A Book of Feelings ISBN: 9781406355994
Published by Walker Books Ltd, 2015
Sam and Kate and Fuzzy Bean, the dog, live with mum and dad, and into this happy family come all sorts of feelings and emotions - some wonderful, and others not so wonderful. First we see them happy and we find out lots of things that make them happy, but 'most of all deep down, knowing they are loved.' Being cross and grumpy can come into feelings too, and sometimes it's mum and dad who are either. Sam is embarrassed when he falls during a football match, and Kate feels shy when with children she doesn't know. Sam doesn't like reading aloud, and gets nervous when he's asked to do so. Kate can be afraid of the dark, particularly when Sam tries to frighten her, and poor old Fuzzy Bean is absolutely terrified of thunder storms. The death of the family guinea pig makes everyone sad, and Kate's friend Maddy is very sad when her parents decide they can no longer live together. Kate must learn to deal with Maddy's hurt, even when Maddy doesn't seem to want her help. Then there is anger! The children often get angry, really angry, with each other, and this can result in dramatic events like Sam's throwing Kate's dinosaurs out of the window. Mum has to intervene, and the upset takes a long time to settle down. Jealousy can be a problem too, and even the dog suffers from that when Kate is a baby and he doesn't get the attention he wants. Sam suffers the same way, so he and Fuzzy become extra close. He is hurt when his friend makes fun of him and tells other friends at school, and this problem takes lots of sorting before the two boys can be friendly again. Mostly Kate and Sam get along well, now they are older, but the 'quarrels come and go. They don't last because overall, there's enough love in the family to go round.' Explaining the emotions through a happy family is a good idea, and the theme - that people can have problems but still love each other - is an important one. The illustrations are excellent too and very indicative of family life in all its messiness, joys and sorrows. A really lovely, special book which should lead to lots of discussion.