An alphabet of emotions, created by two clinical psychologists for parent-child discussions.
Intended to provide a starting vocabulary for expressing feelings, the text for each of Mitchell’s cartoon-style, utilitarian scenes consists of a cue (“A is for afraid”) and a tagline (“I am scared”). In the pictures, a diverse cast of children in everyday settings mostly responds with facial expressions rather than actions to common situations, such as being left with a babysitter or having to wait for a turn on the swings, or they display general moods like sadness and grouchiness. Unsurprisingly, considering the authors’ credentials, most of the modeled emotions are related to anger or anxiety. Those of a more positive cast tend to be less easily definable: “D is for determined”; “Q is for quiet.” Furthermore, the abecedarian conceit is overstretched with “K is for kind” and “Y is for yelling” (as in, “I’m full of energy, and I feel like being loud!”), which aren’t feelings so much as behaviors. The “Letter to Caring Adults” at the beginning as well as closing spreads of advice and bulleted activity lists suggest the main audience for this are adults rather than children themselves.
Useful, if not particularly artful. (Informational picture book. 5-8, adult)