This German import reminds children that feelings, as well as some physical impulses, are universal.
The illustrations, which appear screen-printed, depict individualized children of various ethnicities and racial presentations in different settings. Their varied skin tones are rendered in deeply saturated colors and include realistic shades, such as beige and brown, but also stylized ones, such as blue, orange, mossy green, and literal black. The verso of each spread begins with “Everybody,” the remainder of the text exploring various feelings and physical states of being. Everybody feels happiness, fear, ennui, loneliness, anger, and more. Everybody plays, eats, sleeps, “gets hurt sometimes,” and dreams. In one spread, readers observe that “everybody pees,” some while standing and some while sitting down, and the book doesn’t shy from depicting children relieving themselves in various positions. The spread about sorrow verges on reductive. It states: “Just remember that the sadness will pass and you will be happy again,” even if it’s not always that simple for children, or perhaps some adults in their lives, suffering from severe depression. That aside, the book is an inclusive and generous reminder to children that everyone experiences intense feelings, which may help some readers feel less isolated or even, in some cases, reduce their anxiety. Unfortunately, there’s a glaring grammar error toward the book’s close (“The thought of some treats can make some mouth’s water”).
A welcome, if slightly uneven, addition to the growing canon of children’s books about emotional literacy.
(Picture book. 4-10)
Pub Date: today
Page Count: 32
Publisher: Little Gestalten
Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020