FICTION

ABC of Feelings

Philomel. Sept. 2021. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593205198.
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PreS-K–Blending a review of the alphabet with easy vocabulary that names and explains emotions, this friendly book offers an opportunity for children to meet and thoughtfully connect with 26 feelings through illustrated scenarios. The digitally illustrated vignettes display a well-represented group of children of many skin shades, from pale to deep brown, as well as animal characters, pairing emotions with familiar experiences. For example, “embarrassed” is expressed through a scene of a white boy with red hair who accidentally falls into a shallow pond and draws every animal eye upon him. Smartly paired scenes often match with alphabet letters and defined emotions on consecutive pages, making for very brief but easily understood, relatable stories. Purposefully placed painterly textures, angled gestures, and design lines help readers decode the emotions; a few will be too subtle in their facial cues, particularly within the simple animal forms, so an adult can help clarify and encourage children to share their own stories.
VERDICT Perfect for a read-aloud and as an SEL tool, this book invites important and comfortably playful discussions on naming emotions.

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