Sophy Williams is the author of The ABC of Cuddles and her second picture book is a counting book that includes emotional vocabulary to help children understand their challenging, and at times wild, feelings. The British based illustrator Gavin Scott’s has presented many charming young animals for younger readers to connect with.
The animals experience an array of emotional challenges. We see the scenarios and the colourful highlighted word for how they are feeling – grumpy, nervous, restless, afraid. We also see the word for numbers – one two, three and check in on the animals as we begin to count backwards. Then there is a change, a resolution. The animals feel happy, reassured, brave, bold, peaceful, and relieved.
The rhyming text consists of short sentences, with the number word and the emotion highlighted in bold colour.
Five possums feel sad. The branch is hard to climb.
Six piglets feel ashamed, They fell into the slime.
The illustrations are charming and fill each page. Unlike the title that gives the impression that these feelings may be wild and out of control, there is a positive resolution that will be welcomed by the young reader.
This is a useful guide providing a gentle invitation for three- to six-year-olds to identify and talk about their feelings and to practise their counting.