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[Saturday Reads] Emotional Awareness in European Picturebooks

Featuring Eva Eland's When Sadness Is at Your Door and Evelina Daciute's The Fox on the Swing.


Fats here.

Every Saturday we hope to share with you our thoughts on reading and books. We thought that it would be good practice to reflect on our reading lives and our thoughts about reading in general. While on occasion, we would feature a few books in keeping with this, there would be a few posts where we will just write about our thoughts on read-alouds, libraries, reading journals, upcoming literary conferences, books that we are excited about, and just book love miscellany in general.

sr0223bWhen Sadness Is at Your Door

Written and illustrated by Eva Eland
Published by Random House Children’s Books (2019)
ISBN: 9780525707189
Copy provided by Medina County District Library.
Cover image downloaded online. Book photo by me.

From the dust jacket: Sadness can be confusing and overwhelming at any age. When Sadness Is at Your Door provides a sensitive look at a very familiar feeling. This simple yet important book portrays Sadness as an unwelcome guest but one that can be managed. With a face and a shape, Sadness can be seen as a part of one’s true self.


If you don’t understand each other, just sit together and be quiet for a while… Maybe it all wants to know is that it is welcome.

This is an absolutely precious book about recognizing sadness and the different ways that we can deal with it. Understanding emotions can be quite difficult for children. Eland’s book helps young readers acknowledge sadness and reassures them that it’s okay to feel sad sometimes. Sadness is not something that easily goes away but it’s not permanent, either. How one deals with sadness is a good conversation starter for parents and children. I enjoyed the soft textured illustrations and sparse text in the book.

About the Author Eva Eland is a Dutch author and illustrator who lives in England. She earned an MA with distinction in children’s book illustration from the Cambridge School of Art, and has also studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and the School of Visual Arts.

sr0223dThe Fox on the Swing

Written by Evelina Daciute
Illustrated by Aušra Kiudulaite
Published by Thames & Hudson (2019)
ISBN: 9780500651568
Accolade: Winner, Mildred L. Batchelder Award (2019)
Copy provided by Cleveland Public Library.
Cover image downloaded online. Book photo by me.

From the dust jacket: Paul lives with his mother and father inside a tree and he likes to talk the long way home. One day he has an adventure: he finds a fox, swinging higher and higher on a swing. They become friends. She’s full of sage wisdom and stories of her fox family. Paul is happy. But when his parents decide to move far away to a taller tree and he has to leave the fox behind, he wonders: will he ever be happy again?


“Everything depends on your point of view. Things can change, depending on whether you look at them from up above or down below, from the left or from the right. So ask me again when you’ve looked at the problem from all sides.”

When Marcy Campbell, author of Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse, was at the library last week, I checked out her holds for her. That was how I came across The Fox on the Swing, which was part of her reading list for that weekend. The Fox on the Swing reminds me a little bit of The Little Prince with bits of life advice here and there. In a nutshell, the book is about happiness and finding joy in the simplest things. I want to say that I’m partial because I adore foxes. However, Kiudulaite’s illustrations would easily make readers fall in love with this book. Quite a whimsical treat!

About the Author Evelina Daciute is a writer and poet. She lives in Vilnius, Lithuania.

#WomenReadWomen2019 (United Kingdom | Lithuania)

3 comments on “[Saturday Reads] Emotional Awareness in European Picturebooks

  1. Pingback: [Monday Reading] Empowering 2019 Picturebooks On Mastering One’s Emotions – Gathering Books

  2. Pingback: [Monday Reading] The Grounded Sorcery of Girls’ Bravery And Courage in 2019 Picturebooks – Gathering Books

  3. Pingback: [Saturday Reads] Of Silence and Reading – Gathering Books

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