This rhyming book will help kids identify what it
feels like to be sad and what they can do to respond to it. It offers
suggestions such as talking about what makes you feel sad, imagining
happy things, or crying as a way to let the emotion out.
The book lets kids know that it's perfectly normal to feel sad — but
offers a gentle reminder that the feelings won't last for forever.
Includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers about how to help children respond to strong feelings of sadness.
A useful picture book for encouraging social-emotional health.
rhyming text uses direct address to speak to diverse child characters
who are experiencing sadness in a range of settings—and by extension, to
child readers of the book. A backmatter “Note to Parents and
Caregivers” deconstructs the intentions behind different parts of the
text to: respond to sadness; normalize sadness; cope with sad feelings;
and offer hope. Throughout, Ng-Benitez’s sensitive, engaging
illustrations do an excellent job of providing narrative specificity to
the general scenarios the text suggests, elevating the book’s aesthetic
success as a whole. The text itself is a bit grating with its singsong,
faltering cadence, which is at odds with the seriousness of its
contents. “We can start just by talking / about why you feel sad. / It
may not be all better / but it might not be as bad,” reads one
representative stanza on a spread depicting a white-appearing child with
downcast eyes in a classroom filled with smiling, diverse peers and
sitting before a happy teacher (also white). The picture book’s overt
bibliotherapeutic intent will doubtlessly position it as a title suited
to counseling sessions and responses to children’s experiences with
grief and loss. But readers may also find value in its potential to
foster empathy or to pre-emptively address sadness as one of many
emotions we all experience.