An elementary-age child recounts what she does and feels during a school field trip to a county fair.
Clean, colorful graphic design, first-person narration, and short declarative sentences bode well for the inaugural entry in the Dealing with Feelings series. The narrator is a wide-eyed girl with brown skin and textured, black hair, and her fellow students represent every possible complexion. The teacher is also brown, with straight hair. However, much of the story itself seems contrived to elicit a variety of feelings in the narrator. Would a teacher enter a pie-eating contest while supervising a field trip? Unlikely, but it does give the class a chance to cheer her on. Similarly, a contest to guess the number of jelly beans in a jar gives the narrator a chance to compare her feelings to the rainbow of colors in the jar. When the class stops to purchase treats at a bake sale “to support a good cause,” the heroine can’t indulge because she has allergies. Conveniently, the teacher reveals that she also has allergies. A mindfulness activity on the bus and a review of what produced the child’s positive feelings makes it clear that teaching emotional vocabulary is the book’s primary mission. Even 17 exclamation points can’t make this well-meaning lesson exciting.
The book is potentially useful as a discussion starter about feelings, but kids probably won’t demand rereads. (Early reader. 4-6)