The Seasons Within Me

Penguin Workshop/Rise X. Apr. 2023. 48p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593522912.
K-Gr 3–As the title implies, this book uses the seasons as a metaphor for emotion. However, the seasonal element is brief. Represented by the rain a young girl feels inside of herself, which is separate from any specific season, depression is the focus of the story. The young girl feels like it is raining only on her. No one else notices. She turns to her mom for help, but her mom says it will pass. It doesn’t. The young girl tries and fails to shake the rain, until one day she finds a puppy. Caring for the puppy makes the rain pass and the seasons change. Pozzi’s artwork uses an appropriately muted palette. The young girl, who has light skin, wears a brown coat and exists in a world filled with earth tones. The rain and other weather patterns within her are depicted phantasmagorically. Rain falls from inside her umbrella; fish swim through the air; the girl and her puppy fly on a leaf. Happier seasons use muted pops of pastel colors. The spread in which spring blooms within the girl and her dog lovingly depicts an assortment of pink and gold flowers. While the book frames the story as depicting the positive power of friendship, the impetus for the story is that the young girl turns to a grown-up for help and is told her depression will pass. Lacking emotional support, she instead finds purpose in caring for another creature. Their friendship is sweet; however, the girl’s emotional well-being is dependent on this responsibility.
VERDICT There are better books about socio-emotional awareness for this age group and for their parents.

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