August 20, 2019

Anne's Feelings

Inspired by Anne of Green Gables
Written and illustrated by Kelly Hill
Tundra Books
22 pp.
Ages 0-3
May 2019

While many school curricula mandate the teaching very young children to manage their emotions, it's not always easy for kids when they can't identify those feelings in the first place. They may know the way their tummy feels or if their face gets hot and red, but putting names to those emotions and their origins is not always easy. I think that Kelly Hill's latest board book inspired by Lucy M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables can help steer young children to some understanding of basic emotions that include those that are troublesome and those that are uplifting.
From Anne's Feelings by Kelly Hills
In a series of double-spreads of illustration and text, Kelly Hill depicts Anne and a few others as they experience a full range of feelings. They– but mostly Anne–are hopeful, or in the depths of despair, calm or excited, angry, scared, happy, brave, surprised, full of wonder, and loving. From Anne showing hope as she waits for a train that might take her to a real home or excited about ice cream, angry at Gilbert for calling her "Carrots" or showing love for Matthew and Marilla, Kelly Hill's illustrations of each emotion are true to Lucy Maud Montgomery's classic story of the orphan girl who finds a home at Green Gables.
From Anne's Feelings by Kelly Hill
While parents and teachers may be most enamoured with the teachings available in the variety of emotions depicted by the well-loved character, children will be tickled with Kelly Hill's cut fabric and embroidery illustrations. (The book's copyright page and credits on the back cover actually describe the artwork as "created with fabric, thread, embroidery floss, a hint of hope and a drop of bravery.") The artwork is colourful and textured, detailed but without being too busy.
From Anne's Feelings by Kelly Hill
Use Anne's Feelings to introduce lessons about feelings but don't forget to use it as a wonderful bridge to the inspiration for Kelly Hill's whole series of board books which includes Anne's Colors, Anne's Numbers and Anne's Alphabet. Anne would surely support the books that bring "simple pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string."

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