Best friends Camper (as in “happy Camper”) and Clam (as in “happy as a”) explore a wide range of feelings in a colorfully metafictive outing.
Camper and Clam introduce themselves in the yellow opening pages. Camper, a white child in a scouting uniform, dances in a field of daisies; Clam, a land-going bivalve, bakes a friendship cake. When Camper proceeds to selfishly eat all the cake, Clam is hurt and upset. Opening a door in what looks like yellow endpapers, Camper enters The Sad Book and finds Clam in a blue setting amid broken hearts, clouds, and rain. Camper tries to coax Clam out of the sad pages, but Clam continues to sulk, prompting a miffed Camper to walk through the door leading to the red landscape of The Angry Book. Amid the red pages, Camper confesses, “I’m angry that I can’t make you happy and scared we won’t be friends anymore.” Clam replies, “I’m scared too, Camper. Let’s go in here,” and they enter the green pages of The Scared Book. There, they realize that as long as they are together, feeling afraid is not so bad. Resolution occurs when they enter The Feelings Book, a rainbow environment where a party with all emotions is taking place. Black-outlined colorful cartoons maintain a quirky silliness throughout the dialogue-only narrative. Secondary characters Trombone, Wet Hen, and (fraidy) Cat add an extra layer of fun.
Perceptively encourages readers to express emotions honestly to themselves and others. (Picture book. 4-6)