How Do YOU Feel?

Anthony Browne. Candlewick, $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-5862-5
This deceptively simple book introduces an overalls-clad chimp who evokes a spectrum of emotions as he answers the titular question. Though the minimal text is forthright (“Sometimes I feel very happy... and sometimes I feel sad”), Browne’s (Me and You) nuanced watercolor and gouache pictures use body language and other cues to amplify each emotion. Crayon-box colors (temporarily) turn gray for an image of the “bored” chimp, who has abandoned his toys in a corner. Pictured against a blank white backdrop, the “lonely” animal is seen at a fraction of his normal size, hands clasped in front of him. Even the chimp’s sneakers appear to smile as he jumps for joy when happy, while his sad persona looks out glumly from a window as rain falls (indoors) and a flower droops. The chimp models 14 emotions and other feelings (like hungry and full) in total, all of which reappear in miniature on a final spread that asks readers directly how they feel, cementing the book’s usefulness as a tool to both introduce emotions and encourage discussions of readers’ feelings. Ages 3–up. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/19/2012
Release date: 05/08/2012
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