"Poems to help readers develop their emotional literacy"
The creators of An Emotional Menagerie lays out the book’s intention on the opening page in a six stanza poem. Inside the book are 26 more poems, each a rhyming guide to an emotion the reader is likely to feel.
They’re presented alphabetically from A for Anger to Z for Zeal. The emotions are depicted as animals, illustrated over full colour spreads, so Anger is a lion, Guilt a dog with ‘drooping ears, slow dragging paws’, while Melancholy is a hippo, wallowing in mires, ‘mulling over woes and cares’.
Each poem describes situations young people will recognise and there’s advice given in many of them as to how to cope with unwanted or damaging emotions. To help readers expand their vocabularies too, certain words are highlighted, presumably for discussion with an adult or the send readers to consult a dictionary. The book is attractive to look at, the premise is interesting and should prove helpful in starting conversations around and understandings of emotions.
Young readers who benefit from this book could also usefully look at Being Me: Poems About Thoughts, Feelings and Worries by Liz Brownlee, Matt Goodfellow and Laura Mucha.