A compassionate look at feelings uses animal similes to affirm universal human emotions.
A child dressed as a lion roars the word “FEELINGS” in the display type on the book’s cover. The conceit of animal costumes as visual metaphor for emotions described in the text carries on to depict children who are feeling as “stubborn as a mule” and “clumsy as an ox” and “sad as a lost kitten in the rain,” among other states. Milgrim’s boldly outlined, digitally produced illustrations expand beyond their focuses on the children to provide context for the highlighted feelings—the child who feels “as chicken as a chicken” is afraid of a friendly-looking dog on a leash, for example. Perhaps the greatest strength of the book is its concluding incorporation of adults. Big feelings aren’t merely the domain of childhood, the picture assures readers, thus normalizing a range of human emotions as “only natural.” A clever visual coda shows a child, stripped of animal get-ups and any clothing at all, running free.
A picture book to feel good about. (Picture book. 2-5)