Another offering for the emotional intelligence shelf.

BERTA'S BOXES

From the Inglés series

What should a child do with strong feelings?

Years ago, Molly Bang modeled a child finding peace in nature in When Sophie Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry… (1999), but some readers have complained that Sophie was running away from her problems. More recently, in The Color Monster (2018), Anna Llenas recommended sorting emotions into jars of different colors. Italian bookseller Alvisi’s protagonist Berta follows that latter path. She tidies up regularly, sorts her toys by color, and uses red, yellow, green, and blue boxes to contain her strong feelings. Grown-ups admire her good behavior. But that technique is not enough when someone at school calls her a “red gloop monstreepy” and adults in her life are too distracted to offer sympathy. She tries to calm down with a puzzle, but a missing piece is the last straw. In a frenzy, she mixes all her puzzles together into one—creating a terrible and wonderful monstreepy of her own. In what may be something of a leap for a young audience, she changes her ways, loosens up, and learns to talk about her feelings instead of putting them in boxes. When she’s upset, she can draw, trace, cut, and glue some “magnificent monsters.” Making art helps. Graux depicts Berta and her parents as White, but there are some background characters of color; her color choices support Berta’s changing moods. Ross’ translation is smooth, but it’s unclear whether that is from the original Italian or the Madrid-based publisher’s co-publishing Spanish edition, Las cajas de Berta.

Another offering for the emotional intelligence shelf. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-84-18133-19-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: nubeOCHO

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A straightforward, effective approach to helping children cope with one of life’s commonplace yet emotionally fraught...

WHAT DO YOU DO WITH A PROBLEM?

A child struggles with the worry and anxiety that come with an unexpected problem.

In a wonderful balance of text and pictures, the team responsible for What Do You Do With an Idea (2014) returns with another book inspiring children to feel good about themselves. A child frets about a problem that won’t go away: “I wished it would just disappear. I tried everything I could to hide from it. I even found ways to disguise myself. But it still found me.” The spare, direct narrative is accompanied by soft gray illustrations in pencil and watercolor. The sepia-toned figure of the child is set apart from the background and surrounded by lots of white space, visually isolating the problem, which is depicted as a purple storm cloud looming overhead. Color is added bit by bit as the storm cloud grows and its color becomes more saturated. With a backpack and umbrella, the child tries to escape the problem while the storm swirls, awash with compass points scattered across the pages. The pages brighten into splashes of yellow as the child decides to tackle the problem head-on and finds that it holds promise for unlooked-for opportunity.

A straightforward, effective approach to helping children cope with one of life’s commonplace yet emotionally fraught situations, this belongs on the shelf alongside Molly Bang’s Sophie books. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-943-20000-9

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An expertly crafted, soulful, and humorous work that tenderly explores identity, culture, and the bond between father and...

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2016

  • Kirkus Prize
  • Kirkus Prize
    finalist

  • New York Times Bestseller

THUNDER BOY JR.

Thunder Boy Smith Jr. hates his name.

The Native American boy is named after his father, whose nickname is Big Thunder. Thunder Boy Jr. says his nickname, Little Thunder, makes him "sound like a burp or a fart." Little Thunder loves his dad, but he longs for a name that celebrates something special about him alone. He muses, “I love playing in the dirt, so maybe my name should be Mud in His Ears.…I love powwow dancing. I’m a grass dancer. So maybe my name should be Drums, Drums, and More Drums!” Little Thunder wonders how he can express these feelings to his towering father. However, he need not worry. Big Thunder knows that the time has come for his son to receive a new name, one as vibrant as his blossoming personality. Morales’ animated mixed-media illustrations, reminiscent of her Pura Belpré Award–winning work in Niño Wrestles the World (2013), masterfully use color and perspective to help readers see the world from Little Thunder’s point of view. His admiration of his dad is manifest in depictions of Big Thunder as a gentle giant of a man. The otherwise-muted palette bursts with color as Thunder Boy Jr. proudly enumerates the unique qualities and experiences that could inspire his new name.

An expertly crafted, soulful, and humorous work that tenderly explores identity, culture, and the bond between father and son. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-316-01372-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more