From the author/illustrator of Caldecott Honor book When Sophie Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry (1999) comes another book about coping with emotional upheaval.
Sophie’s a little older and her emotions, a bit more complex in this second, longer story. Her teacher gives the class an assignment to choose a tree to paint the next day. Sophie chooses her favorite beech tree, where she still finds comfort when she’s angry or sad. Her tree’s bark is gray, but using gray paint to represent it feels wrong somehow. Grappling with the challenge of conveying the happiness the tree gives her, she boldly paints it turquoise and makes the sky orange for contrast. She loves the way it looks, but her classmates laugh at her efforts, telling her that her painting is all wrong. Sophie is crushed and mortified. Bang uses perspective to great effect in a double-page spread showing Sophie from above, hands inert by her sides, shrinking away from both readers and her painting as the tears flow. Happily, the teacher steps in with a warm embrace and calmly talks the class through the different ways that their paintings all express their individual feelings about their trees.
Bang's trademark striking colors and bold outlines enhance this welcome new book that’s as much about the creative process as it is about emotion. (Picture book. 5-7)