As is probably clear by now, I love Greg Paprocki’s alphabet books. Today’s is not a holiday, though. This image is from L is for Love: A Heartfelt Alphabet by Greg Paprocki. In this case, we’re focusing on the bigger picture concept of emotion itself (brought to you by the letter E).
I find it interesting that this is the word chosen for this book, but I am even more fascinated by the illustration. This is clearly a little kid in a doctor’s office with his mom and the doctor. Everybody appears to be feeling things, but while the two adults are smiling, the kid is clearly upset – crying and seemingly scared and maybe hurting. I would have expected the child’s face to be the focal point here, but it isn’t. The mother’s face is front and center with her comforting smile. At least, I assume it’s comfort she is offering. Before I noticed the kid’s emotions, she read as kind of gleeful to me, which seems odd for the scene. Her body language and his face suggest that she’s trying to reassure him everything will be ok, though.
is for emotion
Emotions are complex and varied and I appreciate that this page show a range of them in an actual scene and not just one or a range of faces showing expression or one of the other easy ways we usually try to explain emotion to children in books.