Tough Guys Have Feelings Too

32p. Flying Eye. 2015. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781909263666.
PreS-Gr 1—Ninjas have fights with friends, wrestlers worry about their matches, superheroes cry. Tough guys are just like everyone else; they have emotions, and on the bad days they show them. To reinforce his point, Negley includes many of the usual dream jobs and beefs up many of his characters to the "manly" ideal. Color and shape both have a strong presence due to contrasting combinations of black, white, blue, yellow, and red. The style is fairly simplistic, relying on symbols—like a single teardrop—and body language more than faces in order to portray emotion. The majority of the story is rather downbeat, with various idols expressing frustration, defeat, and sadness. However, it takes a turn for the better at the end. Having made his statement, Negley bridges the gap between idealized tough guys and real-life tough guys through a boy and his father who are reading a book together. This sweet moment is a reminder to show love as well as other strong feelings.
VERDICT A short and straightforward story that challenges the traditional notion that men shouldn't express their emotions.

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