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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
A Pocket Full of Colours is a children’s concept picture book written and illustrated by Joe Starling. Sam’s Saturday morning started out just fine until he heard Tilly, his extremely irritating sister, ask his mom when her friend, Zoe, would arrive. Sam was happy with his own company and preferred to be alone, though he did have color friends who lived in his pocket to consider. They were unpredictable and apt to pop out of his shirt pocket when he least expected it. Managing those color friends could get challenging at times. Hearing that Zoe was due any moment made Sam’s purple friend jump out of his pocket, creep into a corner, and begin its foot-tapping routine. The solution was to make sure all his toys were neatly tucked away and secure from Tilly and Zoe’s rampages. Then Zoe arrived, and the two excited little girls ran from room to room, their high-pitched shrieks echoing in his head. He hoped they wouldn’t come across the guitar, but they did, and the noise got even worse. Slowly and quietly, the little blue color crept out of Sam’s pocket, tears gleaming on its cheeks. But, once again, Sam knew what to do.
Joe Starling’s A Pocket Full of Colours explains emotions and shows how to counter sadness, depression, and anxiety in ways young readers will be able to relate to. Sam’s glorious Saturday morning turns into a nerve-wracking exercise in despair, irritation, and eventually, anger. It is at times humorous, but always affirming and supportive. The author takes those colors in Sam’s pocket seriously; he knows how real they are to a young person and shares methods to help kids understand and manage their own shirt pocket denizens. Starling’s colorful illustrations work perfectly with the text, adding touches of whimsy to the author’s upbeat and affirming message. The author also includes a link to Free Bonus Activities, a collection of resources for young readers and caregivers to explore, as well as a worksheet for coping with feeling worried, sad, angry and happy. A grand selection for story hour, this book is also written at a level appropriate for new readers to try on their own. A Pocket Full of Colours is most highly recommended.