Youngsters are invited to explore their reactions to a variety of things through photo illustrations and spinning emojis affixed to the book.
A rectangular, die-cut hole appears down the outside of each page of the book to make space for a sturdy plastic pole with three, flat, circular wooden beads threaded through it. Each side of these beads bears a different cartoon facial expression, including happy, sad, angry, surprised, calm, and confused, and young readers can flip them to suit their moods. The project starts off with one wordy paragraph, but most of the text is composed of direct queries and positive affirmations. Between the die-cut rectangles, clear photos of people, animals, and situations appear on sparsely illustrated backgrounds. The children are babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary children of diverse racial presentations along with sundry adults, including a stereotype-defying Black woman dentist. One Asian toddler uses hearing aids, and one of the White children looks to have Down syndrome. Only one double-page spread asks children how they feel about various situations, such as going to school, the dentist, the doctor, and to a birthday party. The rest of the queries ask children how they feel about weather, foods, activities, and animals; they may not generate particularly rich emotional conversations. The project ends with a cluster of children making various expressions and a Mylar mirror embedded in the final page with an invitation to answer the question: “How do you feel today?”
Tots may enjoy flipping the emojis, but most of the scenarios presented miss opportunities to foster emotional literacy.(Novelty board book. 2-4)