When Sadness Is at Your Door
When Sadness Is at Your Door
Publisher's Hardcover15.29
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Annotation: A young child experiences sadness as if it were a visitor, acknowledging the emotion and suggesting activities to do with it.
Catalog Number: #178439
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
Publisher: Random House
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-525-70718-2
ISBN 13: 978-0-525-70718-9
Dewey: E
Dimensions: 25 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
In intimate, direct-address prose and uncomplicated sepia line illustrations with a muted palette, this picture book represents sadness as a large, blue-hued amorphous figure that appears in a child's life: "Sometimes, Sadness arrives unexpectedly." No reason is given; it's just at the door, carrying a suitcase. But by externalizing sadness and giving it presence re, more soft and expressive than intimidating and portrays the many ways it can feel, from sitting "so close to you, you can hardly breathe" to "like you've become Sadness yourself," accompanied by an image of the child overlaid by the translucent Sadness, while other children play nearby. Also, however, she invites readers to look at sadness with new perspective and offers potential coping strategies. Eventually, just as unpredictably, "it might be gone . . . today is a new day." While its blend of literal and metaphorical may be esoteric for some younger ones, this ultimately explores a complex feeling with support and nonjudgmental compassion, while offering an affirming way to understand, discuss, and view sadness that children d their adults y find helpful.
Kirkus Reviews
Many books for young readers tackle terrible tantrums, but few address sadness that surfaces perhaps for no reason at all; this gives that muted malaise a shape, an identity, and love.A child tentatively opens the door and finds Sadness, a towering, amorphous, pale teal figure, waiting on the other side. It has arm and leg stumps but no neck or waist. Text set in a type that emulates handwriting tells children what they already know: "Sometimes Sadness arrives unexpectedly." The playful interplay between the literal and the figurative makes engaging a tough topic pleasurable. In casting melancholy not as an enemy but as a sometime companion, this powerful picture book inspires empathy and action. The hand-drawn illustrations' extremely limited, three-color palette (a washed-out blue for Sadness' ghostly, blobby body, subdued circles of pink on the child's cheeks, and chocolate brown for the lines that etch their world) similarly channels depression in its constriction of color. The ungendered, light-skinned child trudges alongside Sadness with slumped shoulders as they enact the sound, practical coping tactics introduced by the narrative voice. "Try not to be afraid of Sadness. Give it a name.…Find something that you both enjoy, like drawing." Front endpapers show depressed people ignoring their sadnesses, while back endpapers show these same characters interacting with them and feeling better.Children will feel better, too, knowing they have a helpful, honest, and empathetic picture book ready for the next time Sadness shows up for a visit. (Picture book. 4-10)
Publishers Weekly
In a deeply sensitive story, Eland personifies Sadness as a pear-shaped, mint green-colored character. The -you- in the story is a quiet child rendered in simple lines. Sadness is the child-s constant companion, but after communicating with Sadness (-Listen to it. Ask where it comes from and what it needs.-), the figure no longer seems like a burden. The two take a walk in the forest, listening together to the sounds of trees, and exchange a warm hug. At last, the child wakes to Sadness gone: -Don-t worry-today is a new day.- Sadness, Eland expresses, need not always feel like an intrusive guest-rather, it-s one whose arrival warrants attention, reflection, and care. Ages 3-7. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3 This gentle book portrays sadness as a large pale green visitor that appears at the door, suitcase in hand. "It follows you aroundand sits so close to you, you can hardly breathe." The narrator advises the hosta small childnot to hide his sadness or be afraid. "Listen to it. Ask where it comes from and what it needs. If you don't understand each other, just sit together and be quiet for a while." Then, try doing something comforting together like drawing, listening to music, or drinking cocoa. And, just as it came, unexpectedly, one day it will be gone. By focusing on the feeling, rather than the circumstance, the book speaks to readers of all ages and backgrounds. The portrayal of the feeling as so much larger than the boy helps convey the overwhelming nature of the emotion. The front endpapers show people of different ages in sad, thoughtful poses with the green creature interspersedlaying down, crying, staring at the ground, etc. The back endpapers show "sadness" doing yoga, petting a cat, taking a bath, eating an ice cream, getting a hugfinding comfort where it can. The handwritten text and illustrative sketches are rendered in brown on cream paper with pale red and green accents. VERDICT This quiet book is both constructive and reassuring and recommended for any collection with a bibliotherapy section. Barbara Auerbach, Cairo Public Library, NY
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Many books for young readers tackle terrible tantrums, but few address sadness that surfaces perhaps for no reason at all; this gives that muted malaise a shape, an identity, and love.A child tentatively opens the door and finds Sadness, a towering, amorphous, pale teal figure, waiting on the other side. It has arm and leg stumps but no neck or waist. Text set in a type that emulates handwriting tells children what they already know: "Sometimes Sadness arrives unexpectedly." The playful interplay between the literal and the figurative makes engaging a tough topic pleasurable. In casting melancholy not as an enemy but as a sometime companion, this powerful picture book inspires empathy and action. The hand-drawn illustrations' extremely limited, three-color palette (a washed-out blue for Sadness' ghostly, blobby body, subdued circles of pink on the child's cheeks, and chocolate brown for the lines that etch their world) similarly channels depression in its constriction of color. The ungendered, light-skinned child trudges alongside Sadness with slumped shoulders as they enact the sound, practical coping tactics introduced by the narrative voice. "Try not to be afraid of Sadness. Give it a name.…Find something that you both enjoy, like drawing." Front endpapers show depressed people ignoring their sadnesses, while back endpapers show these same characters interacting with them and feeling better.Children will feel better, too, knowing they have a helpful, honest, and empathetic picture book ready for the next time Sadness shows up for a visit. (Picture book. 4-10)
Word Count: 145
Reading Level: 1.9
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 1.9 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 501300 / grade: Lower Grades

A comforting primer in emotional literacy and mindfulness that suggests we approach the feeling of sadness as if it is our guest.

Sadness can be scary and confusing at any age! When we feel sad, especially for long periods of time, it can seem as if the sadness is a part of who we are--an overwhelming, invisible, and scary sensation.

In When Sadness Is at Your Door, Eva Eland brilliantly approaches this feeling as if it is a visitor. She gives it a shape and a face, and encourages the reader to give it a name, all of which helps to demystify it and distinguish it from ourselves. She suggests activities to do with it, like sitting quietly, drawing, and going outside for a walk. The beauty of this approach is in the respect the book has for the feeling, and the absence of a narrative that encourages the reader to "get over" it or indicates that it's "bad," both of which are anxiety-producing notions.

Simple illustrations that recall the classic style of Crockett Johnson (Harold and the Purple Crayon) invite readers to add their own impressions.

Eva Eland's debut picture book is a great primer in mindfulness and emotional literacy, perfect for kids navigating these new feelings--and for adult readers tackling the feelings themselves!


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