A Blue Kind of Day

Penguin/Kokila. Apr. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593324011.
K-Gr 4–This gentle exploration of depression in children feels like Cori Doerrfeld’s The Rabbit Listened meets Judith Viorst’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Coen is a young dark-skinned boy with a mop of curls who wakes up with blue feelings radiating off of him. Sheathed in a blanket for protection, we see the physical manifestation of his feelings not only through Coen but also through his teddy bear. His mother, father, and sister try to cheer him up, but Coen needs time to emerge from his cocoon. The digital illustrations are appropriate shades of blue for much of the book. From Australia, Mordey, who has a shared Torres Strait Islander and English heritage, has modeled the characters after her own family. This book would pair well with SEL lessons on self-awareness as a read-aloud. School counselors may also find that the text opens discussions with students who lack the language to name their emotions. An author’s note provides ways to identify symptoms of depression and ideas for supporting children exhibiting them.
VERDICT Sparse yet effective text may serve all ages well in helping them give voice to unexpressed feelings. A recommended purchase for public, elementary, and middle school libraries.

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