What Feelings Do When No One's Looking; Tina Oziewicz, illustrated by Aleksandra Zajac
If you need a book to teach young children about feelings, this is quite possibly the perfect one.
We all experience feelings. Everyday a vast array of feelings flit in and out of our lives, some of them good, some of them not so. Anger, hope, delight, kindness, insecurity and curiosity all leave their marks on hearts and minds. But what do they look like and what do they get up to when no one’s looking…
Originally published in Polish, ‘What Do Feelings Do When No One’s Looking’ has been translated into English which means this brilliant and unique piece of Polish children’s literature can be enjoyed and pondered over by an even greater audience.
Because they’re invisible, feelings can be a little bit hard to understand, especially for young children. In a book of few words but full of very clever and insightful pictures, Tina Oziewicz and Aleksandra Zajac make feelings tangible through a series of poignant phrases, beautifully crafted scenes and some very loveable, little hairy critters. A plethora of emotions are included with equal attention given to both negative and positive ones. Each double page spread presents a different feeling with one of the peculiar, yet strangely cute characters, engaged in some sort of activity that exemplifies the feeling. The illustrations, presented in simple lines and largely in shades of grey, are charming and serve as the perfect accompaniment to the simple text.
Unconventional, imaginative and executed to perfection, this quirky look at feelings and what they get up to when no one is around is a joy to behold. Full of childlike exuberance, ’Joy bounces on a trampoline’; with a devilish lick of the lips and a mischievous glint in the eye, ‘Insecurities build’ cages’; with relaxed eyes, a beaming smile and paws wrapped around a mug of tea, ‘Contentment rests in an armchair’; Envy cuts a frustrated figure as it ‘tramples everything beautiful’.
Feelings - both good and bad - can be tricky things to get your head around and this is a great resource for helping children to understand and relate to them. It teaches them about feelings in a way that I have never seen before and is certainly worthy of a place in every primary school classroom. Would be a joy to share with a class or one-on-one with a child.
So if you really want the answer to what feelings do when no one is around to keep an eye on them, then definitely check out this picture book. Special, very special indeed.
With huge thanks to Allen & Unwin and Pushkin Press for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended for 5+.
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