Some emotions are hard to describe and even harder to experience. Eva Eland’s new picture book, When Sadness is at Your Door, is a “gentle and reassuring” look at one of life’s most complicated emotions.
The story opens with Sadness appearing as an uninvited guest. Simple illustrations give the emotion a color and shape.
The imagery and language show how Sadness can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. There is no talk of Sadness as a “bad” emotion or one we must try to avoid.
I was struck by how seeing Sadness on the page made the emotion somehow feel less scary. I also appreciated how Sadness was portrayed as something apart from the child — an important distinction, I think.
Just as unexpectedly as Sadness arrives, the child discovers it has gone.
When Sadness is at Your Door is an honest and hopeful portrayal of a complex emotion and is a wonderful tool to equip young readers the next time sadness pays to visit.
Thank you, Penguin Random House, for an advance copy for review.