“It was Mood Monday and Theo was the first to share his mood news. ‘Are you in a good mood or a bad mood?’ asked Miss Cady. ‘I don’t know,’ said Theo.” So begins the complicated task of naming Theo’s mood after he’s just met his new baby sister.
Miss Cady’s classroom begins to explore all types of feelings that Theo might be having about being a big brother. Each child takes a turn giving clear examples of many emotions. “Maybe you feel AFRAID like me,” says Ameen. “I got lost in the mall.” Both the text and the bright, expressive illustrations focus squarely on Theo and his friends, with a developmentally appropriate, low priority on the baby. When it is Theo’s turn to speak, he states that he is HAPPY. But he is also jealous and mad and even sad. Cocca-Leffler once again demonstrates her understanding of small children and the complexities of their emotions. Her illustrations depict a convincingly ethnically mixed classroom, with children holding vocabulary-word placards; torn-paper frames against chalkboard-black backgrounds depict their imagined scenarios. “How can you feel all those feelings at the same time?” ask Theo’s classmates. “Because,” he replies, “I FEEL LIKE A BIG BROTHER!” That truly honest conclusion will resonate with older siblings while portraying classmates and teachers as a source of comfort during this transitional time.
Doesn’t it make Mood Monday sound like a good idea? (Picture book. 4-7)