Mood Musings

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Smile Cry
Tania McCartney and Jess Racklyeft
EK Books
This ‘Beginner’s book of feelings’ is really two books in one. We share reasons to smile courtesy of three pals – a cat, a piglet and a rabbit who have many things that bring on an upbeat, break into a smile feeling. There’s that ‘cosy under blanket smile’ – we all know that kind; the rather embarrassed ‘what to do now smile?’ – adults will be very familiar with this one; and the totally satisfied ‘ate all the pies smile

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I think my favourites though are the ‘walking in the forest smile’

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and the ‘quiet with the nightlight smile’

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Turn the page and you’ll find the final ‘wrapped in a cuddle smile’ … and that’s the time to flip the book

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and share some tear-jerking moments with our friends.
Who doesn’t feel a bit tearful at the ‘ice-cream plopping down

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and we all empathise with rabbit’s ‘Perhaps it’s lost cry’ and that ‘Goodbye cry”; and what about this one …

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It probably all depends, (though the gorgeous illustration almost brings tears to the eyes.) Jess Racklyeft has done a brilliant job imagining and illustrating Tania McCartney’s situations. Every single page brought a big smile to the face of this reviewer but then who could resist smiling over the tickle treatment or that totally satisfied, just stuffed my face smile of the three pals (not forgetting monkey).
Perfect for sharing with young children at home or in an early years setting. It’s certain to generate a great deal of discussion and is bound to bring on a whole lot of smiles; not too many tears though, I hope.

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The Very Grumpy Day
Alison Edgson and Stella J Jones
Little Tiger Press
What begins as a ‘perfect day’ for Mouse at least, soon becomes anything but as the kind-hearted creature goes off to deliver a yummy looking cake to his pal Bear. Bear meanwhile has grumped off in a foul temper upsetting every animal unfortunate enough to cross his path as he stomps on his way creating a chain of havoc in his wake.

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Eventually everyone in the clearing is in a mood as bad as Bear’s and to make things worse, the rain starts to fall.

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Thank goodness then, for Mouse’s offering, which Bear discovers on his return home; it sets off a second chain of action and reaction. This time though, everyone ends up with a big smile

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and the day concludes happily with sunshine and a story …
A gently humorous tale that demonstrates how easy it is to infect others with your bad mood and how much better to spread happiness instead; it’s just a matter of looking on the bright side. Alison Edgson captures those changing moods beautifully in scenes large and small.

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