“Looking from the outside, I may seem the same as you, / but deep beneath the surface, feelings bubble, stir, and brew….”
From the cutout in the center of the cover and every page before the last, a child in knit cap and red wellies stares placidly as the scene changes with each page turn to suit a different feeling described in two couplets. British author Walden describes “brave,” “sad,” “angry,” “happy,” “jealous,” “alone,” “embarrassed,” “excited,” “afraid,” and “calm.” The simple descriptions mostly fit and won’t surprise adults: Envy is an “emerald mist,” choler is a volcano, sadness is a flood. Jones’ pastel images with ruddy highlights, some filling the page and others in small panels, depict animals and weather and other children, deftly extending the rhymed definitions, and offer identifiable visuals for young listeners. The final pair of couplets are set on a spread that shows the focal, light-skinned child sharing a country lane with other children of different races; they offer the oversimplified idea that “what you feel is who you are,” though they do go on to say we should accept that others have feelings too as we accept and “claim” our own.
Slightly simplistic rhymes that nevertheless will help explain feelings to youngsters. (Picture book. 2-7)