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Local mom creates children’s book focusing on jealousy

By Ashtyn Asay - | May 10, 2022

Courtesy Kelle Lima

The cover of "Along Came Oliver" by Kelle Lima.

Handling emotions can be difficult for anyone, but it is hard for young children. That’s why Salt Lake City mom Kelle Lima wrote a book to teach children how to cope with jealousy.

In “Along Came Oliver,” the main character, Lilly ,has to learn how to share her best friend Billy when new student, Oliver, comes to town. She asks Oliver to play with her and Billy during recess, but is surprised when Oliver and Billy begin to form a friendship of their own.

Though she initially feels jealous, Lilly begins to realize throughout the book that she didn’t lose her best friend — she gained another.

Lima wrote “Along Came Oliver” based on her own experience of learning to share her best friend with another friend.

“I had a huge best friend, and I was actually super proud because I had a birthday in the same month as hers,” Lima said. “Then there was this other kid that arrived … they actually had the same day and month of their birthday. That shattered my soul, I was like ‘I’m not cool anymore,’ and I became extremely jealous.”

Courtesy Kelle Lima

Kelle Lima, author of "Along Came Oliver" poses in this undated photo.

Through that experience, Lima learned that her jealous behavior only fractured her relationship with her friend, rather than bringing them closer together as she had originally hoped.

“I realized that this kind of behavior actually drove people further away rather than bring them in,” Lima said. “I wish there was someone to actually talk me through that and teach me that.”

Lima believes that by addressing jealousy issues in children while they’re young, and teaching them coping techniques, kids will be better equipped to avoid possessive, isolating or aggressive behaviors in the future.

“I feel like you can find a lot of books on silly stories or even like educational material that are pretty awesome,” Lima said. “But I can’t find many books that give me that base to discuss with my daughter.”

Lima wants children to know that jealousy is a normal emotion, but you need to be responsible for your own feelings and not lash out at others.

“It’s ok to feel it, but it’s not ok to act bad because of it,” Lima said.

Lima also created an activity book to accompany “Along Came Oliver” that presents different types of jealousy, teaches children to recognize feelings of jealousy within themselves, and teaches them techniques to deal with those emotions. It also gives parents and children access to a free counseling resource.

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