Feeling Sad

Sarah Verroken, Author Enchanted Lion Books $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59270-083-7
This picture book debut from Belgium is a curious combination of visual pop and narrative pap. Opening with rough-textured black and white woodcuts, Verroken establishes beyond a doubt that her duck heroine is suffering an Edvard Munch-sized case of the blues (""Dark clouds hang over her head. Everything looks black-even the flowers. Duck is grump... and sad""). Duck even believes that rain means the sky is crying. But after a frog pipes in with a bit of encouragement (""No pluck, Duck?... Cheer up. Look ahead!""), gradually Duck bucks up, realizing that there are always glimmers of hope and light. ""Come back, Sun!"" she cheers on the heavens. ""It's time to warm the flowers and dry up all our tears."" By book's end, the woodcuts are blazing with cheery colors, and even Duck is her ""wonderfully yellow self."" Children may well be entranced by bold graphic elements and the reassuring transformation that occurs over the pages. But it's hard to believe that the uninspiring text will similarly hold their attention. Ages 3-6.
Reviewed on: 05/11/2009
Release date: 05/01/2009
Genre: Children's
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