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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Sometimes When I'm Sad is an educational storybook for children written by Deborah Serani and illustrated by Kyra Teis. All too often, adults overlook the emotions children feel, especially when they’re feeling sad, like the little boy in this story. When we first meet him, he’s very aware that there are times when he feels sad, and he realizes that crying, throwing his toys or hiding are ways he uses to cope with that overwhelming sadness he feels. Even ice cream and baby bunnies can’t chase away those blues when he feels that badly. Then a counselor came into his life. She understood his sadness and the giant space it can fill. She also had some ways to help him make those feelings grow smaller, while also acknowledging that crying and hiding are fine -- at least for a little while. She helped him realize that he could share his feelings with an adult or his friends, and she would also always be there for him.
Deborah Serani’s Sometimes When I'm Sad takes kids’ emotions seriously and shows kids that not only are those feelings real and important, but she can show them ways to deal with the turmoil and despair they create. Kyra Teis’s illustrations do a brilliant job of showing the little boy both when he’s feeling sad and when he’s happy and at peace with himself. I loved the expressions she gives her characters and the animation she imparts to the story. Serani also includes an appendix titled Helping Children Through Sadness: A Guide for Caring Adults which clues adults in on how to be aware of emotional turmoil in children and gives details of ways to help kids work through those feelings. She also includes a listing of resources for parents and caregivers. Sometimes When I'm Sad is an important book that’s most highly recommended.