NONFICTION

The Totally Not Boring Book of Feelings

Shadow Mountain. Sept. 2024. 128p. Tr $22.99. ISBN 9781639933075.
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Gr 2-4–A collection of mostly humorous short stories in verse offers a playful look at feelings. Comical cartoon black-and-white illustrations add whimsical details to silly situations, such as a claustrophobic alien encounter in “The Beebop Aliens and the Selfie Squish.” Other highlights include “The Cupcake Temptation,” which follows a girl’s hilarious deliberation as she considers stealing her younger brother’s treat. Text and illustration work well together in “A Hundred Years of Indecision,” “The Band,” and “Humdrum Dragon Blasts.” Other poems lack child appeal, though, with awkward, forced rhymes and clumsy sentiments. In “Uniquey,” a bear who doesn’t fit in learns to love himself, inspiring others who “tried to be more themselves too.” “The Best Egg Hunt” sinks under its heavy-handed message: A girl gives away her eggs and notes “the world contained giggles that were such a delight.” Emergent readers looking for a fun approach to feelings should start with Mo Willems’s The Frustrating Book or Mike Wohnoutka’s Ups and Downs: A Book of Emotions.
VERDICT With its good-humored approach and appealing illustrations reminiscent of Dr. Seuss, this uneven collection offers a few gems for sharing aloud, but ultimately falls short.

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