Sunday, March 15, 2020

Review - Marcy's Having All the Feels

Marcy's Having All the Feels
by Allison Edwards
illustrated by Valeria Docampo
Date: 2020
Publisher: National Center for Youth Issues
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

What do you do with all your feelings?

In Marcy’s Having All the Feels, counselor and therapist Allison Edwards explores how sometimes feeling so many feelings doesn’t feel so good at all.

Marcy wanted to be happy. Happy is all she wanted to be. But all her other feelings kept showing up—and at the worst times! There was Frustrated and Angry, Sad and Embarrassed, and even Worried and Jealous. Her feelings were there as soon as she opened her eyes each morning, and they followed her around throughout the day. Some days all these feelings just felt like a little too much and she wanted to hide!

Marcy didn’t want to feel angry or jealous. And she didn’t like feeling sad or embarrassed. Why couldn’t she be happy all the time? Then one day when Marcy’s feelings disappear, she learns that her feelings don’t have to control her, and they might even have a function.

Maybe having all the feels might not be such a bad thing. And that one discovery? Well, it changes everything!

(synopsis from NetGalley; see it on Goodreads)

This is a rather didactic picture book about feelings that will inevitably be compared to the much stronger movie, Inside Out.

Marcy's feelings are personified by little coloured creatures. Unlike in Inside Out, though, she's aware of them. Happy is her favourite, but she doesn't show up nearly often enough. After a rough day, Marcy wishes all her feelings away. But that kind of backfires because Happy disappears as well. After a day without feelings, Marcy welcomes them all back into her life with the understanding that she must take the not-so-great emotions along with the nice ones.

This might have worked had the feelings been developed better as characters. But when they're depicted as separate beings like they are here (and not merely aspects of Marcy's psyche), things can get a little confusing. You'd think Happy would be... well, happy. But she's kind of judgy, and laments early on about how she's tired of being needed. (That's not exactly a happy emotion she's displaying.)

The book is obviously intended to teach, and it pretty much hits the reader over the head with the message. It's a bit boring, and there's a bit too much text. Also, the "Tips for Teachers and Parents" at the back are weird. The way they're worded, they're obviously directed at kids... unless adults need to know how to rate their feelings on a scale of 1 to 10 and walk away to cool off so they don't make bad choices. (Yes, adults need those skills. But they're presented here as new information directed at them... not as something to teach the kids.)

Overall, this seems a bit weak. Inside Out gets the message across better in a much more entertaining way.

Thank you to NetGalley and National Center for Youth Issues for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 2/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 1/5

Overall: 1.83 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment