A comforting primer in emotional literacy and mindfulness that suggests we approach the feeling of sadness as if it is our guest.
Sadness can be scary and confusing at any age! When we feel sad, especially for long periods of time, it can seem as if the sadness is a part of who we are--an overwhelming, invisible, and scary sensation.
In When Sadness Is at Your Door, Eva Eland brilliantly approaches this feeling as if it is a visitor. She gives it a shape and a face, and encourages the reader to give it a name, all of which helps to demystify it and distinguish it from ourselves. She suggests activities to do with it, like sitting quietly, drawing, and going outside for a walk. The beauty of this approach is in the respect the book has for the feeling, and the absence of a narrative that encourages the reader to "get over" it or indicates that it's "bad," both of which are anxiety-producing notions.
Simple illustrations that recall the classic style of Crockett Johnson (Harold and the Purple Crayon) invite readers to add their own impressions.
Eva Eland's debut picture book is a great primer in mindfulness and emotional literacy, perfect for kids navigating these new feelings--and for adult readers tackling the feelings themselves!
In a deeply sensitive story, Eland personifies Sadness as a pear-shaped, mint green colored character. The "you" in the story is a quiet child rendered in simple lines. Sadness is the child's constant companion, but after communicating with Sadness ("Listen to it. Ask where it comes from and what it needs."), the figure no longer seems like a burden. The two take a walk in the forest, listening together to the sounds of trees, and exchange a warm hug. At last, the child wakes to Sadness gone: "Don't worry today is a new day." Sadness, Eland expresses, need not always feel like an intrusive guest rather, it's one whose arrival warrants attention, reflection, and care. Ages 3 7.