cover image Sometimes I Cry

Sometimes I Cry

Jess Townes, illus. by Daniel Miyares. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-374-30825-4

A tan-skinned, brown-haired child who first appears in a T-shirt and shorts describes, over several multi-page sequences, their experience of crying, including emotional reactions, physical sensations, and tear-jerking scenarios. Sometimes physical pain summons tears, like a fall from a bike, painted in boldly stroked, warm-hued moment-by-moment vignettes by Miyares (Nell Plants a Tree): “Blood trickles down my knee/ And it stings./ And the sting hurts my eyes/ And I cry.” A tickle match with a parent ends in tearful laughter for both. Frustration, too, brings tears, as when a child kicks “my very best” origami frog to a friend: “My whole body is a volcano/ That rumbles and roars...// And I erupt// With red-hot lava tears/ That I cry.” Failure, fear, joy, and shared grief (the child’s grandfather weeps tears, “And I catch them like you catch a cold/ And we cry”) are all times that people may tear up. And that’s okay, Townes (Spellbound) reassures readers, supplying language to describe experiences and feelings in this tightly focused resource that examines how “when I let my tears out/ My feelings fit perfectly inside my body.” Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Stephanie Fretwell-Hill, Red Fox Literary. Illustrator’s agency: Studio Goodwin Sturges. (Sept.)