The Way I Feel

Thursday, July 31, 2008

By Janan Cain

Call Number: PZ9 .E6 C34 2000

First-time author and artist Cain treads familiar ground here with a picture book that pales in comparison to Jamie Lee Curtis’s subtler and snappier Today I Feel Silly. From scared to shy, bored to jealous, Cain covers the emotional waterfront in a series of rhymes paired with pastel pencil drawings featuring elflike children. The opening spread, “silly” (“Silly is the way I feel when I make a funny face/ and wear a goofy, poofy hat that takes up lots of space”), casts a child in a rainbow-colored clown outfit against a sunny yellow backdrop and heralds the book’s main artistic conceit–a palette picked to suit each mood. “Bored,” for instance, is played out on a background of drab tans and browns, while “angry” steams with fiery reds and purples. Though energetic and bright, the cartoonlike illustrations skate close to being strident, while the verses are pedestrian (“Sometimes I feel so very sad and really don’t know why./ Instead of playing and having fun, I cry and cry and cry”).

barnesandnoble.com

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