A girl is in low spirits all day.
“Jenny doesn’t say good morning because, really, what’s so good about it?” opens the story, plunging readers into Jenny’s mood. She doesn’t want her new polka-dot dress, she wants an old T-shirt; she grumbles and drags her feet on the way to the fair. Jenny doesn’t want compliments for her artwork, and she doesn’t want “you” to notice a temporary smile that sneaks out during her genuine melancholy. Sometimes she knows what she wants and sometimes not: “Jenny says, ‘Leave me alone!’ But she cries when Mommy goes away.” Delacroix uses the left side of each spread for text—dark blue lettering, shaded in with the same blue, on white background—and the right side for images. Each illustration features Jenny, with her huge head, expressive face, and small, blocky, vulnerable feet. Background coloring for the illustrations is a warm, yellowish taupe—not quite an unfriendly color but certainly not a comforting one. There’s no neat solution here, just welcome acknowledgement of irritation, unsettled emotions and bad days. Few readers won’t recognize the emotional core: “Jenny is feeling out of sorts, but she doesn’t want to talk about it. She just wants to be loved.”
With its small trim size, this empathetic offering might be just the thing for little ones to take off by themselves when they’re feeling prickly. (Picture book. 3-7)