FICTION

Way Past Jealous

Albert Whitman. (Great Big Feelings). Apr. 2021. 32p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807586785.
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K-Gr 2–Yaz, with tan skin and a black bob, is upset when her friend Debby’s drawing is hung on the Stars of the Week board at school. As Yaz sees Debby—who is Black with two natural puffs of black hair—getting all the attention, she admits she feels envious. In fact, as the attention continues, Yaz becomes way past jealous. The kind of jealous that makes her “feel bad, think ugly, and act mean.” She acts out by ignoring her friend, spilling her drink on purpose and pulling down Debby’s drawing. When Debby notices the picture is gone, Yaz feels remorse, tells her father, and finds a way for the two to be friends again with an apology and a new drawing. Spare blocks of color and simplified body shapes focus the attention on the heavy black line of the facial expressions. The identification and eventual resolution are relayed in a straightforward manner, making this a useful book (one in a series) for learning to deal with jealousy in a positive and constructive way.
VERDICT With its direct tone and relatable story, this title addresses feelings of jealousy and is an accessible tool for socio-emotional development.

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