What Feelings Do When No One’s Looking
*Goodreads rating 4.7*
Author: Tina Oziewicz
An unruly cast of emotions come alive in this romping dreamworld, a place Maurice Sendak’s Wild Things could call home
Curiosity, a lithe and floppy-eared creature, perches above the open world and gazes out with a zippy blend of hope, wonder, and longing. From the tip of a chimney, we bound into the quiet and mischievous world of feelings, meeting a troupe of tufted creatures as we go. Sympathy helps snails cross a sidewalk to safety, fear pirouettes in an attempt to camouflage with wallflowers, and pleasure reclines across a doily-donned reading chair, sipping a cup of tea. Elsewhere, our insecurities – pesky, cavorting beings – build intricate cages and stride about with clattering sets of keys. Tina Oziewicz’s words hum with truth, and Aleksandra Zajac’s illustrations bloom and burst with charming details like a sail constructed out of a pair of billowing long johns or a red slipper falling from a contented paw. Taking in the perfect harmony of this book is like taking a long gulp from a trusty thermos and filling up with warmth. What Feelings Do When No One’s Looking surprises and soothes, inspires us to feel.
"Each feeling described here—gratitude, envy, nostalgia and the like—takes the shape of a quirky monster. A few of the creatures resemble hedgehogs or owls; some have rounded noses and others pointed ones . . . We see Bliss zonked out in an oversize armchair, its frilled ears splayed wide and a beatific smile on its little gray face. Envy wears a spiteful expression as it crushes flowers underfoot . . . [The book’s creators] suggest that while children should beware the negative feelings that lurk within, they should remember that positive emotions are there too, ready to kindle an inner light when no one’s looking."
--Meghan Cox Gurdon, Wall Street Journal
"This is a uniquely beautiful and original book. The extraordinary illustrations, done mostly in shades of gray with just occasional color, are more than perfect in picturing the concepts of the book . . .The words are so lovingly rendered with the illustrations."
--Katrina Yurenka, Youth Services Book Review, Starred Review
"[Aleksandra Zając's] crisp, fine lines and gray-tone palette (with subtle touches of coral, sky blue and sage) ensure that even the more volatile emotions, such as Anger, won't frighten the youngest readers . . . This is a picture book filled with surprises . . . Oziewicz has a startlingly succinct and evocative way of capturing these feelings . . . What Feelings Do When No One's Looking will prompt thoughtful conversations about the wide range of feelings a person can experience. It's exactly the sort of book that . . . all children need." – Julie Danielson, BookPage