Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Draw and Discover: Happy, Sad, Feeling Glad

Draw and Discover: Happy, Sad, Feeling Glad

Yasmeen Ismail
Activity Book
FOr ages 5 to 7
Laurence King Publishing, 2017   ISBN: 978-1780679334

In the past, coloring books tended to contain scenes from a well-known story, or they explored a location, an animal, or a character. Nowadays illustrators are creating coloring and activity books that are incredibly creative. Some of them teach children about history, science, or the arts. Others tell stories, which the young artist can interact with. Then there are coloring books that explore themes.

In this title Yasmeen Ismail uses her drawings to help children better understand their feelings. Sometimes children’s emotions are so strong that they don’t know what they mean. The artwork in this book shows children what it means to be happy, sad, glad, excited, and more. We see the animal characters in the narrative experiencing these emotions, and we are invited to participate in their stories.

The first scene is a happy one. It is Cat’s birthday, and Dog and Donkey have given her some flowers as a gift. We are invited to add more flowers to her bouquet. In the next scene we see poor Donkey who is very sad because his ice cream has fallen out of its cone. Surely there is something we can do for Donkey. It turns out that there is. We can draw more ice cream so that his cone is full once more.

Later on we meet Cat again; she is feeling guilty because she has eaten almost all of Dog’s candy. Then we see Cat looking very annoyed because she is in a bathtub and she hates bath time. On another page Dog is curious because he has been given a present and he has no idea what is inside the package. The good news is that we get to draw what is inside the box and thus we get to find out what the gift is!

This is a wonderful activity book to share with young children. Emotions are explored in a fun and sensitive way, and every page will pull children into a little story that they can be a part of.