cover image Big Feelings

Big Feelings

Alexandra Penfold, illus. by Suzanne Kaufman. Knopf, $18.99 (42p) ISBN 978-0-525-57974-8

In All Are Welcome, collaborators Penfold and Kaufman celebrated the spirit of inclusivity. Now comes the hard part: getting stuff done. A diverse group of children share the goal of converting a trash-filled lot into a playground. But cooperation is seldom a given, and “big feelings”—positive and negative—threaten the project: “Feeling bold./ Feeling mad.// Goodbye, happy./Hello, sad.” (A pullout poster offers a list of emotions and attendant expressions.) The kids gradually realize that by acknowledging each other’s feelings and working together, they can be successful: “I have big feelings./ You have them, too./ How can I help?/ What can we do?” Though the book lacks the exciting immediacy of the creators’ previous effort, the little cast is expressive and energetic, and the reward for their hard work—a cleaned-up lot, a fabulous tire swing, and a gleeful, communal puddle splash—feels well-deserved. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Susan Ginsburg, Writers House. Illustrator’s agent: Alexandra Penfold, Upstart Crow Literary. (Mar.) [/em]