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Reviewed by Kristine Zimmerman for Readers' Favorite
There Are Days by Justin Vaughn is a lilting, rhyming read-aloud about the variety of our emotions. Each spread starts with a verse describing a child's feelings without defining a specific emotion. The second page in the spread always begins with 'If you should find a day' … and then proceeds to share a way to deal with or enjoy that feeling. Some days have emotions that can be readily identified, like fear, anger, or joy, but some are more subtle, like feeling hopeful or up and down. Each feeling is validated, and the following verse always ends positively. Each spread pictures a diverse group of individuals and situations.
Everyone must learn to deal with their emotions and accept that these are part of being human. There Are Days is a beautiful way to share with kids that we may feel something different each day, which is okay. I enjoyed that the emotions weren't labeled and instead conveyed the complexity of how it feels to be angry or nervous. My favorite page was on courage and feeling your power but also using that feeling to stand up for others who may not feel that way. The illustrations by Breanna Matthews are bold, colorful, and full of emotion. Kids will quickly identify with several of the places and situations that are illustrated. It is a perfect choice for social-emotional learning and is also helpful for parents who want their children to know that they will be beside them no matter how they feel.