Joy, anger, worry, courage . . . we all experience a vast array of feelings. They influence our thoughts and actions every day. But they’re intangible and invisible, making feelings a difficult concept to grasp, especially for the very young. So, what if feelings were re-imagined as hairy little creatures?
What Feelings Do When No One’s Looking does exactly that. Aimed at preschoolers and children in early primary, each double spread of this picture book focuses on a feeling. Joy bounces on a trampoline, while Patience tends a beautiful garden; Shame burrows underground and Anger explodes. Each spread is a visual delight with illustrations rendered in greys and soft pastels. The wee creatures hold huge appeal, although readers may find some of them (Anger, Hatred) a little scary!
The text is limited to a couple of words or one short sentence per spread. No more is needed. This is one of those books where words and images complement each other perfectly. Each double spread tells its own story and provides a useful starting point for discussions about individual feelings: recognizing what we are experiencing and why and exploring how we are communicating this to others.
If you want to know what feelings do when no one’s looking, then keep an eye out for this clever and perceptive picture book.
What Feelings Do When No One’s Looking
Written by Tina Oziewicz
Illustrated by Aleksandra Zając
Translated from Polish by Tina Oziewicz
Published in the UK by Pushkin Children’s Books, 2022
US edition published by Elsewhere Editions, 2022
Translated from Polish by Jennifer Croft
You can buy a copy of What Feelings Do When No One’s Looking here or find it in a library.*
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Laura Taylor is the founder of world children’s literature blog Planet Picture Book. She is a small business copywriter, NAATI-certified translator of French into English and member of AUSIT. When she is not writing, she is reading, and chasing after her two young children. She tweets @plapibo and posts at www.planetpicturebook.com