Moody Moody Cars

Magination. Apr. 2022. 32p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781433836992.
Gr 1-3–Through large text in bold colors paired with photographs of classic cars, feelings are ascribed to the headlights, bumpers, and grills. On the left, each feeling (surprised, friendly, angry, sad, happy, jealous, worried, excited, disgusted, and sleepy) is described from a car’s perspective, whether driving to the circus (surprised), having a full tank of gas (happy), or being behind a garbage truck (disgusted), with the featured word and some synonyms. On the right, there is a staged shot of a classic car on a white backdrop. The book lends itself well to reading aloud; however, it is difficult to see the car’s faces in the photographs without flipping to the page at the end of the book that traces the car’s features to show readers what they are supposed to see. As a publication from the American Psychological Association, the explanation for the methodology behind the book and the developmental stages for children is an added bonus. A number of books, such as Anna Llenas’s The Color Monster: A Pop-Up Book of Feelings, Jo Witek’s In My Heart: A Book of Feelings, and Jamie Lee Curtis’s Today: I Feel Silly: And Other Moods that Make My Day, also list emotions and do a better job of showing through images what facial expressions look like.
VERDICT Though other titles may handle this better topically, this is a good addition to libraries and classrooms as a way to normalize talking and recognizing feelings and broaching emotional intelligence with the added bonus of a subject many children obsess over.

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