough times… I wholeheartedly recommend this book.

Huge well done to Samuel! You’ve created something truly special.

L xxxx

We have a list of children’s books on growth mindset here.
For other book reviews by us, click here!

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