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The Children's Bookshelf: What Feelings Do When No One's Looking - November 13, 2022

What Feelings Do When No One’s Looking is a thoughtful picture book parade of more than seventy feelings! It is written by Tina Ozcewicz, illustrated by Aleksandra Zajac and translated from the Polish by Jennifer Croft. The feelings, the little animal characters, the pictures and the lessons are thoroughly engaging.

The illustration for “Joy dances on a trampoline” is infectious. The rollie poly animal here is literally catapulted off the trampoline onto the next page in fully felt fun! Whereas the illustration for “Calm pets a dog” is heart-tugging. The same little character is seen holding his dog around the belly and kissing him with his eyes closed while doggie, with his eyes also closed is seen enjoying every second. Other feelings that will speak to younger readers include kindness, curiosity, anger, and friendship.

Older readers will also respond to other more sophisticated feelings such as courage, pride, compassion, and envy. “Envy tramples all that is beautiful. No time to rest---there are so many beautiful things to ruin!” Envy is shown with seven hands and feet destroying flowers as it keeps a record of its ugly accomplishments!

What Feelings Do When No One’s Looking is a unique collection of both positive and negative feelings that will speak to not only children 4-8 years of age but also to the entire family. Much to look at, feel and talk about here. (Elsewhere Editions) 2022.

The Children’s Bookshelf is a production of WCMU. Links to the podcast and the Activity Questions can be found at Children’s Bookshelf dot org.

Activity Questions for What Feelings Do When No One’s Looking

Turn to the illustrations to find the answers to these questions: Look at Courage taking a rest in the forest. What do you see hiding in the trees? What might happen to Courage if Courage is not careful? Look at Kindness. How does Kindness help others? Why is Excitement running so fast to see a friend? How does the illustration for Calm make you feel and why?

Look at the picture of Anger. How do you think the feeling of anger sounds? Go ahead and try it out---explode!

What is your favorite feeling that is included in this book? Why? If you could add one more feeling, what would it be? Go ahead and draw a picture of that feeling along with a one sentence description.

Sue Ann Martin is professor emerita of Communication and Dramatic Arts and the founding and past Dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts at Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. She first became interested in children’s literature when she wrote her PhD thesis on the oral characteristics of the Caldecott Award-winning children’s books. Her PhD is in Speech and Interpretation with a cognate in Early Childhood Education. She went on to review children’s books for the Detroit Free Press, write three popular resource books for teachers regarding children’s books and the creative process. She also reviewed newly-published books for Arts Almanac specials on WCMU Public Radio. Her 2002 children’s books special for WCMU won a Merit Award in Special Interest Programming from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.