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When sadness is at your door
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A comforting primer in emotional literacy and mindfulness that suggests we approach the feeling of sadness as if it is our guest.

Sadness can be scary and confusing at any age! When we feel sad, especially for long periods of time, it can seem as if the sadness is a part of who we are--an overwhelming, invisible, and scary sensation.

In When Sadness Is at Your Door , Eva Eland brilliantly approaches this feeling as if it is a visitor. She gives it a shape and a face, and encourages the reader to give it a name, all of which helps to demystify it and distinguish it from ourselves. She suggests activities to do with it, like sitting quietly, drawing, and going outside for a walk. The beauty of this approach is in the respect the book has for the feeling, and the absence of a narrative that encourages the reader to "get over" it or indicates that it's "bad," both of which are anxiety-producing notions.

Simple illustrations that recall the classic style of Crockett Johnson ( Harold and the Purple Crayon ) invite readers to add their own impressions.

Eva Eland's debut picture book is a great primer in mindfulness and emotional literacy, perfect for kids navigating these new feelings--and for adult readers tackling the feelings themselves!
Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
K-Gr 3-This gentle book portrays sadness as a large pale green visitor that appears at the door, suitcase in hand. "It follows you around.and sits so close to you, you can hardly breathe." The narrator advises the host-a small child-not to hide his sadness or be afraid. "Listen to it. Ask where it comes from and what it needs. If you don't understand each other, just sit together and be quiet for a while." Then, try doing something comforting together like drawing, listening to music, or drinking cocoa. And, just as it came, unexpectedly, one day it will be gone. By focusing on the feeling, rather than the circumstance, the book speaks to readers of all ages and backgrounds. The portrayal of the feeling as so much larger than the boy helps convey the overwhelming nature of the emotion. The front endpapers show people of different ages in sad, thoughtful poses with the green creature interspersed-laying down, crying, staring at the ground, etc. The back endpapers show "sadness" doing yoga, petting a cat, taking a bath, eating an ice cream, getting a hug.finding comfort where it can. The handwritten text and illustrative sketches are rendered in brown on cream paper with pale red and green accents. VERDICT This quiet book is both constructive and reassuring and recommended for any collection with a bibliotherapy section.-Barbara Auerbach, Cairo Public Library, NY © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
In intimate, direct-address prose and uncomplicated sepia line illustrations with a muted palette, this picture book represents sadness as a large, blue-hued amorphous figure that appears in a child's life: Sometimes, Sadness arrives unexpectedly. No reason is given; it's just at the door, carrying a suitcase. But by externalizing sadness and giving it presence here, more soft and expressive than intimidating Eland portrays the many ways it can feel, from sitting so close to you, you can hardly breathe to like you've become Sadness yourself, accompanied by an image of the child overlaid by the translucent Sadness, while other children play nearby. Also, however, she invites readers to look at sadness with new perspective and offers potential coping strategies. Eventually, just as unpredictably, it might be gone . . . today is a new day. While its blend of literal and metaphorical may be esoteric for some younger ones, this ultimately explores a complex feeling with support and nonjudgmental compassion, while offering an affirming way to understand, discuss, and view sadness that children and their adults may find helpful.--Shelle Rosenfeld Copyright 2019 Booklist
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