Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Review - Why Do We Cry?

Why Do We Cry?
by Fran Pintadera
illustrated by Ana Sender
Date: 2020
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book non-fiction
Pages: 34
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

This sensitive, poetic picture book uses metaphors and beautiful imagery to explain the reasons for our tears, making it clear that everyone is allowed to cry, and that everyone does.

In a soft voice, Mario asks, "Mother, why do we cry?" His mother thinks for a moment, and then begins to tell him about the many reasons for our tears. We cry because our sadness is so huge it must escape from our bodies. Because we don't understand the world, and our tears go in search of an answer. Because we can't find the right words, and our tears speak a universal language. Most important, she tells him, we cry because we feel like crying. And, as she shows him then, sometimes we feel like crying for joy.

By exploring the causes of our tears, Fran Pintadera's thoughtful, poetic picture book story defends the right to cry and reinforces crying's importance as a way to release our pain, to calm us and to help us grow. Though the question is asked by the boy, the illustrations of his mother's answers feature her as a child, adding a layer of empathy to her message. Ana Sender's artwork uses color and symbolic images along with facial expressions and body language to beautifully capture the mood and emotion being described on each spread. This warm, reassuring hug of a book provides just the response every adult would want to have to the central question. Supporting social-emotional learning, it makes an excellent choice for discussions about feelings and crying. To extend the concepts in the story, back matter describes the physical aspects and benefits of tears and provides two activities.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This book, all about crying, is done quite well. When Mario asks his mother why people cry, she explains many of the most popular reasons: everything from sadness and anger to frustration and joy. Her explanations are accompanied by whimsical illustrations of her as a child as she contemplates the various reasons for crying.

I'm not quite sure what the fantasy creatures in the illustrations have to do with anything, but they're interesting to look at. My favourite part of this is simply the explanations about why we cry, as well as the factual information about tears and their physical production that's included at the back.

Overall, this is a strong picture book that gently explains a universal activity that we've all done at some point in our lives.

Thank you to NetGalley and Kids Can Press for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 3.83 out of 5

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