Theo's Mood

illus. by author. 24p. Albert Whitman. Sept. 2013. Tr $15.99. ISBN 978-0-8075-7778-3. LC 2012049834.
PreS-Gr 1—Although there are many books about adjusting to the arrival of a new sibling, this one offers a fresh approach. It's "Mood Monday" in Miss Cady's class, a day when the children describe both how they are feeling and why. Theo announces that his mother had a baby over the weekend. When asked how that makes him feel, he can only respond, "I don't know." The other youngsters describe their experiences. Eric is happy because he got a new bike; Lily is jealous because her sister won another trophy; Ameen is afraid because he got lost in the mall; and other children are sad, mad, and proud. Theo finally realizes that he has all of those emotions: he is happy because Grandma is staying for a week, jealous because now Mommy has no time to play, afraid because he doesn't want to drop the baby, and so on-but most of all he is proud to have a sister. It's refreshing to see that his classmates are supportive and help him to understand that mixed emotions are part of being a big brother. It's also refreshing that the children are encouraged to express their feelings, both positive and negative. The illustrations feature clean white space and simple lines and capture each child's emotion perfectly. With his argyle vest and cowlick, Theo is a charmer. This picture book could be used as a springboard for a discussion of emotions in general.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ

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