Congee Club Kids: How Are You Feeling, Little Dumpling? (Review and Q&A)
Updated: Apr 16
One of my favorite things is discovering new books and authors through crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter! Recently, I've been eagerly awaiting the launch of Congee Club Kids' first book, and their Kickstarter campaign is now more than halfway through. However, they still need support to reach their $7,000 goal. It's important to note that Kickstarter operates on an all-or-nothing basis, meaning that if the campaign doesn't meet its goal by the deadline, the creators won't receive any funding. Marissa and Sara reached out to me, asking if I could help spread the word about their campaign, and they even allowed me to preview the book and ask them some questions. I'm really excited about this book and would love to see it come to life, so I hope you'll consider backing their campaign as well.
Marissa Merrill and Sara Menges have created a wonderful board book for children ages 1-5 with "How Are You Feeling, Little Dumpling?". Through the experiences of Little Dumpling, children will learn about six major emotions and be reminded to pause and check in with their feelings, then share them with a trusted adult.
What sets this book apart from other emotions books for this age group is that it not only names feelings but also gives children the tools to work through them. Marissa's background as a mental health counselor really shines through in the book. At the back of the book, there is a letter from Mama Dumpling that provides a 5-step guide for modeling how to recognize and manage big emotions.
Sara's illustrations are simply adorable, making the book attractive and engaging for little ones. As an artist and mental health enthusiast, Sara has done a fantastic job of creating a visually appealing book that will captivate children's attention.
Overall, "How Are You Feeling, Little Dumpling?" is a must-have for any parent or caregiver who wants to help their little ones navigate their emotions in a healthy and productive way.
“How Are You Feeling, Little Dumpling?” is currently available for pre-order through Kickstarter. Please support this campaign to bring this much needed book to life! The campaign is running until 9:30am December 31, 2022 EST.
This book is the first release from Congee Club Kids. What is the mission of Congee Club Kids and how did it get started?
We started Congee Club Kids after a phone call where we were processing the 2021 Atlanta shootings that targeted Asian women. We wanted to do something to increase representation and normalize Asian culture and landed on creating a children's book. Over the next year, we brainstormed books and our brand. Our mission is to create children's books that illuminate AAPI experience and celebrate AAPI culture in a kid friendly, fun and creative way.
What was the catalyst for the topic of the book “How Are You Feeling, Little Dumpling”?
It feels really important for both of us to have tools and books that help kiddos learn about their emotional experiences and internal world. We wanted to create a book that did this, while also centering Asian American experience. We both felt like this was a good first book to birth since we love food and also feel comfortable engaging in content around emotions.
This book gives children words to describe the big emotions they experience. Why is important to name and identify emotions from a young age?
It's normal for kids ages 1-5 to have lots of big feelings. At this age, their executive function (logic and reasoning) are still developing so their internal experience of a feeling can be really big and chaotic (both for parents and children). It's important that as caregivers, we give them the ability to put language to what's happening inside. It won't necessarily solve all tantrums, but the more kiddos are able to put words to what's happening, the less power their feelings will have over them. And in the long run, the goal is that they'll grow into well adjusted adults who will be able to respond rather than react to their feelings.
Why did you choose to release your book through a Kickstarter campaign? For those who may be interested in creating their own campaign, is there something you’ve learned in the process that you wish you knew before you started?
Kickstarter for us made the most sense. It was a public platform where we could advertise and sell our book, while also jumpstarting the trajectory of Congee Club Kids. It at the time felt like the least risky option, and I wish we thought through how time sensitive it was. If we could go back in time, I think we'd both launch after the holidays, and not when one of us had a newborn at home.
Thank you to Marissa and Sara for allowing me to review their book and for taking the time to answer the Q&A questions!
To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.